We’ve been experiencing a weird phenomenon lately. People have been addressing my 12-year-old son and me as “ladies”.
I suppose this is a byproduct of gay friendliness, but it’s still a little weird.
The first time this happened was in January in Disneyland when a park photographer approached us and said, “Would you ladies like to get your photo taken? You could even have it taken with Darth Vader!”
We sort of looked at each other… one of those movie looks. I told the photographer “my son would probably love to have his picture taken with Darth Vader, but I’ll just watch.”
She sort of stammered and apologized while she handed him a light saber.
Then early in March, leaving a No On 8 rally in San Francisco, a cab driver did it again, “You ladies have a good evening.”
Here’s what’s going on: My son and I are now the same height. I’m sure that by the time school gets out for the summer he’ll be towering over me. In a frisson of sixth grade fashion flair, he’s taken to wearing a fedora. But under the hat, he still has a sweet baby face, right on the brink of adolescence. I like to say he’s stumbling into puberty. And, I look really gay. Although I’d describe myself as a medium-maintenance sort of femme, I like to wear my hair shorter than Rachel Maddow’s, on the verge of crew cut. I have those interesting glasses that seem to be the mark of the modern lesbian.
So, people take one look at us – me looking like a little ol’ dyke and him a similarly-sized person in Chuck Taylors, jeans, an ironic t-shirt, and a hat – and assume he’s my butch girlfriend.
Luckily, my easygoing kid thinks this is really funny… but I’ve decided I’ll throw a couple of bucks in the therapy jar just in case he needs it later.