SAN DIEGO, USA
Words by Creative Director Kim and Crew.
Isn’t it true that we really are “better together”? For so many couples, families, and communities, being together is only possible thanks to the brave, bold, tireless individuals who have fought for marriage equality and social justice.
This creative project, dubbed “In Honor Of,” was designed to express gratitude for the LGBTQ+ community, the heroes of marriage equality, and the folks who prove that love between soulmates, especially in the queer community fierce, powerful and world-changing.
With subtle colors of the rainbow and images of historical heroes, we wanted to pay tribute to those who have gone before us.
And with design elements like the use of seeded paper and the beautiful act of together planting a tree, we acknowledge that the legacy continues and that each of us plays a part in crafting a better, more equitable, more beautiful tomorrow.
May we remember from where we’ve come, give thanks for those whose shoulders we’re standing on, embrace our individual power, and together bloom.
Words by Couple Kourtney and Victoria.
How did you meet?
We met at work! We were co-workers first, then became friends, and later realized that we had fallen in love with each other. We both work in mental health but in different scopes, so we have a shared passion for untangling people from their eating disorders and promoting body positivity/body neutrality.
There is something so magical about the transition from friends to romantic partners. Experiencing all of those “firsts” in a relationship with someone you have already loved for so long. We haven’t agreed on who made the first move, but Tori did post a story that gave Kourtney a reason to slide into her DM’s, but Kourtney technically was the first to flirt. We really resonate with Bones and Booth’s love story and relationship.
What is your favorite memory together?
Our favorite memory was when we had the honor to meet Gloria Steinem at the University of San Diego. It was such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet one of our Feminist elders and watch her interview live. We owe so much of our liberation to the work she has done throughout her life. Being able to meet her as a couple was such a special moment for us.
We postponed our wedding to 2022 but still got legally married in 2020, in large part because of our fears about LGBTQ+ rights during the Trump administration. In pandemic fashion, we wore Gloria Steinem face masks during the elopement. We co-created our ceremony with our officiant, and the first line was Steinem’s quote, “Being married is like having someone permanently in your corner. It feels limitless, not limited”.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
It’s wild to think about how many obstacles we’ve experienced to be understood, loved, and celebrated. Let alone the daily discrimination. It was a really challenging time for us to experience the responses and reactions to our engagement, from not having some of our family members congratulate us. To hear comments like “she’ll never be part of the family,” we did not get to feel surrounded by love and support the way, so many straight couples experience when they first get engaged.
We would love to share that this experience no longer impacts us, but the truth is, engagement related content is still a tender subject for us. We still struggle with the grief of not feeling celebrated during such an intimate time in our lives and not being viewed as a valid couple in many ways.
Building a chosen family, finding representation in couples that look like us, and connecting with our community has helped us reclaim our love story. The loss, hurt, the pain we experience will never measure up to the beauty of our community and the love and support queer people have for one another. We find comfort in knowing that our queer ancestors are dancing with joy for us and that our great-grandchildren will know they were born because two women fell in love.
It also goes without saying that LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors have such a transformative and healing impact on queer couples that are not just planning their wedding but starting to build their life together as a family. We cried when we met our officiant, Bethel Nathan, because in the months that we had been engaged, talking with her was the first time that we felt seen for what we are: two independent women in a healthy, supportive, beautiful relationship. As we navigated the challenges of planning a same-sex wedding, just a few years after LGBTQ+ marriages were federally recognized, we remembered our officiant and thought, “Bethel is rooting for us. People DO see that our love is beautiful and worth celebrating”.
Elizabeth Wilder created a beautiful piece for the To Write Love on Her Arms blog and wrote, “Be the proof that love can still exist, even when it is torn down and questioned.” We’d like to think that this is what our love embodies. Despite homophobia, heteronormativity, racism, a hateful administration, and family estrangement, our love cannot be threatened like every whole-bodied truth. Our love, our community, is still here, unapologetically.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
Kourtney: I love that Victoria has an authenticity about her that is so contagious. Everyone around her feels like they can be fully themselves too. It has been such a transformative experience for me to show up as my complete, authentic self in a relationship. To be loved for my entirety. She is such an open and non-judgemental person that even strangers feel comfortable around her. People are always saying to her, “Wow, I have never told anyone that before.” Victoria is definitely the “Bones” in our relationship, and I love that I am always learning something new from her.
Victoria: I love that Kourtney is such a grounded and down-to-earth person. Sharing my life with Kourtney has felt like a Florence and the Machine concert. If you’ve ever been to a Florence concert, you’ll know what that means. If you haven’t, I mean to say that I not only trust Kourtney with every fiber in being, I trust the plan the Universe has for us. I no longer worry about traffic, scary diagnoses, losses or setbacks, because I know that as long as Kourtney is by my side, we will figure it out. She is also never too embarrassed to dance with me in the middle of the grocery store.
What’s in the future for you both?
We are proud moms to two perfect babies: an adopted shepherd and a husky. We are super excited to start having human babies in the future. We are also looking forward to finally having our wedding in 2022, traveling when it is safe again, going on road trips, buying a house so that we can live out of DIY dreams, supporting each other’s careers, and growing really old. We have so much to look forward to and are having so much fun being present as everything unfolds on its own time.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We wanted to tell our rainbow family that this world fundamentally needs you. The future needs a whole generation of queer elders with stories about their joy and love, and self-love. Your love is beautiful, your body is perfectly your own, and you have a right to be who you are. You are loved. You are needed here.