Alex & Kris- My Favorite Engaged Couple
Alex (she/her/hers) is the founder and chief event manager of Lex Events. Kris (she/her/hers) recently accepted a position to sit on the board of Metropolitan Counseling Services, helping to create positive change in the Atlanta community. I admire both of these women for promoting love and creating a better world in their own way.
How do you identify?
A- We're pretty comfortable with any term. Usually, I identify as queer over lesbian. Kris identifies as gay over lesbian.
How long have you known about yourself?
A- I knew when I was 12 years old. I knew immediately when I laid my eyes on Laura, this perfect girl who wore hoop earrings with her bikini, that I wasn’t straight. I didn’t know what I was but I knew I wasn’t what the Church told me to be.
K- Jeez I don't know....kindergarten or first grade. I didn't know what to call it. I didn't have words - I just knew that I liked girls better than boys. I remember having my first crush on a girl when I was in first grade. I just liked her so much more than a regular friend.
Is your family affirming?
K- Yes. Period.
A- Somewhat. I think they struggle because they have this vision for how they want their kid’s life to go and then their kid is like “nope.” (Laughs) My mom says that these things take time. It’s hard because it wasn’t really a transition for me. I guess some of it is my fault for not being honest about my sexuality as a kid. I think if I told them earlier on, they would have come around a lot faster.
What does love look like?
K- It looks like a scrunched up nose when she's smiling that signature smile.
A- The prettiest latte made by your favorite barista when nobody else is in your corner at the coffee shop. It's like when your favorite place is finally all yours.
Why is marriage important to you?
A- Ugh. This one. My little sister has a friend who asked me why I need to call it “marriage.” In her mind, I'm trying to ruin a Christian institution. So firstly I think it’s important to name that marriage is not a Christian institution. Secondly, marriage is the concept of forever that has changed over time. When I think of how we've transformed this concept of marriage from possession to a concept of equality I feel inspired. In that understanding, Kris and I will forever be committed to each other as equal partners for the rest of our physical lives. No matter what you believe- that's a beautiful idea.
K- Because it gets us one step closer to equality in this country. But, I'm an oldie. Marriage was not something that I ever thought I would be able to take part in. The way Alex and I view it is totally different because of our age. I just think it shows how far we've come, that everyone should be able to have that sense of family with the person they love. And that Alex, younger than me, has a different view, one that's more inclusive, is telling of the progress we've made. It gives me the comfort of knowing that if Alex were ever sick, or dying, our entire life couldn't be ripped away from us due to unfair legalities.
What is LEX Events?
A- The idea came to me at a trade show that I was working for my corporate job. I got talking to a friend who felt like none of her wedding vendors understood how she wanted them to work. I was incredibly inspired by this idea that wedding planning was, for lack of a better word, becoming stoic and boring. I've been a creative my whole life, but everything kind of fell into place with this one. I realized there was a need that people like myself and Kris had, and it wasn't being fulfilled by the current market in our geographic location - so, I decided to make something to fill it. I think that's how all grand ideas are born - you see a need, you fill that need. Now I plan modern, sexy elopements and weddings for alt-couples (my jokey term for couples who don't fit the standard heteronormative culture of the 'big white wedding'). I've gotten to connect with other like-minded vendors and have seen some of the world's most beautiful modern takes on weddings, and I'm so fucking happy that this is the direction the world is heading. It's a dream. https://www.lexevents.co/
K- I’m very, very proud of my future wife. Alex is so talented. And out of all her entrepreneurial endeavors she's started in the short time I've known her (laughs), this one really hits home for what she wants. I can see her passion in it. She does it effortlessly. LEX Events is another company that supports the LGBTQ community...I guess what I'm trying to say is that the more recognized and mainstream companies like her become, the more it brings about normalcy and acceptance of our community. It brings in allies. Which I think is really important because we can't move forward without our allies. So even though she does specialize in LGBTQ weddings, doing all types of weddings (really, importantly, straight ones) brings her company full circle. It's about all of us together.
Is it important for you to make public statements about being out and proud?
A- I don’t like to make statements anymore. There was a time in my life but I just don’t think you reach the right people that way. I’d prefer for people who disagree with gay marriage, to learn and love the human me first, then learn to accept and welcome me along with my sexuality second.
K- Yes. I feel strongly that people in the working world, especially in the South, are afraid of what coming out will do to their career. I hope to be a positive example of someone who can be successful and very openly gay.
What are you passionate about?
A- I’m passionate about people knowing their worth. When I see something amazing in people, I tell them. This world would be a different place if all of us understood that we are equally worthy of love and joy during our short time here.
K- Hmm. A lot of things:
I'm passionate about being open and sharing with people.
Mental health. That's a big one. In this country and around the world. Helping people no matter their background. Everyone no matter how they were brought up, deserves a chance or two, or three, or four.
Never giving up.
How do you celebrate love?
A- By unloading the dishwasher. By making the bed. By sending her flowers. By writing snail mail to clients. By volunteering my time and heartspace for organizations like Planned Parenthood and LGBT-centric nonprofits. We can all celebrate love in our small acts. It doesn't have to be grandiose to be genuine. Everything has a butterfly effect. Everything.
K- By affirmation. Whenever we need it. Being involved in each other's lives and passions. Supporting but also challenging each other, to make each other better. Not just better people -- but a better us, a better bond.
What advice do you have for someone who hasn’t come out yet?
A- It’s an unpopular and brash opinion but just fucking do it already. It might be hard, but honestly, you are doing yourself no favors by hiding. That moment when you finally accept yourself and put yourself first is the first moment you can begin to positively impact your circle of society. Life is too fucking short. Others have gone before you and many others will come behind you. So come out. We will love you.
K- My advice would be to come out as soon as possible... But, don't necessarily rush it. Because it takes time. Everyone's situation takes a different road. But coming out is the first step in being yourself and being true to who you are. That's important.
This week's photos were taken by the dreamy Steph Grant. http://www.stephgrantphotography.com/blog/ She is crazy talented and a huge inspiration for me. Steph is the founder of Promote Love. If you haven't heard about it yet, check it out! It's a project that provided me and countless others hope when there seemed none. http://www.promotelovemovement.com/