Six queer Atlanta love stories doing Valentine’s Day their way

Making love has always been an endeavor unique to each bond, and the queers in this Q magazine feature prove it in their stories and in stunning pics by one of LGBTQ Atlanta's own, including a few shots not seen in our print edition.

Just in time for the “season of love,” turn the page for our latest photo essay from queer Atlanta photographer Jon Dean and find six LGBTQ+ love stories with quips, insights and advice for making it work.

All photos by Jon Dean jondeanphoto.com

 

Rigel & Cameron

@rigelgemini @cameronleeart

How long have you been together?

7 years as of April 2018. Married Oct 2015

How did you meet?

We met out at a gay club in San Francisco. Cameron walked up to me at the bar and said I had a nice smile, and it was love at first sight.

Describe your ideal date night in Atlanta.

Our ideal date night would be one that includes good food, art and dancing. Lately one of our favorite date restaurants is Parish in Inman Park. They have such romantic lighting!

Best advice for fellow queers looking for love?

Love will arrive when you are feeling most confident and comfortable with yourself. Be open to new connections out in the real world, not just from the dating apps!

 

Pat & Cherry

How did they meet?

In a Toys R Us store in Huntsville, Alabama, where they both worked 30 years ago.

What keeps them together?

Social justice and shared experiences.

In 1994, Pat was the co-founder of “Olympics Out of Cobb,” a grassroots response to a municipal ordinance that officially rejected “the gay lifestyle” in the county. The organization first got 1996 Olympic Volleyball events moved out of the county, then went on to have the Olympic Torch skip the county as it wound its way to open the Games. Pat is also co-founder of Southerners On New Ground.

Together, the couple are active in intersectional justice and support the Atlanta Dream.

 

HRO & Christophe

@HROTIME @ChristopheChaisson

How did you meet?

HRO and I met briefly on Easter Sunday in the parking lot of Ansley Square. It wasn’t ‘til exactly a month later that he asked me to help him run some errands, which resulted in a night that would change my life.

Ideal date night:

Turning a fierce look, chowing down some delicious food whether that be Ramen or Italian, and spending the night together listening to music that makes our hearts soar. Or a good fuck in a public restroom is always fun.

Best advice for fellow queers looking for love?

Don’t settle. There is no perfect person out there, yet I have found someone who loves me and cares for me to the best of their ability. Communicate frequently with vulnerability and honesty. You will find your unicorn!

 

Yancey, Maggy & Naomi

@yancexx  @psycho_x_girlfriend  @tyrabanksfanclub

How did you meet?

So it started with sending a photo of a not excited dog to Yancey asking, “Why isn’t this pup so excited?” It lead to Naomi being left on read for 300,000 years, but now here we are – all obsessed w each other.

Describe your ideal date night in Atlanta.

Convincing Maggy and Yancey to come to Roswell to smoke weed with me in my car in front of my mom’s house, then after we cuddle and watch Million Dollar Matchmaker until one of us cries.

Best advice for fellow queers looking for love?

Start poking people on Facebook… You’re not getting any younger!

 

Austin & Khanh

@austinbadbad  @someasiandude

How long have you been together?

5 years

How did you meet?

We met through OKCupid. It matched us at 98% compatible. We went on a date to Bookhouse, where I [Khanh] ordered quail and dissed pizza. Austin messaged me afterwards saying that he didn't think we'd be a good fit. After a few years past, we ran into each other at a party where we talked in a non-stressful date setting. He started following me on Instagram, and the rest is history.

Describe your ideal date night in Atlanta.

A day thrift-tiquing at Value Village/Highland Row, going to eat at a new, interesting or pop-up restaurant, then ending with doughnuts from Sublime or Krispy Kreme.

Best advice for fellow queers looking for love?

Just be yourself. Don't conform to what you feel other people want or are looking for. If you don't fit into any molds, don't try to. Make your own mold. Also don't measure your value through other people’s eyes. You need to be able to see it in yourself first.

To quote a great person "If you don't love yourself, how the hell you gonna to love somebody else?"

 

Barry & Patrick

@TheQueerIndigo   @PatrickJosephBoston

How long have you been together?

A little over 2 years

How did you meet?

We met at Katz Cafe in Atlanta. We were both there to see singers that we knew. The whole evening turned into the most absurd story of two people meeting for the first time.

Describe your ideal date night in Atlanta.

A pop up dinner and a live show, whatever kind of great entertainment we can find.

Best advice for fellow queers looking for love?

Communicate niiiiiiice and clearly. We are in an open poly relationship. We are extremely independent individuals who live separate lives and appreciate our time together. We make sure that there is room for friends, passions and projects outside one another. On the flip side, we make it a point to support the other's work whenever and however we can.

Think outside of the heteronormative version of what one thinks a relationship is supposed to look like and know that you can manifest and create whatever version of relationship you wish. Love and sex are not mutually exclusive, nor are they the defining factors in love and romance.

p>This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue below, and pick up your hard copy at LGBTQ venues around town: