[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Stella Samuel

Hi friends! Today we have another first time guest, the delightful Stella Samuel who really saved my bacon (numerous times!) with this post. Thank you, Stella, and welcome to ALBTALBS! <3 

Don’t Give Up

I’ve always been a writer. And I’ve always been a lesbian. Sure, there was that high school boyfriend that angered me when he broke my heart. And there was even that college boyfriend who fit me like Romeo fit Juliet. One day he set me on his kitchen counter as we were listening to my favorite new band, Indigo Girls, and we pondered of whether or not the girls were lesbians. They are, of course. But this was in late 1991 when technology wasn’t what it is today. So few celebrities were out, at least not outside the community. He looked at me and said to me, “I’d be devastated if you broke up with me. But I’d kill myself if you left me for a woman.” He broke up with me because I wanted to have children and being a father was never on his agenda.

The next person I saw after this breakup, was an old friend of mine who was a lesbian. She healed my broken heart with trips to the bar where she made me feel comfortable and taken so no other women hit on me. I thanked her by pinning her against a bathroom wall – isn’t that how we all did it back then – and kissing her. She became my first girlfriend. Over the next ten years, I’d go through three or four more.

This was the 90s. I was young, living it up in my 20s, marching in every parade I could get to. Attending every Melissa Etheridge show within a hundred miles and following my beloved Indigo Girls from New York to Georgia and in between. This was the time of Lilith Fairs, a revolutionized free love. I was in it. Living the dream and feeling the pride. My girlfriend and I had rainbow stickers on our cars, I still have them all over my guitar cases, and rainbow flags on our porch.

After my final heartbreak, I threw in the towel. I was ten years older than I was when that college boy broke my heart. I still wasn’t a mother. So I started dating men.

And I fell in love. And had my lovely children.

Now, here I sit in love with her again.

And she’s amazing.

I gave up a life for something I wanted more than anything. Children.

Don’t. Give. Up.

This isn’t easy. Our lives. Living in pride. Living among hate.

But never give up. Celebrate yourselves. Live in Pride.

I am not publishing at the moment for various reasons you may be able to read into here, but about two years ago, I wrote a book to celebrate my longtime friendship with a dear friend of mine. Anne, who let me dance for her, who attended all those concerts of the 90s with me. Anne, who reminded me I need to be who I am. Anne, who in the time I gave up having children with women, raised two children who celebrate four mothers.

This new book of mine should be available in late 2018. In the meantime, feel free to check out 34 Seconds. Not a gay or lesbian romance, but rather a book to make women cry. A tearjerker. A journey of love and loss. And a journey of finding yourself not just despite your past but because of your past. A journey very close to me.

I celebrate Pride month this June with my beautiful girlfriend and an amazing community which has continued to love and evolve while I was away. Thank you to everyone who recognizes Pride and the value we have in celebrating ourselves, our love, our diversity, and our ability to find ourselves again and again.

 

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Thank you for sharing so much with us, Stella! So many important things said here – going for what you really want, taking a break when it’s right. Life isn’t perfect, but it can be pretty great. Happy Pride Month! <3

2 thoughts on “[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Stella Samuel

    1. Stella Samuel

      Thank you so very much for reading. After leaving this LGBT world, I feel I walked back into a big party when I came back. It gives me hope for the world. Maybe one day we can all find peace. It’s not easy. It’s most definitely different. But there is hope. With all the violence in the world today, maybe our grandchildren will have a better place after all the work we’ve done. I can testify the LGBT world is better now than twenty years ago. It’s better than Stonewall. We still need to evolve, but there may be hope for others as well.

      Reply

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