"Music brought Erin and I together, and it's what sustains us. We met in college, after I returned home from a semester abroad. She was the newest member of our acapella group. After practice one evening, enchanted by Erin's piano skills, I asked her to teach me a song. I've been playing since I was ten years old, so I feigned a playful ignorance. She started teaching me a song my grandma taught me when I was young. She figured out I could play in the next few minutes, and after a good laugh, we started singing together. I left that night, swooning. It wasn't an optimistic feeling, though, it was one of slight anguish. I didn't assume she would ever fancy me. At the time, I don't think she did either.
A few nights after we met, I offered to drive her home from practice. I took a detour and drove us out to an open field and put out a blanket for stargazing. She talked about her friends and family, her childhood. She counted the stars. I quickly learned that she was singular in her kindness, her compassion, and her selflessness. She exudes laughter and light, and I wanted nothing more than to make her smile and be a cause of her happiness.
Our friendship strengthened over the following eight months. We made music together, we spent nights huddled around a piano, discussing life, our dreams, what makes us feel alive and what brings us to sadness. I wanted to know everything about her. She was, and still is, the most fascinatingly beautiful person I've ever met.
Being with her brought me the rare gift of joy. I met her at a moment of personal adversity, and she restored my happiness. But accompanying that was a constant, looming dread that I would never be able to be with her in the way I imagined. I was in love with her, in love, completely in love. It brought deep confusion to both of us, each on a journey of growth and self-acceptance. I felt her love for me in return, but was afraid it might be fictitious.
I am a person of expression and truth, so burying my feelings for her didn't last. I feared rejection and disapproval, and the loss of our friendship. But eventually those fears were second to my love for her. I kissed her one night, in all my hopeful timidity, and have been ever since.
If this story were to stop there, as if a "happily ever after" were achieved, it would be our greatest delight. But that night was more of a wistful beginning in our fight for love, than a fairy tale ending. We were met with familial opposition that we're still working to overcome. That is our struggle. Society's disapproval is defeated with patience, courage, trust, and strength. But we refuse to sacrifice our families' love and support because it is precious, important, and necessary to us.
Together, we enjoy life to the fullest. We overcome negativity with hope. We appreciate small moments because our struggles keep us grateful. If there is resistance, it is combated by tremendous amounts of love and support.
When strangers ask us, "Are you best friends or sisters?" we reply, best friends, with a knowing smile. It's true, I'm dating my best friend. And aren't I the luckiest for it?"
THE FREE LOVE PROJECT:
Love shouldn’t come at a price.
No discrimination, judgment, or hatred. There is no harm in love. We should embrace it. I’m offering free mini-sessions to capture lifestyle moments of LGBT couples in the hope of spreading grace in understanding the people behind the price. After recent tragedies, I feel compelled to use what I have to give back to the community, spread awareness, and shine a light on love in all its beautiful forms. This project is about what you and your significant other want to share with the world. Tell your story through my lens, make a friend (me!), and promote love.