Berlin. September 2015.

My wife and I were at the bus stop with our two kids, one sleeping in the stroller. All of us quite tired from a great day.
A man approached me and said, the bus is coming, so I could get the stroller ready. He asked if we could spare change, and my wife handed him some coins.
In the bus he asked other people for money and again us, not remembering he had just spoken to us.
He sat down on a seat next to where I was standing and commented on my skirt.

“Is that a jeans skirt?” he asks.  – “Yes.”

“But that is not modern!” – “I don’t care what’s modern”, I reply.

“Really? My mother says jeans skirts are not modern.”

At this point I am quite tired and irritated and honestly not up for a conversation.
Yet he asks: “Do you have a man?”


“No? No man? That’s not nice.”

“I am married to a woman. This is my wife.”

“Really? You two are together?”

And here this all too common and often annoying conversation, takes a turn.

“I would like to have a man”, he says “I have an apartment. Most homeless people don’t have one, but now I do.”

Me: “That sounds good.”

“I had a boyfriend, but not anymore. I wish for a man in my life. Someone to love.” he pauses for a moment “But it should be a nice person. Someone who is nice to me.”

By now am really touched by this conversation and reply:

“Yes, it’s good to be with someone who is nice.”

“So you two are together? Is that your kid?”

“Yes that is our kid.”

“Nice, that is good.”, he says as he leaves the bus.


I am so grateful to experience such connections, as a result of being true to myself.

Being a lesbian mom, I am often on guard. I have to consider how upfront I will be in conversations and whether I hold back to have some peace. Granted, I live in Berlin and rainbow families are more present than ever. I will admit though, I did not expect this person to be gay or even queer-friendly. I am encouraged to let go of my own assumptions and to stay focused on the types of interactions I want to have with people. Interactions of respect. For me that includes respecting myself and not holding back about who I am. It is great to experience that this opens up the opportunity for others to speak truthfully about themselves as well. To me that is magic.