If you were ever to look at my fiancee and myself, you would probably wonder if she is the more dominate between the two of us. After all, she is taller – she has more of the tomboyish look, even though I see her more as a ‘blipster’ (translation: black hipster). She has the skinny jeans, the hi-tops, the college t-shirts and even though she wears skirts and dresses that is not typical of her style. Me on the other hand, I wear nothing but skirts with a mix of heels or flip-flops (when the weather permits, of course), I’m shorter, I tend to celebrate my curvaceousness and all things feminine. So looking at us, you would probably think she was the man in the relationship which usually happens when we are dealing with the straights.
Which annoys both of us to no end. Our exterior appearance notwithstanding, between the two of us, she is more sensitive, I’m more of the rock and we both like to watch sports and play video games so in our minds our relationship is pretty balanced but it really amazes me how quickly we are thrust into two categories. After all, why can’t we be two women in love?
Now, I have to preface – I can only speak about my relationship and how I view us within the black LGBTQ community. I will be the first to admit that I am not anyone’s spokesperson but I have noticed that within the black couples that we know, things like that don’t come so easily. A friend of mine actually ended a relationship over that because her girlfriend seemed to morph into a stud over night and wanted my friend to assume the role of dutiful wife. Which brings me to my chief problem with the stud/femme dichotomy, it seems when it comes to most relationships (which, I attribute it to our age bracket) a lot of them border on severely sexist.
Yet, I have to admit in Atlanta we are an anomaly mainly because here the black lesbian population is very hetero minded. Here the stud/femme combination runs rampant and we don’t entirely fit in that. We don’t try to model ourselves after the male/female dynamic because it doesn’t work and we acknowledge that we are both women, just that we are two women who find comfort in different types of styles and clothing. Still, things can never be that simple.
For example, we both want to wear dresses when we get hitched. She is actually gung-ho on wearing a traditional, white dress where I’m not really sure yet. We both share the cooking, often cooking together – we also share cleaning up (something we both hate) and whenever we have those times when one person may be more into it than the other, there is usually no issue about picking up the slack. We have both done the laundry, the grocery shopping, car maintenance responsibilities, etc. – we don’t assign a role, we just allow the person to do what comes naturally. The main goal is that we work as a team and we try our best to bring that aspect into everything that we do as a couple, our wedding included.
Even though, I’m more of the planner type, what works is that we both know what we are strongest in. When it comes to our actual wedding planning, we haven’t witnessed any of the typical lesbian questions (ex: So who is the man?) but we do get the double takes, mainly due to the fact that we don’t fit the stereotype. When it comes to how we share the load, we are pretty good at working together, she has taken it upon herself to handle the catering (with input from me, of course), whereas I’ll be handling the venue and invitations (and she’ll give her feedback). We both want to help with the favors and we both chose the colors, so it has been a very joint effort so far, which makes me happy.
So to make a long story short, whatever we are doing it works for us. We don’t feel pressure to do anything in a certain way and we enjoy the fact that we feel free to express our love in our own way. There are no typical roles and we don’t expect the other to do something because that is what is supposed to be done and we try our hardest to keep things as equal as we can.