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* 😄
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.