The Art of Authentic Living

By a show of hands, how many of us spent our teenage and early adult years trying to fit in, only to discover the time would’ve been better spent trying to find ourselves? It’s okay. Don’t be shy, my hand is raised too! Thankfully, I like many other millennials are rapidly influencing change as we carve out our own paths. Whether you are happily living your authentic life or still digging deep for the courage, we can all use little more inspiration.  So today we’re going to chat with three couples living in one city and see how each of them live their authentic lives.

lesbian-engagement-photos
Credit: Chelsea Bliefernicht

First up from left to right, meet Sarah and Dannie.

When someone asks you what you do, what do you say?
Dannie: I’m a children’s librarian and a blogger!
Sarah: I guess I’m in marketing these days.

What Chicagoland neighborhood do you call home?
Dannie: Edgewater, but we have love affairs with Lakeview, Andersonville, and the Gold Coast.

How did you two meet?
Sarah: Okay, so you know YouTube? And that there’s channels on YouTube? And that some of those channels have pretty big followings? And then there’s young adult author John Green. Him and his brother run a YouTube channel called the VlogBrothers. Their massive following is called Nerdfighters, which is nerds who fight to decrease World Suck (all the sucky things in the world). Nerdfighters have gatherings across the nation and the world. We met at a Nerdfighter gathering here in Chicago several years ago. I signed Dannie’s copy of Looking for Alaska. Then a few months later, I put the call out on Facebook that she’d made a pot of chili far too big to eat on her own and did anyone want to come help eat it. Dannie isn’t the type to say no to a delicious pot of chili so she volunteered and the rest is history.

Who proposed? 
Sarah: I originally planned a Christmas proposal, had the ring and a plan and everything, and then Dannie let slip that she doesn’t like Christmas proposals because the holiday should happen on its own. I panicked and texted my friend Liz, who is now standing up in our wedding, and she said, “Well, what are you doing tonight?” I hid the ring under my pillow and pulled it out for a cuddly bedtime proposal.

lesbian-couple
Credit: Chelsea Bliefernicht

What does your family look like?
Dannie: We’re all about the fur kids. Right now we have one terrier mutt named Zoe, but we definitely want more pups in the very near future. We might get to kids one day but right now, we have dogs to rescue.

What descriptive words do you use when referring to your fiancé in conversation?
Dannie: I call Sarah the math brained creative. She does all the number related stuff like finances but she’s got this amazing creative side that I love trying to cultivate and bring out. It’s how we started our photo business, Levine-Moore Photography!

Sarah: Usually the first word I find is amazing. She is insanely supportive of all I do and she is so passionate about everything she does. She’s a woman of many talents and she gives her all to so many causes and communities. Volunteering at PAWS  and NLOL, building a better library, helping our choir to grow, and of course her amazing femme-lesbian blog. I’m just so proud of her.

same-sex-engagement-photos
Credit: Chelsea Bliefernicht

Are you active in the LGBTQ community? Why or why not?
Sarah: We’re very active in the community! We sing with Windy City Performing Arts, which is a LGBTQ choir here in Chicago. With that group, we have been able to increase our participation in the community. We attend festivals such as EdgeFest and Midsommarfest sporting our choir colors and promote the community. We were also able to sing at the vigil for Orlando at the Center on Halstead. Being active is so important in having not only our voices be heard but allowing those who don’t have as much of a voice to be heard. When we sing, we sing for everyone in the community. We spread that love and show that we are here, we are queer, and you cannot get us down no matter how hard you try. Dannie also actively tries to create a safe space within her work in a public library. She does this by making sure LGBT-friendly books are within the collection and prominently on display whenever appropriate. She gives the resources whenever and wherever she can and makes sure she is available to any and all young patrons who come in looking for a space to be themselves.

Are your family and friends supportive of you individually and as a couple?
Sarah: Overall, yes. My parents, sibling, and most of all my extended family and friends are extremely supportive. The exception are my grandparents who have expressed disapproval of my “lifestyle choice” and are refusing to celebrate our wedding or acknowledge Dannie as my wife. I’ve tried to educate them and be patient, but when they told me they would not attend our wedding as they didn’t approve of it, I gave up. Sometimes the best option is to cut out toxic people from your life. I’m just glad I have such an amazing chosen family to support me in this decision.

lesbian-couple-chicago
Credit: Chelsea Bliefernicht

What advice would you give to couples who aren’t accepted by family and/or co-workers?
Dannie: The queer community refers to “Chosen Family” for a reason. Non-supportive workplaces and family can be hard but if you find that network of amazing people, keep them close. We’re lucky enough to have a pretty supportive environment all around but our queer choir family is our Chosen Family above all else. They’re who we turn to in times of tragedy and we all love and support each other. Without them, we definitely wouldn’t be able to be as out and proud as we are outside of them.

What are you most proud of in your relationship?
Communication! Neither of us were super great at it before each other and we really had to learn how to do it. But now we’re extremely communicative and extremely proud of our ability to communicate so well with each other.

Which category do you fall in: girls with weddings planned before they have a fiancee, or girls who wing it?
Dannie: I’m 100% winging this. I never thought about my wedding until Sarah and I started talking about getting married. And even now, the only thing I have a super strong opinion on is the photographer. Once he was booked, the rest I was relatively easy to please with.
Sarah: I had a pretty firm idea of my wedding dress but everything else I’m definitely winging. And by winging I mean researching and reading up on because I’m a nerd like that.

Second up from left to right, meet Mia and Niki.lesbian-couple

When someone asks you what you do, what do you say?

Mia: I am a “Fly Girl”, “Sky Goddess” , “Sassy Stew” for Southwest Airlines and I do NOT like being referred to as a Flight Attendant.

Niki: I run programming for the YMCA. Mia thinks I just play with kids all day. I WISH! But I do love my job and I do get to sneak out of my office to go be a kid sometimes!

What Chicagoland neighborhood do you call home?

Niki: Lake View (shortest answer of the questionnaire!!!)

How did you two meet?

Niki: We met at a wedding (Mia’s first gay wedding, which she loves telling people!) My best friend was marrying her friend. Mia had seen photos of me before the wedding with the brides and she thought I was cute (side smirk) but we were told to stay away from one another because I was in a relationship at the time. We were both respectful and only exchange a few words over the course of the weekend. I knew she was beautiful and that she would be someone I connected with in some capacity in my lifetime. A few months later my relationship had ended and Mia randomly hit me up to show her around Chicago because she was thinking of getting a place here since she was based out of Chicago. She says she had plenty of people to show her around but it was her way of reaching out to me to get to know me. I don’t believe that because she stood me up that time then 2 more times. She finally stuck with a plan and we decided to grab dinner together. Since I was picking the place I asked her if she was a vegetarian or if she had any dietary restrictions and she told me she was a pescetarian (a vegetarian that eats fish). So, of course since I’m awkward and always seem to mess that kind of stuff up, I took her a restaurant called “Meat” oops. But we’ve been rocking ever since.

chicaog-lesbian-coupleWho proposed? 

Mia: I made a video of our favorite photos, videos, then a few videos of myself lip singing to old school R&B love songs (because I know Niki loves when I do that). I got a t-shirt made that said “She said yes” before she even said yes. I contacted her friends, got cupcakes made (because cupcakes and any form of cake is her favorite), had everyone meet for “Sunday Funday” at Theory downtown, and rented a room out. Of course Niki is always late bc her 4 inches of hair need to be “flawless” but it worked out perfectly bc everyone was there by the time we got there. She was surprised to see the demographic of the Sunday Funday crew but she was excited. She kept saying “Wow they play all Whitney Houston here!!” but I had them play the Whitney Houston playlist that I gave them. Whitney is the love of her life, so I was caring enough to be willing to share my proposal with Ms Houston. The manager of Theory was nervous and kept pacing back and forth (maybe more nervous than I was). I gave him the flash drive so he could play the video on the big screen and I face-timed her parents (they were expecting this) and gave the phone to a friend to hold so they could watch. But of course when he went to play it I didn’t know where Niki had went. She always finds a way to make things complicated! She had gone to the restroom. When she came back into the room, she looked up and saw that I was on on TV. Immediately she looked at me and said “Of course your face would be on a big screen Mia, why is it up there?” She knows that I love to be the center of attention and always find a way! I sat her down and we all watched the video, then when it was over, I got down on one knee (even though I told her if I ever proposed I would not get on one knee) and asked her for her hand in marriage. In between her awkward laughing and enormous smile, she said “of course!”

she-said-yes-popping-the-question-lesbianNiki: It is EXTREMELY hard to make “plans” for Mia because she is a flight attendant (oops, joking, Flygirl) and she changes her schedule almost daily. She has also pretty much been everywhere she has ever wanted to go. So surprising her with a trip somewhere would not phase her. I had 4 different plans based on what her actual schedule for the weekend would be because I wouldn’t know until Thursday (legit last minute). I kept calling her sister and her aunt asking for their advice and they kept telling me that I should just do something special and not worry about the “where”. I know Mia loves outdoor activities and kept telling me recently that she wants to go white water rafting. On Thursday I decided to scrap all of the plans and do a weekend of “surprises”. Friday evening I took her on a sunset kayak tour and I’m pretty sure she thought I was going to do it then. But Saturday I rented a car and took her to a tiny little town a few hours away and she kept asking where we were and I’m pretty sure she was a bit worried. She was excited when we finally got there and she saw we were going white water rafting! The people kept telling us not to take our phones because they would get lost. I knew I had to take my phone because I was taking the ring out there to propose to her on a little side beach that I had scoped when I looked up the map of the rafting course. We didn’t have a guide, it was just the two of us, our cooler, my phone even those I was heavily cautioned not to take it, and the ring hidden inside the cooler which was undoubtedly an even worse idea. We were having a blast and we ended up getting stuck on a rock in the middle of the water (it was kind of perfectly beautiful) and Mia started saying how much she loved me and doesn’t ever want me to worry about or question if she will love me forever and that she proposed to me because she knows without a doubt that she wants to spend the rest of her life with me. After 45 minutes of her talking and being emotional and us being stuck on a rock, I asked her a few times if I could talk. So around minute 55 I cut her off and started to give a speech but then I told her that everything she had been saying to me, wellllll pretty much “ditto” and I got the ring out and asked her to also marry me since I had already agreed to marry her the weekend prior. She cried and said yes then immediately realized I had risked losing the ring by bringing it with us. After her lecture about why it wasn’t smart, she said it fit me perfectly because I’m a “daredevil”. We made what should have been a 3 hour rafting experience into more of an 8 hour one because we kept stopping to take photos (good thing I brought the phone!). I actually ended up ruining the phone because it was completely soaked. I got a new one the next day and dried it out enough to get the photos off of it, so no worries. That night when we finally got home, she was exhausted but I had one more HUGE surprise for her. Her sister is her best friend and her niece is her world. She always tells me I’m the 3 rd prettiest girl she knows (after her sister and niece) and I absolutely second that! I feel lucky to be #3 hehe. Mia had fallen asleep on the couch and when they got here I met them downstairs and carried her niece upstairs and placed her on Mia’s lap. It woke her up and she was ECSTATIC. They had driven 6 hours from Michigan but with the Beyonce concert letting out, it was more like 7.5 hours. So at that point, we were double engaged and we were able to enjoy the rest of the Holiday weekend with her sister, he sister’s girlfriend, her niece, and their cousin.put-a-ring-on-itWhat does your family look like? 

Niki: We currently have fur kids! I had a dog, MJ (Boston Terrier) when Mia and I met and he is my best friend!! I let him kiss me all over my face and Mia thinks it’s the grossest thing ever. Sometimes in the morning before I leave for work I will let him kiss me, then give Mia a kiss goodbye and secretly giggle as I walk out the door bc she never lets me kiss her if she knows MJ has kissed me. He is starting to grow on her though but this has only been the case since she convinced me to have him sleep on his bed on the floor next to our bed. But this technically only happens when she’s home. She is gone 3 days out of the week for work and he most definitely sleeps in her spot on those nights. She knows bc the first thing she does is check the sheets to try to find an MJ hair when she gets home. I got Mia a kitten last year bc she said MJ was mine and she wanted a pet of her own. It was between a kitten and a turtle named turbo but I’m not about the turtle life sooooo, we now have a cat named Marley. The night we brought the kitten home Mia thought it was the right time to tell me she is secretly afraid of cats bc they are “sneaky”. She inevitably fell in love with Marley and we are now one big happy family! So within 2 months of meeting Mia, my little apartment went from my dog and I to myself, MJ, Mia, and Marley (along with all of Mia’s stuff that she brought with her). Needless to say, it is very cozy and our Christmas card was amazing! We also bring her niece Vera to Chicago and pretend she is ours.girls-who-kiss-girlsWhat descriptive words do you use when referring to your fiancé in conversation?

Mia says: Gorgeous, good with children, a goofball, slightly irresponsible bc she leaves dishes in the sink, very competitive with anyone who gives her a challenge regardless of age (in everything though seriously), the best part of me. There are times I call her spoiled, and I think she would agree. Very athletic there’s not one sport or activity she isn’t good at. She is beyond amazing. A great debater there’s no winning a disagreement with this one. Passionate and stands up for what she believes in. Uplifting, selfless.

Niki says: Unique, caring, silly, passionate, side-tracked easily, OCD but it’s great bc I always come home to a clean house and the dishes being done, my best friend. She gets very anxious over the smallest things and I am usually making that worse. Intense, sexy, worries about her toes but I think she has beautiful feet (and I’ve always hated feet), she takes care of me, she wears the pants (not just saying that either….its very legit), sentimental, creative (sometimes I have no idea where her mind goes but after everything is all said and done, she has created something beautiful or put together an amazing experience for us. She is spontaneous in every sense but I love the part where she just wants to go to the airport, look at the board, and pick a trip based on what flights are open. Talkative, energetic, bubbly, flirtatious (eye roll), in love with love, my soulmate, independent, wild, a free spirit, and not as confident as she has the right to be. she is confident but I wish she could see herself the way I do bc if so, she would never ever feel discouraged or worried about how she looks or what anyone may think of her. She is, in the simplest terms since there are actually no words to describe what I truly see in her and what I truly feel for her….simply, perfectly amazing.

Are you active in the LGBTQ community? Why or why not?

Niki: We are very supportive of all of our peers within the LGBTQ community. While we do not actively participate in any groups or organizations, we support equal rights and we are active within the community socially. Being out and about with friends and going to shows, events, or lectures on campus is important to us. I have always been very big into taking classes throughout my years of education in regards to LGBTQ rights, history, politics, and current events. I was in the Navy (Niki) when don’t ask don’t tell was being repealed and same sex marriages were starting to be recognized. It made me extremely hopeful and grateful to know that the lifestyle Mia and I live is becoming more of a social norm rather than frowned upon. That is a direct correlation to the hard work and patience of every single member of our community and we do try to help and be apart of that as much as possible.

hot-lesbian-coupleAre your family and friends supportive of you individually and as a couple?

Mia: I have been in this situation and at the age of 27 as a lesbian woman being raised without my biological mother, having a relationship with my mom that raised me was important to me. When she found out I was gay, it was unacceptable and our relationship went downhill. This made me learn that I have to accept me for me and I cant live for others which is all I found myself doing. So my advice is to not sugar coat anything or hide anything. The more I tried to please my mom, I was only making myself unhappy. I did not want to end our relationship altogether so I just had to understand that she grew up in a different era. I am myself I just don’t discuss it with her and I value the relationship we do still have even if it isn’t as deep as I would have liked. I am still honest and told her that Niki and I are engaged. We learned how to communicate with one another even if we don’t agree with each other’s views. So, staying strong and finding the “silver lining” in the relationships you value will keep you sane as well as keeping yourself from adjusting to others needs/beliefs.

Niki: I am very blessed bc my family has always been extremely accepting and supportive of my preference/lifestyle. Supposedly they knew before I did! I wish they would let me in on the secret! The one thing that stuck with me that I try to pass along to others is something my mom said to me when I told her that I liked women. She said “people aren’t going to agree with this but who cares? Are they in your relationship? Do they know you?” She told me to be proud of whatever lifestyle I chose to live and to never make anyone hide our relationship or who they were. If I was going to be a lesbian then be a lesbian with my whole heart! She told me not to worry if someone doesn’t agree with it bc there are probably a few things in their life that I don’t agree with but it isn’t my business and does not matter in the grand scheme of things. I have never hidden myself, censored myself, apologized for myself, or ever made anyone feel as though they needed to do those things. I also do not get offended if someone thinks that my sexual preference is a sin or something I should be ashamed of. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, yet their opinion does not have to be my opinion. If people could take more time to understand one another without thinking that understanding had to necessarily mean agreeing we would be able to be more confident in our own choices. I believe I can learn things from everyone I meet and if we have different viewpoints I genuinely enjoy hearing how they feel and why they feel that way. Maybe I will learn something I did not know before and I will see things clearer or with shades of grey rather than black and white and I will not continue to be stuck in my own way. When it comes to someone not respecting my relationship with the woman that I love, I can acknowledge that they are still a good person, they just don’t see Mia the way I do and as long as they can respect us as individuals, they do not need to understand how or why we love one another.lesbian-fashionDid you come out as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, queer, transgender, etc.? What’s your coming out story?

Mia: I don’t really have a coming out story, I never felt like I had to hide who I was, I liked a girl and that was that. I didn’t understand why at first but I never wanted to shelter or put that part of me in a ‘closet’ I wanted to figure it out and follow those feelings. The first person I told was my aunt who is also a lesbian. I expected excitement instead she was afraid for me, and how I might get treated by my mom and in school. She expected me to deny who I was but I always looked to fairytales and what love looked like on tv and I knew from the beginning that’s what I wanted and hiding from what felt right in my heart didn’t fit to well with who I wanted to become.

Niki: I came out as a lesbian. I was in college and had met a girl that I thought I might like. Her and I had spoken about the possibility of dating in the future but nothing was concrete. My mom and I are really close so I knew I wanted to talk to her about it right away. I asked her to come visit me on a Sunday for lunch and when she got to my house, my roommates were chatting her up FOREVER. Everyone loves my mom and she gives great advice, so my friends and roommates loved when she would come over. Finally I asked everyone to leave us alone because I HAD to talk to my mom before she got back on the road. I started saying that I kind of liked someone and I was clearly acting odd and nervous. Right away she said “is it a girl?” WHOA! I thought my mom was going to be shocked and assumed she was going to say “Wow I had no idea!” but that was not the case. She told me, as I stated previously, that it was absolutely okay and that she loved me no matter who I chose to love. She did give me the realistic advice that not everyone feels that way and that it was okay. She then mentioned that she wanted grand kids no matter what, even if I had to steal them from the hospital. She’s silly. We chatted for a while then she had to get back on the road to go home. About 10 minutes after she left, she called me and said “Oh Niki, look outside, there’s a gorgeous rainbow!” (it had been raining). I paused and she immediately realized the coincidence of her phone call and we both chuckled.lesbian-coupleWhat are you most proud of in your relationship?

Mia: We are most proud of the fact that no one wanted to see us together in the first place, before we had even met. When we actually decided to go on a date we knew there would be a lot of people trying to give their input or voice their opinion. Right away we had the conversation about whether that would be something we could deal with or not. Ultimately (actually very easily), we decided that we were drawn to one another and had a different type of connection and we did not want to pass this opportunity up. No one else’s opinion goes home with us at night or sits in starbucks for 6 hours on a second date talking about anything and everything under the sun. We were happy and the people that mattered would be happy for us. It really did show us who our true friends were. There were some ups and downs and a few bumps along the road in the beginning of our relationship and we did not let negativity from others bring us down, or keep us down. The largest hurdle, however, was us taking a few weeks apart to gain more understanding and decide what we really wanted moving forward. There were a lot of people that saw this as their chance to maybe “keep us apart” or slide into a place that was vacant and try to get attention from us. We knew that we wanted to be with each other and yet again we made our own choice to make sure we worked through any issues we had and that we we’re going to show one another that we indeed wanted to spend our lives together. There are so many things that we are proud of in this relationship, but our ability to “rise above” negativity and barriers was something we came a long way with and figured out how we could do it in a way that was healthy and beneficial for the both of us.

Which category do you fall in: girls with weddings planned before they have a fiancee, or girls who wing it?

Niki: We are both very different in this aspect. I didn’t realize HOW different though until a couple of weeks ago when we actually found a reason to start planning a wedding . I never really thought about a wedding until I met Mia and realized that she was someone I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. I assumed I had ideas about what our wedding would be like, but that has proven to be false. I am absolutely the wing it type of girl. Mia is and always has been 100% the plan a wedding before she has a fiancé type of girl. I didn’t realize how many details of our wedding were already pretty much set in stone the day after she proposed haha. That is not a bad thing though, because all of her ideas are WONDERFUL and if I had been the type to plan it, I wouldn’t have done half as good as she already has before we were even engaged. The only downfall is that I have to actually be a planner now. I guess it isn’t a downfall though when you are as excited as we are!

Last but certainly not least from left to right my wife (Michaela) and I (Dasha).lesbian-wedding-girls-who-kiss-girlsWhen someone asks you what you do, what do you say?

Michaela: I work for homeland security or I might just say, I work at the airport.

Dasha: It depends on who asks. Sometimes I say I’m a personal stylist, and a blogger. Which then garners the question, “Oh, what do you blog about?” Then I elaborate on all the things I do in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industry. Other times I say, I provide resources and assistance to low income seniors and people with disabilities. No one ever has a follow up question to that one.

What Chicagoland neighborhood do you call home?

Dasha: We are proud to call Hyde Park home!
How did you two meet?

Michaela: We met online after orbiting around each other in real life, but still not having met.

Dasha: We flirted online, but she abruptly stopped responding to my messages so I moved on. Later that year she sent me a message saying everything I ever wanted to hear. Apparently, she spent those months working on herself physically and emotionally so she could be ready for something real. The next eight years flew by!Chicago-Style-Lesbain

Who proposed?

Michaela: Dasha took me out dancing. Then we headed to the lake, sat on a bench and we looked out at the water. I was wondering how long we were going to be sitting in the cold, but then I decided to take the opportunity to snuggle up to her. We talked, reminisced, and then she proposed. I WAS SO SURPRISED! When she asked if I’d be her wife, well of course I said yes. Man was I glad I didn’t complain about the cold. When we got back in the car and I could actually see the ring I was like WHOA, I LOVE IT!

Dasha: It only took me a few months to realize Michaela was my forever family. I was having a hard time picking out a ring because she’s not really a jewelry kind of girl, so I decided to trick her into picking out her own engagement ring. We stopped in the jewelry store to have my earrings cleaned and checked for damage to keep the warranty valid and I told her to look around while we waited. She made it easy for me because she immediately found something she loved, but when I asked if she wanted it she snatched it off of her finger and said “Oh no! This is a ring ring.”  I went back and put the ring in lay-away when she went to work that day. Months later, I nervously kept the ring in my pocket all night long until I found the courage to ask.modern-family-lesbianWhat does your family look like? 

Dasha: We have one fur-kid named Buddha. So it’s just the three of us. I am beyond thankful to have fell in love with someone who doesn’t want to have children. Don’t get me wrong; we love children and have several Godchildren but we like being able to spoil them and send them back home.

What descriptive words do you use when referring to your spouse in conversation?

Michaela: My wife or if they know her I might just say her name.

Dasha: I very rarely use her name. I usually refer to her as my wife, or other half in conversation.

Are you active in the LGBTQ community? Why or why not?

Michaela: I am very active on the internet as it pertains to entertainment. In my personal life I’ve been so influenced by books, movies, and shows I’ve seen. I felt so impacted by that. Our media representation is very important and effects the way people perceive us. I support GLAAD and would love to work for them.

Dasha: We are not members of any LGBTQ groups or organizations, but we find ways to be connected and supportive of the community through the arts and entertainment industry. We also vote and fight for equal rights and engage with our local LGBTQ community socially.

girls-kissing
Credit: Chelsea Bliefernicht

Are your family and friends supportive of you individually and as a couple?

Dasha: Okay, so there were a few bumps in the road, but for the most part my side of the family is extremely supportive. With that being said, I did lose a few friends along the way and I don’t have the best relationship with my mother-in-law.

Michaela: Some people seem to be very supportive. But with others it’s so so; very ify. I don’t know if people support us so much as they take us on as some sort of weekly self-improvement project to spread kindness or try to practice toleration.

What advice would you give to couples who aren’t accepted by family and/or co-workers?

Michaela: People should try to realize that they don’t have to interact with people and that trying to change or shadow part of yourself just to make other people comfortable will keep you from growing and keep your relationship from growing. If people don’t want to be around you they don’t have to be around you. It’s sad but if they say they like and love you, but don’t like all of who you are, just realize that you can’t change that so focus on healthy relationships. With co-workers who seem to not like who you are, keep your interactions work related.

Did you come out as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, queer, transgender, etc.? What’s your coming out story?

Michaela: I came out as a lesbian. I came out twice. Once when I was like 13 then again before my first date with my wife just to make sure people hand’t forgotten because I didn’t really bring anyone I was dating around. The first time it was to my mom and it just really didn’t go well and then we just didn’t talk about it anymore. And the second time was to my mom and step-dad and it went a little better. Other people just started to find out and ask me if it was really true, which is weird because I never brought a guy around and I wasn’t exactly hiding anything. I mean what was I supposed to do, pull out a lesbian certification card? It was just weird to go from not talking about relationships with family at all to talking about sexual preferences. The constant need to come out to extended relatives at each family function made me become very defensive at one point, even people weren’t being offensive. I got a wide-range of reactions and just came to realize that though it didn’t make any sense to me, people had strong opinions about who I should love.

Dasha: I came out as a lesbian. Although, I don’t have much of a “coming out story.” It was more like I dropped hints for my mom to reduce the likeliness of her being shocked. To my surprise she had  not only suspected, but had an ongoing bet and was ready to collect her cash for being right.LGBTQ-ChicagoWhich category do you fall in: girls with weddings planned before they have a fiancee, or girls who wing it?

Michaela: I had a long walk on the beach, dinner and dancing kind of plans. But I didn’t have anything wedding related planned out. Not that I didn’t want to be married. Honestly, before I met my wife I think I had been to one wedding so that might have more to do with why I didn’t have many opinions about it.

Dasha: All I really wanted was a ton of photos, video, and I just knew there had to be a garden wherever we got married. Other than that we flew by the seat of our pants.  I wrote my vows, and made our veils the morning of. Then we were almost late to our own wedding, but we arrived in the knick of time fully dressed. I can’t speak for her, but I loved every second of the attention we got on the bus ride over. You can read more about our wedding shenanigans here.

What are you most proud of in your relationship?
Michaela : I’m most proud of our ability to communicate well with each other.
Dasha: I’m most proud of designing a life together that we love. Instead of doing things the way they’re traditionally done we sit down and figure out what makes sense for us.

How about you; what steps have you taken lately to live your authentic life?

If it ain't broke don't fix it.Dasha-Guyton

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Trang Do says:

    Love these photos! Great read!
    Xoxo,
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      Thank you for sticking with it, I know it was SUPER LONG. HAPPY FRIDAY😉

      Like

  2. dannie54 says:

    I love this entire post. Thanks so much for featuring Sarah and I! And I loved reading about Nikki and Mia and (of course) you and Michaela. Living authentically can be hard when it feels like society as a whole is against you but it’s nice to know there are other amazing people beside you, especially our favorite ladies.

    Y’all are amazing.

    xoxo,
    Dannie
    http://www.stilefotocibo.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dāsha says:

      You are more than welcome. It wouldn’t have been the same without you two! It was fun getting to see where everyone’s experiences differ and overlap. Glad we could get it together and share it with the world because REPRESENTATION IS A BIG DEAL!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dannie54 says:

        It’s a REALLY BIG DEAL!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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