Interview by Rebecca White. Written by Emma Malefakis.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in June, marking 2015 as a big year for the LGBT community. The Three Einstein’s author and writer for The Stranger newspaper, Sarah Galvin, just finished her latest book The Best Part of Our Lives: Stories of Gay Weddings and True Love to Inspire Us All which was released on Dec. 15. The book is a collection of true stories about gay weddings and relationships and love, which demonstrates how LGBT couples have overcome cultural, societal, and personal obstacles. Each chapter follows a different couple’s journey from engagements, to tying the knot, to honeymoons, and more. The book offers a different perspective of marriage, offering insight on different wedding traditions the gay community has made on their own, and reminds readers about the significance of such public celebrations of love. In our exclusive interview with the author, Galvin doesn’t only share her relationship advice, but also talks about her experience of figuring out her own sexuality and gender identity.  

Author Shares Relationship Advice and Experience with Love

What inspired you to write The Best Party of Our Lives, and what messages do you hope readers take from it?

I had been writing this wedding column for The Stranger newspaper and it gave me a different look at weddings that I’ve never had before. I really got inspired from that. I hope what really resonates with readers is the celebration of same-sex marriage becoming legal and what a huge moment that was in history. Also, it doesn’t matter who you are, love is the same for everybody.

Related Link: Lena Dunham Puts Off Celebrity Wedding in Support of Marriage Equality

Which love story really stood out to you or was your favorite to explore and why?

There was a couple Jim and Sterling who had been together for 50 years before they got married. They were both middle school teachers and taught at the same school for about 20 years. They had a lot of crazy stories. At one point they decided to breed Arabian horses together, but nobody would buy them, so they just lived on a farm with horses and a bunch of chickens. In my eyes they have the ideal relationship. They have been through so much together. They had been together in the 60’s, but during that time they had to hide so much. The story of their wedding, having all these people to come together to finally celebrate something they had to hide for so long, I just thought was very moving.

What was your biggest struggle in figuring out your own sexuality/gender identity/coming out?

I guess just the fact that I turned out to be very complicated. It wasn’t just that I was gay, I’m also gender-queer as well. At first I was just like a lot of other kids and thought “oh I’m just gay.” But then I found out my gender was much more complicated. Honestly being gay is one of the least interesting aspects of sexuality. It turns out to not be very vanilla, so that’s a whole other thing to figure out.

What relationship advice would you give someone confused about his or her sexuality or gender?

Well everyone is, so try not to feel too stressed about it. Gender is not a binary. I think that’s something that people really tend to get stressed out over because they realize they don’t fit into one of those two categories and the truth is most people don’t fit into them. Trying to figure out who you are is something that takes your whole life. As far as sexuality is concerned, I think that is cumulatively evolving for most people. I would say don’t think you have to figure out everything at once. Just live your life and try to focus on what makes you comfortable and what makes you happy.

Related Link: Matt Bomer Reveals He Married Partner Simon Halls 3 Years Ago

Your unique style and confidence is your staple. How have you become so comfortable in your own skin and what advice would you give someone struggling with that?

I have my parents to thank for that to some degree. They have been very accepting and cultivated confidence in me. They’re very non-judgmental people. You also need to have a certain degree of confidence to be a good artist. You have to have conviction to invest a certain amount of energy in what you’re doing. Like stage presence for example, no one wants to see a performer stumbling around on stage afraid of who they are and afraid of the audience. If you’re performing and you screw up, just keep dancing. You look better failing spectacularly than making it obvious that you’re afraid of what you’re doing.

Being confident in yourself is an important part of any relationship. What else would you say is an important aspect in a romantic relationship?

Confidence helps for a variety of reasons, but I’d say the most important dating advice is that you make sure you treat yourself conditionally. You could pretty much tell by a person’s behavior towards other people the way they treat themselves. My love advice is that you have to learn how to be a good partner to yourself before you could be one to other people.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you’d like to share with our readers?

I am working on a new poetry book. I started writing it over the summer. It’s going to be a mixture of different types of poems. That’s one of the reasons I like poetry so much, when I sit down to start to write, I never know what I’m going to write about, it’s a series of surprises.  

You can learn more about purchasing Sarah Galvin’s new book The Best Party Of Our Lives from Amazon. If you’re looking for more on Sarah Galvin, check out her articles for The Stranger.