…when love is not constrained by time
The concept of “u-hauling,” where a couple who has only been together a short amount of time immediately moves in with each other, is one that is not foreign to the lesbian community by any means. The term “u-haul lesbian” has become somewhat of punchline when anyone, even those outside of our community, refers to the trajectory of how fast lesbians like to move. Unfortunately, history does not tell us why we as lesbians tend to move so fast, but fortunately, not all of us care that much about it in the first place. Any lesbian knows that time and distance are two factors that are never seen as a challenge when pursuing someone they have feelings for. And this forward thinking rings very true for Anastasia and Taylor, who after a mere two weeks of dating, knew they were in love. And after only two months of being together, decided to make things official and get married.
But boxes and emotions were not the only thing Anastasia and Taylor brought along with them. Anastasia’s four wonderful kids (two being twins) and Taylor’s young nephew also joined the newlyweds in this new journey. Being no strangers to the idea of a healthy, lesbian relationship (Anastasia’s mother has been with her wife for 20 years), Anastasia and Taylor wasted no time when it came to nurturing and fostering their connection. And while navigating a new partner and a new version of self hasn’t always been the easiest, both Anastasia and Taylor has made sure that both their union and their home was surrounded by love.
How did you guys meet? Tell us about yourselves as a couple and individually.
Anastasia: One day she popped up on my “People You May Know” I was like oh she's cute...so I added her. The friend request probably sat in her inbox for 2 or 3 weeks before she added me back. From there I kind of liked a post and then you know trying to get her attention, but she was just not picking up what I was putting down at all. So, one day I just inboxed her and was like “Hey, I hope you don't think this is weird but I think you're cute.” And then we basically been talking every day since that moment.
How did you know by week two that you were in love?
Anastasia: Our conversation never really stopped from the first message, I think that we were talking back and forth until like 3 or 4 in the morning almost immediately.
Taylor: We would take a nap and start talking again at 8am.
So, would you guys consider this a true, genuine connection?
Anastasia: Yeah for sure.
" She doesn’t police me. She doesn't fight with me. She's very, very loving and it's something that I never experienced before."
So, I see [Anastasia] you have four children with your high school sweetheart and Taylor is raising her nephew as well. How is it raising a blended queer family with five children?
Taylor: It has its ups and downs, but in general raising children is amazing. The bulk of our kids are 2.5 years old, so like that is a whammy within itself. I guess the downside is how people look at us when we're out together or the criticism our kids would get for having two mothers. Regardless, they get all the love in the world because they have two mothers.
How is it co-parenting with your high school sweetheart? How does it affect you guys? Does it work out well?
Anastasia: I'm going to let Taylor go first.
Taylor: In the beginning, I felt like it was a little rough, like any person he was taking it a little hard that she was trying to move on after 10 years, which I understand. But now, since a year has passed, he actually respects me, talks to me, checks up on me and makes sure we are all good. We have a mutual understanding, and besides the natural emotions that occur as adults, we are now mature enough to just raise this family together. Which is all I am trying to do. Just trying to make sure these kids get to where they need to be to be successful.
Anastasia: I think that, honestly, I could have handled the situation better...because even though he and I were broken up we were still kind of in a weird situationship. What prompted me to reach out to Taylor was I asked him like “what are we doing we're getting too old” and he told me he didn't know. So, I took that as it was appropriate for me to go and move on but I didn't expect to meet anybody so quickly. It just happened. And he has a lot of respect for Taylor, I will say that. Sometimes he is actually nicer to her than he is to me. We are still figuring it out. Now that he has his situation going and he has his own life that is completely and totally separate from me…I think that as he's gotten his independence…it was easier for him to accept the situation for what it is. It was no longer lost on him. [baby crying in back]
How is it raising twins and another child under the age of three?
Taylor: That is very interesting, I’ve never been exposed to twins at such a young age. They can’t yet tell the difference since I did come into their life at such a young age. They just think I’m their other mom. As far as my nephew, I cut his umbilical cord so he's been with me since day one. So now, having twins and another one, they keep me on my toes. They make me feel old but keep me young if that makes sense.
How was it [Taylor] been with the older two kids? Do they accept you?
Taylor: Well, I can relate to them. My mother didn't introduce me to my stepdad until I was almost eight. I remember exactly how I felt about him so I try to be more conscious with them. With the younger one of the two, it wasn't that hard to get her to come around, but the oldest...she was a tough one to crack. You know, kids like things. It wasn't too too hard but hard enough.
So, you guys have three girls and two boys, which is a handful. Do all of them get along?
Taylor: As much as siblings would. They have their typical sibling rivalries. The older two against each other and the toddlers against each other. But, when either of them are gone, if somebody is missing the whole tribe is asking where such and such is...they're always asking about each other's whereabouts. They always care, they don't let anybody else hurt them but they hurt each other. I don't get it, but it's a great bond. Even though that's my nephew, they all look at my nephew like that is their brother. He calls my wife mom (when he wants something) other than that she's Stasia. We are a big family.
“Hey, I hope you don't think this is weird but I think you're cute.”
How was it for you [Anastasia] to introduce your kids to a queer lifestyle coming from a heterosexual relationship?
Anastasia: Well, the thing about that is my mom is actually a lesbian as well. She's been with my step mother for about twenty years. So, this wasn't an idea that was foreign to them at all. They've grown up with two grandmothers so it was like whatever. I think the biggest thing for especially like my oldest, obviously, she doesn't know my personal preferences or anything. She just didn't know that I liked women in the first place. But it wasn’t something that was hard to explain because she's already familiar with. Honestly, were in a very queer environment. My mom’s friends are all long-time couples, so it's not something that gets lost on them.
Anastasia, did you know you always liked womxn or was Taylor the first?
Anastasia: I mean I have been, will say, talking to girls since high school. She's the only one I’ve taken serious, but this isn't something I’m new to.
So, what made you take her seriously if you've haven’t with a womxn before?
Anastasia: I had a situation where I was involved with another woman prior to but I didn’t know if I could be with a woman seriously. While I did end up getting my feelings hurt, it did open my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t 100% comfortable with a man, and what I really wanted out of a relationship.
Does heteronormativity ever find its way into your relationship?
Taylor: I mean, it's equal but there are definite roles. You can tell there are roles, I'm more masculine. Of course, I take out the trash and mow the grass and what not, but that's because I want to. But it's even. If she's not feeling well, I'll take over. If she’s cooking or dealing with the kids, I’ll clean. The things that we know and what makes us, us is kind of the role that we play. I know how to work on cars, she's really good with cooking, doing hair, things of that nature. I'm more of a hands-on person, she's the paperwork person.
Anastasia: I’ll say just to add on to what Taylor is saying, it's not that it’s so much of you're the masculine one and you do these things and you're the feminine one and you do these things. It's more so we are just going with what our strengths are naturally. Taylor is the breadwinner, I’m totally okay with that. I'm the type of mom that when the kids need to be picked up from school or they need to go to the doctor, I have the luxury of staying at home and being able to take care of them. It’s just one of those things where it’s not like that purposely but it worked out like that for us.
How does it feel to be loved by her?
Taylor: Honestly, for me, it's one of the most amazing feelings that I’ve ever felt. I mean it's up there with being loved from my mother. I don't have to worry about anything, not where I’m going to lay my head, not where I’m going to eat, she's constantly making sure I’m okay.
Anastasia: Honestly, it's great because for the first time I don't feel like I have to fight for
myself or change anything about my personality. I don't have to change how I dress or how I talk or whether or not I want to wear makeup or don't want to wear makeup. She doesn’t police me. She doesn't fight with me. She's very, very loving and it's something that I never experienced before. I've never been with someone that was so hyper focused on me, making sure that I’m happy and making sure I’m okay. All around supporter.
What does love look like to you when time isn’t a factor?
Written by: Jay Hardy (@KaliforniJAY)