“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”– Lao Tzu
Brooke and I reconciled all of our issues and finally opened up to each other about a lot of things that we had been carrying around with us throughout our relationship that caused us to feel disconnected. Since Brooke is still living in Chicago and I had to move due to the custody battle that I am still fighting with my ex-husband (Viejo).
We talked about ways that she could explore how far into transition she wanted to go safely. If ONLY there was a place that we could go where no one knew her as a male and she would never see them again…
Grand Rapids is perfect!! Not really, I hate living here to be honest…. We devised an idea that while Brooke is in GR, she can indeed be Brooke and live as a trans-femme, then go back to Chicago and no one would ever know. This would be that start to acceptance and living our truth. I am a bit more adventurous and a lot more “go fuck yourself” than she is – so we planned it out.
A little bit about GR’s LGBTQ Scene
For those of you that are not familiar with the “bible belt downtown” that is Grand Rapids, there are 2 Gay clubs here: Rumors and The Apartment. There used to be a couple more but over time, they have been shut down. I think one of them was shut down a few years ago, Diversions. It was a decent place and I don’t know why it was shut down. There is also a church downtown that holds support group meetings for LGBTQ.
Back when I was in highschool I went to one of these “get togethers” with my friend Stacie, she was a lesbian and her older brother was dating my best friend. Who was also my best friend. Anyway, I was Stacie’s date for this formal event and I remember that back then, there was really no place for anyone to go if you were LGBTQ, it was nice to see how much the community has grown in GR but there is still A LOT of work that can be done. Things are getting better but you still see signs that say things like “All are welcome” and when I see it, it just reminds me that I need to keep the fear alive to stay alive because this is still not the safest place for us.
While talking with Brooke I told her that I had been to Rumors several times, I go there on Tuesdays when I get out from my bartending job around the corner and have a couple drinks while I watch the same fucking guy dance in the mirror.
He is a TERRIBLE dancer and he always has the same shorts on with his shirt off and a hat. He dances the same way to EVERY song. Don’t get me wrong… He’s got a hot body but I wouldn’t fuck him. I might be the only one though. I’ve seen him leave with a guy each time I’ve been there – KUDOS to him!
The First Living Truth Date
It seems that bars are the thing for Brooke and I – we met in front of one and our first date living our truth was at one. What a bunch of lushes! Haha… So Brooke and I decided to go to The Apartment which seemed to be a lot more chill and I had never been there before. Brooke arrived on Friday and we went shopping for clothes, she wore girl jeans to the mall… That may not seem like a lot you but for her?? She was fucking terrified the whole time. She has long hair and everyone mistakes her for a girl anyway – but she was terrified. We shopped, she bought some super clothes, and we also stopped at Ulta to get our eyebrows done (Of course!) and buy some makeup to cover up anything that might resemble facial hair.
I gotta say… YouTube is a LIFESAVER! I suck at make-up horribly but I watched some videos and I was able to paint a gorgeous work of art on Brooke’s face. She looks amazing ❤ and to make her more comfortable – I wore this romper that I never wear because it exposes the 2 things I am the most insecure about on my body – my boobs because they are deflated from breast feeding and my thighs because cellulite.
We were both incredibly nervous and agreed to have just a couple drinks and then go home. When we got there, there was a crowd outside smoking… f f f f f u u u u u u u c c c c c k k k k k k
So we waited in the car for like 15 minutes until they left. Cold sweats the whole time… When we walked in, we rushed to a booth and the bartender came by. May I just say, this bartender was awesome. Simply awesome. He was so welcoming and nice and cheery – immediately calmed our nerves. We ordered Chinese food and had it delivered, then we went home and drank the rest of our “high” and the rest of the booze we had in the house. It was a game changer and it brought the dream to life. Suddenly, we realized that we totally could live our truth and that the scariest part about it, was in our heads. We had a great time.
Brooke went shopping again and we have a Christmas Party that we will be attending for one of my jobs… The dream is becoming our reality and it feels like we’ve won the lottery. We are more in love than we have ever been and we feel so connected. Talking to each other is no longer a chore or something we fear because of what might be said. We talk all the time and everything flows so naturally. We are more supportive and completely unafraid to ask for the things that we want. I wish I had words to describe how excited and happily overwhelmed I feel to know that I found her, the woman I’ve always wanted.
“When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free”– Barack Obama