Wednesday, August 02, 2006


A---- and I live in a very expensive, very wonderful city. Our neighbors across the street are the sweetest family - a teacher, a marketing exec who works from home, their five-year-old son adopted from Guatemala, and their baby daughter adopted from the foster care system. The parents are two gay men. Within a one-block radius from us are at least ten queer families, and people of every ethnicity I can think of. We know this because of the block parties and barbecues and neighborhood garage sales and impromptu meetings on the corner we have somewhat regularly. I cannot imagine there is anywhere else in the world where we would feel more comfortable than we do on our little hill in San Francisco.

But despite all this, we spend more hours than I care to think about talking about leaving. The cost of living in such a wonderful place is high - monetarily, and because of the monetary stress, emotionally. But when we peer up out of our little oasis of diversity and acceptance to look around at where we might be able to afford to live, we get stuck on all we'd have to give up. There aren't many places where an interracial lesbian couple are bound to feel comfortable, and there are even fewer of those places where we would be able to find jobs and afford to buy a home.

If we stay in the United States that is. Every once in awhile, our conversations turn north or cross the Atlantic, as we consider our options in countries that have institutionalized their acceptance of the gays and the lesbians. When I read articles like Steve Kluger's piece in today's USA Today about the ease with which he and his partner settled into rural Canada, I wonder if we're struggling for naught down here. Sure, San Francisco is a haven of acceptance (for the most part) but we don't have to drive far to start feeling uncomfortable. And we think of the ease of our lives during the three months we spent in rural France, and wonder why we put up with our commutes and worries about making ends meet and struggles to buy a little plot of land of our own. Granted, we weren't working or out in France - but somehow nothing seemed as difficult as it does here once you removed the day-to-day stresses that are inherent to life in an American city. And rural America is not an option for us - we would stick out like sore thumbs and would fear for our safety.

I wonder sometimes if we would have left SF long ago if we weren't queer. It's one thing to feel different than others in your community. It's another when you noticeably are different - and of the group that seems to be the object of so much hate these days. The options feel awfully limited.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that your name couldn't be a number. How do you get a name with "--" in it? That's really cool.

I want to change my name to "100% Off" and join a nudist colony. My friends tell me that on most days I am "100% off".

9:41 AM  

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