Part 4 of our series #dubiststark: Vanessa and Ina. The two Berliners are already among the women who change the world. In the BRIGITTE.de interview they explain why they are usually smooching on Instagram.
2019 is the year of strong women! Today comes the third part of our series #dubiststark! Every month, we present an admirable woman who moves, inspires and encourages us. This time there are even two strong ladies: Ina and Vanessa. The two study and live in Berlin – and want to encourage people to stand by their identity, not to hide and go their own way, even if it is beyond the traditional lifestyles. Check out our Instagram channel for more on inspirational women!
Humid? Lesbian? Bi? Who cares?! What sexual orientation we have, is now well known no matter tooooal and üüüü no longer an issue. After all, we live in a tolerant society where homosexual couples may even enter the holy state of marriage.
So far, so theoretical. Only the reality of life looks different. Especially if you grow up in a Brandenburg village, where at 6 pm the liverwurst casserole comes to the dinner table. Then, the only reality Close to the theory described the word even, because it implies that there just yet is still something special that gays and lesbians are allowed to marry …
Puberty + unsafe + lesbian + village = not so nice …
At any rate, Ina and Vanessa grew up in such a Brandenburg village and for them, sexual orientation was always an issue – especially their own and, above all, an unpleasant one for a long time. But not one that you talked about or with which you have deliberately dealt with. “As teenagers, we both believed we were boys,” says Ina. “Our parents always asked us if we had a boyfriend or a date with a boy, so we did not consider anything else . “
They say they could have guessed it much sooner, they say. For example, because as teenagers they never felt so wholly owned by the other girls in their class. Or because they found cool series that no-one else could do anything with. Or because they naturally considered women attractive – does not that do anybody? There is nothing here! But all of that could mean that they are lesbian, the idea came to Ina and Vanessa only some time, numerous frustrating and unsettling experiences and countless lonely moments later …
How they really got to know each other – and themselves
At home, Vanessa and Ina went to the same high school for a few years. They knew each other fleetingly but were never very close. Girlfriends? Nope! Both did their job nicely, each for themselves – or for their parents, teachers, circle of friends … After all, they had the same goal after leaving school (independently of each other): Berlin , into freedom!
But even there would not have changed much for the two – would not Ina had come to the glorious idea to have their hair cut off. And would not Vanessa have found the courage to write to her school acquaintance for her first Insta post, which shows her without a long blond braid. In fact, together they have laid the foundation for their friendship . And of course for what became of it.
In the beginning, Ina and Vanessa were just friends. Especially Ina took a while – about half a year – until she understood that she loves Vanessa. “We were very insecure and just could not believe it in the beginning, we thought it might just be curiosity,” says Ina. But over time, they became inseparable, and what they thought was curiosity turned out to be that pleasure that they already heard, but which they themselves had never felt before. That was clear. But first (unfortunately) only for Ina and Vanessa. Finally, the village in Brandenburg had to be informed about the matter …
Check out this post on Instagram
The coming-out via WhatsApp
In the early stages of their relationship, public kissing, holding hands, or whatever else might suggest that they are together, was taboo for Vanessa and Ina. Hardly anyone knew that something was going on between them, most of them thought they were best friends . “Some of our family members suspected something because we were together all the time, but we simply did not have the guts to tell them,” says Ina. Only after more than a year did they confess their relationship. “We shared it with WhatsApp and it was really difficult for us to come out,” Ina says. “Before you can say something, your own inner acceptance has to be there first.” And where should this acceptance suddenly come from for something that does not occur in the worldview you grew up with …?
Meanwhile, the two female Berliners have this acceptance and finally accepted who they are : Ina and Vanessa, 23 and 22 years old, students in Berlin, for two and a half years a couple, make-up happy, both like no butter. A few relationships have been broken since they came out, but most of their relatives and acquaintances have responded well – acceptance is mostly contagious, as is (self-) love …
Why smooch photos on Instagram?
Clearly, Ina and Vanessa could live happily ever after in the quiet Berlin until the end of their days (or love) – and they will not do it. Because they can not forget how hard it was for them. How lonely they felt as adolescents, how often they doubted themselves and how long they later kept their love hidden in fear and insecurity. Because they know from their own experience that our society is far from being as tolerant as we wish (here you read some of the absurd prejudices with which they are confronted as lesbians again and again). And because they are finally happy with each other and give each other strength – and wish this happiness to others.
That’s why Ina and Vanessa created a shared Instagram account in September 2018 where they post photos of themselves – mostly smooching.
“We want to show that we can kiss wherever we want, we do not have to be ashamed or hide, it’s supposed to be normal for two women or men to hold hands or kiss on the street, ” explains Vanessa. On their YouTube channel , the two have told their story and regularly upload videos in which they share their experiences, to receive messages and questions from their followers or give tips on how to z. B. himself can be clear about his own sexuality. “We want to empower other people we did not have in the beginning, we want to help women and men build self-love and self-acceptance, we want to connect and connect people,” they say. “We hope that all lesbian women will go their own way and become happy with the partner they want by their side, do what makes YOU happy – not the others.” Amen! We can not add anything to that except that, of course, ALL people may feel addressed, whether queer, straight or asexual.
Dear Ina, dear Vanessa, thank you for your commitment – for love, freedom and respect!