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May 20, 2015: Cruisin’ Together

May 20, 2015
Mimi and Mara at the original Starbucks in Seattle

Taking a break at the original Starbucks in Seattle

Mara and I went on a cruise along the Pacific Coast last week. I’m doing some freelance work for the cruise line, and the public relations director told me he and the president of the company would be on the cruise for the first couple of days and would have dinner with us onboard the ship. I had never met the company president, and I had no idea how she would relate to us as a trans couple. (I’ve known the P.R. director for years, and he knows about Mara, so I assumed that he told the president.)

Turns out that the president was very personable, and she and Mara got along great. In fact, she was intrigued that Mara is an architect, because she is interested in design. (She once completely redesigned a house.) I still don’t know for sure whether she knows about Mara, but it didn’t really matter.

Throughout the cruise, I interviewed several crew members about their jobs, and Mara accompanied me and took photos. No one questioned our relationship. My demeanor was personable yet professional, as it would be in this situation anyway, since I was representing the cruise line. So Mara and I didn’t hold hands or show any other PDA (public displays of affection) on the ship or during organized shore excursions. But when I registered for the cruise, I did request a queen-size bed in the stateroom, as opposed to two single beds. Still, everyone, including out cabin stewardess, was discreet.

Mara and Mimi onboard ship in San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay selfie

None of the other passengers we met asked about our relationship, either. Until the day before disembarkation. We were on a shore excursion in Santa Barbara, talking with a couple from Ireland and a crew member who was accompanying the group. The crew member asked, and I told her we are best friends. Then, I realized I was equivocating and said we were married. Neither she nor the Ireland couple was fazed. In fact, they were impressed by our authenticity. But we didn’t tell them that Mara is trans; we just left it that we’re married. And they assumed it was a lesbian relationship (the crew member said her sister is married to a woman), even though we said we had been married for 18 years in California, more than 10 years before same-sex marriage became legal in the state. We just left it at that.

Here are a couple of photos from our trip. The first was taken at the original Starbucks in Seattle. The second was taken aboard the ship in San Francisco.


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  1. georgiakevin permalink

    Wonderful to read your post! I am soo glad that you and Mara had such a lovely time. Santa Barbara is one of my all time favorite places! I have a 2 year degree from Santa Barbara City College, lived and worked there for 8 years.

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