I′ve been debating this post for a while now, not because anything happened, just because I randomly think about it and then let it go. The whole ″one of the guys″ thing has bothered me for a while, for reasons I really couldn′t quite put into words. That was, until this morning after a conversation with my fiancée.
We′re discussing the future as all betrothed couples eventually do. She′s going to be graduating soon and is currently looking for work. I, on the other side of the coin, am established in a job. Thankfully for both of us, I could drop one job and make a passable living at writing OR she could perhaps work remotely. We′re going to make this work, we just have to figure out what parts of my puzzle fit properly with hers.
However, the idea of dropping my established job makes my chest seize up unexpectedly. It isn′t that I′m working in a gay-friendly environment. In truth the HR department turns up the professionalism to about 9000 when I mention partner benefits or my marriage. I′m in the closet because I am legitimately worried about losing my job over my sexuality. What I have found isn′t a place where the company itself is that worthwhile. Instead, I′ve found a team that I belong on.
I′m the only lady in the biomed shop as a technician. I′m a damn good technician and I work closely with everyone else on my team. They accept my pink hair, my tattoos, and well, like R said yesterday at E′s retirement lunch: ″We′re techs, everyone of us is quirky″.
It hit me with those words that I′m not one of the guys to them. I′m me. I′m Lily. To them, Lily isn′t the token girl or a dude. I′m a person. A person that they may not always understand or agree with, but a person just the same. This is the acceptance I′ve found in my friends and I′d much, MUCH rather be Lily than something I′m not. I′m not a guy.
I think that′s what bothered me all this time about that phrase. Being ″one of the guys″ often means hiding individuality. It requires, in part, sacrificing things that make you who you are in exchange for fitting the appropriate ″uniform″ of culture. This means that you′re not supposed to call out things that bother you, that you′re supposed to just accept certain things. I′m not going to do that anymore.
While I′m sure it′s made me abrasive to some, and certainly I know people dislike me. However, what it hasn′t lost me? Is real friends. Instead I have found that the people I love are still right alongside me. Because they are there for me, not for any role I play.