Jenn and Afton Wrapped in Christmas LightsJenn and Afton met in social work school at Shepard University. Both had similar interests and passions; they quickly became friends. Friends often wondered if they were together because their connection was so strong.

That connection deepened as both struggled in relationships and life situations that just weren’t right. The moments they spent together became a refuge. Those moments eventually developed into a love that keeps growing.

Through breaking gender barriers, norms and societal expectations and pressures we have created a safe space for each of us to be honored and respected when often in our lives we have not been given that opportunity.

Jenn and Afton

Jenn and Afton identify as a queer couple. This term has been embraced by some  who do not fit into our culture’s constructs of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This has been done to reclaim a word once used to inflict harm and also to honor the diversity of experience and expression of gender and sexuality.

Their experience as a queer couple subjects them to bias, misunderstandings and even discrimination. Both rely on the love and support they share to endure this challenge.

Both strive to be a good partner and know the “little things” make a huge difference. These things help each partner feel supported and understood. Their conflicting schedules require them to cherish each moment they have together, each text, each note and each opportunity to show their love. Their creativity has helped them make the most out of any situation whether it’s a camping trip or impromptu trash can sledding experience. Both seek ways to make life better and easier for one another.

They support each other wholeheartedly and love each other for exactly who they are. They absolutely glow when they are around each other and exude happiness.

Kat Adams, friend of Afton and Jenn

Jenn and Afton compillation PhotoTheir steadfast dedication to one another is evident to anyone fortunate enough to be around them. Their connection is apparent.

Both are social workers and are dedicated to community activism and service. Being committed to social change and a partner can be difficult. Both figure out how to “make it work” — enduring long distance, picking up an extra job, moving to a new place — because they know what they have is rare and something to be honored.

Their commitment and dedication to each other is about to be “formal!” Jenn and Afton were engaged 10/13/2012! They share their engagement story here and look forward to marrying 9/13/13 in Jenn’s home state of Maryland.

Jenn and Afton are an amazing example of love. We wish them all the best!

Read our previous love story in the 2013 Hot Healthy Love Series:

Matthew and Tiffany