International Update (Sorry you’re only getting one…)

The country I have been working in has waxing and waning internet access, so I figured I would dedicate myself to one longer post versus two shorter ones. And I have also, you know been doing work for my non-profit, so I haven’t given myself much time during the day hours to process .

Warning: the following post will be rambly, highly emotional,  and only mildly edited.

I’m not going to give you a play by play of each daily experience, because most of the time throughout each day there wasn’t really an issue 95% of the time. And honestly, I haven’t actively thought about the issue from day to day. Which sounds great yes? This lesbian is definitely not stressed out about being in _____ as a gay women?

Nope.

As many of my gay peers know, it really only takes one incident to rattle you. We were at a local market, and being the good girlfriend that I am, I was looking for something to get her. As we were walking through stalls with one of our hosts (who I am out to), she mentioned (in the language of ____) that it was for my girlfriend, and quickly changed it to ‘friend’. I was not looking at who our host was talking to, but I know a flash of horror passed across my face.

And the moment was gone in an instant. In reality I felt no danger, and mild panic. Nothing out of the ordinary in my daily life honestly. But I just couldn’t settle it… until a colleague of mine had said that in the future I could use the ‘foreign language excuse’  when referring to my girlfriend.

Aaaaand then my righteous anger set in. Not at my colleague, she was right after all. I was angry at everything: the world, this country, my country, social inequality, prejudice… and the list just goes on. Why should I have play silly games of mispronunciation? Why in meetings should I have to feel concerned that I’m giving off to much “gay”?

WHY SHOULD MY SEXUAL ORIENTATION HINDER MY ABILITY TO TRY TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

I should be leaving this trip feeling accomplished, satisfied, and happy. We have so much to work towards, and I want to focus all of my energy towards the future of my organization. But what does that mean as I continue to stay in the closet for the sake of success and funding?

I guess I’ll have to find out.

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