My best friend and I were invited by Pink Dot to share our story and this video is the end result. I'm truly thankful for Joan, the best straight ally in the world! :) Her courage and support has always inspired me to be true to myself and to own my story. My wish is for many more women to own their stories and to let our collective voices be heard!
Bishop Yvette Flunder and her spouse of 30 years, "Mother" Shirley Miller, were in Singapore for the Amplify Conference recently. We celebrated Mother Miller's 72nd birthday during the conference and we were delighted when Bishop said she wanted to sing a song to her beloved on her birthday. She paused for a moment to think of what to sing and smiled, saying, "Oh I know!" Then she took Mother Miller's hand tenderly in hers and started singing acapella:
You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me
Can't you see?
You're everything I hoped for
You're everything I need
You are so beautiful to me
There was not a dry eye in the room. The way she looked so adoringly at Mother Miller, the sincere and heartfelt way she sang to her as if she was the only person in the room, touched all of us who had the privilege to witness such love and devotion.
After the conference ended, I had the rare opportunity to spend some time with Bishop Flunder and asked her if she would share her love story with us. She was very happy to do so and the following was what she shared.
Pauline: So Bishop, would you please tell us how you and Mother Miller met one another?
Bishop: Well, I grew up in the Church of God and our families knew each other. I was always passionate about justice and Aids work and being a same-gender loving woman, it was hard for me to remain in the Church of God. So I left the church and went into social justice work. After some time, I started attending Bishop Walter Hawkin's church and Shirley was Bishop Hawkins' niece. She was a gospel singer and we became really close friends travelling on the road together. Things started getting more serious between us and we talked a lot about our friendship that was developing into something more. We were very close and talked about many things, and we had deep discussions over whether this was just a relationship of convenience. But we both knew what we had with one another was different --- there was a deep sense of connection and kinship. We also talked about life mapping and planning together. So we started out being very close friends and our relationship matured into a physical and sensual one. That is probably the reason why we have lasted so long together, I think. Unlike many lesbian couples that start out their relationship with sex, we started out talking a lot with one another and it slowly matured into a sensual relationship. I simply adored her and I thought it would be really great if we could establish a relationship. I thought she was too good for me and she thought likewise about me. (laughs) We both felt we were marrying up and that is probably the secret to our enduring love.
Pauline: How did people around you react when they found out you were together? It probably wasn't easy, especially back then?
Bishop: We both came out and had to deal with our families as well as the whole gospel music ministry. It wasn't easy and we lost some friends along the way but you know, we were surprised by how our children dealt with the situation. Shirley and I spent weeks preparing what to say to our children and we arranged to have a special dinner where we would explain to them that we were together. The funny thing was when we told the children that we were an item, my daughter who was about 6 years old at that time said, "Yes, we already know. So what's for dinner?" Kids truly know love when they see and experience it so that was that. It was the adults who had more problems with us being together. Interestingly, some of our worst critics were gay people. You see, Shirley and I entered pastoral ministry as a couple and it was just not done at that time. Gay people could not accept that we were a same-gender loving couple who were doing pastoral ministry together. We challenged their mindsets about what was possible and we had to deal with the criticism. Many believed that we wouldn't last, much less thrive. But here we are 30 years on and still going strong and that has shut the critics up. (laughs)
Pauline: How have you seen your relationship grow over the years?
Bishop: I love her. She's twelve and a half years older than me. And some time ago, we talked about our age gap and said, "What are we going to do? You'll be 70 and I'll be 58." But you know, we are so close to each other organically, our age doesn't make a difference. We have gone through so much together and we have each other. We know that we will be together until one of us dies. She's my heart, the love of my life. You know, one of our church members said the reason why our church has grown so much over the years is not because of our programs. It's because of our love for each other. Our love has shown people that a great love like this is possible.
Pauline: Bishop, thank you so much for inspiring us and showing us that a great love like this is possible. Both of your presence and the love you embody has made such a significant impact on me as well as many others. We thank God so much for the both of you!
well, hi everyone. this is the first time I'm writing something about my personal love life. woah! wait, not exactly a love life but yes a true, fascinating thing that happened to me and at the same time, made me fall apart. alright, so here I am. it happened when I was 15 and I came to pune for my high schooling in symbiosis. it was the third day of my college life when my eyes met a very pretty gal's eyes and I got the feeling that butterflies were tickling me. I had a crush on this sweet female. the next day when I went to college, there was no vacant seat so fortunately, I had to sit right in front of her. uff 18th august! instead of me trying to say something to her when I got the golden chance to start a conversation, she asked for my name and number. I was on the top of the world. the two things which she asked for stole my night and I went crazy...I was continuously thinking of dropping her a text but could not and the whole night, I was typing 'hi' and deleting it. after repeating this for the 20th time, I finally thought of sleeping and kept my cell on while it was charging.
then suddenly, I heard my message tone beeping. I got off from my bed to check and guess what? omg! it was a message from her and you guys won't believe it but I spent the whole night reading that message again and again till I fell asleep. the next morning I woke up and felt as if I was entering into some different world though nothing big had happened. it was just a random message. I went to college and that day, we started talking. I could not look into her eyes as I am a very shy person. later in the day, there was a announcement about an exhibition and there was chaos in the classroom. she came over to me and said hi. I replied saying hello. then I asked her, "how's your bf?" she smiled and left. that night, again she sent me a random message to which I didn't reply. the next day in class, she came over to me as we were attending the same French lecture. she walked over to me and whispered in my ear, "u want to know who is my bf?" then she pointed towards me and walked away. that night I sent her a message saying hi, and she replied then we started chatting..
days went by and I started missing classes at college because of my shyness. we started planning to meet at the parking or cafeteria and we would catch up with one another, like a new baby love. one night when we were chatting, she messaged me saying, "I love u as a best friend."
I said, "k" and then then she said, "so u love me?"
I said, "yes." then she asked, "can I kiss u?"
I said, "what?" she was like "we are best friends so can't I kiss you?"
I replied, "sure" then she said, "can I kiss u on your lips?"
something happened to me and I started ignoring her. I didn't speak to her for two days but on the third day, I called her and she asked, "was what i asked for wrong? i love you." I said, "okay." then we arranged to meet and she kissed me on my cheeks. it was 3rd july 2007. I was at her place and we smooched. then we started dating. this love story of mine is my favourite. I used to love her like anything and treat her like a princess and she was very special to me. we dated for five years. then one day when I went back to my hometown, I called her up and the phone was put on waiting. it was the first time throughout our whole relationship when I felt as if something was going wrong. and yes, there was a problem. she was getting engaged to someone else. she cheated on me and is married to some guy now. I was in deep depression for two full years. I ruined my career. then after recovering, I started a new life. I have completed my mba at present and I have been working in hr in a reputed company. but I still miss her. I hate her but then, there is no point in doing so. she broke my heart for loving her truly. I lost the one who never loved me but she lost the one who loved her madly...after this relationship, I never fell in love again. yes, I have been infatuated and even dated many but there are no feelings of love. this was what happened to me. it has been 3 years of experiencing a broken heart.
Eight days more to the first anniversary of my confession to my long-time love interest and her rejection in response to my confession. I decided to confess my feelings for her last year because I really could not suppress my feelings anymore, especially after the release of the 13th general election's results in Malaysia that were (and still are) very depressing.* I did expect that I would be rejected by her since she only treated me as a friend.
My decision to confess to her has really changed my life considerably. I made a short trip to Taiwan for the first time to give myself a break. I began to read the works and writings (both print and online) on relationship matters written by Wu Dan Ru (吴淡如), Eric Wu (吴若权), Kong Keen Yung (江健勇), Lung Chuntin (龙震天) and Wang Ji (王姬). Wu Dan Ru and Eric Wu are Taiwanese, Kong is Malaysian while Lung and Wang are Hong Kongers. Their works are in Chinese. Although their works focus on heterosexual relationship matters, I found that some points they make are relevant to same-sex relationships as well. I have learnt a lot of important and practical things on relationship matters from their works. Therefore, I am grateful for the opportunity to read their works.
In addition, I had finally opened an account on Fridae after moving back to Malaysia early this year so that I can know more friends who are like me. Lung Chuntin always emphasizes that we must get to know more people so that we will have more chances to look for the one who can be our soulmate. He said in every 1000 men or women we know, there are only three of them who can be our soulmates. So it is important to know more people.
At the moment, I am still single. But I will continue to treat myself well and live my life to the fullest. No matter what happens, I have to move on with my life, and hope for the best.
(* The opposition coalition won most popular votes (more than 50%) but the ruling coalition won most parliamentary seats due to malapportionment and gerrymandering. So the ruling coalition continues to be in power.)
I am a lesbian. I have been in a 5-year relationship with my girlfriend who is 3 years older than me. We love each other very much. However, we are both married....well, its complicated...both of us are not on good terms with our husbands. But due to her responsibility towards her dad and my responsibility towards my daughter, we choose to live separately from one another. Given the situation, you may choose to consider this as me having an affair (just that it's with a girl).
I feel that both of us are afraid of making any decisions, or shall I shall say...to take a big step in our lives. We dream of staying together, to get married and be just like any normal couple. But the responsibilities we carry are huge. For her, her dad totally depends on her. For me, if l get divorced, I will lose my daughter and I might never see her again.
So for now, we will stick with the current situation. But for God knows how long? Will our dream of being together come true one day????
Today is 11 October 2013 and people all over the world are celebrating National Coming Out Day!! Our stories matter and whether we are coming out to ourselves or to the people around us, every person coming out makes a huge difference. Research has shown that when someone personally knows a family member or friend who is gay or lesbian, that one thing makes the most difference in increasing his or her understanding and acceptance of diversity. So let's celebrate National Coming Out Day with a few amazing stories, shall we? :) Let's start with Shenny's.
"I had several crushes on my netball seniors and teachers in secondary school. And whilst I had heard many stories about lesbian relationships, I never thought anything about them. At that age, having a crush didn't equate to wanting to be in a relationship.
When I was 19, I fell in love with my best friend at school. Things just started happening between us. At that time, I couldn't identify as a lesbian, mostly because my homophobia was internalized. There was a part of me that thought the relationship wasn't "normal" and so, I was sure things between us would end one day and we would both be married to good Christian guys. At that time, I had just received Jesus into my life, thanks to her, as well as many other good Christian people that God placed in my path who had prayed for me. However, before I got the chance to grow any further, my ex and I gradually stopped attending church and cell group since we thought we were doing something "wrong" that God would disapprove of. We spent 5 years of our lives together and 2 of those years were in Australia --- the best two years of my life. We decided then that we would break up once we returned to Singapore, and we did. But we remained very close emotionally to each other. Soon after we broke up, we started dating guys but I wasn't really connecting with my guy as much as she was with hers.
Through a lesbian friend's blog, I managed to log onto an online dating portal, Fridae, and met my second partner there. It was then I began to come out to myself. It was through her that I started on my journey to reconcile what it means to be gay and Christian. Our journey together later took us to Free Community Church, Singapore's only inclusive church. It was there I found the space to worship God authentically, just as I am. That space was helpful to me as it allowed me to be grounded in that security that indeed, God loves me for who I am. After I came to terms with who I was, my relationship with God grew exponentially. I began to find the joy and the heart in serving and in meeting people who were in the same shoes as I was. My rationale since then has always been this: it's better to be close to God and let him work out your issues with you, rather than avoiding him just because you think being gay is wrong.
God is still working with me on my journey. Although I can say now that I believe it's possible to be gay and Christian, there certainly is "baggage" from before that comes up once in a while, and it sometimes makes me wonder if I am wrong. That's where I appreciate fellow comrades who have gone ahead of me and their lives have been a blessing to me. Through all of these, I can truly say I have grown as a Christian and as a person."
Sayoni's initiative, Come Out Come Home, is a national movement to encourage LGBTQ persons and allies who are ready to come out and feel at home in Singapore.
Watch Irene, Olivia and Zoey's story here.
In a video posted to Vimeo last month by production company Generations Cinemastories, newlyweds Robin and Lucia share their adorable love story, from the day they met to their dreams for the future.
The cutest part of their story? Their engagement. In the video above, the women explain that they got manicures and pedicures together, then decided to go zip-lining. As they zipped next to each other through the trees, Lucia popped the question.
"I said, 'Hey baby, you wanna get married?'" Lucia said.
"And I said, 'Yeah baby, I wanna marry YOU!'" Robin said.
Then, as they walked along a wharf in Boston later that night, Robin got down on one knee to pop the question to Lucia -- but she opened the ring box upside down.
"I think [Lucia] actually burst out laughing, and [she] was like, 'I love you,'" Robin said. "I was like, 'What's wrong?'"
Watch the videos of their love story and highlights from their recent wedding.
From: Huffington Post
This is just sweet and cute....
"Treble, a NYC-based semi-professional a cappella group, was hired for our first proposal gig... We learned and practiced Bruno Mars' Marry You for several weeks leading up to the occasion, which was to take place 10/18 at the High Line Park.
But then came the REAL surprise: Nicole arrived for the "gig", and was perplexed to see Treble start the song without her. She scurried over thinking she was late, and jumped into the arc... she even sang a few notes... that is until she looked around and saw 40+ friends and family members standing by with cameras watching...HER!
Yes, it was Treble's own Lily proposing to Nicole with this surprise-of-a-lifetime."
First published on Oct 19, 2012
Check out this amazing love story from The Devotion Project. Gail Marquis and Audrey Smaltz are an adorable couple who met and fell in love later in life. Marquis, who was a 1976 Olympic Medalist (the year women's basketball made its Olympic debut), met Smaltz when she was 43 and Smaltz, a former model, was 61. As you find out in the short film, each woman had other relationships—Marquis with women and Smaltz with men—but until they met, it had never 'clicked'.
Find out more: The Devotion Project
True stories by women who love women and the people who love and support them
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