I started drawing this autobiofictional comic ten years ago, in the aftermath of my first big heartbreak. It lay forgotten, half-complete, among the many other projects I put on hold as I finished school, lived my life, and grew up. When I rediscovered it, I began the painstaking process of finishing it–not because I am still the girl in the comic but because this is a story I never got to tell. I grieved this loss quite alone, in the shadow of homophobia and shame.

It may not seem like a Pride story, but for me it is. My ability to publish this story for all to see, including my family, is hard-won.

The ghost of this first love no longer haunts me. It’s been so long, after all. But I look back on us both with tenderness. Here’s to a world where queer love is not starved nor punished, but nourished and celebrated.

Happy Pride, everyone.