Everyone in my building knows I'm a dyke: largely because I have lived in the same Brooklyn building for more than a decade. In that time I have been the odd girl with the wild hair, the barefoot woman comparing mangoes and the flesh of a woman on Broadway, the quirky lesbian who changes girlfriends every two years or so, and finally, I thought, established homosexual neighbor, part of eclectic landscape, known, tolerated, even accepted. Over time, I have become a fixture in this big old community that is quickly suffering the ravages of gentrification. Old women from the Caribbean are used to my flirting with them on the elevator; telling them they are not allowed to look this fly on such a nice summer day, "Don't you know lesbians live in the building, Mrs. Johnson?" They usually blush, and beam, and tell me I should behave, "Don't you see I'm too old for anybody (man or woman) to look at me dat way, child."
The Black boys who grew up on the block are respectful. Their eyes may light up and ogle the gorgeous women who come in and out of the multicolored apartment on the 4th floor, but they are always careful of what they say out loud. They tell me how much they like the view, but assure me they don't have sticky fingers. The old men, are reserved, but polite. The plethora of younger, middle-class, Asian, queer identified hipster folks, who pay way too much for these under-serviced apartments wave and smile and tell me how pleased they are to be living in a building that already has an LGBT person. The new White residents, complete with alabaster skin, blond hair and designers dogs confess quietly in the foyer that they've read my book, or seen one of my shows. Friends in the building tell me of the gossip they've heard about the kooky Jamaican girl in the lime green cargo pants who only dates women. In a pleasant sort of way, I thought myself done with coming out, especially inside my own communities.
Then I got a baby bump, and promptly perplexed my collection of very diverse friends, neighbors and acquaintances.
The moment I began to show people started doing under-cover double takes, especially in the elevator. The building is old, so the ride up is very, very slow. People sort of talk normally to me, but they no