Marissa grew up immeshed in a world of Christianity. Being queer didn’t seem like an option. But after divorce, she found herself coming out, going on a first date with a woman and falling in love.
Kendyl and I met during the most pivotal time in my life. I was 26, separating from my then-husband and coming out. For me coming out is not a clear path, as I’m sure it is not for many people. It is a long ever, evolving, and changing journey. I was not even sure what that meant for me or my life at that time.
Growing up, being queer did not seem like an option for me. I was immeshed into a world of Christianity and surrounded by phrases like “hate the sin, not the sinner” or “we love them, but we just don’t agree.” Trying to be “good” and do the “right” thing did not include being queer.
The night I met Kendyl, I was so nervous as this was the first girl I had ever talked to. I got to the brewery early to have at least one drink before she got there as I anxiously awaited. When she walked through the doors, her smile was contagious and warm, and she was engulfed in a huge puffy coat because winters in Montana can be brutal. I remember feeling calm and at peace. The conversation was easy and flowing. I’m not sure what I was so worried about to begin with. We talked for a couple of hours, closed our bill, and walked to our cars.
We both lingered, unsure of what was coming next, when she asked me to go to another local brewery up the road. On the way, we listened to throwback 2000’s CDs and sang- it was easy and natural. The night eventually ended, and I knew without a doubt everything I had been wondering about was true. I had an irrevocable and undeniable affection for women.
The next few months would be confusing and exhilarating. I was going through a divorce and getting to know the love of my life. Kendyl never pushed, never pried. She was just there through it all. We spent weekends exploring new towns, camping, and building a new community of friends who would love and accept me as I am. This has been my most incredible adventure almost two years down the road. We now call North Carolina home and have built a life that brings us so much joy and fulfillment. She has brought so many things to my life that I did not think possible, and I am forever grateful for finding the strength to take a leap into the unknown.
Photography by Melissa Lynn Photographer