The author of hit novel Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, has come out as being in a same-sex relationship with her “best friend”.
Gilbert announced the revelation on her Facebook page, revealing that she is in a relationship with her best friend author Rayya Elias.
Elias is terminally ill with cancer, Gilbert revealed in a heartwrenching post.
The novelist, whose most famous work was made into a film with Julia Roberts, revealed that she realised she was in love with her best friend Elias when she was diagnosed with incurable liver and pancreatic cancer.
She wrote: “In the moment I first learned of Rayya’s diagnosis, a trap door opened at the bottom of my heart (a trap door I didn’t even know was there) and my entire existence fell straight through that door. From that moment forward, everything became about HER.
“I canceled everything in my life that could be canceled, and I went straight to her side, where I have been ever since.”
An introduction to Elias’ memoir Harley Loco was written by Giilbert.
“Many of you already know who Rayya Elias is to me,” Gilbert wrote.
“She’s my best friend, yes, but it’s always been bigger than that. She’s my role model, my traveling companion, my most reliable source of light, my fortitude, my most trusted confidante. In short, she is my PERSON.”
Going on, Gibert reveals that she ended her marriage to José Nunes, the man she met, and detailed the beginnings of her relationship with in Eat, Pray, Love.
“Here is where we stand now,” Gilbert wrote,
“Rayya and I are together. I love her, and she loves me. I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be — the only place I can be.”
She said sie wanted to be able to live openly with Elias, and that she no longer wanted to live in secretly.
“I need to be able to walk into any room in the world with Rayya on my arm, feeling relaxed enough to stand comfortably in simple openness about who we actually are to each other,” she wrote.
“Sure, I could pretend that Rayya is still just my best friend, but that would be … you know … pretending. Pretending is demeaning, and it makes you weak and confused, and it’s also a lot of work. I don’t do that kind of work anymore.”
Of their time together which will be cut short by Elias’ illness, Gilbert added: “Trust me: We will not be wasting a moment of our time together, for as much time as we are given.”