Malik and I are a true example of yin/yang. He is a hardcore carnivore, and I am a vegetarian. I was raised Pentecostal, and he was raised Baptist. Malik is what one might call “old fashioned” (opening doors, etc) while he teases me constantly about being “a strong independent woman who don’t need no man!” and (it’s absolutely true!) And this is a BIG one: Malik is EXTREMELY monogamous, while I have been polyamorous for the last 20 years. We live into the moments where we can find common ground and have a lot of fun lovingly debating those areas where we disagree. One thing that we stand firm on is that we both love “our” people—Black folks—deeply and profoundly.
We are both consummate 90’s kids when it comes to our musical preferences. We bonded over eccentrically dated musical tastes when we met and continue to do so. Our romance is heavily influenced by the music we send to one another and often when we can’t find the words to communicate effectively we can find just the right song. This crosses over into our joint love of gospel music. Although neither of us are actively practicing the faiths we were born into we are often spontaneously compelled to honor the deeply instilled practice of praise and worship which brings us both a lot of joy—but can seem weird for folks who just don’t “get it.”
Finally, we are a Black, Queer, Trans, Polyamorous couple. Our relationship shares children, disabilities, distance, poverty and so much more. Our being together after what we have gone through as individuals and as a couple is one huge act of defiance. I have never felt anything less than the utmost love and support from Malik. I can’t think of a time when he hasn’t been willing to fight for me since we first met. We’ve had an interesting time adjusting to each other’s love language and navigating the ways in which we show and receive support, and part of the romance is that we’ve had to fight for it and continue to choose one another.
2021 Love List
- Staying is an Act of Defiance: Malik & Whryne Rasheed
- The Dreamer & the Realist: Daniel Beechler & Michael Lynn
- Our Life is Now: Stella & Vica Steel
- Quarantine Engagement: Dotti Jacob & Kimberly Rose
- The Love They Share: TeKema Balentine & Megan Bentley
- A Lifetime Together: Erv Uecker & Ross Walker
- Dreams Come True: Patrick & Ryan Platta