Lesbian Couple Shows Strength


Jurneai and Abby originally didn’t tell their parents about being lesbian, and once Jurnei and Abby did come out to their parents, they’ve faced many barriers to stay together, but have persevered and are still together. (Photo by Ian Heye)

June 28, 2015 was a day to remember; it was the day  the court case Obergefell v. Hodges Arkansas legalized gay marriage. Gay couples across the state rejoiced as they could finally be married to the person they’ve loved for years; however, this ruling was overturned later. But this feeling remained and didn’t just apply for gay couples; all gay people felt happy because they could finally begin to accept themselves and be accepted by the people around them. Since Valentine’s Day was originally created by the Catholic church and the Bible stating that marriage is supposed to be between man and woman. So, where do gay couples and individuals stand on Valentine’s Day and what are their stories of love and coming out?

Sophomore Jurneai Jackson and junior Abbagail Pearson are a lesbian couple at Central, and their relationship is inspiring and happy. Their Valentine’s day celebration is typical for most couples.

“We give each other presents and try to spend as much time with each other, as much as we can,” Jurneai said.

According to Abby, last year was the first time they celebrated together, and they had their first kiss that night, but this year they decided on going to get breakfast together. Jurneai and Abby been together for 11 months, but have only recently come out to their parents, and they were there for each other when they did come out.


“The way I came out was I first presented my girlfriend to her [my mom] as like a friend, so I guess I was lying for a long time, so she [my mom] was very mad that I was lying to her,” Jurneai said.

Jurneai’s coming out story can show that coming out may not be a total nightmare. Her parents didn’t deny who she was or try to disown her; they were angry at her for not telling the truth. Unfortunately not all stories may be like this. Abby had a different coming out experience.

“Since we’d been dating so long, I felt it was time to come out. And of course, my dad– he’s a pastor– didn’t really take it that well,” Abby said.

“He started making her pay for everything like rent and her car, so it’s hard for her,” said Jurneai.

The drama one faces with coming out depends on the family. On one end, the person is accepted with open arms. In others, the family may completely deny who the person is and maybe even try to disown them. But being gay doesn’t necessarily mean the family’s acceptance is the only problem an individual may encounter. Sometimes being in a relationship can draw some unwanted attention in public.

“If we hold hands, I feel like everyone is staring, and it’s kind of uncomfortable. I don’t care what they think, but it’s just knowing that they’re looking at you doesn’t feel right,”  Abby said.

This may come as a surprise to some that gay people still have to worry about being looked at in a strange way, even though gay couples aren’t mythical creatures anymore; however, according to the FBI, sexual orientation hate crimes account for 20 percent of all hate crimes and with hate crimes on the rise, strange looks in public at gay people may become a normal occurrence. Additionally, racial hate crimes account for 47 percent of all hate crimes. Since Jurneai and Abby are an interracial lesbian couple, they fear for their future.

“Looking into the future, I’m scared of our child getting bullied because of us,” Jurneai said. “But honestly I have no other fear because I know that we are both strong and won’t let that stuff get to us because we will be there for each other.”

Regardless of whether or not a family tries to disown a child for being gay, there will almost always be a shoulder for Abbey to lean on: a friend. She has had a tough time with her family since she came out, but her friends are always there to support her.

“Ever since I came out, my dad and I haven’t been able to hold a conversation without him insisting I break up with Jurneai. Throughout the whole experience my friends have really been a rock to me,” Abby said. “I came out to my friends last year when Jurneai and I first started dating, and they have been nothing but amazing. Whenever my Dad and I get into an argument about it [being gay], I always know if anything gets bad I can stay with one of them. But I know he loves me, and he’s just doing what he thinks is right.”

Even though Abby has a rocky relationship with her father, she doesn’t hate him. As troubling as coming out can be, gay people may still love their parents and still worry about them.

“My biggest fear of my mom is that she thinks that this [being gay] is her fault, and it’s not. I think she feels that I have a negative look on men now. Being gay is just who I am,” Jurneai said.

Being gay means being strong. Coming out may be an emotionally tough experience, depending on the household, but one shouldn’t have to worry about not being loved. In this day and age, accepting someone as being gay is almost a social norm. Many friends will welcome these friends with open arms, and even if parents are fully against a child being gay, they often still love their child regardless.