Larissa (39), an artist, art instructor and student has been with Kelley (38), who does private security and is studying sound engineering, for 14 years. This fun-loving Maryland couple graciously agreed to share their love story below:
Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you meet?
Larissa: On an online chat site. I think Kel approached me first. I was venting about a problem I was having and she offered to talk.
BL3: What attracted you to each other?
Larissa: I was immediately attracted to Kel’s personality. She was easy to talk to and offered me good advice. She also sounded really good over the phone.
Kelly: I was attracted to Larissa’s personality; she was soo funny. She made me laugh and it made for interesting conversation.
BL3: When did you first know you were in love with each other?
Larissa: She had come to visit me and we were headed back home on the metro rail from being at the museums all day. It was her last day and she had mentioned she had to pack and get ready to leave the next day. I just broke down on the train like someone ran over my dog. I did not want her to leave. She came over and sat next to me, hugged me, and said she wasn’t going anywhere. I knew then I couldn’t let her go. I didn’t just love her, I was in love with her.
Kelly: I knew when I first came to see Larissa; she was my breath of fresh air. She had all the qualities I was looking for and more, it was when I was gearing to go back home to New York that I knew I belonged with that woman and I would be a damn fool to leave her miles away. That was the moment I realized she was my future and I loved her.
BL3: Who said the words first?
Larissa: I think she did … so long ago, wow!
Kelly: She did.
BL3: What do you love about each other?
Larrisa: I love the fact that Kel is a genuine and loving person. She will always be true to herself and strong for others and she doesn’t feel like she has to put on a front for anybody. She is the only woman I think I could ever love, and if I tried to love another, my heart would be hers forever.
Kelly: Her strength and will power. She inspires me to be greater than great, and always remain true to who I am. She loves so hard and I’m happy she can give me that. She makes me feel secure and loved.
BL3: When did you first know that you were a lesbian?
Larissa: I was about 16 but I didn’t define as me being a lesbian. I just knew I had a long and growing interest in females that got stronger as I got older. I didn’t use the term “lesbian” until I was in my early twenties.
Kelly: I had an idea when I was very young that I was “different.” One afternoon I saw a commercial on television about homosexuals. That’s when I was able to identify who I was. That was around the age of 10.
BL3: How did you handle that knowledge?
Larissa: I didn’t really think too much of it. It didn’t freak me out or make me depressed. As I got older and I became more informed about sexuality, I was able to define my own more and learn to accept it as just a part of who I am.
Kelly: At first, I had an ocean of emotions. I didn’t want to be “different,” but I knew how to be no one but Kelly. I spent my teen years wanting to jump off the nearest curb, lol. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I became confident and began my “lesbian puberty.” Lol.
BL3: How did your families first react to your relationship?
Larissa: My family was cool with it. My mom said, “Just don’t hurt my daughter and you are alright with me.”
Kelly: My family has never supported me being a lesbian, so it’s no surprise they didn’t and still don’t support my relationship with Larissa. They’re very religious individuals.
BL3: Are you religious?
Larissa: Neither of us are religious.