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And when we decided to exclusively date one another at the age of twenty-five, I knew I wanted to be with her — forever.

I would learn very quickly what this meant for our respective families, in particular, for our mothers.

Dinushka was from a country that outlawed homosexuality and I was from a conservative Baptist home.

Both our families struggled to understand that our sexuality was rooted in our identity and ultimately in our right to love one another.

But it was delicious and different and just right, so perfectly us.

During those conversations over email, she offered me pieces of herself, pieces she had not given to others.

When our first date came around, I desperately wanted to hold her hand during our movie, over lunch, and on the walk back to her apartment that night.

I knew that dating her, committing to her would defy all of the things I thought I knew about myself.

I found myself seen as that “token black girl” and I accepted it. I went to a small high school in a small town on Eastern Long Island located two hours south of New York City.

Because I’d grown up going to schools filled with predominantly white people.

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