Why I Can't Hold My Girlfriend's Hand in Public

Why I Can't Hold My Girlfriend's Hand in Public

It shouldn't be an issue, but it is...

Candace Jones

A lot of people say we don’t need gay pride, but one reason why we do is so that gay people aren’t ashamed or embarrassed to show affection in public. People are ok with gay couples until we “flaunt it” or “rub it in their faces”-- then it becomes awkward and not normal.

I get asked the question, "Are you ashamed of your significant other?" NO. The judgement of strangers' eyes scanning me as I hold her hand is what I'm scared of. The disappointing look that appears on her face is something I shouldn't have to see because I can't hold her hand or give her a peck on the cheek. Nobody's physically making me stop, I just don't---or can't.

Now, I understand that a lot of people are Anti-Public Displays of Affection [PDAs] for any couple...including myself in this group. I don’t like seeing two people making out as they wait to cross the road, or having the need to touch or kiss constantly when they’re in a group or holding each others’ bums waiting in line for ice-cream.

What do I fear? My biggest fear is people commenting – doing a double-take, what people might think, and the chance of getting harassed. It's just easier not to. I wonder if I’ll stay that way forever, or whether I’ll be brave and just do it one day without hesitation. Sometimes you go to be affectionate in public and it doesn’t work, because you have to think it through – you have consciously decided upon the act and thus, the act is no longer natural.

We're seen as really close friends at first glance – until a touch has been made and we get that strange stare, and then we just stop. Of course, I shouldn’t care that I don’t get to announce my love for her to strangers at a busy crosswalk or coffee shop. I shouldn’t mind – we love each other and we know that – we show each other in our own space, alone. But I do. It’s about us and the public, unfortunately. Gay PDA is an issue.

There’s something not right there.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Maybe one day I can have the courage to show her off to the world without that hesitation.

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