My name is Court Lurie and I’m from Chicago.
So I was 19 or 20 and I had transferred from University of Illinois to Savannah College of Art and Design. They had a softball team there. I played softball my whole life and so I thought what the hell, I’ll go. So I go to the softball tryouts and I walk into this room in my hippie garb and there are like 30 what looked like young teenage boys. But I had never met a queer woman in my life and something happened to me that day that changed my life forever. And I had kind of an out of body experience. I didn’t hear a word that anybody said for the entire meeting for an hour and a half. Yeah, I just didn’t know how to interact with them, I didn’t know what to do, they didn’t know what to do with me. We would go on road trips and I would sit on the back of the bus and listen to my music and do my thing.
So one night we’re sitting on the bus and this girl comes and I’m all the way in the back and she comes and sits down next to me and she starts talking to me. She asked me, “What are you listening to? What are you reading?”
She was interested. She was curious. And we winded up staying up all night talking on the bus to Tennessee from Savannah, Georgia. And she told me her whole coming out story and she told me about being gay and she told me what her life was like and it was the most intriguing thing I had ever heard in my life. And we became instant friends, very, very close. In the course of 2 years I completely fell madly, crazily head over heels in love with this woman. And it was torturous because she was always in a relationship, and the minute she would get out of one relationship, she would be in another relationship. They thought I was straight, so I just lived this existence. I didn’t tell anybody how I felt about her, I didn’t tell her how I felt about her, I didn’t express myself. And it was torturous.
Then I graduated from college, went back home to Chicago, and worked at my aunt’s interior design firm for the summer. And she calls and she’s like, “Why don’t you come stay here for like the next four or five months because my roommate’s going to be out of town?”
And I’m like, “Okay!”
So I go back to Savannah and I stay at her house and she’s getting back together with her ex-girlfriend. And I am sleeping on her top bunk bed every night and she is below me every night and I am tortured. I’m completely tortured. There are nights where she’s not home and I’m tortured, and then there’s nights where she’s home and I’m tortured, and there’s nights where I go sleep on the couch in the living room because I can’t be in the same room with her because all I want to do is be with this woman, I just want to be with this woman so fucking badly. I’ve never been with a woman. And it was the most exhilarating feeling and the scariest feeling all at the same time.
So flash forward 7 years later, I move to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I finally came out. I continued to torture myself for those 7 years. And I went back to Savannah like a year later to tell this girl that I was in love with her. And she was living in Charleston, South Carolina, with her firefighter partner. And we stayed up talking until 1 o’clock in the morning and I waited until 1 a.m. to tell her, “Listen. I just need you to know, like, all these years you have been such an incredible part of my life. And you haven’t known that. And you’ve been the catalyst for me to be able to find out who I really am and express my truth in the world and my love.”
I was hoping that she would have reflected back, that she had similar feelings at the same time. And she might have but she just didn’t tell me at that moment. So it was hard and it was heartbreaking and it was extremely vulnerable and relieving as well. And I felt some freedom after doing that. We stayed friends for a while, we’re still connected every now and again, but she’s married and has kids.
I hope that my story inspires other people who are scared to speak about how they’re feeling to know that what we feel in our heart is connected to something bigger than us. And it’s real and it’s true. And that it doesn’t have to just be ours, that when we actually get vulnerable enough to share it with somebody else, we’re gifting them a piece of us. And it’s the most beautiful thing that we can do with each other is to gift each other a piece of us. Mostly, especially when it’s love filled and that we shouldn’t be afraid of love and we shouldn’t be afraid of sharing who we are and being authentic.