Public displays of affection.
I was quite leery of that whole culture, of that whole process.
I’m naturally quite a private person, and tend to shy away from any intimacy in public.
There’s also the fact that I could be in a relationship with a person of the same sex and much like any other queer person on earth, I was often watchful, guarding this little piece of my heart. It only takes one partially-shouted slur, or a half-finished sneer to finish me for the day, for the week, for the month.
I have a ledger in the back of my mind. Written in there are the names people have called me, are the looks people have given me. All their ultimatums and quiet, cold commands because of something I can’t help, because of how I feel.
(Beside it, there are reams and reams of pages of support, of love, of compassion, of pure, unadulterated acceptance. These are the people I love. These are the people I surround myself with. These are the people I have time for.)
But I’m wary all the same.
Previous relationships had lead me to believe that this public affection was suggesting something else. An ulterior motive, a hint as to what might happen later, an implication of the most intimate kind.
Either that, or it was a in-your-face representation of who they were, of their confidence. I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it.
It is also entirely possible that I read far too much into these little moments of intimacy, because I am a chronic over-analyser, and didn’t know quite how to curb that tendency until just a little while ago.
Which is all fine, and completely legitimate and valid, and I don’t mind if people do that. But I am most certainly not that person.
And then I met my Watson.
Who holds my hand for no other reason than to purely hold my hand. Although…she probably doesn’t want me to trip up all over the pavement, as I have a tendency to do. Perhaps she has an ulterior motive after all.
And she’s wary – like me. And shyer than me, actually.
Being comfortable in crowds of people, holding hands with the person I love is something I’ve always wanted. And now I’m at that point, and I’d like to acknowledge it, because I feel like I’ve come a long way.
I’m more self-assured, and less analytic, and that’s a relief. The reward may only seem small, but it feels worth it.