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Iowayn & Naomi – Finding the Perfect (Lab) Partner

Iowayn & Naomi – Finding the Perfect (Lab) Partner

Black lesbian couple having engagement photos in Oakland California

These science teachers met in a lab, and the sparks flew immediately – the chemistry undeniable. And, it was only the start of their magnetic romance.

On a chilly San Francisco summer of 2015, two women walked into a lab at the Exploratorium Museum of Science in San Francisco, CA. We went there for a week-long professional development opportunity for science teachers. Naomi walked into the training lab and saw Iowayna sitting at a table in the corner. Hence, she walked over to Iowayna and asked, “Is someone sitting here?”, Iowayna looked up to see Naomi with gorgeous cascading curly brown hair falling around her beautiful, expressive face, and sparks flew! Naomi, dazzled by the flash of pearly white teeth and smooth cocoa buttered skin, knew she had found the one – the perfect (lab) partner. They spent the rest of the week at the Exploratorium experimenting, negotiating, learning, and maybe even flirting – their connection was instant chemistry. Iowayna and Naomi have had a magnetic romance ever since. 

What is your favorite memory together?

Our first date has always been a favorite memory for us! We were supposed to meet up at this end-of-summer teacher party, but something came up, and Naomi wasn’t going to be able to attend. However, we didn’t live far from each other, so I asked Naomi if she wanted to meet up for a drink later that evening, you know, show me around the neighborhood since I was still new to the City, and Naomi agreed. 

A few old-fashioned’s over a fantastic conversation, jokes, and generally enjoying each other’s company had us both hoping the night would never end. We left that place in search of a restaurant that Naomi swore had the best burritos, only to find they had closed hours ago, which prompted us to check the time. It was after midnight, though it barely felt like any time had passed. We walked around the neighborhood and found a corner in the back of a little late-night spot to share a super burrito and more laughs before making our way to another venue to close out the night underneath the summer stars. We’ve spent the better part of six years finding spaces to break bread, share laughs, and discover more about our love for each other.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?

We have overcome many challenges from housing instability living in the Bay Area, battling homophobia from our families, and losing loved ones. However, our biggest challenge was continuing to choose each other and to love each other out loud despite all the obstacles telling us that life would be “easier” if we chose differently. We wake up each day choosing each other and showing ourselves and this world a revolutionary kind of love, an undying love, a healing love.

Tell us your favorite thing about one another.

My favorite thing about Iowayna is her ability to break the tension so effortlessly in any situation. She has this natural ability to melt people’s hearts, light up a room, and bring joy to wherever she goes. 

It is nearly impossible not to laugh, smile, or be giddy around her.

My favorite thing about Naomi has always been her confidence. It’s incredibly sexy to see Naomi in her element. She knows who she is and how she wants to show up in spaces and has known that for a while; you can tell by the way she carries herself. And I know I’m cheating by giving you two, but one of my most favorite things about Naomi is her laugh. The sound of her laugh fills my heart with a joy I can’t even describe. It’s so beautiful.

What’s in the future for you both?

Now that we are married, we want to travel and enjoy each other. We will also start planning for kids and a home because those things take some long-term planning. Who knows what the world will do in the near future, but we know that as long as we have each other, we can handle anything.


Photography by Amani Wade

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