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"We're getting married! Kristin -- you've shared in passing several times that you and Jenny invited people to your wedding that may be uncomfortable coming, saying no hard feelings if they opted not to come. Could you elaborate? Got any tips or things you would have done differently? How, in the world, does one actually have that conversation, especially with people you talk to infrequently?"

- Question submitted by anonymous

Kristin Says:

Oh my gosh first of all congratulaaaaaaations! You’re getting married! Woo!

You are correct, I sent an email out to all of my relatives (on my mom’s side) after Jenny and I got engaged. I come from a pretty Catholic extended family, and my feeling on the matter was that I did not want anyone at our wedding who would either feel uncomfortable or who didn’t want to be there! Our wedding day was a celebration of our LOVE, you know?

I am going to share the whole dang letter with you, because I think that it might help a bit with what you are pondering. Here is what I sent:

Hello to my wonderful family.

Did you know that there are 63 of us now?! I saw Grandma a few days ago and she was ready as always with her family facts and data.

I am writing this to all 62 of you (even the babies!), because I love you and I know how much love we all have for each other.

It is safe to assume that our family telephone chain has alerted you all to the fact that I am engaged to get married to my girlfriend of almost three years. Many of you have met Jenny somewhere along the journey, and during that time she has come to occupy a space that fills my entire heart. It’s a pretty big heart, too – so filling it up is an impressive feat.

I have a few things to say to all of you lovely people about this future wedding of mine before I get busy (read: get my mom busy) with save-the-dates and other such activities. Here are those things:

#1: I am so very happy. I know how differently we all walk through this life, and I know that we all have varying beliefs when it comes to love and marriage. I also know, however, that my happiness is something that you all value on some level – just as I value yours. So hooray, at the very least, for being happy!!

#2: I know that for some of you, attending my wedding is reflexive, definite, and without hesitation. I know that for others, it is a point of deep thought and reflection as you weigh your faith alongside your value of family. I also know that for some of you, it is completely impossible for you to be present at the ceremony or reception because of your beliefs.

I need all of you to know that – no matter where your heart falls in that spectrum – I love you, and I respect those beliefs.

One of the strongest grounding principals of my own faith is that, if I expect to be respected and valued as a person, I must always extend that respect to those around me. Our family’s deep commitment to faith and family is something that has shaped me, and I hold that so dear. Please know this!

#3 There are a bunch of things about my life that might be confusing, unclear, or unknown to you. That may be something you are completely at peace with – or it might be something that you wish to talk about further. If you have any questions, any thoughts, or any confusion – please, please talk with me! I understand that we all walk this path very differently, and I value the ability we have as human beings to talk about those differences.

So! There we have it – and here is what I would love from all of you:

Send me an email, give me a call, write me a Facebook message, send a text – whatever is easiest and best for you – and let me know how you are feeling about this wedding of mine.

Some responses might look like:

“As long as you force Patrick to lipsync to Grease Lightning, I am so there.”


“Honey, I love you, but I know this isn’t something that I can attend.”


“Can we talk a little more as I figure out how I feel?”



No matter your response, I won’t ever think that you don’t love me (unless your response is ‘I don’t love you’), and I will always respect and value your beliefs and your place in my life.

Normal save-the-date and invitation activity will commence once I figure out a date and a place, and once I hear from all of you. You can, of course, talk to me on behalf of your families – but I would love to hear from you individually if possible, since we are all so very different.

I love you!

Thanks for reading!




Now, all of us have very varied and complex relationships with our families, so some of this might really resonate with you, and some of it might not be quite how you want to handle the conversation! I was really, really happy with how this letter was received, and I did have many meaningful, and sometimes super difficult, conversations with my family after I sent this out. Many of them responded with incredible support. Many responded with questions. Some of them let me know that they loved me but they couldn’t be there because of their beliefs.

I felt, at the end of the day, that I had opened the doors to many of them who might otherwise have simply sat in silence or been torn up by conflicting feelings and guilt. I was happier having opened those doors. That was my path, and it certainly does not need to be yours.

Do what feels right to you, and at the center of your focus, put your partnership with this beautiful, amazing person you are soon to marry. Your wedding is about the two of you, and the love and happiness you bring each other.



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"Do you know any long-term relationships between bisexual women and lesbians? I keep trying to look things up on the Internet and all I see are articles about bisexual women and long-term relationships with men and while it's the Internet with not the most reliable statistics available, it's been making me feel worse about having the intense feels for this bisexual woman I am dating."

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says

Well, how about me and my wife, for starters…


Brooklyn Rooftop, 2010 (seven months into dating)



Austin Hotel Bathtub, 2016 (three years after getting married)


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“What do you do when your relationship goes from feeling HOLY HELL AMAZING to more, like, regular and good but not so much in need of caps-lock anymore?”

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Mahdia Lynn says:

Good news! Every relationship eventually faces the transition from its star struck honeymoon “i s2g this girl farts rainbows” phase to something a little more everyday-normal and even-occasionally-boring. This is a good thing! If people in relationships were always stuck in that early infatuation stage,nobody would get anything done. We’d all be too busy soulfully gazing into each others’ eyes to go to work or pay taxes or remember to turn the stove off. Society would CRUMBLE.

There’s a lot going on when you first get together and hit it off with somebody. There’s a very strong hormonal side to infatuation—all that dopamine and serotonin and chemical soup firing off in your brain that feels amazing and shades everything in shiny brilliance, making every moment seem like the most real thing you’ve ever felt. Combine that with the excitement of getting to know somebody new and funny and interesting? That cocktail of hormones and exciting new-ness is an AMAZING feeling. Love is a hell of a drug. Everything your partner does seems like an expression of the divine made human. But that intoxication fades—eventually the feelings become familiar, the hormonal cocktail calms down, you get to know a girl well enough and suddenly a fart is just a fart.

But is love less meaningful when it’s less intoxicating?

Here’s a story: I recently started re-reading my favorite book series for the second time this year. It’s maybe my seventh go at the trilogy since I first read it five years ago. The first time I read it, those books took over my life. I canceled plans, I called in sick to work, I survived on crackers and tap water because I could barely remind myself to eat. I couldn’t do anything but read. And it was amazing! I loved every moment of it. Every turn of the page was ripe with potential, every character’s arc and success and death happened in real time; it consumed me, and I welcomed the ecstasy and devastation of it all. In the end, my friends understood my absence—we’ve all been there, right? My paycheck was less forgiving.

Going at the book series a second time, it felt different than it did that first ecstatic, electric marathon which consumed me six months earlier. With another go around, the perspective and familiarity let me see patterns and techniques I hadn’t noticed at first. Here now, a seventh time turning these pages, I swear I know every beat to every chapter. Yet somehow I’m still seeing new patterns, making connections I hadn’t before, relating to the characters in new ways as my own experiences inform my reading. It doesn’t stop being my favorite book just because I know what happens at the end of chapter twelve in book three —if anything the familiarity is comforting, and I know there will always be something new in those pages for me to find. If I expected to feel the exact same as I did that first read five years ago, I’d never read again.

If you expect being with your partner to feel the exact same as it does in that early hormonally charged infatuation stage you can find yourself jumping from relationship to relationship, chasing that high and burning out and running on to the next. Let your relationship be like a favorite, cherished book. Ride those waves of ecstatic, iridescent newness. Grow with it, let it change you. Don’t mistake familiarity for boredom. If this is someone you’re meant to be with you’ll be finding new joys together again and again.

THEN AGAIN maybe you get through that hormonally charged infatuation stage and come out on the other side to realize you and your partner aren’t meant to be together. That’s okay, too! The same way you shouldn’t mistake familiarity for boredom, don’t mistake the fireworks of young love as a sign you need to stay together forever. ALWAYS REMEMBER that wanting to leave is enough.

I can’t tell you if you should stay together or not. How do you feel? Is it just the fading of those fireworks that you’re afraid of, or is it a realization of irredeemable difference now that you’re not blinded by them? A little soul searching, probably a few good hard conversations with your partner would be a good idea. Talk it out. Listen. Trust your gut.

Once you get through that first ecstatic read, it may just turn out you’ve found your favorite book.


Mahdia Lynn is a writer, public speaker and community organizer living on the stolen and colonized land currently recognized as the United States of America. When she isn’t working as coordinator of the Transgender Muslim Support Network she covers the geek beat as a staff writer for Muslim Girl, helps organize the annual LGBTQ Muslim Retreat, or writes as tumblr’s resident trans muslimah satirist, she somehow finds the time to be a professional chef. Check out her Facebook for new articles or upcoming speaking engagements, her website for collected works, or Twitter if you’re bored I guess? She never really figured out what twitter is for.

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“My gf and I have been together for a little over 6 years but lately nothing seems to click like before. It’s obvious that we both still love each other and want it to work but it feels like we have to work super hard on things that used to just flow naturally. I really don’t want to lose her (we’re each others 1st everything) but I feel like it shouldn’t be this hard if it was meant to work. How to know when its over?”

Question Submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

I think you’re right. You’re recognizing a lot of key parts of this (both how deep your love is and how complicated it has become).

Relationships grow and change, absolutely, but you also have to keep in mind that people grow and change, and those two things (the relationship and the people) don’t always grow and change together in a way that fits.

I don’t know you’re relationship, but I’m one of those people who believes a good relationship hinges on complete honesty, openness, and communication. If you’re hiding something, not sharing the reality of all of your feelings, unable to understand your partner’s point of view, holding on to tiny issues because you don’t want to make a fuss, etc. If you’re doing any of that, you are getting in the way of having a good relationship. If you ARE doing all of the honesty and communication, and it’s not working, that means the relationship doesn’t work.

Think about the best possible version of your relationship. What does that include? Know that right now, it is completely possible to have a perfect relationship with someone. You can be with someone that you admire, who also admires you, you can be with someone who values sex the same way you do, you can be with someone who fights with you and comes out on the other side with more understanding than ever before, you can be with someone that truly challenges you and helps you to grow, you can be with someone who makes you feel so fucking special every single day. Is that the relationship you are in right now? If not, can the two of you talk about it, be honest with one another, and get to that place? Maybe you’ve just hit a bump in the road and you can figure it out.

If there is no way that you see yourself unbelievably happy with this person in the future, that’s okay. Relationships come into our lives for so many reasons, you will learn and grow regardless of how long it lasts. Maybe this one started out with a bang and now it has to end because you’re in two different worlds. Maybe you started out looking for the same things, but you’ve both changed and grown so much that those ‘same things’ are now vastly different. Please believe me when I say there is a way to have a relationship that will make you feel amazing all the time, and when you don’t feel amazing, you’re in the middle of a fight that will take you one step further into amazing.

I want everyone in the world to stop settling. Stop settling for a relationship that used to be good. Either work together to make it good again, or move on. If you’re both sitting there like, “man i miss the love of my life, how do i get it back,” put in the effort and get it back. If you’re both sitting there being like “man, this isn’t even fun anymore and I am doing most things out of obligation” you’re both wasting each other’s time and you know it. Let that person go, it’s only fair to them. You can find a way to be in her life and not have to feel like you’re both settling and unhappy. If you’re contemplating it being over, it’s probably over.