I met Renisha and Tracey last month at the Say I DO LGBT marriage expo in Washington, D.C. This couple founded Same Sex Life Magazine and Barcode Magazine. I was impressed by their business and personal partnership and thought I would check in with them to find out how they manage to make it all work:
Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you two first meet?
Tracey: I met Renisha in the neighborhood I grew up in. She was on the phone. I was eavesdropping and learned she was dumping somebody. I put my number on a paper and threw it in her truck. Lol. I just hoped she would call me back.
BL3: How long have you been together?
Tracey: Renisha says, six years, I say, five. We’re still in debate on that one. Six months into dating, we still hadn’t had sex so that first year is up for grabs.
Renisha: We’ve been together for six years! Tracey was still playing in the streets and she doesn’t want to count those months, so I’ll give her that.
BL3: What intrigued you about each other?
Tracey: Her body, attitude and her hustler’s ambition attracted me to her. After that it was the way we had fun together. I like challenges and she definitely challenges me … daily.
Renisha: Tracey is very intelligent, and I love the fact [that] she can handle a bullheaded person like myself.
BL3: Did you always know you liked girls?
Tracey: I’ve liked girls since I knew what sex was. I knew I wanted women. Don’t ask me how but at age 11, I knew I was gay. It was just in me.
Renisha: For me, I knew at an early age as well. It took me a while to share with family and friends. I had relationships with girls but wouldn’t allow them to share it with anyone. I didn’t know what to expect from my family even though they never gave me any sign they wouldn’t approve. My family was heavy into church and I was raised hearing that “you’re going to hell.” I tried living the way I thought was right, but I stopped hiding once I met someone I wanted to share the rest of my life with, someone that made me feel comfortable in my own skin, that I knew I was safe with, that my heart was safe with.
BL3: How do you feel about being “out”? How important is that to your relationship?
Tracey: Being out doesn’t impact my relationship. I’m happy with who I am. I don’t care if people don’t like me. I’m not into pleasing [them]. I have a wife to worry about pleasing.
Renisha: Out is freedom but it doesn’t impact our relationship at all. We are here for each other.
BL3: When did you get married? What made it memorable?
Renisha: We got legally married March 24, 2012 at a courthouse in Vermont.We haven’t had our big wedding day yet. Hopefully we will be planning soon for all our family and friends to share that moment with us. What made getting married memorable for us was us! We love each other, we are great friends and no one can change that.
BL3: But, you live in Michigan where gay marriage is not legal. How does that impact your lives together?
Renisha: People need to understand that Michigan is the state we live in, it does not make us or our relationship. It’s like being self employed, you have to invest in your future. You have to be very disciplined from paying taxes to saving for retirement. It’s the same with our marriage, if we want to make us work, we simply make it work. We are here for each other. We both have benefits within ourselves. It’s legal enough for us, our love made it legal in Michigan.