Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love has come out as being in a same-sex relationship with her best friend.
Elizabeth made this announcement on her Facebook page, where she shared that she is in a relationship with her best friend, Rayya Elias. Alongside the reveal of their relationship, however, we also learned the heartbreaking news that Rayya has terminal cancer.
Apparently, Elizabeth realised that she had feelings for Rayya when she was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
Elizabeth wrote: “In the moment I first learned of Rayya’s diagnosis, a trap door opened at the bottom of my heart (a trap door I didn’t even know was there) and my entire existence fell straight through that door. From that moment forward, everything became about HER. I canceled everything in my life that could be canceled, and I went straight to her side, where I have been ever since.”
“Many of you already know who Rayya Elias is to me. She’s my best friend, yes, but it’s always been bigger than that. She’s my role model, my traveling companion, my most reliable source of light, my fortitude, my most trusted confidante. In short, she is my PERSON.”
But something happened to my heart and mind in the days and weeks following Rayya’s diagnosis. Death — or the prospect of death — has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya.”
“And I have no more time for denying that truth. The thought of someday sitting in a hospital room with her, holding her hand and watching her slide away, without ever having let her (or myself!) know the extent of my true feelings for her…well, that thought was unthinkable. Here is where we stand now. Rayya and I are together. I love her, and she loves me. I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be — the only place I can be.”
Elizabeth went on to discuss how she wanted to be able to live openly with Rayya, and she no longer wanted to live in secrecy.
“I need to be able to walk into any room in the world with Rayya on my arm, feeling relaxed enough to stand comfortably in simple openness about who we actually are to each other. Sure, I could pretend that Rayya is still just my best friend, but that would be … you know … pretending. Pretending is demeaning, and it makes you weak and confused, and it’s also a lot of work. I don’t do that kind of work anymore.”
“Trust me: We will not be wasting a moment of our time together, for as much time as we are given.”