...when love fills you up
Frequent Tinder users know that for every 12th match you make, you MIGHT actually go on one date. More often than not, the conversations you start on the app never translates to a real life connection, leaving you to continue to aimlessly swipe left and right until you see another hopeful match. For newly married couple, Kourtney and Iman, this is exactly how their journey of love started. They matched on Tinder, shared enjoyable conversation, planned to meet in person and then never followed through. But a random chance meeting at a queer party in Brooklyn months later corrected whatever lapse in effort they made before, because now almost two years later, they’ve planned a wedding and an entire life together.
Watch parts of LBH’s conversation of love with Kourtney and Iman above or read it in full below where they talk with LBH about building a lifelong connection, coming out to their parents and what they are looking forward to in the future as a newly married couple.
How did you all meet and how long have y'all been together?
Iman: We met almost two years ago now, at this queer party in Brooklyn. I think it was called Joy, and it was one of the last parties [at] the end of summer.
Kourtney: [It was in] September.
Iman: Yeah, September, and I was there with my friend. I was dancing, having a good time, and I don't know how we ended up close to each other, but we did. We started dancing with each other and we kissed, and it was just like….sparks.
Kourtney: Yeah, it was strange, like a movie. I think my friend was like, we should find somebody to dance with. And somehow, I and Iman locked eyes and started dancing.
Iman: And then at the end of the night, I went to give her my number.
Kourtney: Right, right, right. So she puts the name Iman [in my phone] and I'm like, whoa.
Iman: We [had] actually matched on Tinder.
Kourtney: Like a month or so before that.
Iman: And we were actually planning to meet up, but you know, sometimes on Tinder the conversation just dies out or you just don't follow up with it. But then when we saw each other at the party, I was like, oh shit!
These days there is the “talking” stage, then dating, and then a relationship. What kind of courtship did the two of you have? And what types of conversations did you all have when things started to turn more serious?
Iman: It was very casual at first. There were no immediate plans of being together. We didn't go into it expecting a relationship out of it.
Kourtney: Iman started making googly eyes at me, along with her playlist, like a lovey-dovey song will come on.
Iman: It's just my playlists, but she always thought that I was trying to send signals with the songs that I have on the playlist. It was just a playlist. [But then] we were both out at function (before pandemic obviously) and I just was like, you know, I like you. And I think that's like when we started to take it a lot more seriously.
Kourtney, tell me the most romantic thing Iman has ever done for you?
Kourtney: Iman is a really great gift giver. [When] the pandemic hit, I'm a nurse, so I was working and I basically wasn't allowed over by Iman’s because of that. [And I was] leaving the house one day for work, and there's a package there and It's a keychain. What did it say? *Looks to Iman*
Iman: “I miss your bits and other bits.”
Kourtney: It was just really cute because I didn't even know she knew my address to send the package.
Iman, what did you feel like Kourtney brought to the table that others have not been able to?
Iman: It's a sense of comfort that I have with you that I really haven't had with anybody that I've dated before. I think a lot of people have thought I have walls up, and I even thought that about myself. But I feel like with you, it was so easy to be vulnerable and just talk about any and everything. Even if it was scary, I wanted to express it.
"I don't want to say the word overwhelming, but it just fills me and it just feels great. Every day, the feelings are still there, [and] still getting stronger."
To the both of you, at what moment did you know she was the one?
Kourtney: I think for me it was [when] we were doing random errands for your mom one day and when we pulled back up to your house, I was like, you know, I wouldn't mind being married. It was kind of my proposal.
Iman: Yeah, [for me it was] probably the first time that we ever spent more than just a couple of days together, like we spent a whole week [together]. And just how we operated around each other for that amount of time.
Kourtney: Like a really well-oiled machine. I didn’t have to say much, I could just make a noise and Iman would go and grab what I wanted.
Iman: Just simple things, like watching her when she's cooking for me or something. I was just like, yeah, I could see this, this is great. I love everything about this and I could see this happening for a very long time.
Can you all clear up the timeline of your relationship for us? Considering you guys just got married, but also just starting getting serious at the beginning of the pandemic?
Kourtney: We were [together for] about a year and a month when we got married. The pandemic started around March of 2020, and we got married in April of this year.
Iman: Talking stage was like six months. We spent a long time actually getting to know each other. So when we got into the relationship, it didn't take long for me to say I love you because we had already been building up those feelings for all of that time.
Do you think it made a difference that you guys waited so long to actually get into a relationship?
Kourtney: Yeah, there are just things I feel you can avoid if you talk about it before the fact. So like being a year in, moved in and everything, and then finding out X, Y, and Z isn't compatible, doesn't make sense to me. So I was intent on being slow with Iman.
Iman: And I really appreciated it because I feel like I normally would jump in fast, and then a month or two down the line, you're just like, whoa. I don't really know this person and then what I'm finding out, I don't like. So I feel like by the time that we got into a relationship, I was like, I really, really like this person.
What was wedding planning like in the midst of what seems like a never-ending pandemic? And are you guys planning for a larger wedding down the line?
Iman: We were just like, let's just do this.
Kourtney: I didn't want to wait, we didn't know when COVID would not be a thing.
Iman: So the wedding that we had, I actually really enjoyed. It was really small. It was at my mom's house, like 12 people. My mom cooked, and we bought a shitload of alcohol. It was just really intimate and nice. But we definitely need the party. The party is what we want. We want [to do something] bigger with all the family and friends after the pandemic when everything feels a little bit back to normal. An open bar [with] lots of Soca. All the works. That's definitely down the line for sure.
Does being someone’s wife feel any differently than being someone’s girlfriend? In what ways has you all’s relationship changed since getting married, if at all?
Kourtney: The terminology, like the words [is what makes you feel different].
Iman: Yeah, like the other day, I was filling out a form and I was like, oh shoot, I have to put Mrs. And I was just like, that feels great. But, I [do] feel like now we have a lot more shared responsibilities and stuff like that we're doing together, but in terms of the feelings, it doesn't feel like anything has changed.
Did you guys talk about all the legal paperwork, like changing your last names, before you all got married?
Kourtney: I think from day one, we’ve talked about kids, marriage and the last name stuff. I'm keeping my last name.
Iman: Also me. I'm like the last Derrick (family name), my grandparents had a whole bunch of girls, and I'm the last one with that last name because everybody else got married. I gotta keep it. But we always discussed all of the details, like straight up front, even before we were signing any papers. We just [wanted] to make sure that we're on the same page. Miscommunication is so easy to happen, and I need to know what our intent is, everything down to the insurance or changing last name, whatever it is. We always thoroughly talk about it.
"It feels like such a comfort space, your love just makes me feel blessed."
Do you all see having children in your future?
Kourtney: We talked about this too. Kids are something that we kind of flop on, but at the same time, we don't know if that's in our future or not. But absolutely not right now.
Considering you both come from historically traditional West Indian families, but live a very non-traditional queer life, how do you parents feel about it all? Was it difficult for you all to “come out” to them?
Iman: For me, I put a lot of nerves onto it. My mom is great now, but I feel like when we first came out, it was a bit of a shock. She was blindsided. I had boyfriends when I was 16, so she was like “I thought you liked boys?” So I think for her at first it was a bit of a shock, but once she got on board, she got on board hard.
Kourtney: She has the dog, [and] the family dog has a rainbow handkerchief.
Iman: For my dad, I just knew that he would always love me. My dad and I have such a strong relationship. And, you know, growing up, you might hear little things or they might say things, not about you, but about queer people, so it makes you nervous. I don't want to say the word disappointment, but I was just very nervous that after having such a great relationship something like that could really turn it. But when I told him, he was so amazingly supportive. [And] I think it's a testament to you love your children, and he just got on board immediately. He was literally like, “no why did you not feel that you could tell me? I love you, and this doesn't change anything about how I feel about you.”
Kourtney: For me, my mom dragged me out of my closet my sophomore year of college. She was dropping me [off] at school and was like, “do you have a boyfriend?” And I was like, I'm [just] studying. [So then] she's like,“so you have a girlfriend?” I was drinking something and I spit it all over, like I choked. And then she was like, “you know, I still love you.” I never said a word throughout the whole interaction, I just started balling. I don't know when I would have straight up told her. I wasn't hiding, but I don't know when I would have told her. My younger sister is also really supportive. My dad, not so much, but I don't really interact with him much. But all of my friends have been pretty supportive ever since they knew I was queer.
Iman: Yeah, we've been blessed as Caribbean people for sure.
Do you feel like the black community in general is becoming more accepting of their out and proud queer children?
Iman: Yeah, I definitely do think so. And I think that has a lot to do with representation, it's now been more normalized. Everybody knows queer people, you got them in your life, you see them on TV, you see us everywhere. So I feel like it's definitely led a lot more people to be accepting and understanding of it.
Kourtney: When I look back at how my mom pulled me out of my closet, I feel like she saw the L Word then clicked the show like, let me watch this and see how to get Kourtney out of here (the closet). I've seen her language change because of the representation.
"I was like, you know, I wouldn't mind being married. It was kind of my proposal."
What type of life memories and accomplishments are the two of you looking to make and achieve together now that you have become life partners?
Iman: We are definitely excited about the aspects of a forever home and post pandemic traveling. We both really want to travel and are trying to put ourselves in positions where we have jobs that will allow us to travel.
Kourtney: I'm an aspiring student and am aiming for a pretty big degree. So I am excited to establish that.
Iman: Yeah, and you know, obviously we talk about pets.
Kourtney: Where we are right now, we can't have pets. So the next spot, I will have my dog.
Okay, last question, how does it feel to be loved by her?
Kourtney: It's surreal, I could make a noise or like shift a certain way and Iman will know exactly what I wanted or what I was trying to express.
Iman: I was very much a skeptic, I would’ve never thought I [would be at this] point [with someone.] I was like, maybe I'm not going to be in a relationship or not going to be in love. Because I never felt that before. So it's definitely, I don't want to say the word overwhelming, but it just fills me and it just feels great. Every day, the feelings are still there, [and] still getting stronger.
Kourtney: I don't know how that's possible.
Iman: It really doesn't. It feels like such a comfort space, your love just makes me feel blessed.
Kourtney: There's not much to describe it at all.
Interview by: Kee Simone, LBH Editor-in-Chief (@thebaddiegalore)