Lisa & Roshanda: She Walked Into the Bus Station and Stole My Heart

black lesbian brides embrace in a gazebo
black lesbian couples at restaurant laughing happily

Lisa and Roshanda lean in for a photo at a restaurant.

Written by Lisa Lockhart

I met my wife, Roshanda, on a dating site. I was in Jacksonville, Florida, and she was in Tampa, Florida. As we were talking on the phone, I found myself really liking this woman who I had never met. So, I decided it was time we meet.

I went to Tampa by Greyhound and I must admit, I was a little nervous. As the Greyhound bus was pulling into Tampa, I had all these butterflies in my stomach.

As I waited for her, in walked a little, petite woman who had a bouquet of flowers for me. When I saw her eyes, I was hooked.

Our first date was at this restaurant called Martha’s in Tampa. While we waited on our food, we talked and we both liked what we saw. Our first dinner date was at a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican cuisine.

I Knew She Was Special

black lesbian brides embrace in a gazebo

Lisa and Roshanda got married in May 2015.

After leaving her that day, I knew she was special. For two years, we had a long-distance relationship. After realizing that I had fallen in love with her, I knew I wanted to be with her. When I confessed that I loved her, she was speechless at first, and she said she loved me too.

When she proposed, it had me in tears. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together so I moved to Tampa and I got a job transfer. We got married on my birthday, May 20, 2015.

 

We Take Care of Each Other

We make sure we take care of each other. She has dyslexia and I make sure that I remind her that she is a great, creative person. She has had a rough life, from being adopted to being sexually and physically abused. Still, she has a great head on her shoulders.

I love how my wife supports me and loves me with my epilepsy. I love her because of her heart. She is always there for me and I love her with all her imperfections. She says she loves my eyes and my face and calls me “Fancyface.”

Our Family

black lesbian mom and step daughter high school graduation

Lisa stands proudly with her stepdaughter, Keisha, at her high school graduation.

I never had any kids and another bonus was getting to know Roshanda’s daughter, Keisha. Even though Keisha was shy, we hit it off right away. She doesn’t stay with us, but it feels good to have a daughter. I get to buy her make up and give her advice.

I said Yes to the Dress and to Our Imperfect Love

Desiree shows off her average wedding dress

Even though she is no where near average, Desiree chose an average wedding dress.

Written by Desiree Brandon

As a little girl, I never dreamed of getting married. Marriage was for people like my mom and dad. They met on a blind date that snowballed into 19 years of beautiful bliss.

I think I never dreamed of marriage and weddings, because at the time when most little girls would be daydreaming of their future, my family was fighting an uphill battle in the very real present. My father had pancreatic cancer for most of my childhood and passed away a few days before my 10th birthday. And while that may sound tragic, I learned two things from my parent’s relationship: love is unconditional and imperfect.

As a teenager, I watched my mom move on with her life, and I had an epiphany: Love and marriage don’t always go together. You can love someone wholeheartedly, and never marry her. You can also marry someone you don’t love. I didn’t want either scenario to become my life.

I knew if I were ever going to get married, it would have to be a love like what my dad had for my mom. But as I started the process of coming out to myself as a lesbian, I was met with the reality that (at the time) marriage was NOT an option. I dealt with that fact, and moved on. And while I wanted to get married eventually, it wasn’t as important as the love.

 

While I was a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, D.C., I found the love of my life. And after spending two years developing and building our lives together, we found a tiny rose garden in Philadelphia, said our own vows, and never looked back. Or so I thought.

 

Last November on a trip home to Arizona, my other half asked me to marry her officially. She was met with an emphatic “YES”, as I knew I have what my parents had: love that is both unconditional and imperfect.

 

Wedding planning is hard IF you care about the feelings or aesthetics of your guests that will be attending. Wedding planning for us was fairly easy. Finding the dress was not.

 

 

How I found My Wedding Dress

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I started my search at the cattle call of all brides, David’s Bridal. I hated EVERY dress I saw. I was a bit discouraged. My partner, Marisol, who sat through hours of me trying on dresses, called the store her own “personal purgatory.”

 

I realized that maybe a big store was not for me. I also realized this wedding dress adventure was not her thing either. I found a nearby boutique and vintage shop. I tried on dresses and found some I liked, but nothing that stood out to me.

 

I found a dressmaker and described what I wanted. She immediately sent me pictures of a dress that she had already made that kind of fit my description, and I was IN LOVE! Don’t be afraid of alternative stores. I found more dresses that I loved in the smaller boutique stores than in the big chain stores. I also would say to know what you want before going in to look at dresses. Know the style you want, and also know your budget. Try to stick to both of them. This will save your time, money, and sanity.

 

Where did I finally find THE dress? Online. I know. It sounds absolutely INSANE to buy a wedding dress online, but if you know your current measurements, buying a dress online is perfectly safe.

 

My Dress is Average But I’m Not

 

For me, it’s not about the dress. I hate pomp and circumstance, so I ended up choosing a tea length dress with no train and no veil.

 

I chose a tea length dress to be comfortable and to be able to party with friends after the ceremony is done. And while the ceremony will be a sight to behold, my dress is pretty average.

 

I can do that because I know that my dress is everything that I am not. I know that an average dress made me stand out. For my shoes, I chose Converse.

 

You read that correctly; I am getting married in my Chuck Taylors. That, as my friends and family will tell you, is exactly who I am. An average dress with Converse for a bride anything but average.

 

My other half doesn’t share my average sentiment. She opted for a navy blue suit, blue gingham shirt, orange tie, succulent lapel pin, and brown shoes. But this outfit fits her personality perfectly.

 

And while I was excited about our September wedding, I was more excited that I finally got to put on the comfortable dress and party the night away with my friends and family. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my imperfect and unconditional love.

Nikki and Amena Marry in a Symphony of Love

Amena looks radiant in her walk down the aisle. Photo by RMN Photography

Amena looks radiant in her walk down the aisle. Photo by RMN Photography

Written by Zamara Perri; Photos by RMN Photography

When Amena Johnson and Nikki Brooks exchanged wedding vows on a beautiful, sunny, September afternoon, both women were surrounded by absolute love. The wedding took place on a hill overlooking the Patuxent River on grounds of the Billingsley Mansion in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The outdoor setting served as a naturally beautiful backdrop for a couple whose love is natural, unfiltered and genuinely sweet.

The wedding, themed “Wine, Music and Art,” was a reflection of all the couple’s favorite things and included their favorite music, some of Nikki’s art and Amena’s favorite wines.

Three years after meeting and falling in love, the couple wanted their wedding celebration to not only celebrate their love, but the people who love and support them. The love of their 100-plus friends and family who celebrated with them was evident in the laughter and conversations heard that day.

Click on any of the photos below to launch the slideshow!

Looking back, the couple said their wedding day was one of their best days so far.

“Having my best friends and family there made it so fun,” Nikki shared. “Seeing my aunt was really important because my mom didn’t come. She led the soul train line. She’s always been there for me. Seeing her there, made me think everything is all right. On top of that, I was marrying the woman I wanted to be married to so the day was beautiful.”

For Amena, having her traditional Christian mom attend the wedding was one of the best gifts that day. “I didn’t know she was coming until Friday. (The wedding took place on Saturday),” Amena said. “When I told her I was engaged, she said she was not going because [gay marriage] was against her beliefs. I sent her an invitation anyway. I called her on Friday and asked her, ‘I’m I going to see you tomorrow?’ She said, ‘yes’ and I made arrangements for her to get to the wedding on time.”

The couple wrote their own vows, which brought their guests to tears. For family and friends who had known these two women for years and even decades, the vows rang true.

“I enjoyed hearing my family and aunt say, ‘It’s amazing that Amena gets you so much.’ A lot of the people in my family have been protective over me. My aunt was ecstatic,” Nikki recalls.

“People said, ‘Wow you are truly happy and it’s great to see you so happy,’” Amena adds. “Sometimes I’m a crier and sometimes I’m not. I didn’t cry at all that day because I smiled all day; I was truly happy to marry the woman I wanted to be with.”

All in all, the couple said they wanted their wedding to be about all the people whom they invited. “We wanted our guests to feel included because this was also for them,” Amena said.

Nikki agreed, “We were throwing a party because we loved each other and we love y’all and that’s what we wanted to convey.”

The couple’s love for their friends and their friend’s love for the couple was so evident. One of Amena’s friends traveled from South Africa to support them on their special day. Several of the speeches from close friends were heartfelt; the wedding officiant, who is a close friend, was so excited and emotional that she forgot to announce the ring exchange; and the wedding party danced up the aisle before the ceremony and back down the aisle afterwards. On that day it was clear how much the wedding guests were truly in love with Nikki and Amena as a forever couple.

Nikki & Amena Talk Shopping for Wedding Outfits from a Black Lesbian Perspective

Nikki and Amena shop for wedding outfits.

Nikki and Amena shop for wedding outfits.

Aside from the vows, the food and the partying, what wedding guests look forward to most at a wedding is the big reveal of the outfits. Like most lesbian couples, Nikki and Amena have had to, by default, adapt their wedding day to reflect their own new traditions. Before the two unveil their wedding day gear for their guests this weekend, they shared with us their thoughts on picking an outfit from the perspective of a black lesbian couple.

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): Some women think and dream about their wedding day ever since they were little girls. Growing up lesbian, did either of you ever think about your wedding day? 

Nikki: Actually no, I was still stuck in la-la land and just being a kid.

Amena: I thought about it but it was not an every day thing. I am not the type of person that had every thing planned out before I was in a serious relationship. Getting an education, living and supporting myself on my own were the things I dreamed about as a kid.

BL3: Amena selected her wedding dress, long before you did, Nikki. As a woman with a more masculine gender presentation, what was shopping for your wedding outfit like?

Nikki: I had the year to plan, browse and really shop for what I want. It was also fun having family to help in the process. My cousin and my sister helped me pick out my outfit.

BL3: Do you have in mind what you want to wear on your wedding day?

Nikki: I do, but dare not share 😉

BL3: Amena, what kind of dresses did you look for?
Amena: When I went to look for dresses I was pretty open. I tried on several different types of dresses. I kind of thought I would end up in an off white or champagne color. I was surprised that these colors did not look that good on me. I also didn’t want a princess dress. The dress I chose is not a princess dress, but it is more poufy than I thought I would like.

BL3: Did either of you have any major concerns about your outfits?

Nikki: Always the look of the outfit, and how it will complement my shape and size. I won’t say my biggest concern is this, but I do think of how my *”broom’s” party will complement me. I am allowing the people in my broom’s party to purchase or rent their own outfits. I want to make sure that everyone’s colors are the same shade.
Amena: I wanted a dress that I felt comfortable in. I didn’t want it to be so flashy that [my family and friends] noticed the dress more than me.

BL3: Nikki, what is the most important feeling that you want to have when you look in the mirror on your wedding day?

Nikki: The feeling of looking sharp and a perfect reflection of the beautiful woman I’ll be marrying.

BL3: Any wedding outfit shopping tips for women who prefer a more masculine style of dress?

 

Nikki: For my fellow women who wear suits, go to a place that is gay friendly; it makes the experience more comfortable. I did go into one men’s store and the salesperson completely ignored me. I definitely felt why. If people don’t interact with you or you feel like they are treating you funny, leave. 

BL3: Amena, since this is a lesbian wedding, does the dress mean anything different in your opinion? Was dress shopping still exciting for you? Has Nikki seen the dress yet?

Amena: I don’t think it was much different for me than a straight bride. I think the fact that Nikki and I can get married legally plays into that. If this was not going to be a legal ceremony I may not have been as excited.

I was actually more excited and nervous than I thought. Wearing that dress makes it more real.

Nikki has not seen my dress and I have not seen her suit. We want that element of surprise. We will have a “first look” before the ceremony to see each other in our outfits. Not many people have seen my dress. I can’t wait to show it off on our big day!

*Broom is a mashup of bride and groom. Since Nikki is more of a tomboi, she chose to call herself a “broom.”

Now This is a WNBA Couple That Knows Something About Love

LaTaya Varner and Seimone Augustus kiss at their May 2015 wedding.

LaTaya Varner and Seimone Augustus kiss at their May 2015 wedding.

 

“I never thought I would get married. A lot of women have that dream — wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle. I never did.”

 

That is how Seimone Augustus, 31 , a WNBA player started her first-person story in The Player’s Tribune about her eight year relationship with LaTaya, 27, who became her wife in May. The five-time WNBA All-Star, who plays for the Minnesota Lynx, had 15 guests at her wedding.

Augustus shares how she came out in junior high school and has been honest about her sexuality ever since. She says, “When you’re happy with your career and your environment, but most importantly, with yourself — when you’re your authentic self every single day, without shame — life sort of falls into place.”

This piece was critical because, “That’s how I met the woman who would become my wife.”

Seimone only had one request of her wedding ceremony to LaTaya: That she wear sneakers and there be red velvet cake.

Seimone only had one request of her wedding ceremony to LaTaya: That she wear sneakers and there be red velvet cake.

The two met at a night club in Minnesota and Seimone who describes herself as painfully shy, says she finally worked up the nerve to ask LaTaya to dance and for her number!

Their first date at a theme park was, “Perfect. If I lined up all of my days in my short life, I’d still pick that one as one of my favorites, every time. Just two nervous girls — one quiet and shy, and one bubbling over with personality — navigating something new together.”

Soon the couple fell in love and a few years later started talking about marriage. At the time gay marriage wasn’t legal in all of the states and they worried about not having their relationship recognized if they should move or one of them got hurt.

Seimone proposed in 2010 on the beach in Miami around Christmas.

Read the rest of the story here. 

 

 

Tianna & Charmagne Sport Two White Dresses and Matching Sneakers

Charmagne and Tianna held the wedding ceremony and reception at an art gallery. TimeFrozen Photography

Charmagne and Tianna held the wedding ceremony and reception at an art gallery. TimeFrozen Photography

A few months back, Tianna shared with us the story of how she met and fell in love with Charmagne. The Connecticut couple, who have been together for five years, married in November. The couple held their cocktail party wedding at an art gallery in Hartford, Conn. “It had just the right amount of industrial charm and funky, artistic features,” Tianna says.

Charmagne and Tianna sport matching tennis shoes under their gowns. Photos by TimeFrozen Photography

Charmagne and Tianna sport matching tennis shoes under their gowns. Photos by TimeFrozen Photography

All of their vendors were close friends or friends of friends. “We care deeply about the artists in Hartford and the great things that they bring to our lives,” Tianna says. “It’s a community that we are a part of as fellow artists, and we wanted to give our friends a chance to show off their skills.” Both women are artists (Charmagne a musician and Tianna, a writer).

See more photos from their wedding here at The Knot.

Congratulations to the lovely couple!

Geri & Jackie’s Attraction is Deeper Than Physical

On their first date, Jackie and Geri talked for four hours!

On their first date, Jackie and Geri talked for four hours!

After spending two and a half years as friends, Geri and Jackie took a leap of faith and went on their first official date. And on July 5, 2014, the two exchanged vows and became wife and wife. The happily married couple, who live in Upper Marlboro, Md., recently told us their sweet love story:

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3) : How did you meet?

Geri & Jackie: We met through mutual friends at a lounge in Washington, D.C. Initially, we were just friends for more than two years.

BL3: What attracted you to each other?

Geri: She is just simply an amazing person. My attraction to her goes far beyond the physical. In my view, she is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women on the planet, but my attraction goes far beyond that. Ironically, a year prior to meeting her, I wrote a description of my perfect match. Not the physical attributes, but rather the intellectual and emotional characteristics that I view as the most essential in a life partner. Jackie meets every single descriptor I outlined in my blog. It was amazing to find someone like-minded, who has a great love for God, family and friends.

Jackie: Even when we were just friends, I was always drawn to her outgoing personality.

As mentioned before, initially we were just friends, but as I got to know her I became increasingly attracted to how sweet and kind she was, the fact that she was always thinking of others and had a way of making people around her laugh!

As she said, obviously we found each other physically attractive, but our chemistry goes beyond that. We both are silly as heck, and she constantly keeps me laughing. Her sense of humor was definitely a factor in my falling for her.

BL3: Tell us about your first date.
Geri: It’s so funny because we regularly reminisce about our first date. It was really crazy because we had hung out countless times as “just friends” for more than two years, so leading up to our date was both exciting and scary. We had such an awesome connection as friends, we didn’t want to ruin things by taking our relationship on a different path.

Jackie: I was SO nervous leading up to the first date. After being buddies for so long, I was nervous how we would interact with each other on an official date.

Geri: On our first date, I made a reservation at one of my favorite restaurants in D.C. I had her meet me at my job, and when she arrived in my office, looking absolutely gorgeous, all I could do was smile. I instantly stopped viewing her as just a buddy, LOL.

Jackie: Seriously, I was sweating and my stomach had huge butterflies as I arrived at her office. In true fashion though, she made me laugh, and eased my anxiety. From that moment on, the rest of the date was so incredible. We went to the restaurant and ate a wonderful meal and sat and talked for more than four hours. The entire evening was absolutely perfect.

Geri: I knew she was perfect for me that night, because we talked about everything under the sun. Good conversation is a must for me, and we had plenty of that on our first date. And we capped the night off with our first kiss, and that sealed our forever.

BL3: How long have you been together?

Jackie & Geri: We’ve known each other for about 5 years, but have been in a relationship for approximately 2 ½.

BL3: What do you love about each other?

Geri: It would take me the next decade to describe all of the things I love about her. Simply, I love that she is my rock. I wrote a poem for her, in which I say, “She carries the weight of my world on her shoulders so seamlessly,” and it’s so true. I’ve always had to be the strong one, with family/friends, and I love that I have her to be my strength when I feel weak. She is an amazing care-giver, and I absolutely love and appreciate her for that.

Jackie: I love so many things about my wife. She is the most romantic, caring person I’ve ever met. I love that she goes the extra mile to make sure that she shows how much I am loved.

Her actions and her words are always aligned, when it comes to her expressions of love for me. Our relationship is just so easy-going, and genuine, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

BL3: Why did you decide to get married?

Jackie and Geri sport huge grins at a pride event.

Jackie and Geri sport huge grins at a pride event.

Geri: Prior to being with her, I never thought that I would get married. I don’t think that I ever thought that I would find anyone that I could see spending the rest of my life with. Now, with her, I can’t see my life without her. Marriage was just a natural progression for our relationship–the ultimate expression of our love.

Jackie: There was never any doubt that we would get married. I was previously married, and never thought I’d want to get married again, but the moment I fell in love with her, I knew that I wanted to take our vows, and share our love with our friends and family.

Amena & Nikki: Selecting Vendors 101

Nikki and Amena  selected the Billingsley House in Upper Marlboro, Md., as their wedding venue.

Nikki and Amena selected the Billingsley House in Upper Marlboro, Md., as their wedding venue.

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): So you ladies are six months away from your wedding day! How is your search for vendors going?


Nikki & Amena:
Wonderful! We are in the process of signing the contract with our last vender—a caterer.

 

BL3: Tell us what vendors you selected?
Nikki & Amena: We selected the Billingsley House in Upper Marlboro, Md., for the venue; Edibles Incredible Desserts from Reston, Va., for the cake, Rachel Naft Photography from Arlington, Va., and

Kloby’s Smokehouse in Laurel, Md., for the caterer.

 

Nikki and Amena sample cakes, cakes, cakes!

Nikki and Amena sample cakes, cakes, cakes!

BL3: Were there any vending experiences that stand out so far?
Nikki: The taste of our wedding cake. The way the baker put the ingredients together is mouthwatering. I still crave the cake. I’m going to go back and get some! Lol.
Amena: I thought Nikki was going to mention our photographer. She is awesome. When we went to meet with her she showed us her work and we were taken aback.

 

BL3: As a lesbian couple what’s the most important thing to you about your vendor?
Nikki:
That they are gay friendly. That they are really going to meet our needs without judgment.

Amena: The first thing I ask vendors on the phone is, are they OK with a lesbian couple as clients. I like it better when we can go visit first so I can see the reaction on their face and the way they talk to us.

 

BL3: Have you had any experiences that have made you NOT select a vendor?
Nikki & Amena: Yes, it has surprised us how many vendors communicate with you and then disappear. Twice we have met with people, had phone conversations and gotten quotes then never heard from them again. They were both caterers and we were interested in their services. We are not going to chase people down so we moved on.

 

We also met with a photographer who only showed us photos of babies. When we asked her if she had any samples of weddings, she showed us an engagement shoot. Since she could not show us samples of what we were buying, we did not go with her. The photographer and the caterer took the longest to find.  Just like in a relationship we went through a lot of duds before we found the one.

 

BL3: Do you have any preferences for LGBT vendors?
Nikki & Amena: No. As long as the vendor is LGBTQ friendly, we are fine. We are interested in finding vendors that will do the best job.

 

BL3: Are there a lot of LGBT-friendly vendors in the Washington, D.C., area where you live?
Nikki: Yes, as far as we know we have not run into anyone who has had an issue with our sexual orientation.

Amena: But I do expect it was an issue for one of the caterers that stopped contacting us. They were a husband and wife. Nikki talked to the husband and he sounded very enthusiastic. When I got on the phone with the wife, she seemed surprised to learn we were two women. When I have talked to some of my straight friends about vendors they have said things like, “I would have never thought to ask if a vendor was OK with my wedding for any reason”. It is a shame that is the first question we have to ask is, “Are you LGBTQ friendly?” before getting down to business.

 


Nikki and Amena, a Maryland couple engaged to be married next fall, have agreed to share with us their journey to the altar.

 

 

Ebony & Krysta Jumped the Gun and Jumped the Broom

Krysta and Ebony met at an airport through mutual friends.

Krysta and Ebony met at an airport through mutual friends.

Ebony & Krysta (Krys) met in the most unlikely of places, fell in love and have been together for two years. They were among the many couples in Florida who got married in January. They share their sweet love story below:

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you two first meet?

Ebony: We met at the Tampa International Airport. We had a mutual connection (her friend and a close friend of my son’s father). This friend, Tiffanie, heard my son was flying back home to Tampa and asked my son if he wouldn’t mind taking a gift to her friend who happened to live in Tampa. My son agreed. So the plan was for my son to meet her friend at the airport in baggage claim. Her friend happened to be Ebony. Ebony is this sweet talkative spirit (and straight woman) and I, Krysta, am the lesbian.

BL3: Tell us about your first date.

Krysta: Our first date was not truly a date; it was merely two friends getting together to go to a wine tasting event, and then we ended up at Mitchell’s seafood restaurant. We both later agreed that at that restaurant it turned from “friends” into thoughts of more.

BL3: What intrigued you about each other?

Krysta: Ebony is the sweetest person, naïve, innocent, kind, and she has a smile that radiates through every dark place of my soul. I was drawn to her very essence.

Ebony: What first intrigued me about Krysta was her beauty and spirit. When we first met, I just began talking as if I had known her forever and we had been friends. I’m a very friendly person, however, I am not normally very talkative initially. I was told that I was talking nonstop when we first met. I felt a connection right off the bat, I wasn’t sure what it was but it was something.

BL3: What do you love most about each other?

Krysta: I love that Ebony loves me for who I am, where I am with no apologies required!

Ebony: I love that we can talk about anything—that we laugh, have fun, enjoy life and balance each other. I love that Krys makes me want to do and be better. Krys loves me for me; she accepts me and my flaws.

BL3: How is your relationship the same and different from any other couple’s?

Krys: Our relationship is one full of love—sincere and genuine love; that’s what most married couples experience. We are the same because we are two people wanting to build a life with one another and spend good times and bad seeing how the end of our lives will be and enjoying the ride the whole way through. We are no different than any other couple. We don’t see ourselves as different. Relationships are about mutual love and respect, devotion and commitment.

I would say our dynamics are merely different. I am in love with a “straight” woman who fell in love with a lesbian woman. If we have labels, those would be the most fitting. To me, it’s okay because we are two women in love and in life together!

Shontai and Tianna: She Wasn’t Her Type But Took a Chance Anyway

Shontai, Tianna and Zani smile happily in this family picture.

Shontai, Tianna and Zani smile happily in this family picture.

Five years ago Shontai and Tianna met and fell in love. Last September, Shontai celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary by dedicating a music video to her wife. The couple lives in Connecticut with their seven-year-old daughter, Zani. They share more of their story below:

 

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you meet?

Shontai: She approached me at a nightclub. She had been checking me out on a couple of websites like Downelink and MySpace. But I had just gotten out of a relationship literally 48 hours before. She said, are you going to call me, and I said, I don’t know. She asked me if I had a girlfriend and then said, it doesn’t matter you’re going to call me. She was very assertive and I thought it was cute.

After that, I went to the corner of the club and started looking up her profile on Downelink. That was a long night. I went home. She went home. The next morning I was hesitant about calling her too [early], so I called her in the afternoon. Unbeknown to me she works the third shift and sleeps during the day. When I called, she tried to act like she wasn’t sleepy but we stayed on the phone until it was time for her to go to work. She got no sleep that day. From there she kept in touch.

Tianna: When I saw her at the club, I got up the confidence to say something. I was winging it. I had to be a little aggressive, but yeah I had to make sure she called me. I just thought she was pretty and just never had a chance to talk to her and felt like why not give it a try and see what happened. I never ever thought I would stay with her.

BL3: What do you love about each other?

Shontai: When I first met her, she was really just a firecracker. She wasn’t my type and I don’t think she even had a type. I like what she’s grown and become. I like the fact that she took a chance with me. She cooks really good breakfast and I like the fact that she holds me down. She might talk a lot of crap, but in the end she’s going to be there for me.

 

Tianna: I love her personality; it is awesome. I just love the way she believes in the relationship and takes it to the extreme. She’s more outspoken than me. I’m still shy sometimes around her after all these years. She’s very different. I’m calm. We just click like that.

BL3: When did you first know you were in love with each other? 

Shontai: I think about a month after we met and we just started spending a lot of time together. I think we both knew it but she wanted to be the more assertive one.

 

Tianna: I think I knew after a year that I needed her to be with me. I couldn’t be with anyone else even though we had our ups and downs. I probably was the one causing all the problems, but I just knew I couldn’t let her get away.

BL3: Tianna, is that why you proposed?

Tianna: I felt like it was the right time. I was ready. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere and I wasn’t going to let her go anywhere so we might as well be together forever. With her I felt like I got all the gifts already and no gifts are more important than her. I felt like she deserved [a ring] and wanted to make it happen.

BL3: How did she propose?

Shontai: Tianna proposed on our third year anniversary, August 1, 2009. She proposed at this park. She brought me three Twizzlers. I don’t like candy so this is the only candy I’ll eat. She had this little speech and asked me to marry her on the blanket in the park.

BL3: Why did you say yes?

Shontai: I said yes because any relationship will come with issues and knew she was worth going through it with. We put a lot of time and put work into us and I wanted to build.

BL3: How did your families first react your wedding announcement?

Shontai: The day that Tianna asked me to marry her, I asked her if she asked my parents and she said wanted us to do it together. We went to my mom, grandmother and dad. My mom asked us, “Did you talk to God first?” Tianna said, yes but knew she didn’t. My mom said she needed to think about it first. We basically told her we were not asking for her permission, simply telling her. Then my mother came to the conclusion that she couldn’t be there for us. It got really nasty and got to the point where I didn’t like my mom for a really long time. It was probably just this month that we started talking again. She acknowledges my wife not as her daughter-in-law but my wife. That’s a start compared to where we were.

Tianna: When I told my mom we were going to get married at first she said she didn’t want to hear it, which threw me because before that they were all for our relationship. OMG, it kind of hurt my feelings, and 10 minutes later she said she wasn’t mad or anything, it was just something to get used to. Sometimes it’s hard on parents to find out your child is gay. But my mom was like, “I’m not going to disown you. I love you and love Shontai. My family was a blessing and they accepted it. I didn’t think it was going to be easy but they’re all for it.”