In August 2014, Christina Rizleris and Jordan Perry met at a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts. However, the two didn’t get to know each other until their staff holiday party in December 2015. That’s when the sparks flew!
“We were really intentional about the pace of the relationship early on, but we figured out pretty quickly we had something special, so we picked up the pace and had fulfilled that stereotype about queer women and U-Hauls by May,” says Rizleris.
Shortly after, Perry took a new position as a violence prevention educator in Washington, D.C. She moved to the city in August 2016 and Rizleris joined her that September.
When asked when they knew, Perry says, “I don’t remember a precise moment, but rather a series of moments, like a movie montage. Slow dancing together in the living room, making eye contact across the room during a work meeting, squeezing her hand while we drive to the grocery store. I am reminded every day that Christina is the one for me and I choose her every day.”
After watching the third season finale of Orange is the New Black, Perry proposed with antique compass cufflinks, and after the election, Rizleris proposed with Perry’s grandmother’s ring.
Like many people in the LGBTQ community, Perry and Rizleris were disappointed and devastated by the election results. They were fearful for the queer community, people of color, and their marginalized friends.
A discussion with their friend Bobby led to a conversation to get married on Inauguration Day as an act of protest. However, after they heard about the Women’s March taking place the day after the Inauguration, they knew this would be the perfect time to unite.
“We wanted to focus on good things amid the election results. We firmly believe that love trumps hate and life is short. When you find your slice of happiness, you have to hold on tightly to it,” says Rizleris.
Though Rizleris says she would have married Perry anywhere at anytime, they were truly empowered to portray the message that love wins.
“Getting married at the march was like the icing on the cake,” says Rizleris. “The ceremony was beautiful, and we felt surrounded by love and support. Robin and Courtney captured beautiful moments not just of us, but also of the entire march.”
“The main focus of the day wasn’t about us, it was showing up for why we were there to begin with: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, Water is Life, No Human is Illegal, and Love Trumps Hate. Our marriage was just one of many reasons for why we marched,” says Perry.
They hope people will continue to have an “urgency to continue to show up, and not just when white women are impacted.” They also encourage people to create plans of action to stay involved and committed to their communities.
After getting married surrounded by thousands of women and allies, the newlyweds continued their celebration at their favorite Ethiopian restaurant, followed by brunch with friends on Sunday morning. They also plan to have smaller celebrations with their friends and family in Massachusetts and Florida.