by Damian E. Parnell
First loves and coming outs, are something from my experience, that end in a tragedy like Romeo & Juliet, apart from the love is not two ways. He was one of the sweetest guys I knew, and a close friend, stocky but trim – about 5’9’’, blonde haired, round head, a basketball player and a scientist, he could make jokes that were funny, he had a voice that just made you listen to him, and he had the most mesmerizing smile I’d ever seen. It’s safe I’d fallen in love with him. But I was in the closet, and wasn’t ready to come out. Where I come from it is not easy being gay and it is certainly frowned upon. But, with the advice of a friend, who I had told, I did decide to voice my feelings to this guy. What a mistake, I was not looking for a relationship with this guy, I knew he was straight, I just wanted his acceptance and understanding of my feelings. But it turned out that he was very homophobic and our once strong friendship was now destroyed forever. With this mini coming out to him, it ended up that he blabbed to all our friends, so my coming out didn’t happen at the pace I wanted it to, but it turned out good for me, as my friends all supported me and we were ashamed by his reaction and homophobic attitude towards me. My first love story isn’t a very happy one, but now I have completely moved on and writing about what happened doesn’t affect me anymore, I still occasionally see him around but I just look the other way – he wants to believe I don’t exist so, I will be the same.
by Sarah Willcocks
I am one of the lucky ones to marry my first real love. I despise boiling this life-affirming experience down to schmaltzy greeting card mantras, but here are five lessons I’ve learned over the past dozen years:
- Love really does not hurt, no matter how much you think the drama is worth it.
- To love someone is a conscious choice.
- Marry your best friend (especially if the sex is good, otherwise enjoy working on improving that part).
- Never lose yourself; you are two distinct people, not two halves of one whole.
- I once heard an octogenarian couple say that the key to their longevity was “never falling out of love with one another at the same time.” To me, this is truth.