Adriana and Karla came out when they were both nearly thirty, late bloomers in their eyes. When they did, their families weren’t accepting of their LGBTQ+ relationship, however, they have such an unconditional love for one another, that they’ve worked through the challenges.
You have such a unique love story. Tell us more!
A & K: We met online before online dating was a thing. In fact, we weren’t even trying to date at all…my phone was just broken. Actually, Karla and I are both huge nerds and met on a forum for Blackberry users. Karla helped me troubleshoot something with my phone, and I realized that on her profile, she mentioned she was Salvadorian like me.
We became friends and bonded over our love of pupusas and everything Salvadorian!
Eventually, we met in person. One day while at a San Francisco Giants game, everything changed; I had jokingly pointed out how this was the most non-date date I had ever been on. I was feeling all nervous and coy (which is nothing like me), unsure why, and as we walked through the crowd, I reached out for her hand to guide me, and I knew then, this was it.
Tell us your favorite memory together.
K: I have two. There was this time when we met up and went to eat pupusas. We spent hours telling jokes, sharing stories, and talking about one another. It was so interesting to hear her perspective in life, to learn about her and see all her emotions relived again by her words. We spent so much time there that our server came to check on us to make sure we were okay. I’m sure at some point she was wondering how long we would be in there. The conversations were so good, and we laughed so hard. It was a mixture of learning how similar and different we were in a place that represented our culture and our roots. It was beautiful.
One of my other favorite memories was when we went to the Giants vs. Dodgers game together the first time. I remember just sitting there, enjoying the energy, and once they started playing Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing.” Adriana was singing with so much heart, so much soul. Her face showed so much bliss, so much happiness. It radiated through our environment. It made me smile from ear to ear and join along with her a bit.
I fell in love with her energy and her spirit as she continued to sing along and dance.
A: My favorite memory is of the Seattle trip we took when we got engaged. I had planned this whole elaborate trip for us, which included a photo session. Karla hijacked it from me, by going behind my back and coordinating with the photographer our whole proposal. Long story short, the photographer was running “late,” and I was super annoyed. Little did I know that she had asked him to stall so she could prepare the perfect moment to go down on one knee.
I didn’t see it coming at all, and everything about it was absolutely magical and surprising.
You’ve navigated challenges together, especially around being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Can you talk about that?
K: I mean, we are two women that are in love; that’s a huge challenge in itself on this planet. I always tell her, it’s us against the world, always.
We were both late bloomers coming out, being close to our 30s. There were many challenges with that among our friends and family. We had to have talks about our support systems, current and prior, during our relationship and marriage. It is tiring to continue to educate people about LGBTQ+ issues.
We also have had to unlearn our own perceptions on this, as we were taught about homophobia from our own environments.
She may not believe it, but I really appreciate Adriana in challenging me on these things. She has helped me grow and expand my thoughts, values, points of view, etc., regarding these issues, more so than I had already had. People always say communication is key in relationships, and although true, I also believe comprehension is just as much needed.
I grew up in a household where we didn’t talk about things. She has taught me that it is okay to feel your feelings, wrong or right, and to not be afraid to talk about it and break it down. She reminds me that we are a team every day, in this together, through our own battles individually and together. It is important to remember that.
I’m not perfect, neither is she, and we still grow and learn about one another.
Challenges will continue to come as we grow; it’s how we learn to handle it that matters. We are there for one another regardless, through the thick and the thin, which has helped keep our hearts full, even when we are down. I am so blessed to have her, so blessed and grateful for her patience. She’s my definition of a ride or die in life, and I truly believe we can overcome many things together through our love as one—her and I against the world.
A: Dealing with my family has been a challenge. I, unfortunately, have not had a relationship with my parents since Karla and I got together a little over eight years ago.
My parents are devout Christians, and conservative in their political views. They are blatantly homophobic and opposed to our relationship. Adding to it is that this goes unchallenged by the rest of my family, which has been and continues to be so hurtful.
My family dynamics are extremely complicated, and after our wedding in 2016, my mental health took a hard hit due to an incident that happened on our wedding day.
Karla has stuck through it with me, which I know isn’t easy for her. Nonetheless, she has helped me pick up every single broken piece my family has created and restored it with gentleness and love. I wish I could say we have overcome it, but how does one truly overcome your own family being so cruel. It is easier now, and it gets easier every day. We work intentionally in our relationship, our love, and our home is our place of peace and respite. I take care of my mental health very intentionally, for me and for the both of us, and Karla supports that every step of the way.
Captured by Silvia Poropat Stories