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Nested Lez: What's your secret?

(Editor's note: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News team welcomes the return of Nested Lez, a popular social column that ran for many years in the local monthly print newspaper, Lavender Lens. Amy hopes to share the challenges and triumphs of the "nested" life every other week, or as often as her ever-increasing schedule allows.)

Eight years ago, I wrote my first Nested Lez column for the Lavender Lens (then known simply as The Lavender). In it, I tried to explain what the column would represent:

While I know that no one person can truly speak on behalf of any part of the community, let alone the entire community, I would like to express the viewpoint from someone who is not an [LGBT] advocate, nor on the club scene every week. I happily find myself as a "nested lez" and I would like to share that perspective with you.

A lot has changed since that first column was published:

  • The Lavender Lens is no longer in print.
  • I've become more involved in the community as an advocate and through the GSDBA, AFCSL, and various other activities.
  • California legalized same-sex marriages and then banned them (but not before I got married).
  • Nested Lez briefly became a video column (until I realized I have no patience to edit videos).
  • SDGLN offered me a new home for Nested Lez.

However, one thing is still the same: I am still a nested lesbian.

I have been with my wife Julie for over ten years.

Our first date was in the summer of 2001. We had a commitment ceremony and registered as domestic partners in 2003 and were legally married in 2008 (about four months before Prop 8).

People ask us: "What's your secret?"

My answer: "It's a lot of hard work."

Fairy tales, romance novels, and movies groom us to look for the "happily ever after."

It's a nice concept, and yes, I do believe you can (and should) be happy more times than not with your partner, but the idea that once you find your soul mate, everything will be simple and beautiful, is bull.

Maintaining a loving, long-term relationship needs to involve a lot of open and honest communication (and I mean A LOT); with respect, compromise, passion, support, forgiveness, compassion, growth, and (of course) love.

There will be laughter, tears, anger, boredom, and excitement.

There are tough times, but when you find the right person for you, the unconditional love and joy will be worth the fight. Personally speaking, every rough patch Julie and I have hit and worked through together has made us even stronger.

So, I guess that's my secret: be willing to face the challenges head on – no matter how scary – and find a way to work together to find a solution.

Whether you are a Nested Lez reader from the Lavender Lens days, or if this was your first peek at the column, thanks for reading. I hope to share a glimpse of the nested life and give you some insights that just might make you think.

Until next time.

Amy C. Teeple is the author of Nested Lez, a column formerly published in the print edition of The Lavender Lens. Drawing inspiration from her 10+ year relationship with her wife Julie, she explores topics related to life as a "nested" lesbian. Born and raised a Jersey girl, Amy has embraced SoCal living, but still visits the East Coast at least once a year. Loving San Diego's beautiful year-round weather, she is active in softball, biking, and running, and has a not-so-secret love affair with lesbian romance books. Amy is also the owner and lead writer at ACT Web Consulting, a web writing and online marketing agency. You can reach her at nested_lez@earthlink.net.