Modern Queer Romance: Unapologetic with Love
Meet Cale Stoeffler & Adele Levine, a queer couple in Boston. I spent an evening wandering around Jamaica Plain with these two passionate, funny and down to earth people. I asked them what their experience has been like dating in the queer/trans community.
"One of my biggest fears when I first decided to transition was that it would negatively affect my relationships and that I would be unlovable. I had internalized transphobia that came from the many messages we get in our culture about what it means to be trans.
Instead, I found myself to have had my best relationships, romantic and platonic, since coming out as trans 5 years ago. Since coming out I have been able to focus on slowly figuring out not only my own gender identity and expression, but it has allowed me to find people who have loved me for who I am throughout that process. I do my best to live an unapologetic lifestyle, and that has absolutely shaped the relationships I've sought out. I chose to be in relationships with people who are also queer and/or trans and I've realized that solidarity in shared queer experiences and a flexibility with gendered expectations are very important to me. There is something so beautiful and empowering about being unapologetically in love as a trans person in our society; I feel incredibly fortunate."
“I struggle to speak to an experience “dating” in the “queer/trans” “community” because...what even are any of those. My current strategy involves seeking out folks who agree with my (tentative, dynamic) definitions of those words: people who are dedicated to developing intentional, anti-oppressive relationships and spaces in which we can learn, love, rage, and care for each other. Sometimes we mush our faces together! Sometimes we don’t! It’s also important to note that my freedom to pursue the aforementioned endeavor is intricately tied to power – e.g. race, class, citizenship status, to name a few.
A large proportion of my partners, friends, and lovers also identify as queer or trans (although I don’t use those terms synonymously), because explaining my shit is TIRING // A PROJECT // sometimes I just need babes with whom I can bracket the hetero- and cis-normative whackness. Close to 100% of them identify with radical politics and expend their time, energy, brainspace and/or bodyspace in support of anti-racist, -classist, -sexist, -transphobic, -ableist projects. In sum, I express love for my community in myriad ways!”
Of course I couldn't resist making portraits of these two. Here are my favorites from our stroll.