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Hi APC! My name is Giana Earrusso and I am a 20 year old bi-racial and bi-sexual woman. My piece is inspired by my experiences of loving both sexes and how I was able to grow from these experiences both mentally and emotionally. These past relationships have enabled me to become a more loving and affectionate person to my current partner, which I am grateful for every day.
I have always struggled finding the “right” place between my racial identity of being half black and half white. I never knew where I belonged in my school and sometimes even in my family. At my Italian Christmas Eve celebrations, all eyes pierced my siblings’ and I’s black skin as they would try to place us in their family tree. Contrary to my black southern gatherings, where my aunt would love to point out how “lightskin” we were compared to her daughters. I always felt out of place.
While still walking this line between black or white, I now had to confront another challenging aspect of my identity – being bi-sexual. Despite the hardships that already came with being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, such as not feeling accepted, the potential harassment and abuse, and more, I noticed I had to now justify why or even how I was attracted to both sexes. Explaining this is not easy, but it is something I noticed is solely based on experience.
I started my journey in unknown territory – with a woman. Before her, I had my fair share of encounters with both women and men, but I had never been in an actual relationship until her. It was something I was pulled into with no real understanding of how to navigate my way through. The “advice” I was given was slim to none, and I instead received more concerns about if I was prepared to endure this emotional roller coaster I was about to get onto that came. I didn’t know what I was doing but I knew that it was something that I was willing to experience and a desire couldn’t have changed, even if I tried.
Despite the stereotypes of lesbian relationships being very hard to handle due to synched periods, petty actions, and sassy remarks, I knew it was something I was going to have to deal with eventually. This relationship was a strenuous one. Consisting of manipulative actions, emotional abuse, and constant break ups and make ups. After a year of losing my grasp on my mental health, this relationship finally ended, and it only took about six months for my next relationship to begin – with a man. Although this relationship was not as manipulative as the last, I was not given the same warning that it would be an emotional roller coaster, simply because this partner identified as a man. The funny thing is, it was just as bumpy as the last relationship. It lasted a shorter period of time but it was another experience I learned and grew from.
During these relationships, I experienced things I shouldn’t have but was able to take valuable lessons from them. My takeaways were endless but significant to who I am today. I wish I was given more direction with my same sex relationships as I was my heterosexual one, however, I was able to grow exponentially by taking everything how it was given to me and using that to work on myself.
Currently, I am in a same sex relationship where I am able to employ what I’ve learned from past experiences and cultivate a successful and positive relationship.
To the other half of my first same sex relationship,
Thank you for all I have taken from you to make myself the loving person I am today. I know how to love and how not to love because of you. I know what real love is and how much I am deserving of being truly loved. Being broken down mentally is not love and has made me the strongest version of myself while also showing me how to love myself more than I ever have. I have taken the bad memories and turned them into lessons that I can look at and remind myself who I am not and will not be.
To the other half of my current same sex relationship,
Thank you for showing me the love that I have always deserved. Thank you for accepting my flaws more than I thought you would. Thank you for helping to make this relationship as healthy as it is right now and for not giving up on us. We have been given personal and relationship challenges to overcome not alone, but together. There were disagreements and misunderstandings, but we are able to institute healthier ways of handling them by having productive conversations rather than arguments. We are strong, passionate beings, and we stand up for our personal beliefs and values. We have established the importance of maintaining our personal traits of ours and leveling with each other to see eye to eye. Listening to respond is not always ideal, but listening to understand and comprehend is important. We are attentive with one and other and prioritize being honest, vulnerable, and upfront. With you, I have learned to let my wall down and show my emotions without being apprehensive about how it may be received. I have learned to be comfortable showing my true colors of being a sensitive person, instead of the strong front I show to others. We have dedicated ourselves to work on our imperfections, big or small, proving that we are capable of overcoming any issue presented to us.
Every relationship is different, no matter what gender your partner identifies as. My overall message is to be accepting of yourself and how you identify and to never be afraid to show your true colors to those deserving enough to see them. No matter who you love or how you identify, you are worthy of being loved and giving love. Everything you go through in life has a message attached that is to be taken and applied elsewhere. Being a woman who has been in love with a woman has been an experience that I am grateful for every day. I honor this part of my identity every time I tell my girlfriend I love her, every time I talk to someone about my coming out story, every conversation I have with someone who is lost or confused about their sexuality, and including so much more.
I am a bi-racial and bi-sexual woman. I am in love with and proud of who I’ve become in the past three years. I am thankful for my experiences because they have made me the charismatic and passionate person I am today.