As a former mainstream, people pleasing “good girl,” I am finding myself having a really difficult time dealing with other peoples reactions to my being with a woman. Whenever I tell anyone about being married to a woman or introduce Candace as “my Wife” the surprise on peoples faces makes me uneasy… makes me feel judged. Even if they bounce back quickly and even if they are happy for us, that initial awkward reaction makes my stomach drop. I want to proud of who I am. And I AM proud of my relationship, and the amazing human that I am married to. I am. But there clearly must be deep rooted shame that will take time for me to work through, because that little bit of surprise on peoples faces is enough to make me nervous every time I bring up the “W” word… and that is so unfair to everyone involved. I am trying to remember the bigger picture, that I am part of a revolution of sorts. Times are changing and I am at the forefront of it. I am also somewhat of an outlier in the gay community. People are for whatever reason not used to seeing two “girly” women together. Everyone assumes we are best friends, and many people think we are joking when we tell them we are married. So we are confusing people, making people think, and challenging peoples beliefs about what it means to be gay. I know that this is important, I just don’t think I was 100% ready for the challenge. But I will get there… talking to other people about what makes them feel judged or different helps. Everyone has something. The more we are able to connect with other people on what makes us all different, the better off our world will be anyway.