That breakup was hard. We had all the same friends, did all the same things, and lived in walking distance from each other. But it was right. I knew this wasn’t it. He hadn’t even proposed and I was already nervous about how I’d feel walking down the aisle. If it wasn’t clear before, that’s a pretty good sign.
Then, a funny thing happened. Life kept going. And it actually got way better. I’m going to skip over some boring details about time passing and getting over him and moving on and hanging with friends and then friends becoming more than friends and then being like wait you’re a girl lol what is actually happening right now OH this is happening oh okay. So yeah, I’ll skip that stuff.
So here I am, living in a house (the babe barn) full of Cru girls, one of which I fell for harder than I’ve fallen for anyone. It was such a hilariously uncomfortable situation, I don’t even know how to write about it. I laugh thinking about the girls who I lived at the babe barn, reading this right now. Hi, hahaha. And now I’m actually laughing out loud. Just sitting on my bed, laughing. For once in my life, I don’t know how to write about something. The joy and pain and stress of secretly dating your best friend in a house and community of Christians — there are just no words.
What I can put to words, though, is that in the middle of the utter chaos around me, things made sense for the first time ever. They just clicked. In my other relationships, everything felt about 70% there. Like when you’re eating fresh-out-the-oven cookies, but run out of milk – they’re still cookies, so it’s dope, but in the back of your mind, you’re just chewing along knowing full well they’re not as good as they could be.
I’m going to spare a lot of the following details, because although this is my story, it’s also someone else’s. That said, here’s a list of things I do want to share about my first ~gay~ relationship:
1. Kissing a girl for the first time was the single most electrifying moment of my entire life. No joke. It was fireworks. Champagne. Winning the lottery. It was all things good. Since then, I’ve done some research and am here to tell you that girls are just better kissers (except for a few of you magical men out there — you know who you are).
2. The day after I kissed this girl, I stood outside of my favorite coffee shop at ASU and called my mom. I was sobbing. I was so, SO freaked out. Just put yourself in my shoes. Just try. I’m uber Christian. Miss Christian ASU. Dated boys my whole life. Parents dreamt of walking their daughter down the aisle towards a handsome man who could bring them grandkids someday. They wanted me to have an easy life, and being gay wasn’t easy. I was terrified. So, I told my mom what happened, to which she replied, “I love you. It’s OK, you just love people! You like who you like. Tell me about her!” Gosh. I hope you have an experience like that someday. Life-changing.
3. The next 1.5 years would be the hardest years of my entire life, and they shouldn’t have been. I was falling in love and being spit on at the same time. My girlfriend was sick with guilt every day, believing wholeheartedly that she’d go to hell for the very thing that brought us a deep, visceral joy. Every day, she woke up praying that her feelings for me would be taken away. And I got it. I understood it. I did it too. It’s really, really hard to pray away something that is love to you. At the end of the day, I knew that there was nothing more spiritual than loving someone with every little fiber of your being.
4. When we were deciding how/if to pursue this, we met with everyone we looked up to — our pastors, mentors, Cru leadership. Every single one of them told us to break up, repent, and find our way back to Jesus. Every single one. They told us that we were going to Hell for disobeying the rules. We were broken, begging them to help us understand how this could be true, but no one cared to challenge their beliefs like I was. No one cared that those 6 bible verses (literally 6 out of 31,102) were incredibly, deeply out of context - like the ones that say that men with long hair are a disgrace, or women on their periods shouldn’t touch anyone. No one cared, because it wasn’t happening to them. Imagine falling in love with someone, then having everyone around you tell you you’ll be damned for it. It’s wrong to do that to people. It’s completely, no questions asked, wrong. And the funniest part? I could tell that so many of those leaders didn’t believe what they were saying. I’ve actually had some of those very leaders reach out since then and apologize for their words, saying that they didn’t actually believe the words coming out of their mouth, but felt like they should. It was their job to. Thank you to them, seriously. And for those who still live their days waiting on my repentance from something entirely good, man. I feel sorry for those people. I hope they look up from that book and see that life is also happening all around them. It didn’t end back there, in those thin Bible pages. It’s still happening. It’s not over.
5. We dated on and off for 4 years. Those years were glorious, unique, heartbreaking, and unforgettable. We battled with our guilt, our friends, our beliefs, our God, and each other. It was tough and lovely, but in the end, we knew we weren’t each other’s person.
6. That said, I loved my time with her. Although the world made it painful at times, I wouldn’t change one single second of it, and she wouldn’t either. Now that the dust has settled, we’re friends again now and often look back at whirlwind of it all. The reprimands. The love letters. The white-knuckled prayers. The vacations. The sneaking around. The all nighters. The letters. The flights. The laughs. The secret nighttime drives, telling our roommates we were going out to get food. The kissing in the closet (literally and figuratively). It was all worth it. We’ll be better friends, mentors, wives, and mothers because of those painful, perfect years.