Stream of consciousness continued...
You see them everywhere, that pair, the two girls walking together, on their way to class, going to a movie, shopping; it doesn't matter where really, you've seen them, the ones you look at and wonder, "Are they just friends, or are they more than friends?" Sometimes it's hard to tell what prompts the question. Is it wardrobe, body language, behavior? Is it the combination of those specific girls together, or is it something about one of them that really sparks your interest? Didn't you wish you could stop and ask them? If you had, you might have been told "why yes, we are more than friends," but often as not, the answer would be no. I should know, I am always one of those girls.
My closest and oldest friend and I for years got asked by strangers if we were dating. On one memorable occasion, (walking from the car to the movie theatre), we were nearly run down by a kid on a skate board who yelled out "Fucking lesbians!" because it was, of course, our fault for being on his sidewalk and that was the best insult he could come up with. I think it bothered her; I couldn't have cared less. When I played in a pool league, I had another friend who used to get teased by the all the drunk rednecks about how she and her girlfriend were doing and I know she hated it. Neither of them were comfortable with the thought that someone would think they were a lesbian, and in the latter's case she was outright offended because she would never do something disgusting like that, thank you very much.
I guess I'm lucky, because I got exposed early in my life to the idea that it was perfectly fine for a woman to love another woman or a man to love another man. I read a lot and way out of my reading level, prefering fantasy and science fiction by authors that treated all partnerships as acceptable. My parents, while disapproving due to their religious beliefs, kept their opinions to themselves on all hot button topics so carefully that I never even knew what their opinion was until I was an adult. I got to make my own opinions. Even though I was nominally religious (something I outgrew by the time I was in my 20's) I never adopted that pervasive christian attitude of thinking that other lifestyles to mine are evil. I might not understand, but in my world that doesn't equal "bad," it equals "educate yourself." Interning with a theatre company in my mid-20's further broadened my scope of experience. I met every flavor of gay there, got to be friends with people, was entertained by people (there's nothing quite like having a professional drag queen half out of makeup explain to you the best way to shave your legs when it comes to mind-expanding experiences.)
My theory on why I am always one of that pair of girls has a lot to due with appearances. My best friend for years was always the well-pressed, properly dressed, extra make-up, manicured type, while I prefer just to throw on jeans and a t-shirt, throw my hair up on my head, and run. So in this case I think it's the contrast. When she came to the California desert in 1999 to help me move back to Oregon, she wore tailored dress shorts, a nice shirt, lots of makeup, jewelry, fancy sandals, the whole nine yards. It was about 105 degrees out when we started driving. I was wearing jean shorts, one of my ex-husband's old army tees, and flip flops. We got asked if we were a couple every time we stopped.
It took me a long, long time to realize that maybe the reason that I am one of that pair of girls is that people are getting a vibe off of me that leads their minds in that direction. For years I said that I appreciated girls aesthetically; they were fun to look at but that was all. I got hit on by lesbians all the time, but it was never by someone who was even vaguely appealing to me. (I remember particulary a young lady with whom I worked who, one night as we dropped her off after a night at the bar, took my hand in hers and tongued my palm while smiling what she thought was enticingly up into my eyes. I suppose my skin wouldn't have crawled quite so much had I not known that she'd been puking in the bathroom of the bar before we left.)
For the past 4 or 5 years I have been single, celibate, and living pretty much like a hermit, having spent the previous 7 or 8 years living a life that was pretty poisonous to me. I finally got to the point where I had to excise all the crap, and my social circle dropped dramatically. Basically, I'd been wound as tight as a person could possibly be for years, refusing to admit it, and really hurting myself emotionally because of it.
But I really did spend all that time discovering new things about myself. And one of those things is that girls are more than just fun to look at. At the risk of sounding ridiculously cliched, it's what's inside that counts, and while gender may contribute to your persona it doesn't define your attractiveness to me.
So. I am, in fact, that girl indeed. Better not walk too close to me in public if you're uncomfortable with the idea that someone is going to think that you're my girlfriend, because it will happen.