Words by Ilenia & Lorenza.
Ours is an ordinary love story. One of those where two people suddenly realise they are meant for each other. A true love story, romance and ordinary life, like so many others. We are Lorenza, 27 years old, and Ilenia, 26 years old. We are Italians and currently living in Vancouver, Canada.
We met in high school but it was only when we finished school, thanks to a trip through Europe in 2010, we realised that we were not just friendship but something more. The attention that we exchanged was mutual and meant something different but we hadn’t realised it yet. After the first kiss, we knew that we both had never had feelings towards another woman. Describing the mixture of emotions, we felt like butterflies in the stomach was an understatement.
These emotions were not directed to a man, as we had imagined they would be, but to a woman. All this was new to us but this has not been a problem.
Fortunately, we discovered our homosexuality together and at an age where you’re mature enough to be able to accept yourself relatively smoothly. Our education and our openness helped us further. In short time, we felt like a couple and we started to come out among friends and family. Many supported us but our families have had a little more trouble accepting us. After three years we decided to move in together. Living with a family that doesn’t support you, doesn’t understand and doesn’t accept a part so important of you becomes frustrating.
It became difficult for both the family but also for us as a couple being continuously questioned about our love. We decided to continue to be ourselves and to do that, it was necessary to totally leave the origin house. We live together since 2013, and our relationship is much stronger.
The situation with our families has improved very slowly but this did not interfere with us. We learned to know each other, living every day and exposing every little part of us. Like many couples, we love as much as we fight (just like old married couples), but what unites us is much stronger than any difficulty we are faced with.
Our story has been accompanied then by the decision that we made together to not hide our relationship. The visibility, the sincerity and simplicity have always been essential to us. It wasn’t always easy to stay true to our principles especially in a state like Italy where LGBTQ+ rights aren’t guaranteed and public opinion is still very closed-minded.
Our dreams aren’t so different from many young couples in love. We dream of finding a job that we like, to marry and grow old together and have one, two or even three children. All this in a state where our love and our family is protected and where homophobia is only a bad thing that once existed.
In order to follow our dreams, we decided to move to Canada in March 2017. Even if we tried our best, we felt Italy was too restricting for us. Now we live in Vancouver and we’re happier than ever before. We always hold hands when we walk together, we kiss no matter who can see us and we go on adventures together on our days off. We found our personal Garden of Eden.
And this is all we wish to all. Find your personal path and follow it. No matter how hard it is, just follow your heart and everything will be fine.
Photography Sara Rogers Photography