” I Want People to Know That There’s Not One Type of Love. There are a Billion Types.”

by Tyunique Nelson

My name is Tyunique Nelson and I’m from Philadelphia, PA. My story started in 9th grade. I got bullied in school because of some other incidents that had been with another student, and I was really depressed for a long time. I started to become suicidal and then I met my partner for 2 years now and everything became better.

We started talking on Facebook because he liked all my statuses and he commented on everything, and I was like, okay, let’s give this person a chance. And we started dating and I started experimenting with my sexuality more. When we first met and I was really depressed, he had some of the same issues, he dealt with cutting and depression and personality disorders so we kind of matched in that aspect but we needed different things to help each other out. So I just needed someone to sit and listen to me talk about things, like I would talk about things going on with my family. I have a single mom, sometimes we don’t have money for everything, or sometimes I just want someone to talk to about my day. When I met Alex he was sort of like my shield or my protector from things like that. Sometimes he would say something to somebody else about sticking up for me or he would just be that person to tell me that I wasn’t those things that they said I was so he would come in and take me away from all that. And I would feel way better, I would feel way better about myself, about the situation.

When we first started dating Alex identified as Nadia because he hadn’t transitioned yet, so he identified as Nadia and I had to explain to my mom that I liked this person. So my mom blamed my dad, my dad blamed my mom, and I didn’t blame anybody because I knew this is just me. So I had to go on like that but I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16. And I had just turned 15 because it was the beginning of the school year. So I wasn’t allowed to date. My mom wasn’t even addressing the same-sex couple part, she was just like, you’re not old enough to date, you’re not emotionally stable for that, none of that, that can’t happen right now. We dated secretly for about a year and then I turned 16 and I was allowed to date so me and Alex would date but my mom still felt not okay with it because Alex’s mom wasn’t okay with us dating. So we continued to date secretly on Alex’s side but pretty much openly on my side.

So we went through that for a really long time and then Alex started to come out to more of his family because a lot of, not a lot, but some of his family are homosexual so he came out to them and he told them and that was his support system. And I found my support system through internships and youth organizations that are LGBTQ focused and he found a couple family members. So then eventually he came out to me after we were together after 2 years that he was trans and I was totally supportive of it because it’s the same person, it’s just a different name and different pronouns.

We have this one thing like when we make promises to each other, he would be like, I promise you tomorrow things will be better or something like that. And we’d get pinkies like this and go like this and we call it a whisper kiss. And we lock pinkies and we kiss like that. And it was just something cute or something sweet. I knew it wasn’t, he wasn’t promising it because he knew nothing bad would ever happen to me, bad things happen sometimes. I knew he was just promising because it was what I needed to feel better in the moment. And I knew that he knew that eventually he would need something like that from me and I needed something like that from him now but we would just help each other in the moment and make everything better eventually.

I want to share my story with the world because I want people to know that there’s not one type of love, there’s a billion types. Special connections happen everywhere and they’re sometimes easy to find and they’re sometimes hard to find, but there are ways to get through it and there are ways you can get around the obstacles that stand in your way, so just be a wonderful couple.

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