(Recycled from the House of Love)
Lesbians. That’s what they called us. You see, gay men aren’t supposed to get shacked up until a year or two into their relationship at least, if they ever get around to it at all. Commuting between houses, paying twice the rent, sharing with strangers, and lonesome nights wondering where he is are the price you pay for maintaining your independence, and it’s the norm. Some boys we know even flaunt this as some kind of badge of maturity: "We’ve been going out for x years but we don’t live together — we prefer to have our own space." Lesbians, on the other hand, are reputed to move in together the morning after their second date — sometimes before having sex for the first time. If the relationship only lasts a week, no matter, they’ll stay living together for years afterwards.
Or so the legend goes.
So when Brent and I decided to move in together last August, just three months into our relationship, the "L" word was bandied about pretty liberally by those witty fags we call our friends. We took no offence — in fact we quite enjoyed the compliment.
And, from the beginning, we knew the day would come when the "lesbian" tag would be affixed on our souls for all eternity — the day we announced to the world the (inevitable) acquisition of a surrogate child. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we would soon have a new family member at the House of Love, which brought an offer from patric to start knitting. "Not unless you can knit a collar and leash," was my not-very-enigmatic reply. Well, now it’s time to come out.
This is our new baby boy, Jasper. He’s an 8-week-old chocolate Labrador. He was born on 8 May 2000 — which just happens to be one of our anniversaries — and he arrived in our house on Monday 3 July.
Is he adorable or what? We’ve been talking about getting a dog for a while, and decided pretty quickly we wanted a Labrador, because we’d both had labs as kids and they’re such great dogs — loving and loyal and easy to get along with. We live very near Sydney Park at St Peters, and I hear it’s virtually impossible to walk into that place with a dog on a leash without meeting other gay men, and you know I love that. Labradors are hunting dogs, after all, so we might as well use him to hunt. Fair day’s coming…
Why "Jasper"? Well, there are several meanings to the word. Jasper is a place in Canada that is special to Brent, Jasper (or Casper) was one of the three wise men — the name means "treasure giver", which is nice, and Jasper is a kind of brown semi-precious stone, a kind of chalcedony, which is supposed to bring good luck in Native American lore.
But that’s not all. It’s also on one of my names lists. It means, um, lesbian.