2022 Love List: Grace Novie Stolen (She/Her, Ae/Aer) & Martin (Ze/Hir, They/Them)

by | Jan 1, 2022 | 0 comments

2022 Love List:

Jeremy & Heidi & Jess, Monona, 20 years & 4 years
Colleen Frentzel & Kimberly Blanchette, Janesville, 16 Years
Patsy & Vivian Lin, Madison, 2 years
Sylvester Brown & Giordi Molitor, Milwaukee, 2 years
Joseph & David Rogan-Nordstrom, La Farge, 30+ years
Bear Cunningham & Danielle Jordan, Madison, 2 years

Menomonie, Downsville, Bayfield, Ashland, and Washburn. These are all the cities we’ve lived in this last year. Martin also lived in Eau Claire. Maintaining safe, stable housing as a trans person is hard. And as we found out when Grace took a job on Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, finding rental housing in the northwoods is pretty hard, too. But through it all, we’ve been together. Neither of us can even begin to imagine what the last year would have been like without each other to lean on.

We met on the apps. Both of us were looking for something, but weren’t quite sure what. Grace had left a relationship that turned long-distance after she and her ex moved two hours away—in opposite directions—from Wausau to transfer to different colleges. Martin was freshly out of a multi-year health flare and ready to commence mingling. We both had some bad dates before we matched and went for a hike by the lake in Menomonie. As you do in a small town, we drove around for a few hours after and have been driving around Wisconsin ever since.

When we got up here to the Bay Area, we connected with people right away. During our second week living out of a bedroom in Bayfield, we went to the first meeting of a group planning the bay’s first public pride. Not all rural queers leave for the city, and we met some great people through organizing that event.

Two moves later, we’re settling down in Washburn with the goofiest cat, Gysmo, and the world’s greatest lake in view. We’re 20 minutes from two national parks. Pines take over at the edge of town. We’re living a dyke’s dream. Our dykey dream. We’re both done living through a series of major life changes, and ready to enjoy this quieter chapter in our lives.

It took a while, but we’re so happy to be here. We’ve had our fair share of struggles in life, but our relationship only grows stronger with each hurdle we face. Fighting through poverty and illness feels worthwhile. Moving through a world in chaos feels possible, because at the end of the day, we still have each other.

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