Sorry in advance that this will be a little long, but want to give you folks enough background. I don’t really have anyone else in my real life to get feedback from, and hopefully this isn't offensive.
Last weekend my SIL turned 40 and her wife threw her a party at their home. While there, I was having fun goofing around with hubby’s niece (their daughter) who is 6. Both of my SsIL (sisters-in-law / her moms) were next us and heard the whole conversation below.
Niece was telling me that she doesn’t like my hubby / her uncle’s beard b/c it scratches her face when she hugs him. I said “Why don’t you grow your own beard so that way you can’t feel his?” She was giggling and laughing at me, saying “girls don’t grow beards!” I pretended to be dumb about it and was like “are you sure? Really? I could have sworn you could!” She kept laughing and went to sit with her mom and tell her how silly I was that I thought she could grow a beard.
Her mom was smiling and said something like “that’s not a bad idea – we’ll get working on growing you a beard.” and rubbed her face a bit, making comments about what color the beard might be. Niece told us we were all weird (her current favorite word – everything is weird) and ran off to do something else. I didn’t think anything else of it.
Fast forward to yesterday. When talking to my MIL on the phone, she mentioned something about one of SsIL’s friends being very offended by my anti-gay remarks at the party. I was flabbergasted. I could not for the life of me think of anything that I said that could have possibly been even close to being anti-gay. She then said the beard comment really got one of their friends riled up and how she was so upset for SsIL that they have family who are still so stupid to believe that all lesbians are trying to be men. (Apparently MIL heard her venting to SIL 2 in another room later that day).
After I hung up with MIL, I called SsIL and asked about it. SIL 1 said, yes, she knew the person had made some comments about me and the beard thing, but that SsIL were not upset with me, it was a non-issue, and she wished that MIL hadn’t said anything to me and that Friend is annoyingly hyper-sensitive. She then changed the subject by asking me how work was going.
Ok. So, after all that, I am not worried about SsIL, but I am still so curious about what part of what I said could be *that* offensive to someone?
I know that there are people who believe that lesbians are just trying to be men, and perhaps Friend thought I was trying to make a subliminal dig at SsIL. I also know that there are sometimes women referred to as “beards” when a gay man marries a woman to pretend he’s not gay, but that doesn’t seem to apply here.
Again, sorry to be asking here but I don’t have anyone in real life to ask except SsIL and I don’t feel like I need to bring it up with them again. They said it wasn’t a big deal, so I don’t want to make it a big deal with them.
But, of course, that doesn’t keep me from going over it in my head endlessly!
Any ideas or input are welcome.