How to be An Ally
This past weekend my mother in law and nephew came to visit. Our first guests in the new house! One specific request was a visit to the barn to meet Spicy. They hadn't met him before because he was so far away from our place in Philly, so between rainstorms we swung out to the barn to say 'hi'. Pets and snacks were had but I bustled them off because it was right around dinner time. I didn't want us to be in the way and we were on our way to a museum.
Fast forward a few days later, and the barn owner mentioned she saw us stop by and that I looked nice (I was wearing a dress and not disgusting sweaty riding tights and a sunshirt). She also mentioned that I needed to 'bring my girl around'. I laughed and agreed, and mentioned she had come with me the very first time I visited but stayed in the truck.
"Well, she should come by. She's welcome any time, we're not like that here."
It took a couple seconds for my brain to catch up with what she meant. She thought Sara had stayed in the truck because I was worried about what might happen. She thought we were trying to protect ourselves. In reality, it was because Sara was giving me space to check out the barn, it was hot, and for some reason she doesn't want to sit around listening to me pontificate about feed or turnout.
Moving from a major metro area in the northeast to The South has taught me a lot, mostly about how lucky I've been. There have been times where I've noticed more of a reaction to Sara and I's relationship. For the most part, I don't care what people think and it doesn't impact us. This relationship is mine and I'm not doing it for anyone but my wife and myself. But sometimes it does impact us. Getting positive affirmation from such an unexpected place - an older woman born and raised on a farm in southern Virginia - gave me a really intense feeling of comfort and belonging that I didn't even realize I was missing.
I assured her I hadn't assumed she thought that, but tried to impress upon her how much it meant that she said something and how valuable it is to be told that. The barn is the second most important place in the world to me, after my own home, and hearing her publicly say that made me feel... a whole host of emotions, if I'm being honest. Grateful, valued, safe, appreciated.
It seemed appropriate that this should happen in June. I'm not sure she would know the significance, but I do. To anyone who hasn't thought about it: 'coming out' as an ally is a priceless gift you can do for any LGBT person. Public acknowledgement shows there is space for everyone to be who they already are. As welcoming as the world is now, I still appreciate any time someone says it out loud.
Thank you to everyone who has shown there is space for me and my greatest love, the most wonderful woman I could ever hope to be with.
Your barn sounds perfect for you (and Spicy). I'm glad you and Sara are settling in in Virginia, but please tell Sara that Cici is waiting for you to visit us in MO ❤️
I love that the barn owner wanted to make sure that you felt comfortable. That was fabulous.ReplyDelete
She sounds lovely, to reach out to be sure you both feel welcome. I need to up my game with letting the people in my life know how valued and supported they are, it's easy to assume they know <3ReplyDelete
This is absolutely wonderful, I had a moment last year when talking to a my trainer about BLM and protests where I didn't realize I was holding my breath until she said she agreed with me. To know that who you are is not only accepted, but encouraged is a really great gift.ReplyDelete
This makes me so happy, I'm so happy for both of you <3 This move has been such a good thing.ReplyDelete
That really is significant that your barn owner thought maybe she saw some discomfort and made an effort to let you know there wasn't any need for that. Sounds like you really did find the perfect place!ReplyDelete
My 😭 face when I saw "we're not like that here" -- to be aware that it's a Problem and to be clear that they welcome you...that's incredible. I'm so glad you found this barn!!ReplyDelete
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