Monday, August 15, 2011

Company picnic

The date has been set for something rather important to happen. I'm bringing Puck to meet my coworkers on Sept. 16 at our annual company picnic.

The only person in the office who has met Puck is Jennifer - they met briefly at the 2010 Pride Parade when Puck was not feeling well and we only stayed to watch for a few minutes. Everyone else knows about Puck, but as I don't keep any pictures on my desk or talk about them much there will be some surprised faces.

This is actually the third company picnic since I've been at Nearing, but the first one I'm planning to attend. The first year I was a contractor who had only been there a week prior to the picnic, so I didn't think I'd fit in among strangers (although I was certainly invited to attend). The second year I had procured tickets to see Porcupine Tree at Radio City Music Hall several months in advance and it turned out to be the same day as the picnic.

This year, things are a little different too because I've been at my job for almost two full years and most people around the office know me, although only a handful of people outside the Communications group knows anything about my private life. I'm not really concerned about the queer angle. After all, our CEO would hardly condone homophobic behavior among his staff. Our poly relationship and our age difference may raise eyebrows, though.

I still remember vividly when I told one of my co-workers about Puck and how they lived at home with their parents, prompting her to ask me how old Puck is. Her jaw dropped and her eyes fairly popped out of her head. At least she got that reaction out of the way so it shouldn't happen when they meet in person.

On some level, I suppose it's a trivial thing for people to know who my significant other is. I used to keep my work and personal life strictly separated for the longest time, ever since transition. Maybe I never trusted people before to be non-judgmental about my alternative lifestyle. But it's important to me because it's also part of living an honest life.

I love Puck dearly, and they are my family. They deserve to come to events where families are invited. Puck has had to endure stress in the past to defend our relationship with members of their immediate and extended family, so I am happy to return their faith in our relationship by representing it openly to my colleagues at Nearing.

Whatever happens, it should be a very interesting night a month from now.