...when love feels like acceptance
Let’s be honest, finding love before COVID-19 started impacting our communities and forcing us into national stay-at-home orders was not easy. Folks are flaky, dating apps suck, there are no social spaces for black queer folks to meet one another and dating in general is just really hard. But for new couple, Trisha and Cierra, the pandemic provided them the time and space they needed to connect on a level that is easily turning into a lifetime of love.
With similarities around their love for traveling and career aspirations, Trisha and Cierra have taken the past five months to build true partnership, commitment and acceptance with one another.
Watch parts of LBH’s conversation of love with Trisha and Cierra above or read it in full below:
How did you all meet? And how long have you all been together?
Trisha: We met on Tinder, April 19th and then we ended up meeting in person the 20th, so the next day.
Cierra: Yeah we met on 4/20. It felt like we were talking for like a week, because we had talked a lot about a lot of things in one night.
Trisha: We just made five months officially yesterday.
Cierra, what about Trisha stood out to you the most when you first met her?
Cierra: The thing that stood out to me the most was how mature she was, and [that] she was really trying to get to know me. She was really taking the time to get to know me, and I’ve never had that before. I'm a person that rushes things, but like, she slowed me down. And then we just fell into a really nice natural vibe.
Trisha, how did you know you wanted to make Cierra your partner?
Trisha: She was consistent, and she gained my trust quickly. She was very open with herself and I like really appreciated that. She was very supportive in a lot of things I did, like me moving to a whole new state. I’m from Chicago, she's from here. So, [when] I came here and got settled, she helped me with that. She’s really down for me, and I liked that. I really never had that before, with somebody in a relationship that I have been with. They’ve never actually showed me that they cared so much.
"I just, I love her a lot and I would go to the end of this earth for her."
You all mentioned that your relationship is fairly new, what are some healthy emotional habits you all are creating together as a couple?
Both: We talk about our problems.
Trisha: If we are mad, 10 minutes later, [we will say to each other] “okay this is why I was mad.”
Cierra: Our arguments probably don't last longer than an hour.
Trisha: And trust me, we argue. But we [also] get over it because we call each other out on our bull.
Cierra: And then we apologize, because at the end of the day, I don't want to be at odds with her.
Trisha, you mentioned that you've recently just moved to the area. Did you move for Cierra or were you already planning to move there?
Trisha: I had already had plans to move out here, but she just made it an even more firm [decision] as to why I should stay. I had already said I was moving here because I wanted to be closer to New York. But she really made it firm, like, okay, I'm really staying here now. I got my love, I got my partner, I got my job, I got my friends, I'm good.
Cierra, considering that Trisha is new to the area and doesn't really have her tribe there yet, does it make you feel any pressure being her only source of family?
Cierra: I don't feel any type of pressure. She definitely has some friends here from when she went to school in D.C. [But I did] bring her into my family, because I have my whole maternal family here, like my grandparents, my mom' and sister. And she's met all of them and they all know her has my girlfriend. We might even spend Thanksgiving together this year at my house.
Trisha, it seems like you were brought into Cierra's family dynamic quite early in the relationship. How was that experience for you?
Trisha: I'm not going to lie; it was kind of weird [at first]. But her mom was cool, and we clicked early on. And so is all of her other family, her grandfather, grandma, and dad. Everybody has been nice and welcoming.
In what ways are you preserving your individualities that you all are part of a unit?
Cierra: We can be ourselves around each other, and she really respects me in my truest state. I don't know? It's not hard to be original with her.
Trisha: You know how some people like to come in and [try to] change a person [to fit them]? We don't have to do that. I accept her for how she is. She’s taught me a lot of patience. And it's like on both levels, you are learning stuff and growing from each other. I think that's how [we] really keep our individualities. We don't try to change one another.
As two feminine presenting womxn in a relationship, do you all ever feel like others in the community don’t take you relationship as serious as they would others?
Cierra: No, they don't take us serious. They think it's like a performance.
Trisha: [They look at us like] somebody’s fantasy. But no, it's not your fantasy, it's actually real. And it's not a phase as people like to say.
Cierra: It is a little hard sometimes. I have a lot of anxiety, so it's a little hard for me to be out in public and not catch an attitude because somebody is coming at her. Or people are coming at me and she's getting an attitude. People can be disrespectful and it does put a damper on things. But I guess we are getting used to it.
"I know that she's here for me, and I really like it, I really like it here and I really want It to stay like this."
And do gender roles exist in your relationship?
Cierra: She grabs things for me and she holds a few more bags.
Trisha: But that’s because I'm 6.2, and I’ve been lifting weights all my life. So of course, I am going to grab something heavier when I see her with it.
Cierra: She is significantly bigger than me but, other than that, like, grabbing a few bags, we pretty much just do whatever. Especially because we both live by ourselves, so stuff like household duties, we both do individually.
I know that you all have traveled quite a bit since getting together. What have those experiences been like? Is it easy to vacation with one another?
Trisha: It’s been very fun. When we first started talking, we had been talking for like two weeks, and we went to Ocean City. It was very random, but we had fun. And then after that, we went to Florida with her family.
Cierra: We drove 14 hours there and back together.
Trisha: First of all, I drove the whole way there.
Cierra: [Laughs] It's easy to vacation with each other.
Trisha: Especially when you plan. She is a very good planner.
How have you all coped with not being able to travel as freely in the pandemic?
Trisha: The good thing is we are homebodies.
Cierra: Yeah, we definitely enjoy our time at home together. We probably value that more than anything.
What kind of things do you guys do together in the house?
Trisha: We watch movies and anime cartoons.
Cierra: And we have been painting a lot actually.
Trisha: We also started our YouTube channel so we are doing that a lot. Follow our YouTube channel and subscribe.
"And then we apologize, because at the end of the day, I don't want to be at odds with her."
Circling back to the fact that you guys are still early in your relationship, what type of things are you guys looking forward to in the future as a couple?
Trisha: We’ve talked about our future a lot. I’ve always had plans to move down here for like a year and then move to New York to pursue my modeling career. And she’s been very supportive that. So, we've been talking about possibly moving to New York together.
Cierra: I just look forward to continuing what we're doing now because we really do have a healthy way of doing things. It’s kind of crazy how it (our relationship) has developed so early [on]. It feels like we've been dating for a year.
Okay, last question, what does being loved by her feel like?
Cierra: It feels like really nice. I truly feel appreciated, probably for like the first time in my life. I've been through a lot of stuff, and she's nice to talk and I’ve [been able] to open up about a lot of things to her. I just feel like she's my safe zone. I like being around her, and when I'm by myself, I don't even feel the same. I just, I love her a lot and I would go to the end of this earth for her.
Trisha: I love you too.
Cierra: I really do.
Trisha: I've never really had nobody I've been in a relationship and it was genuine on both perspectives. I don’t have to question anything and that's what I like the most. I know that she's here for me, and I really like it, I really like it here and I really want It to stay like this.
Written by: Kee Simone, LBH Editor-in-Chief (@thebaddiegalore)
Support, follow + subscribe to Trisha and Cierra's Youtube channel.