Elias is a musician and the author of Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post-Punk From the Middle East to the Lower East Side.

In an equally moving Facebook post last September, Gilbert wrote that romance blossomed between the two women after Elias was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer this past spring. 

She also revealed that the intensity of her relationship with Elias played a part in the end of her marriage last spring.

“Death — or the prospect of death — has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya,” Gilbert wrote. 

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