What is your favorite memory together?
Our favorite memory is when Jay organized a full-on touristy day in London for one of Sam’s birthdays. We were already living there and had been for several years but, like most people, hadn’t really ever done many things that actually attract millions of people to the City. Why would we? We were far too busy working and just getting on with our daily routines, with weekends saved for recuperating. While we’d always tried to be adventurous and done things from a book called ‘Tired of London, Tired of Life,’ to try and see bits of the City, we’d never done anything really touristy.
So when Jay surprised Sam with trips to the Tower of London, the Eye, cocktails at the Sky Garden, and a Jack the Ripper tour, it was amazing to get out of that funk and see London for the incredible place it is – on a bigger scale. For one special day, we felt like visitors to our own hometown and had a right laugh together. Now we’ve left, we always say how glad we are to have taken that opportunity.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
Our biggest challenge has probably been from the summer of 2020 to now! We were trying to plan our wedding, dealing with constant new restrictions coming into place, which meant that we had to cut many people, change venues three times and not have a totally amazing, extravagant ball. It was very stressful, but finally, we tied the knot on Halloween 2020. We then moved to Sam’s hometown of Hull in November 2021, which was a huge life change, and we found new careers. Looking back, we can’t believe how much we went through, but the main thing is we’re finally feeling settled and looking to the future – which we’re very excited about.
If you could give your younger selves a pep talk for the future, what would you say?
Sam would tell his younger self to ignore the people that said being quiet and shy was a detriment and that one day it would be part of your superpower of not giving a crap and feeling empowered by that. He would also say you’d feel similarly empowered about being gay and that whilst this would not define you, it would feel special and be a driving force to make you fight for other people who are marginalized and made to feel like worthless garbage by society. Also, you’d still LOVE The Parent Trap, aged 36!
Jay would tell his younger self (and still trying to tell his older self) not to waste so much time trying to fit in and stop trying so hard to please other people… you will never feel normal, and that is ok. It’s actually what will eventually become your drive, your strength, and your determination. Don’t listen to those who tell you what to wear, who to love, how to speak, walk or look. That’s for you to decide and whatever those choices are, make sure that they are yours. Don’t let bullies hold you back, they will one day look pathetic, and you will wonder why you allowed so many of their voices to determine how you think of yourself. The people you love now won’t always be in your life, but they will shape the person you become and you will never forget them. Know that you will be ok, you won’t always feel alone. Your dreams will not all come true, but never stop dreaming, creating, and staying hopeful… you never know what is around the corner.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
Sam likes that Jay is hands-on around the house because he’s too lazy to be! Far more important things to do. He’s also the kindest person he’s ever met.
Jay loves that Sam is honest, straight to the point, and loyal. He appreciates that not everyone gets to know Sam the way that he does. Sam shows his feelings not with hugs and hand-holding but with support and friendship. He is also super clever and hilarious… his dry sense of humor and cheeky grin are some of his best qualities.
What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully, a little dog! And a child – or children. It’s going to be really tough for us to start a family, as it is for many LGBTQ+ people, but we’re hopeful that it will happen one day. Also, we love modeling – it’s such an excellent way to express ourselves creatively and unleash our activist sides. It’s important to us that we’re not restricted by gender – especially in clothing, and modeling in amazing gowns like the one in this shoot certainly helped us break out of those binaries!
Photography by Just Jess Photography