Love is unconditional. Love has no boundaries, and no matter what our races, religions, and sexual orientations, we all deserve love and to be loved. Talking about boundaries, this is a love story of Vanney who love can not be stopped by distance and the miles apart.

Just like any LGBT+ individual, Vanney, 23 years old and living in Siem Reap, had quite a stressful journey, and she once thought of dying because she couldn’t find out about her sexual identity. Until she found out that she is lesbian and she came out to her parents as they accept her for who she is.

From the love of family to romance, Vanny met her girlfriend, “Page”, who is currently living abroad, about 3 months ago on a dating app. As soon as Vanney saw her girlfriend’s picture on the app she immediately became connected to her. Unexpectedly, her girlfriend made a first move and texted her first. It was a love at first text! As soon as she saw her text, she fell in love with Paige. “I tried to flirt with Paige a lot and after texting each other for 2 weeks, I confessed my love. Unexpectedly, Paige responded with a yes and said that she liked me too! It was the happiest moment for me in my relationship.” exclaimed Vanny. After confessing their love, they started seeing each other and created many happy memories together.

Unfortunately, in a heartwarming love story, there is always a hardship in it. “Paige and her family are Thai but they moved to America and they are living in America. (….) Paige had to come to Thailand to take care of her family’s business which is not related to her studying at all and it made her stressed.” said Vanney. Although the distance of Cambodia and Thailand is just one border away, Vanney and Paige haven’t met yet as traveling is restricted by the global pandemic of COVID-19!

Among this problem, the biggest is that they are planning to meet her parents but Paige hasn’t come out yet and her parents do not know about their relationship. “Paige has grown up in a traditional family and she is the oldest child in the family, so it is hard for her to come out. She is planning to come out next year.” said Vanney. Despite Paige is planning to come out next year, Vanny is very supportive of Paige’s journey as long as she is happy and being herself.

“Whatever it takes, be yourself and you will be the happiest person in the world.” continued Vanney.

They have many struggles to face in this relationship as Paige is not talkative, and she is also having health problems too. Vanney tries her best to take care of Paige, and she gives her space, supports her and tries not to put pressure on Paige as much as possible.

Sooner or later, Vanny and Paige are looking to meet each other soon after the Covid-19 ends. In Vanny’s words, she hopes that by sharing her love story, she could show the world that LGBTQI are people too, and we love like everyone else. “All people should respect LGBTQI people because we are all human and we can do the same thing, we go to work, we eat and we do whatever everyone do because we are all the same, stop judging LGBTQI people.” said Vanney.

This article is written by Nop Navin, a 1st generation participant of Story Corner 2020 which aims to break the stigma on LGBT+ through storytelling and the engagement of youths through dialogue and series of training on gay rights advocacy and basic journalism. Story Corner 2020 is hosted by Buzz Talk Cambodia.

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