Moments where I’m glad I’m a women of color. So strange today as I was having lunch in the breakroom with about 5 of my coworkers, ranging from supervisors to my peers…I got up half way into lunch and went into my locker to get something to read. Found an ECHO magazine, which is Phoenix’ LGBT magazine. Went back to the lunch room table and engaged myself in an article about a lesbian comedian who had performed in the Pride festival. All but a moment later a guy co-worker, who I’m really cool with, compared to the other staff, ask “What are you reading?” I responded, “A magazine.” With a trace of ‘duh, can’t you see’ mixed in. “Well what kind of magazine.” “ECHO” I simply responded. Now get off my back, I silently thought. “Wait a minute, like Echo the clothing. You know like Marc Echo?” Through is thick Serbian accent I tried to understand what he said. So I just nodded and smiled. “Is it Echo clothing?” He asked again. “No.” I said. “Okay, let me see the cover.” I held up the cover for him. Which portrayed a pretty neutral photograph. It was simply a picture of a tatooed guy with a tank top, holding up a pass issue of Echo magazine. The co-worker nodded, but I could tell he still was not satisfied. “So what kind of magazine is it.” He asked once more. For God’s sake. “It’s a gay…and…lesbian…magazine. So obviously you wouldn’t be famililar with it.” Mind you, when ever I’m nervous I talk a little bit louder. And I broke down each syllable in ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ as if I was speaking some type of foreign language. I would say I could literally hear a pin drop after I proclaimed my statement. But afterwards I swear everyone suddenly became a little bit hungrier as they began stuffing food into their mouths all the while nodding ‘hmmms’ and ‘ooohhs.’ And at that moment I was so glad I was a woman of color, because I swear my face was on fire. I’m not light-skinned or dark skinned, just brown. So I prayed to God that the heat radiating off my cheeks werent lighting up the entire breakroom. oddly enough, aside from my extreme blushing, I felt fine. I almost felt proud. Like “yeah I said it. Im a LESBIAN! And I don’t care who knows.” Lunch resumed I continued reading my Echo mag. Not long after, the male co-worker got up and made a quick exit out. I could only imagine that he was going to tell his breakroom story to the rest of the gossip hungry co-workers.
And yes sure enough as I entered the floor he made a joke like, “Oh we werent talking about you.” I simpley nodded okay. Then he asked, “So, how was your lunch.” With a weird grin. “It was fine, werent you there.” “Yep, I was. But you werent talking to me.” “Thats because I was reading my magazine.” “Oh okay.” He says. Suddenly the girl off to my left bust out laughing and the other girl co-worker to my right keeps giving male co-worker the (subtle yet obvious) eye. Between fits of laughter co-worker to the right says to male c/w, “Just leave, okay.”
There is more small talk exchanged, but suddenly the front desk gets extremely awkward. And my prior feelings of pride are quickly drenched in humiliation. I leave and retreat to the ‘private’ desk off to the corner. As I make myself comfortable, the two girl c/w’s keep stealing glances at me as if this is their first time we’ve met.
Oh my gosh, is this highschool! I try not to let this embarressing awkwardness get to me, but I swear I feel like I need a hug, lol. Corny, I know. Anywho, I’ll go back and spell check, I just had to get this off my chest.