Or maybe the question is – what should I have done?
I run a non-profit organization and on Sunday, I was at a fundraising event that one of my board members was hosting. My board member is a Lesbian and many, but not all, of the crowd were LGBT, and all were LGBT-friendly and aware.
Our host asked me to speak about the organization and I did for a few minutes and then wanted my business partner to speak. I always refer to her as my business partner. But at that moment I said, “I’d like to introduce my partner…” As soon as I said “partner” my mind started racing about using the term “partner” in a room full of people, many who were with their life partners. I felt that if I corrected myself and said “I mean business partner” that I would sound like I was worried about being perceived as having a female partner. And then I was afraid that if I didn’t correct the perception I had just made that I would be further perceived as trying to fool the crowd into thing that my business partner and I were a “couple”.
Ultimately I said nothing, my business partner spoke, and later, I apologized to her for “outing” her and we joked about hoping her husband didn’t mind.
Anyway – what would you have done? What should I have done? What would you have thought observing my blunder?