What does gay look like? What does blind look like?
Apparently I don't look like either one. Upon discovering the fact that I am gay, people often say to me, "But you don't look gay." As if gay has only one look. Am I supposed to wear flannel and work boots? Am I supposed to have a wallet hanging from a chain in my back pocket? Is that the only way gay is supposed to look for women? I really thought that I was unfashionable enough to fit the old lesbian stereotype.
I guess I'll have to try harder.
I get a lot of those "but you don't look..." Like, for instance, Mexican. I have, on more than one occasion, had to show a picture of my mom before someone would believe that I really am half Mexican. My teachers used to say I didn't look like I was paying attention, even though I could recite back to them everything they had said, verbatim. But last night's "you don't look..." made me literally (and I do mean actually literally, not "literally" in the abstract, hipster way the kids use that term to mean some figurative, but not literal idea today) laughed out loud.
The Wifester and I were shopping at the grocery store. I went down one aisle while she went down another. I was meeting back up with her at a preassigned spot, as we tend to do. I was en-route to said spot when a man stopped me and asked me, while pointing at the tip of my cane, "What's that roller thing for?"
Although I was in a bit of a hurry to get out of there because The Wifester's mom was expected at our house pretty soon, I stopped and explained, "Well, it rolls smoothly across surfaces and makes it easier for me to feel cracks in the cement, and find curbs and other bumps on the ground."
The poor guy got the funniest, most perplexed look on his face, then he said, "You aren't blind are you?" When asked about my sight I usually take the opportunity to explain all about my tunnel vision and RP and how I can see pretty clearly through my little window of vision, but nothing outside of that window yadda, yadda, yadda...But as I said, I was in a bit of a hurry, and sometimes I just don't feel much like being an educator, so I simply said, "Yes, yes I am."
Looking even more perplexed, he stood there for a moment, mouth open, staring at me, then he said it, "Well, you don't look blind! You really don't!"
Blind, Mexican, gay...of all the things I don't look, but am, I wish fat was one of them!