By Tori Tucker
When you meet someone new how do you introduce yourself? Usually it’s name first, but then what? Do you introduce yourself as so-and-so’s husband, or your job position? It’s a weird question isn’t it? This conundrum was brought on after a conversation I had with a family member this week.
We were just casually chatting on the phone on an unusually warm April day when this family member suggested I take my younger cousin, who is visiting me in Keene over the Easter weekend, to church on Sunday.
Now, I, being a non-religious person, joked that I would probably burst into flame because “you know, gay” to which this family member replied that being gay shouldn’t be the “first thing about me”.
This struck me as odd, so I asked them to explain further. They went on to say that I should always introduce myself with my name first, then who my parents are, then my grandparents, and so on. Once again, I was a bit confused because obviously that wasn’t what we had been talking about at all. I quickly got them off the subject instead and said my goodbyes, but our conversation lingered with me. I puzzled over it for the rest of the day, and I came to this conclusion:
When I introduce myself obviously I alway start with my name: Tori. But after that I was caught: I suppose it would depend on the setting in which I was introducing myself, but decided to continue on as if I were addressing the internet on a blog or in a video.
The second thing I would say about myself is that I (almost) have a bachelor of the arts in English writing, because I’ve worked hard for my degree and I want to build a future off of it. My degree would of course be followed by my minors: music and German.
After that I think must be where I’m from: Portsmouth, because I will always be a Portsmouth girl at heart.
Then would be, yes, that I’m gay, because I would want to tell people about my girlfriend, because that’s a big part of my life right now, and a big part of my future as well. I am proud of the fact that I can call Emma, my multitalented, brilliant and beautiful best friend my girlfriend.
After that what is there to know? I guess I might sheepishly interject that yes I’m a published writer and I have a novella available on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble because not many people my age can say that.
So, yes, the fact that I’m gay would come up pretty quickly. Some might say that this will decrease job opportunities or cause tensions between myself and those I’m addressing. To this I say that it really doesn’t matter, because the world is changing, and because I wouldn’t want ties to anyone or anything that is so adamantly against such a big part of my life.
How could anyone suggest that I wouldn’t bring up the life I’m living, especially such a big part of it? It would be another story entirely if I was talking about a boyfriend, and that’s a fact. For straight people most people would jump right into asking about what the boyfriend is like, and is he successful and so on and so forth, but when I bring up my girlfriend there have been times that I’ve been met with an awkward “oh, you’re one of those” faces.
I think it’s normal that someone would bring up their partner when introducing themselves, especially since (for most people) their partner is a big part of their lives. I mean, Emma and I spend almost all of our time together except for when we’re in classes or at work.
It’s important to be proud of who you are and what you do, and if other people have a problem with that, well I guess they just don’t belong in your life. So I ask you, how would you introduce yourself?
Tori Tucker and Emma Simpson are Keene State College students who work on the column The Gay Agenda together. It is posted every Sunday at InDepthNH.org
Tori Tucker was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is a student, author, and activist, and is currently in her senior year at Keene State College where she is finishing her English-Writing BA. In addition to being a writing student Tori also is pursuing minors in music and German. She is an intern at InDepthNH.org.
Emma Simpson is a Women’s and Gender Studies major currently in her junior year at Keene State College. She is the vice president of her campus a cappella group and involved with Planned Parenthood as a volunteer.
InDepthNH.org and Manchester Ink Link co-publish The Gay Agenda