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LGBTQ+ Travel: A Trip to New York With My Girlfriend

By Isobel Fazakerley, Brand, Marketing and Sales Administrator at RPC

Around Christmas of 2017, my girlfriend and I booked a week-long trip to New York. We were somewhat thwarted by the Gatwick drone fiasco, but through sheer spite and a £150 Uber to catch another flight from Heathrow, we somehow made it to the Big Apple in one piece.

On our first night, we dragged ourselves to the hotel's front desk. We were checking in and making idle chitchat with the clerk when she nonchalantly asked: 

"Are you two sisters?"

My girlfriend and I, checking into our double bedroom, looked at each other:
Me: 5'1, white, dirty blonde, overgrown toddler.
My girlfriend: 5'7, mixed race, 3C curls, the build and presence of a celebrity.

"Not quite."

Isobel (right), and her girlfriend in New York

I remember laughing at the time about how well-meaning the question had been. I wrote it off as the clerk's confusion. Perhaps, it's unusual for two women to share a room… in Times Square… It's true that we could have been adopted or half-siblings. Despite the genetic discrepancy, we did dress both very similarly and unusually. Queer couples are noted for the unique.

After that, our trip was excellent for the most part. We visited Central Park and the Natural History Museum, all the usual tourist sites. On the fourth day, we happened across an interesting-looking eatery known for its buffalo wings. We decided to go in and see if they had a table. The hostess at the door was checking the bookings when she looked up at both my girlfriend and I:

"Are you two best friends?"

Because naturally, two adult women wearing the same raincoat, trainers and pair of glasses must be good pals. They were probably bridesmaids at each other's weddings too!

Something fantastic possessed my girlfriend at this point to lie that actually we were newly engaged and that we wanted champagne. I think nothing would have pleased her more than for the poor, naïve hostess to have to awkwardly uncork it for us. I reminded her that we were in a diner and probably not the kind of place that kept Dom Perignon in the back.

For all I know, these sorts of queries were a clandestine way of asking if we were girlfriends. The fact that we were never asked directly is an indictment of the culture rather than the individuals asking. I believe that ignorance is admissible when it is not willful. 10/10 would visit New York again.

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