Bil Browning

The bridal shower dilemma

Filed By Bil Browning | April 14, 2008 11:45 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bridal showers, gendered activities, queer spaces

Former contributor Melissa Williams posted this back in November 2006, but I thought it would make a great open thread for today. Melissa is bisexual and talks about gendered activities like bridal showers. What are your thoughts on events like these?

Sigh....I just got back from a bridal shower that I couldn't really get out of attending. I never feel comfortable at such gendered activities, and I literally had a knot in my throat the whole time. I tried to convince my husband to get me invited to the bachelor party, where I would have felt a lot more comfortable, but he just mumbled, "I really don't have control..." What are other queer people's experiences in these gendered spaces? How did you handle it? I always feel so lonely, like I am missing something, like there is no space for me. I never understand what is so good about the bridal games and talking about the dresses, wedding planning, etc. etc. I would rather be drinking beer at the strip club.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 14, 2008 12:00 PM

Darling, are you bisexual or transexual? Your husband knows you are bisexual I assume from the question so you have nothing to fear.If you don't want to go to a "gendered" activity send a card or gift but don't go. Excuses include: My mother is in town, I had to have a surgery on my foot, my dog is sick, or just fail to show up with no explanation ("I did it to see if you would miss me!")and just happen to be in the stripper club instead. Take a cane with you in case another Bi friend who knows the bride sees you there.

Having been to enough funerals to avoid weddings myself, I can appreciate why you would want to avoid any additional "happiness" of the prospective couple. The happiest person on the wedding day is the parents of the groom. They didn't have to pay for anything and still get to go to a good party.

Maybe it's my generation, but I don't find many "gendered" events in my social circle any more. I've been to bridal showers and bachelor parties. I just go to the event that my friends are at, regardless of gender expectations.

Maybe it's the whole post-gender attitude. I think those types of seperations are outdated.

I hate any kind of group showering event - bridal shower, baby shower . . . I think they're cheesy and not in a good way. I usually end up giving the person a card and not attending the event. I don't think it has anything to do with me being queer. I think it has everything to do with me having more interesting things to do.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 14, 2008 7:27 PM

I haven't been invited in decades to such an event, but like Serena, I'd definitely decline and send a card.

Hey, Robert, what's with the "Are you bisexual or transexual?" question? I don't see the connection.

I too would skip the festivities. A stag party at a strip club? Not my cup of tea. I'd send best wishes, but I think anyone who would invite me would also know I probably wouldn't be the best choice for a tagalong.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 15, 2008 12:34 PM

In answer to Brynn I was confused: If you enjoy both genders sexually/socially what is abhorrant about a gendered event? And Bil, some of the best opportunities are at a stag event. Look for the guy who is least interested in the stripper.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 15, 2008 7:57 PM

Robert, okay....but still don't get the connection to trans. We come in "straight, bi, and queer identified," ya know?! So why would we be more (or less) likely to abhor a gendered event?

Interesting question. Definitely don't lie to get out of it; a polite "I won't be able to attend" is enough.

Personally, I enjoy those events ironically. Usually my straight guy friends know I'm so femmy that they have fun with the contradiction of me participating in what they're doing, and I have fun doing something different from normal.

That might wear out soon, but for now it's fine. But you're invited to the event you're invited to, so I don't think that trying to change invites is a possible course of action.

I think I should send this one in to Miss Manners....