I’m sitting in a nice pub in Canada reading Dan Savage’s witty and touching book on adoption, “The Kid” in which he and his boyfriend Terry go for an open adoption. The book is about fifteen years old—that child is now part grown—but my daughter Isabel lent it to me and it is terrific.
I am truly minding my own business, eating fish stew, secure in my own gender presentation which I must currently define as “almost elderly classroom teacher.”
A couple at the next table turn to me. Is the book good? Is it funny? I give them a bland go away now smile, but the man comes over.
“What is the book about?”
“Famous sex advice columnist Dan Savage and his boyfriend—two gay guys,” I emphasize, “adopt a baby. It’s very sweet and honest.”
“TWO HOMOSEXUALS!?” the guy bellows.
“Yes,” I beam. “So nice.” He retreats. His wife flutters. I feel smeared, slimed, and disgusted. Why are they in my space? With their evil prejudice?
I write my daughter an e-mail note complaining about them. Well, she writes back, didn’t you feel close to Dan? Yes, I did. Now I want to defend all writers I like in pubs.
My last thought—I hope that couple were Americans so as to not ruin my good impression of Canada.