But sometimes it just hits me — just how utterly important it is. We’re always saying that, but then I just stop and think about it: 25 years. It took me 25 years to find a love story that I could really, truly, relate to. 25 years of loving fiction, of growing up having my mom read to me, of watching Disney films with “happily ever afters.” 25 years of being an avid reader; from reading Harry Potter at 9 years old in the old book club with my school friends, reveling in the magic and adventure. Of falling even more in love with fiction throughout middle and high school English classes, years in which I was painfully lonely, growing attached to outcast characters; the ones that never quite fit in, just like me. Of finally majoring in Creative Writing in college because stories are so, so powerful…and that’s what I’ve always wanted to dedicate my life to, one way or another.
For 25 years I’ve had a love affair with fiction, with stories. They helped me through so many difficult times and taught me so many things. I related to them on so many levels, and yet…there was one way in which I never really felt I could. At the time I didn’t even know why. For a long time I just figured romance wasn’t my thing. Sure, I shipped things here and there, but I never considered myself to be an avid shipper. A lot of the time I found myself, like back in the AtLA days on the ASN forums, only hanging around the shipping thread and chatting about that stuff because it was what most people were talking about; it was the thread where everyone was always posting, even after the show was long over. I shipped things because, more often than not, I just wanted to be part of the conversation. It wasn’t until a little ship by the name of Korrasami fell into my life that I was suddenly able to understand the level of obsession shippers had. Really, truly, understand it. Feel it. Experience it for myself.
I grew attached to Korrasami over time…the same way the characters grew attached to each other. Nothing was immediate. Everything took time and patience. And then, somehow, one day…the show ended, confirming once and for all that yes, Korra and Asami were in love. These two characters were in love, this love story that I had grown attached to like no other in my life before was real. It was canon, it was actually canon, this love story that I had been so afraid would be ripped away from me at the last second — because that’s what everyone had warned me about — because women in love don’t get to be in love in that way, get happy endings that are definitive. Not the way straight couples do. Especially not in a “kid’s show.”
But then it happened. It actually happened. It was also stated definitively by the creators incase anyone had any doubts. Incase anyone would insist on doubting, doubting that this was as real as any other love story. Yes. Yes it was. For the first time in my 25 years of life I had a story to call my own that was a love story that I could see myself in.
It’s not just a ship. It’s a story I’ve been waiting for all my life. It’s my love story. It’s mine. And it’s real.