Sarah Vermillion. I’m a 27-year-old woman living in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have a love for animals and nature, and tend to take in strays. I like flowers and gardening but can’t keep plants alive. I draw, paint, and write. I’m clichéd, overly-empathetic, and a hopeless romantic.
How does poetry and identifying as lesbian come together for you?
Growing up, I thought everyone liked girls. It wasn’t until my friends started talking about their crushes that I found out liking girls wasn’t the norm. Poetry was how I discovered that it was okay and natural to feel this way. So many others did and expressed so in their poetry. Reading the words coming from these women about other women was what ultimately gave me the courage to come out to my loved ones.
What does it mean to you to be part of something like SMITTEN and have your work along side other women who love women?
It’s incredible to be in the same caliber as these other women. Having a collection like SMITTEN is so meaningful to the wlw community. It’s too often that our stories and experiences go unheard. This amplifies our voices, and in the purest form: love.
Do you feel projects like this help dispel some of the ignorance surrounding lesbian/bi love?
I do. I feel like those who aren’t familiar with the community and just go off of what the media portrays get the wrong idea. We are committed, we are real relationships, we love just as strongly as anyone else can love, and that love deserves to be recognized.
Do you feel the lesbian / bi voice was lost or co-opted by the larger LGBTQ movement and if so, do projects like this help change that?
Yes I do. I live in Las Vegas and there are no spaces solely for wlw. Every step forward for our community is amazing, but it can be disheartening when all the representation is geared towards mlm (still solid support and solidarity, though!) Even at the LGBTQ group where I work, they were picking captains for each of the letters in the LGBTQ+ acronym and said, “Alright, let’s go in order starting with G!” They realized and called out their mistake later, but none of the lesbians were surprised.
How does loving a woman differ from loving a man or being completely heterosexual and how is this conveyed in the form of poetry?
Loving anyone is an entirely different experience, but I feel loving a woman is definitely softer. There’s so much more emotion and communication from what I gather from my heterosexual friends. A lot are also less likely to be scared off by the idea of commitment, though that statement doesn’t hold true for all wlw. To me, it feels more raw to love a woman. Nothing is more raw than poetry, where your heart is layed bare for whosoever chooses to see it.
Please consider supporting this project of over 120+ talented poets and authors by purchasing a copy of SMITTEN for someone who appreciates beautiful poetry. https://www.facebook.com/SMITTENwomen/