From Behind the Lines


Barely a word has been spoken between them as they slowly eat their french fries in the twenty-four hour diner in the busy “party” district of their home city. The tension is like a song playing in the back of Katie’s head and it pushes out any attention to the waitress, the other patrons, or the chaos of an arrest right outside the window she and Steven sit at. All she notices is him and as much as she is in love with him she is hurt and angry now and she knows  he knows it.They have only been dating a month. She was surprised when, while walking to their cars after work he suggested going out for drinks. Everyone assumed Steven was gay. When she told him that over their third Sex on the Beach she expected him to laugh a little, but he just shrugged his shoulder and told her he was bi. She was the first woman he asked out since high school, but after lunch break upon lunch break talking about all the things in common they had, not to mention his weird, oddly un-self-conscious admission to having a thing for horn rims, he figured what the hell.

At first it was fun. Actually, it has been non stop fun, and not all just parties. They love the same entertainment, same art, have the same politics and many of the same goals. She brought him to meet her family and her nieces and nephews loved that he was willing to get on the floor and play board games with them. He was damn near perfect, if a bit outspoken, but Katie knew her family might be taken aback by his candor, but not his sexuality.

His friends, however, were a different matter. Not the once every other week gaming group, but the friends he has made in the queer community. The people he went to his first pride parade with, the people he goes out dancing with, were outright rude.

“Oh look, Steven’s still holding out for mommy and daddy’s approval.”

“Are you his fag hag?”

They were the people who could not accept Steven for who he is, yet he defended them when she called them out. It was too much, so she walked out and he followed. Katie wonders why anyone’s approval is important, and knows that Steven is just not ready.




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