2022 Love List:
Jeremy & Heidi & Jess, Monona, 20 years & 4 years
Colleen Frentzel & Kimberly Blanchette, Janesville, 16 Years
Grace Novie Stolen (She/Her, Ae/Aer) & Martin (Ze/Hir, They/Them), Washburn, 1 Year
Patsy & Vivian Lin, Madison, 2 years
Sylvester Brown & Giordi Molitor, Milwaukee, 2 years
Joseph & David Rogan-Nordstrom, La Farge, 30+ years
Danielle and Bear first met at a dinner party in late 2018, where each of them made a powerful impression on one another. Bear with their singing voice and Danielle with her energy and original songwriting. The two would not have contact for many months. One fateful day Danielle drove her best friend to meet with a cute Tinder date which happened to be Bear’s roommate. Bear and Danielle were reunited.
Months passed, and they would see each other sporadically whenever Danielle visited Madison from Chicago for band practices. Bear’s attraction to Danielle was obvious but Danielle was wary, so she kept her distance for fear of being hurt. One night, Bear showed up unannounced to Danielle’s show. Afterwards, they walked to the lake, talking and laughing until the sun came up. From then on, they would hang out regularly and begin to get closer.
As the pandemic loomed, things went sour for Danielle with her work and living situation in Chicago. Danielle reevaluated what was truly important to her and decided that being with people who loved and cared about her was more important than a well-paying job in a big, lonely city. She moved back home for the lockdown to be closer to Bear and to her own family. After packing all of her belongings up and returning home, she began to feel unwell. She decided to be vulnerable and called Bear to come over and take care of her. Loving Danielle already, Bear immediately packed up a bag and rushed to where Danielle was staying with her mother.
At the same time the shop Bear had been working at prior to the pandemic closed, with the lockdowns giving Bear a much-needed reprieve from the constant grind of creating daily. During this time, Bear, too, had an opportunity to re-evaluate what was most important to them and came to a similar conclusion. They decided to leave this job, in the middle of lockdown, to pursue the dream of a beautiful collective space (now known as giige) with tons of encouragement and reassurance from Danielle.
The two found safety and support from each other. Danielle in being open to receiving love and nurturing, and Bear in facing their fears of the unknown and trusting themself to achieve their dreams. The pandemic kept many apart, but in this case it brought these two queers together.