Heaps EnGayged: Kristina and Kristen
By Isabella Cornell
We loveeeee love, so with a little help from our friends at the Australian Marriage Equality Campaign, we’re catching up with some beaut couples about their loves and how equality would affect them and the community- Stay tuned! And if you want us to feature you, send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Kristina (Kay) and Kristen (Krissy)!
How did you meet?
We went to the same university and studied the same course (Performing Arts), and had 100 mutual friends but we didn’t officially meet until 2013. We met through a mutual friend that Kay was living with. Krissy was a personal trainer at the time, and Kay was a hairdresser, so Krissy trained Kay and Kay cut Krissy’s hair. After Krissy’s previous relationship ended, love blossomed between us. We got married in New Zealand in late 2014.
Why is marriage important to you?
Krissy: Because it is important that two people who love each other make a commitment to one another unlike anything else, and to build a family. It’s saying to the world, this is my family. We break away from our parents to create our own family. Don’t hate, procreate.
Kay: In terms of the law here in Australia, marriage equality is a symbol of true equality. It has always been a human rights thing for me. Personally, marriage is a strengthened commitment and celebration of a bond that already exists.
Has it always been important for you?
Krissy: Sure has. I’m what her friends call “the marrying kind”. Having lived apart from my family for so long, that the idea of creating my own family means that I can start again. I can have that bond for the rest of my life with someone that I know will always have my back.
Kay: I seesawed back and forth. When I was 21 I was engaged to a man (I’m bisexual). I realised later that I wanted to marry him because I liked the idea of marriage, but was not a fan of the expected gender roles that opposite sex marriage seemed to have. After we broke up, I became very anti marriage for that reason. I saw so many women marrying their boyfriends because it was the expected thing to do and I didn’t want that with anyone, male or female. When I proposed to Krissy it was because I wanted to share my life with her. I wanted to be her wife and for her to be mine. Marriage for the sake of marriage has never been important to me. Marriage to someone I adore – my soulmate, if you will – is extremely important.
How does not being able to get married make you feel?
Krissy: Like the kid on the sports field that doesn’t get chosen for a team. I feel picked on and bullied for being “different”, I’m brown, so being discriminated against is something I already have experienced. Being gay and brown just makes it hit harder and hurt more. Kay: It makes me feel discriminated against! I’m a white, cis-gendered woman with a good education, I have a great deal of privilege. But to have our government tell me that I can’t have or do the same thing as every other Australian simply because I’m queer is straight up discrimination. It is unfair, pure and simple. And it’s cruel. When we got married in New Zealand, we made a commitment to each other that we take very seriously. We have a marriage certificate that is not recognised here. That makes us feel as if our relationship is not taken seriously.
If you could get married today what would you do?
Plan a wedding that reflects who we are as people: lots of food, drink, dancing, singing and general silliness. Our wedding in NZ was lovely, but only a small amount of Kay’s extended family could be there. We want an Australian wedding that gives us a chance to celebrate with our parents and our friends.
What traditions do you plan to stick with when you do get married? What do you plan to do away with?
Krissy: I’d do away with gender stereotypes. We are both the wife in our relationship! Keep marital vows, whatever they may be. We’ll be taking each other’s name (which will make things very confusing since our first names are so similar!) because we’d like our kids to have the same name as their parents. We will be entitled to each other’s stuff, ha ha! We’ll change our titles to Mrs.
Kay: Tradition? Pfft, I’m not a traditionalist. I’m anti gender stereotypes and expected gender roles, I’m not giving up my name, and I’m not going to stay at home looking after the house! However, Krissy and I have discussed all of this and compromised on certain things like our names. We will hyphenate our surnames for our future kids and because I’m proud to be a part of her family, as she is with mine.
We have three cats, Sappho, Persephone and our youngest, Orpheus. Krissy was not a fan of cats before she met Kay, so there was a period of adjustment. When we got Orpheus, it was only three months after we got together and all our friends thought it was a “big responsibility”. Three years later, we’re confirmed crazy cat ladies. They’re our kids. Krissy is also a well known drag king in the LGBTIQ community. His name is Justin Teliqure and Kay is his ‘manager wife’. Our success is based on the fact that we work together as a team, which is strengthened by our relationship as a couple.
This interview was in collaboration with our friends at the Australian Marriage Equality Campaign.
To find out more about their work, visit their website here.