A lot of changes are happening for people right now and while this is not a monumental change, my life is changing in a very specific way right now. Krista, my wife if you haven’t read any of my previous articles, and I are currently in the process of trying to move. During the initial closure periods related to Covid there were certain employment changes and now officially Krista has a new job and I am a permanent remote worker for my job. Based on the location of the new job, we are in the midst of moving. We have a house that we are working on paperwork for so that hopefully we can move in by at least the end of the month. While we’ve been working on the moving process we have also had to put our home on the market, which has led to some unexpected realizations about the area where we live now and how we have to navigate it in some situations.
Krista and I are both publicly out in many ways. Our jobs both know we are married to each other and that we identify as queer. Krista typically refers to herself as a lesbian and while I identify as bi, no one typically asks me to follow-up after I say I have a wife. The standard policy for prepping a house to be shown involves taking down personal items that would keep potential buyers from being able to see themselves in the home. That made complete sense to me and while we have been house hunting ourselves I have noticed this is the norm for homes. During one of my lunch breaks I worked on taking down pictures of the two of us together and things with our names on them, these were primarily anniversary or wedding related items. These all went in a box, but there was something else that Krista and I ultimately decided we would need to do.
We had to basically put our house in the closet. I went through and found everything with a rainbow and anything that might read as queer. This meant taking down rainbow flags, hiding my convention bag (which is covered in various queer buttons and patches that showcase Pride and queer media), and even taking down things that showcase two women if they appear at all intimate. This means grabbing art off of the walls that showcased Carmilla, these were early gifts in our relationship as Carmilla is the reason that we met, and even putting away snow globes with rainbows in them. I went as far as taking down a stitch we had put up that had our ship name, Kleffgo, on it and putting Funkos that might be recognized as LGBTQ+ related in a box. All of this had to be put away in order to try and make our house more marketable because while we are in a Blue state, we live in a very Red county.
With no idea of the political leanings or the beliefs that people might have who are coming to our house we have to make the house in essence seem straight. During our first showing I actively sat in a car for the full half hour because we wanted to avoid having to introduce me to anyone. We didn’t want people to think too much into the fact that two women live in this house. For the next set of showings I will be going for a walk, which does allow me to get a bit of a workout in, but also keeps me out of any conversations about the house. In this day and age my existence in our marriage should not be something we have to hide, but it is, especially where we live. We can’t risk not selling our house because people realize two women are married and currently live here. I am sure there are other couples who have faced this sort of issue and I honestly don’t know the best way to work through it.
Personally I am fine with Krista being the face of the house, she has lived here much longer than me and can actually answer questions about the home, but it is so strange to have to pretend we aren’t together when we are typically very up front about our relationship with others. It is sort of like having a divide in our lives that is tied solely to our current home. Our new home though is different. We have been very up front with our realtor and the current owners of that home are aware that we are a couple based on paperwork we have signed. We have never spoken with them directly, but everyone involved in the process that we have spoken to knows we are married. With Krista and I typically being out in our lives this hiding of ourselves feels very strange and I felt compelled to write about it.
I know that there are so many other people who have to hide themselves to be safe and our temporary hiding of ourselves is by no means as difficult as doing it every day must be. I remember being in the closet and worrying about ever coming out at work due to employment laws in my home state at the time. When I did finally come out at work I could only do so to selected people and those few people knew I was also dating and later engaged to Krista. After I moved to New York we were both very visibly able to show we were together. We hold hands, we have kissed each other in public, and we basically just act like a typical couple and don’t worry about what people will say. While it will hopefully not be a long process selling our house does change how we have to live in that we are hiding pieces of who we are from those who come in contact with us. For those who constantly have to live this way I hope that one day you get to fully be yourselves without fear and that our world becomes a place where everyone can live their lives safely and without having to put themselves away in boxes to avoid any sort of judgement from those around them.