Party Etiquette For Lesbians…

Dear Auntie,

I am a queer woman and I live with two other queer women.
We are our own family unit and we usually attend things together.

But here is the problem. Lately, things have gotten awkward.
One of our housemates has done a lot of cutting relationship strings recently and sometimes in a not so graceful way.

She refuses to process with the people that she has cut herself off from and some of these people are still our (myself and our other housemate’s) friends. Although everyone is still kind to one another, these changes have put some turbulence into our social circles.

Now it turns out that a group of our friends are having party. Because of everything that has happened, these friends would like to invite me and my housemate who is still talking to everyone, but they do not want to invite the housemate who has been cutting the strings.

So now that they want some of us to attend, but not all three of us, they have emailed me to ask how I feel about it. I think that they need to invite all of us or none of us because even if is unlikely that our one housemate will actually want to attend, it won’t feel good for the other two of us to go and leave her sitting at home.

Is there some sort of etiquette about this?

Auntie GG replies:

Well aren’t you a brave soul!
It is no small thing to live with a number of other lesbians and attempt to function as a family unit.
And if you can survive that, my dear, I am certain that you can navigate the tricky etiquette that accompanies the living arrangements.

[aside title=”Now, kudos given, here is my take:”][/aside] The rest of the world is not under obligation to treat the household ladies as all or none.

While you have all chosen to share a household, other people still get to treat you as the individuals that you are. And as individuals, it is quite right that you all have, had, and will have different relationship dynamics with people, including these party givers. So it makes sense that some invitations are extended to all, and that some invitations are extended to some.
Classic etiquette suggests that these invitation choices relate to the context of the party, the people involved in hosting and attending, the  dynamics and connections between those on the guest list and the history and present that informs all of those factors.

Also, this classic etiquette is magnified when the event is specific: like a sex party, or badminton or cooking with the vegans, etc.

However, particularly in this specific case, when one of the women is cutting ties in the community – and particularly in a foul way – it makes no sense that she would be invited by the people or persons with whom she has cut ties.

Cutting ties are cutting ties and missing the fun parties is a part of what gets cut!

So while you can support your friend by listening and by loving her through some of the emotional difficulties that her choice presents, you should not be expected to actually sit on the couch next to her while she misses the soiree.

You, after all, have not cut the ties.

Therefore, in a wild strike against lesbian co-dependence, I offer that your relationships are your relationships and hers are hers.

And for sake of sane household living, this rule of ‘Yours’ and ‘Mine’ really ought to be maintained in regards to your underwear, as well as your overnight guests.

Love always,

Auntie GG

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