Love is Blind (but people are not)

Sep 26, 2016 | 2016 Fall - Does Gender matter?, Articles, Poetry

By Courtney Carola

Love won a year ago, but my relationship is still a street performance
I know my girlfriend has always wanted to be an actress, and I can’t deny that a talent like her deserves to be in the spotlight, but not like this
No, certainly, not like this
But when my girlfriend and I hold hands in public, or when I lean on her shoulder at the movies, or when I kiss her goodbye at the bus stop, anxiety eats away at my chest
And I find myself drowning in fear instead of her
Just being together, I know we attract unwanted attention, lingering eyes
People sneer in disgust or stare for too long
They get off of the train when they see us leaning against each other
Uber drivers won’t make conversation with us when they see our fingers laced in the back seat
Meanwhile, everywhere I look –
On the street, at the store, in movies, on book and magazine covers –
Men and women are able to embrace each other
To kiss each other
To love fully and without limits
Without fear of ridicule or abuse
And I know it isn’t fair to assume every couple I see is straight
But damn it, if I don’t envy the privilege they have –
The privilege they don’t even realize they have
The privilege they take for granted when they take their partner out of the house
Because when I take mine out, I have to survey the scene and judge the crowd before deciding if I can be brave enough to take her hand in mine

Love won a year ago, but my relationship is still a rebellion
I certainly enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and I always thought Katniss was a brilliant character
But in all honesty, I never wanted to be like her
I never wanted to be a rebel, I never wanted to be a hero
I just wanted to be a girl who finally found love
And I did, and she just happened to be a girl as well
And yes, our love is beautiful and a story in itself, but just because two girls love each other does not mean they have to become protagonists in a feature film they didn’t want to be cast in
I suppose it is brave to be nothing but yourself when it feels like the rest of the world wants you to be something else
And yes, I can understand why people tell me that my relationship is a radical act of protest
But it’s just so exhausting sometimes
Because sometimes, I don’t want to be resilient
And I don’t want to be strong
I just want to be held by the girl I love
Without feeling like the entire world is watching us

Love won a year ago,
But I can’t figure out why I still feel like such a loser

Courtney Carola, 22, is a bisexual amateur indie author and college student at Fairleigh Dickinson University, studying to be a teacher. Her hobbies include fighting bi erasure, reminding everyone that bisexuals are valid, and taking pictures of the moon.

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