Something my girlfriend and I have been experiencing recently: going around together, just doing our thing, we are stopped and bothered by the question ‘Are you sisters?’
Firstly, it’s difficult to answer that one without shouting ‘LOL NO WE R GAY’, which embarrasses everyone involved. Mostly Mapes, because I’m quite a buffoon and will genuinely shout these things in public if pressed.
We work together (same employer, different departments), and this has happened in the canteen, around the office, at the security desk and in the gallery (as in art gallery, i.e. the one we work for). I mean, like ten times? In a few months? Sometimes when we’re not even together! People are SEEKING US OUT to ask this of us separately.
After our gaity is established, we’re thrust into an enforced conversation in order to paper over some of the social cracks. Yes, we get it a lot. No, we don’t look alike, really. Yeah, it’s the glasses/hair combination. Hah, yeah, when you spend a lot of time with a person you do start to look alike (isn’t that dogs and their owners? If so, who’s the dog? Answers on a postcard).
Do we not look gay enough? Is there such a thing as ‘gay enough’? Is there a level of outwardly obvious gayness we need to hit to stop these awkward moments from popping up? I’m not sure what we would need to wear; possibly more rainbow things? This:
Would the beard help?
Then there’s the question: why are they asking? Presumably in the world there are siblings who go about looking like siblings who are not constantly questioned about whether or not they are siblings. If there are two people in front of you who look like sisters, act like sisters etc, would you just not at the very most make an inconsequential assumption inside your head that they were in fact sisters and get on with your day?
Then there are the people who think we’re twins.
Even fraternal twins have considerably more similarities than we do. I’m 4 inches taller than Mapes, my skin is ready to produce sunburn where hers is ready to tan, her hair and eyes are dark brown, my hair is mousy and my eyes are blue. Beyond the immediate impression of short hair and glasses, we’re nothing alike. It literally takes a nanosecond to clock this.
Evidently, the world is saying that there’s something between us. A vibe. A sense that we’re . . . connected. We carry a mystique that people can’t help but question. We just have to make the mystique a little bit gayer.