This is Us & This is Me


These have been the most important days of my life. These feelings are the most important feelings I have ever felt, ever shared. These are the most special moments I have endured, and I am the most hopeful I have ever felt for those that lie ahead.

I have never wanted to share something so badso, so, bad. In every relationship I was in, I found myself being hesitant and less affectionate. My puckered lips were only pressed against his in the shadow behind a building, just before class. Our hands were only intertwined because it is what I felt we should be doing, not because it was what I felt I wanted to be doing. Kisses were for my gain of experience, rather than the beloved simplicity of the kiss itself. Kisses are much more meaningful now. These kisses are now what I have always dreamed of kisses being.  

For so long, I believed I was incapable of falling in love. The idea of committing to a person for such an extended amount of time terrified me to no end. Ironically enough, my biggest fear has always been the fear of being left by the people that mean the entire world to me. And yet, I have found myself being the one to leave some of the most willing and loving people to ever walk into my life behind. They wanted me, and I did not want them. Right people, wrong time is what I used to trick myself into believing. But I now know. I now know for sure that they were the right peoplejust the right people for the wrong person. I have found my right person. I have found myself ready to be that right person. 

It’s kind of a funny story, really. Whenever I was out of a relationship I had always immediately started to look at boys so much differently. It was almost as if I was imagining myself with them, and out of the few guys I knew, I’d pick which one I thought I could see myself with next. It felt an awful lot like things kept moving forward for no reason, and it felt an awful lot like I had absolutely no regard for the potential feelings we would share. The feelings I always imagined myself having towards these boys were only beautiful on paper and only lovely to hear because I know how to choose my words wisely. The pain that came from what I believed my first heartbreak was now looks to me as if the lust that filled my sixteen-year-old heart suddenly had to adjust to not being with my first attractive pile of testosterone. At sixteen I didn’t understand what lust was, but I now know it was purely that. Then, what seemed to be my most serious relationship to date was the one I'd just left. He'd been the first boy to really, and I mean really, go out of his way for me. It was your stereotypical pay-for-your-meals, surprise-you-at-your-doorstep, love-you-on your-terms kind of romance. I had stayed in that relationship for so many months without ever putting a label on it, because I never wanted to. I now know I never wanted to because I was never sure. And I also now know that I saw a lot of myself in him, and that is probably why I enjoyed the gestures he made for me so deeply. The gestures he made for me are the same gestures I’d make for her. 

Her. Her. I never thought I would be typing these words for anyone but myself, but somehow I find myself here, typing these words, because I cannot seem to contain them just for myself. There is this intricate divide that separates the beauty of our relationship itself and what our relationship may mean to our world around us. 

Now I wouldn’t exactly say this is the first girl I have ever imagined myself dating, because there have been times where I had to really think about why I wanted that one girl in my English class to be my friend so badly. Or why I made those extraordinary gestures for my close friends, or why I began to look at these girls I closely knew differently when I learned what having feelings for someone really meant. The emotional connections I share with people have always been the most intense out of all the other friendships they had in their lives. That’s just the type of person I am, and that’s just what I have always told myself. But there was something about this time that became far different from just wanting to mean something to her. I’d reached a point so far beyond just wanting to be a part of her life; I wanted to have a special place in her heart the same way she had found herself a place in mine. At my easiest disposal, I can proudly say my dreams have become a reality. I so gently write to her to “hurry up and finish your dinner, I have dreams to meet you in." So, so easily, I carry both of our hearts in the palm of my hand as my reality. The dreams I had about her and the dream of wanting to be with her have retired as my favorite vacation spot in my mind. 

So, I believe I could refer to this abundance of flowery language and many variations of introductions to my little love story as my “coming out." My coming out as fully myself, the best version of myself, and the most true to myself. I take full pride in the person I am finally allowing myself to be today. My coming out was not only coming out as in love, but coming out as a bisexual individual. I believe that the reason why this relationship is so special is because it was not only the first time I had really felt these things, but it was the first time I had allowed myself to. The unique thing about all of this was the fact that these feelings I'd begun to feel so deeply for her became hard for me to hide and keep to myself. As two individuals, all talk about where we fall on the spectrum aside, we had fallen for each other. Fallen for each other to the point where everything we anticipated to come our way became less important than the sole fact that we had each other. Two people that love each other become quite invincible, and that is what I have learned recently. Culturally, socially, and by influence I had always been hesitant to come out because of the reactions I could receive from people—family, friends, anyone still living with values from years before 2018. These are all powerful and prominent parts of my life and very easily have kept me hesitant in announcing my relationship the way I’d like to. Much like how my feelings were too strong to keep to myself, this relationship has been getting harder and harder to keep from everyone else.

I have quite literally swallowed my pride every day since the first day I figured out I was bisexual. I had always believed it was sort of in my cards to fall somewhere on the spectrum, but I had also always believed I would just keep it to myself. I mean, physically, historically, I have always been a tomboy, and that has always led people to conjure up their own assumptions about me. It’s hard enough growing up and thinking you have it all figured out when in reality, you never really do; it most certainly doesn’t help when you think you should know who you are even more so because of what people tell you about yourself. And for that reason in particular, the validity of my sexuality has always been put into question. For so long, it felt as if I was constantly running away and attempting to hide myself in the midst of what people either believed about me or decided to tell me about ME. The journey to get to who I am today has felt an awful lot like me being afraid to admit to the suspicious assumptions about me, and finally learning how to claim my full identity. 

It was almost like everyone knew me before I even knew me, and I think I had turned what they noticed about me into this idea of “giving in” to the fact that they were right all along. The small world around me prior to these past two very open-minded and welcoming years, I surrounded myself with people who made me believe that being who I was was a bad thing. I remember a vivid moment around the age of seventeen when I had become so out to myself, although it was so hard to be out to anyone else. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and looked myself up and down, and into my own eyes. It felt as if I was looking at a different person. She sure looked like me, but I wasn’t completely sure if it was me at all. Maybe it was because the person that was staring back at me in the mirror was the fullest form of herself, and the person standing on the other side had been so hesitant and confused in the youngest years of her life. But I can finally say that I have found myself being the very best version of myself today. I am constantly reminded that I have become more outgoing and more open to the world around me, because I can honestly say that I'm finally able to be who I had always wanted to be.

Four months ago I made a decision unaware of the effects it would have on my entire well-being. I thought I knew exactly how this relationship would go. But each day, I fall deeper and deeper in love. Each fight, each conversation, each mile we are forced to live apart, I learn something about us that I had never even anticipated. You never really think about what a person can do to change your life and what a relationship can really do to you. You kind of just go in blind and hope it all doesn’t fail. There’s something so special about this one. We are not only finally allowing ourselves to grow into who we’ve always needed to be, but we’re loving each other the way each of us have always deserved to be loved. I guess love is supposed to be a learning and growing experience together, and I had never really understood that until now. She is exactly what I had always dreamed of love being. With my whole heart, I take pride in today, I take pride in her, and I take pride in us. My attendance in the Pride events and Pride parades does not compare to the personal pride event I live in every single day. 


By Alana Rose Marcelino

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