At a Halloween celebration final October, Macarena Gomez-Barris, dressed as being a flamenco dancer, released a plate of her do-it-yourself guacamole and examined regarding the boiling pot of fresh corn when you look at the kitchen area. She’d recently divided from her spouse of 12 years, additionally the buddies streaming in now had been wanting to meet her brand brand new love, whom, with this evening, ended up being the pirate within the hat that is three-cornered pumpkins outside. After her wedding split up in 2007, number of those that knew Gomez-Barris had thought she’d be solitary for long—»a catch, » they called her—and these were appropriate.
An animated 38-year-old, Gomez-Barris did actually get it all—a brilliant job, two kids, striking looks. Her household had arrive at america from Chile whenever she ended up being 2 to flee Augusto Pinochet’s army dictatorship and also to pursue the traditional dream that is american. While learning on her master’s level at UC Berkeley, she met a charismatic Chilean exile and fiction journalist called Roberto Leni at a salsa club in san francisco bay area. «We had chemistry that is instant and then he ended up being my true love, » Gomez-Barris claims. They married and eight years later had their child that is first son.
The problem started when they relocated to Los Angeles, where their daughter was created and Gomez-Barris’s scholastic career became popular at the University of Southern Ca. Leni invested his days looking after the household and young ones. «I happened to be when you look at the more role that is powerful» says Gomez-Barris, a PhD and a associate professor when you look at the sociology and US studies and ethnicity divisions. «I made more cash and was struggling to balance might work and house life. «
«Immersed, » is how Leni sets it. «She lived and breathed USC. All her buddies had been teachers, and finally I became obsolete. «
His noble ideals unfortunately clashed with day-to-day realities. «some body needed to worry about earning money to aid our house, » claims Gomez-Barris. Despite efforts to truly save their relationship in guidance, they finished up breaking up.
Solitary once more at 36, Gomez-Barris dated a few males, none really. «they certainly were not certain of on their own inside their jobs or economically, » she claims. «It ended up being an occasion of genuine research and individual independency, and I also became really logical concerning the type of partner we desired and required»—someone, she hoped, that would match her intellectual aspirations but additionally look after her kiddies.
A professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and gender studies at USC at a party one night last March, Gomez-Barris ran into Judith Halberstam, PhD. They’d met in 2004 and admired each other’s scholarly achievements, periodically finding on their own in the campus that is same. But they were seemingly miles apart in their private lives while they shared an affinity for politics and social justice. Halberstam, almost a decade her senior, ended up being freely homosexual.
That night, Halberstam, that has additionally split up by having a partner of 12 years, spotted Gomez-Barris standing throughout the room and thought, «Now, there is a very stunning girl. » «I saw her differently then and developed a huge crush that I have a history of unrequited love with straight women on her, » says Halberstam. «Yet it made me nervous, given. On the other hand, that you do not select whom you love. «
Gomez-Barris realized that Halberstam had been more mindful to her than typical, even flirtatious. «She got up and provided me with the higher seat, as though she wished to look after me personally. I became struck by that, » she states. A few months later on, Halberstam recommended they’re going down for supper, and once again, Gomez-Barris ended up being impressed by characteristics she liked. «She opt for Japanese restaurant, made reservations, picked me personally up inside my place—on time. We felt interested in her power, her charisma. I became enticed. And she paid the bill. Simply the motion had been sexy. She took effort and had been the absolute most person that is take-charge’d ever came across. «
Intrigued as Gomez-Barris had been, it nevertheless never ever took place to her which they could be any thing more than buddies.
For a hot spring evening in Malibu, after going to a movie testing together, Gomez-Barris and Halberstam strolled in the coastline, an attractive red sunset rounding out an ideal night. They kicked down their footwear and went, laughing, through the increasing tide. «when this occurs, things had been faced with sex, » Gomez-Barris recalls. Her feelings deepened, and never very very long later, they truly became fans. «It had been great, and it also felt comfortable, » she claims privatecams associated with the evening they first became intimate. » just just What blew me personally away had been that afterwards, Judith held me personally to her upper body. And so I got passion, closeness, and sweetness. And I also thought, ‘possibly i could get all of the plain things i want now. ‘»