Everybody thinks I'm lesbian!

I'm not, but even if I were, what business is it of theirs?

By Cary Tennis
Published November 27, 2012 1:00AM (EST)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (Zach Trenholm/Salon)
(Zach Trenholm/Salon)

Dear Cary,

I have a problem with my family, friends and co-workers. They all believe that I am a lesbian. I do wear my hair short and on many days, I can look softly butch. I'll admit that I do not date nor do I allow anyone to set me up. I do socialize mostly with women.

But I am uncomfortable when people try to bait me, such as admiring a woman and asking my opinion about her. My relatives preach to me about the sins of being gay but no one believes that I am not gay. My co-workers encourage me to come out of the closet. How do I change this perception of myself short of dating or other extreme actions?

Just Wanna Enjoy My Solitude

Dear Just Wanna Enjoy My Solitude,

Social progress often brings novel forms of rudeness.

We Americans want everyone to be a lesbian and we want it now.

Can you blame us for erring on the side of zealotry in our support of personal liberation? We have had in our history far too many closets, too many whipping posts and slave holds, too many hanging trees and burnings.

Still, these people are being rude.  You need a way to defend yourself. So I suggest you practice saying a few ready sentences.

Try, "That's none of your cotton-picking business" or, "That's private."

You need to tell these people that you have a private life and it is private and that means it is something you don't discuss with others and that means you don't talk about it because it is private. Private. Meaning you don't talk about it. Private. Not the business of anyone else. Private. Get it?

If that doesn't work, try hitting them with switches.

Cary Tennis

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