Reasons this bothers me:
- "Partner" with convoluted sentences to avoid pronouns makes me think you're gay. Are you doing this on purpose? Then when I use the wrong pronoun for your partner, I feel like the idiot. If you use "partner," follow it with a pronoun to clue me in.
- You took advantage of the privileges of marriage at a time when gay people can't marry. Fine. I understand that. It's your choice, and I won't judge it. In fact, I did the same thing back when I was a wee straight lass. But OWN it.
I especially hate when people use "partner" in front of gay people, but "wife" or "husband" when they're with family or straight friends, it bugs me. If you want to adopt the term "partner" full-time, awesome. But you do not, I feel, get to have it both ways: happily traditional at Thanksgiving dinner with grandma but tolerant and sensitive around the lesbo at work.
Yes, it's all a little irrational of me. But when I get to know a straight couple, and they use the term "partner" all the time, and then later I find out that they're actually married, it bugs me. It's as if they were hiding their traditional selves to spare my feelings or pretend to be politically correct.
I feel an asshole for writing this post, because:
- I know a lot of people who use "partner" have good intentions. They read me as a lesbian, and they're trying to be gay-friendly.
- People can call their spouses whatever they want to, whenever they want to. Who made me the label police?
I guess "partner" bothers me because it can seem so inauthentic sometimes. Am I the only one who feels this way? What do you think, dear readers?