lessons i learned about love (at 25)
1. i choose you, the guy i work with who has turned into a friend, the kind of friend who is difficult to deal with but i will defend fiercely, over someone i had been dating. i choose you because losing you as a friend would mean more than gaining him as a partner. (he wasn’t worth it anyway, we’ll say over post work happy hour later, as i tell you about the girlfriend he was hiding)
2. remember in third grade when you pushed my head into the desk during a game? over 15 years later, i will look at you with tears in my eyes in the parking lot of the neighborhood bar of the hometown in which you stayed and i left. you are standing in front of me begging me not to leave just yet and you say this is me being vulnerable in front of you. i cried when you left the drugs alone, you are happy now so happy and thank you for being my friend.
3. i cry when i talk to my brothers. they have saved my life by merely existing. (a few years ago when i was sad and i woke up in the hospital bed, i thought how nice it would be to just lie here forever and the doctors were trying to save the patient across the hall and i thought of my brothers and i realized i wanted to live)
4. i thought you left because i was intense and you were not. and because i loved fiercely and you could not. and it was true, yes. but you also left because you wanted to and you needed to and because you were honest and true to yourself and it would take me very long to understand this. and appreciate this.
5. my father tells me that he loves all part of me, not despite the fact i am a queer feminist activist, but because of it. this will save my life, again.
6. i lie in bed with my best friend on her 25th birthday and for the day we are 18 again and we are in our dorm rooms and we are safe here and things are perfect and we will stay there for a while.
7. i would go everywhere and anywhere with him because he is my best friend too and he is the only person i can talk about things like therapy and masturbation and the times i used to do drugs and he is my favorite person to share a bed with and we should all be so lucky to have platonic soulmates.
8. i have loved her since the day i first met her. i heard her voice and wanted to always hear it. years later, i still have that same feeling.
9. in brazil, a man, was trying to hold my hand. and i heard my friend, the only other girl on the same program as me, who i had met only several weeks before we departed for this new country, talking to someone.
"i’m not leaving her. i have to look out for her. we have to protect each other. i have to make sure she’s safe."
and it struck me, how lucky i have been to have been surrounded by sisterhood. how it has fucking saved me in so many ways. and how this is the love that i deserve, sisterhood and how i couldn’t have asked for a better gift. and i’m so lucky to have found that manifest here.
Rink’s first celebration of his birthday in his adopted city of San Francisco took place on June 27th, 1969—and was interrupted by a phone call from a friend in Greenwich Village relating the Stonewall riots in real time. After getting caught up in the then-nascent LGBT political movement, Rink turned his focus to the rich fabric of queer social and political life, chronicling San Francisco’s seismic self-transformation into the queerest city in the world in the space of a decade. The great historical value of Rink’s work is the nearly day by day chronicling of that process of transformation, the gradual and occasionally violent birthing of the San Francisco we know today.