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Dude where's my groom?

At a friend's civil partnership, Rubbish Lesbian finds herself defying gender expectations

Sarah Westwood

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 10:15:19 GMT | Updated 4 years today

At the wonderful, and very civil partnership of my dear friends this week someone revealed that a lesbian friend of hers who was recently married was asked, "Which one of you is the groom?" Really? A frantic last minute squirt of dry shampoo, or a little dab of glue on a false eyelash - that's the closest you get to a groom at a lesbian wedding.
People love to ask questions like this, because they like to assign traditional roles, particularly when it comes to weddings. They want to know who's going to be wearing the dress and who the trousers - literally and metaphorically speaking. It's as if the idea of a wedding proceeding without a groom would rip asunder the natural order of things and chaos would somehow reign: the moon will turn red, summer will follow winter, and rabbits will suddenly start eating foxes.
I remember one older relative's baffled response to me coming out was, "But...who'll do the cooking?" As if the dynamics of a healthy relationship can be distilled down into who whips up an omelette of an evening. Is it really that simple? She clearly thought that as two women we'd argue over who did the cooking. There'd be carnage in the kitchen. We'd start squaring up to each other with mezzalunas - vying for control of the cutting boards.

It's amazing that people still think this way. Do they really think the first thing you do upon entering a lesbian relationship isn't  flip a coin, or each other, to see who'll be the 'guy' and who'll be the 'girl'. Madness. I prefer to look at relationships as being made up of two people with complimentary life skills. There are those that read the maps and those that can drive the cars. Those that can see painting a room through to completion, and those who are a crying wreck after one wall. Some people cook, and others can remove a trapped 30 Rock DVD wihout electrocuting-themselves. It's less of a gender thing and more of a survival thing. It's nature's way of keeping the population alive.
So next time I get asked, "Who does the cooking?" I won't cringe away, or try to make them feel better about asking such an innane question. Instead I'll face it head on. Look them in the eyes and say 'We're lesbians. We both cook. But we prefer to eat out'.

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