Nine Years of Love: On Courage, Letters, Gayness and Three Little Words

Nine years ago, I was a strange, weird, over-the-top, enthusiastic, creative writer who was a vegetarian, obsessed with graveyards and falling madly in love with a girl I didn’t know was gay.

I was also a dork. THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS THAT NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED.

The girl I was falling head over heels for, the girl I’d *been* falling head over heels for for a VERY long time was my best friend. Her name was Jenn. She was really fucking cool. And amazing. She was a writer, too–the most amazing writer I’d ever read. I fell in love with her stories first. She was also so funny. Gods, she was funny. We had the same sense of humor. She was also more beautiful than I could articulate. And kind. Okay, so BASICALLY, she was the most amazing, magical person I’d ever met and I was devastatingly in love with her.

The most amazing person I’ve ever met. AGAIN, NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED <3:

THERE WAS ONLY ONE LITTLE PROBLEM:

I had no idea if she was gay.

She knew I was, and she’d helped me through some amazingly tough times. Remember when I was homeless at eighteen because I was gay? Yeah. She was one of the only people who’d been there for me during that time. I had been falling in love with her for such a long time and so many things were confusing at that point, so I made a LIST to help me figure out if she was gay or not, or if I was just reading WAY TOO MUCH into everything. I’ve totally never done that before. *snort* XD

SARAH’S LIST ON WHY JENN MIGHT BE GAY:
– She loves Sailor Moon and Utena. Specifically, the very lesbian characters from these shows.
– I think she’s lesbian. There’s a vibe thing going on.
– Those are my only two reasons. OH GODS, IS SHE NOT GAY AND I’M JUST BEING RIDICULOUS?

This was pretty much the list.

Finally, in October, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t know what to do. If I told her my heart, I had a very sinking feeling that we couldn’t be friends anymore. I don’t know why I had that sinking feeling. It just has seemed that, in life, when best friends have an inequality of “you’re my best friend!” and “GODS, I AM SO IN LOVE WITH YOU,” it doesn’t tend to work out. 😛 So I knew that if I told her and she didn’t feel the same way, I would be losing the most important person in my life.

So, miserably, I poured my heart out into a letter. Yup. A hand-written letter. Because I’m a romantic pile of mush, and it makes sense to pour feelings out into letters. Shush. The letter said everything…that I loved her and had loved her for a very long time. That I had a feeling she MIGHT feel the same way, but I DID NOT EVEN KNOW IF SHE WAS GAY. And that I hoped she was gay. And that OH GODS FEELINGS. There were many lines like that.

I sent the letter. Yeah, that marks me as either fiercely courageous or an ABSOLUTE IDIOT. I think that true courage involves both of these things, usually. I waited. And waited. And waited.

Have I mentioned at this point that we had never met in real life? We’d met years before on the internet, and I’d never even seen a picture of her at this point. That’s raw faith right there.

Jenn got back to me, finally. She said she wasn’t ready yet. I said she was worth waiting for, and I would wait forever if that’s what it took. We talked on the phone every night. We shared everything. And–as I’m wont to do when I love someone–I AWKWARDLY BUT PASSIONATELY said “I love you” every night as we hung up the phone.

And Jenn said: “Good night. :)”

EVERY NIGHT this happened. I was ready to say it and she wasn’t, and I respected that. Dauntless, every night, I said it, and every night she said “good night.” Our relationship progressed and built and grew, and we both knew what was happening, what had been happening.

And on December 1st, 2003, at two o’clock in the morning, I said: “I love you, Jenn! <3" All happy and sleepy and content. I'd wait forever for her, I knew. She was the most amazing creature in the universe and I was the luckiest woman alive, and something raw and real and possible was beginning, and it was the most beautiful thing that had ever happened in my life.

And there was a pause on the other end of the phone. And she said, all in a rush, adamantly, with fervor: “I love you, too.”

Click. Dial-tone. As I stared down at the phone in my hands. As I realized what that meant.

And we REALLY DID live happily ever after.

I tell you our story for two reasons. 1.) I love telling this story because stories build the bones of our lives. And as a storyteller, every bone within me is built from the love of being married to the most amazing creature in the universe. Everything I do is colored by that love. As is obvious if you’ve read anything I’ve ever written. And 2.) If you had told me as a newly-come-out-kid of fifteen that I would have a happily ever after, I would have said you’re crazy. I believed, so much, at fifteen that there was no one in the world for me. That I would die alone and unhappy.

There are so many queer teens who read this blog and these stories here. Being told “it gets better” can be so devaluing to what you’re going through RIGHT NOW, so I’m not going to ever tell you that. I’m showing you my story. I’m weird, obsessed with monsters and My Little Ponies, have pink hair, am heavily tattooed and pierced, don’t eat animal products and like to talk about aliens and fairies LIKE THEY’RE REAL THINGS. And I found a woman who loves me not in SPITE of all of these things, but BECAUSE of them, who loves me fiercely and wholly, who has loved me every day of our lives that we’ve been together, who I’ve spent every day of my life learning to love more. And our lives have had hard moments, but never because of each other. Together, we are each other’s soft place to land.

And I never thought it was possible. And yet…somehow. It was.

The moral of this story, if you choose to accept it: don’t. Stop. Believing.

Jenn and I in 2004:

Jenn and I in 2012. A LITTLE more colorful. A LITTLE more legally married. And falling in love more every day.

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About Sarah Diemer

I write about heroic, magical girls who love girls. I drink a lot of coffee. Follow me at http://twitter.com/sediemer or find out more about my work at http://sarahdiemerauthor.wordpress.com
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11 Responses to Nine Years of Love: On Courage, Letters, Gayness and Three Little Words

  1. Jenn says:

    I love you so much–always, forever. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

  2. Louise says:

    You both are amazing! Loved this story. I can identify with the dorks in love, definitely. My someone put me through many tests before he believed I was a dork of the same level. Finally, he knew I wasn’t fronting it.

    You’ve also said something very important, which you invariably do. I mean your comment about the whole, “It’ll get better.” thing. It is so true that if you do not have the person you are talking to know that you get what they are going through right at that moment, it can trivialize their experience. I know the “get better-ers” have good intentions, but that lack of empathy for the present is dangerously isolating. It may even be a last straw.

    When you are a young person, becoming an autonomous adult above the age of consent seems like it will take an eternity to get to. The kind of pain and danger a young gay person is in can’t wait. Many decide not to wait for it. Much better to say, “That effing sucks, and what can we do about it together right now?” Or like my daughter’s uncle-in-law who said, “How would those kids at your public school like our gay motorcycle club to come over and kick their homophobic asses after they thereatened yours?” I don’t think Uncle Steve was actually going to lay a finger on any school kids. But I think he and the Rochester Rams would have come rolling up in full colors to defend his niece-in-law.

    I also remember with love and gratitude what amounted to the gay student caucus at my divinity school just magically converging to talk to my kid in the student lounge about the gay bashing stuff happening in her public school. You met one of them, Julia Hickman-Himes, who spoke at church not too long ago. These adults were there for her and spoke to her like peers. They were there for her where she was.

    Great blog post! Happy anniversary. =)

    Like

  3. Laura says:

    You two are my OTP. ❤

    Like

  4. A. says:

    I’m currently secretly in love with a very good friend of mine and terrified that if I tell her, it will ruin our friendship. Your story gives me hope that it may not. Thank you 🙂

    I hope that in nine years I’m as happy as the two of you are now, and that you stay happy for countless years to come ❤

    Like

  5. Pixi says:

    This is just beautiful ❤

    Like

  6. James says:

    Thanks for the earworm! Haha! ❤

    I love you guys! You let me keep believing in this crazy life.

    Like

  7. Rachel says:

    OMG YOU GUYS WERE SO LITTLE AND ADORABLE AND SO FREAKING CUTE!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  8. Meg says:

    This is the sweetest and best love story in the world and I always enjoy hearing the beginnings of the most ardent love I’ve ever witnessed ❤

    Like

  9. Stephanie says:

    This post actually made me cry. Both because you are a beautiful and inspiring couple – and I love that you are both so happy – and because I so very much relate to your disheartenment before you met Jenn. (Also the experience of being in love with a best friend and not knowing if it is reciprocated, although it didn’t turn out very well for me.) I guess I’ll have to hold on to your story as a beacon of hope. 🙂 Thanks for telling your story.

    Like

  10. Amanda says:

    I never stop loving hearing this story each new time.

    And I never lose this candle of faith in my soul that both of you, and this story, gave/gives me.

    Like

  11. Pogue says:

    Your story mirrors mine and Honey’s. Except I am still waiting for her.

    Like

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