Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Couple Highlights: Jennifer & Aedian Baker (Star)

Jennifer and Aedian Baker (Star)
from Durham, North Carolina

How long have you been together?  Both: We have been together for 5 years and we were married on March 6, 2012.  

How did you get together/meet? Jennifer: I knew Star's ex-girlfriend because we used to work together and we shared a due date. After our babies were born 2 days apart, we continued to make plans to have play dates. In December of the same year, I had a family tragedy and Star came out of hiding to send me a message on Facebook. We discovered that we loved each other's writing and so we shared our stories. I let Star read my online journal and that's how our friendship started. 

Star: I was with my ex-girlfriend for 5 years but I was miserable. Too much had happened between us and I was staying with her out of comfort and presumed obligation. I had promised her that I would always be there for her and I felt very strongly about keeping my promise. After Jennifer and I connected through our journals, my intentions were to hook her up with my ex-girlfriend's little brother.

I think one day there was a picture posted on Facebook that she didn't mean for me to see. I told her about the picture and somehow we got to talking about her curiosity with my lifestyle. From there (blushing) a threesome was arranged between me, Jennifer and my ex-girlfriend.  Even though I was determined to make Jennifer mine from the moment I saw that picture, a polyamorous relationship developed and we three stayed together for 2 years. After a bunch of drama and a year of homelessness, Jennifer and I wanted to be together exclusively.

What did the journals reveal about her that peaked your interest? Jennifer: I got to see what made her tick. A lot of her journal was her thoughts and feelings and I got to see her hidden qualities. I got to see her hidden vulnerability. Star’s exterior persona is stud but internally she is soft and vulnerable like a cuddly bear. I liked the two sides and I liked how they molded together. She exuded male-dominant energy but with soft curves that reminded me that she's all woman. Star: Her journal revealed that she didn’t't really get taught much about the world. It revealed that she felt broken in areas of her life that she didn't have to be. I saw some things that would keep her from her true potential. 

How did the journals transform your relationship? Star: When we met, we were just homies and the sex thing was just us being young. But sharing our journals gave us a foundation for a friendship. The journals helped us communicate the hard things that we couldn’t say out loud. Jenn is a brilliant writer.

Star, how did acknowledging your male and female energy make you feel? Gay. When I met Jenn I was in transition from all of the rules. I found myself veering from being hard core to being my natural self. How would you classify yourself now? I don’t know. I don’t follow rules anymore. At 27, I am coming into my own and rules no longer work for me. At 25 I was a“touch me not” stud but that didn’t work for me and that didn’t work in our relationship. I had to learn to be vulnerable which was hard for me to do. Jenn is very supportive of the change. 

What was the initial attraction?  Jennifer: Star had a way with words like no other. She put pictures in my head and sent my imagination into total overdrive. I found myself craving her conversations and replaying our stories over and over again. She ignited feelings in me that I thought I had long put away.  Feelings that made me question why I ever tried to hide those feelings in the first place. 

Jenn, tell me more about those feelings: I had already experimented sexually with women and loving a woman felt right. With boys, I always felt that something was missing. With Star, all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and I felt at peace. 

Star: Jenn’s heart is as deep as the ocean and she trusted me. If I had to put a word to it, I would have to say that I felt honored to be given that level of trust. Even with me telling her that I was only human and that I messed up too, she trusted me. I got to know Jenn as both fragile and strong.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? Both: We both agree that friendship is key. We don't always communicate well and our love languages are different but our friendship is on a rock-solid foundation. We rely on friendship because even in the longest relationships, you can't always be a couple.

What makes your friendship so special? Star: She is my homie and we play a lot. We can sit all day, we can wrestle and we can tickle each other’s feet. She’s fun. Jennifer: I can tell her anything. I can tell her a bad thing and she will just ask “how do you feel about that”. Star is very accepting. 

What do you mean by “you can’t always be a couple”? Star: We don’t always like each other in a romantic way. Jenn and I have at least two weeks per month where we can’t stand each other but we love chocolate so there’s something to bond over. LOL

How do deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Jennifer: We write. Our word is our bond, and if we put it on paper, then we always have a reminder of the promises we made. We have very demanding responsibilities to our families and communities, and sometimes spoken words get lost in the wind. When we take the time to write each other, it shows that the other is important and it forces us to really choose our words carefully. 

You mention family demands. I know that you both have children. How do you manage the relationship with your ex-partners so that you can co-parent the children? Star: Jailynne doesn’t have her father.  My girls, Katori and Kynnedi Noelle, call me Daddi.JJ's father finally came around and now he stays around and provides. But even though he has earned our respect, I am still the provider, protector and disciplinarian for all of my kids. My baby’s mother feels that Jenn stole me so she has been a problem. Jennifer: Since I am a baby momma, I know “baby momma” tricks. I will not let her use the children as pawns. I am learning to just ignore her because Star loves those kids. All of our kids get along too because they grew up together. They know each other as brother/sister.  

How have your families supported your relationship? Star:  My family has always been very supportive. Jennifer’s mother did everything in her power to hurt us. Her mother put a lot of bad ideas in the kids’ head. For example, her mother told the kids that if I hit them, tell a white person at school and they would get to live with her. Jennifer: With Star’s help, I have gotten stronger and bolder. I wrote my mom a letter and told her that her relationship with the kids was damaging them. However, she never got the letter. Star encouraged me to speak with her and we are better now. 

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Star: Jennifer came from a religious background.  I grew up in the Baptist church but had given up on religion and God by age 6. When I started coming around Jenn, there was conflict with her mom and her church pastor. When she left the church, it was almost like a piece of her left. That made me reevaluate how much I needed God in my life. I've only been back in church for a year but Jennifer supports me and answers my questions. Others tend to misconstrue my words.

Star, what made you give up on religion so early in life? My intuition; I knew that they were full of it. Their teachings didn’t match up with their actions. I was having sex with girls since the 3rd grade and I didn’t know it was a word for it but it felt right. Also, my pastor was preaching about the same sins that I saw going on in the church.

Jennifer: I grew up in churches thinking that God hated homosexuality and that caused me to suppress my natural feelings toward girls. The last church I attended made me quit all of my ministries because I was pregnant out of wedlock. I knew that the God I wanted to serve wouldn't punish me for my mistakes, but I couldn't find a church that taught that same principle. 

It was after almost a year of coming up with excuses that we finally walked into a church together. We found Imani MCC and the first thing the greeter said was “welcome home”. Imani has become our church home and it is an accepting church. They don’t try to hide their stories and we just fit in. Now I see God continuing to bless us in more ways than one. Our relationship with each other is getting stronger and we have added a support system.  .

Couples need support systems because relationships are not always easy. What do you feel is the value of a support system? Star: It is invaluable. At first, it was only me and Jenn and that really wore on our relationship. Initially we didn’t let people in but we figured out that we needed people. When I can’t get through to her, I send Jenn to her best friend’s house and she comes home a brand-new person. As girls, we get emotional but our friends are always there to check us and to listen to us. After we talk to them we say “ok, you are right”. Jennifer: I agree; it is invaluable. You need someone to talk to about your relationship. It’s good to have people who believe in you and also believe in your union. 

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Star: We're both over here giggling about this question and I hate to ruin the rainbow picture for y'all. Of course, when we were new to each other, we couldn't be alone without jumping on each other. I remember one day we were
supposed to be packing up the apartment in preparation to move. Needless to say, absolutely nothing got packed that day. Sex with her...I swear I think I just reached puberty (lol). But now we have so many other responsibilities that sadly sex and sensuality has taken a backseat in our relationship.

Jennifer: Every day we hit the floor running, regardless if we want to or not. Some days we make plans to be intimate but the closest we get is falling asleep at the same time. The way that sex and sensuality were so important to us years ago, I never thought we would be the couple that would have to fight for intimate time with each other. But since we know it is an issue, we are looking for ways to change it. If you have any tips or tricks, we'd love to hear them.

What do you most admire about her? Star: Jenn is a lot stronger than she thinks. Jennifer: Star gives me space to spread my wings. Sometimes I am all over the place but she never stunts my growth. I can talk to her about all of quirks and she accepts them.  I love the fact that everything she touches grows, including me. Star: I admire our differences. Things that I don’t know she teaches me. That has never happened before. It is just something about Jenn that makes me want to grow up.

If you could thank her for 1 thing. What would that one thing be? Jennifer: I would thank her for showing me the world. I use to be very naïve and believe in fairy tales. Also, I want thank her for giving me time to stop and smell the roses and play in the rain. Star: I would thank Jenn for loving me. Her love has helped me spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically; it has helped everything.

What advice would you give to other couples?  Star: Let's see....take the time to be your mate's friend. That's essential. Don't be afraid or ashamed to be vulnerable. Vulnerability has threatened to make or break so many relationships. And lastly, have your past but start each new mate with a clean slate. Be able to say, I've been hurt this way in the past but you're not them. 
Jennifer: Know yourself. Know what sets you off, what makes you happy and what your limits are. Be willing to compromise, and understand that compromising doesn't mean selling yourself short. Get to know each other, really know each other. Get to know each other’s dreams, hopes, ambitions, fears, likes, families, etc. Take your time and enjoy the ride!

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself? Star: What hasn't it taught me? It has taught me patience, understanding, sensuality, sexuality and spirituality. It has taught me that true love wasn't copyrighted by Disney.  Jennifer: It has taught me that I need to work on patience and not to take myself so seriously. Laughter is an amazing medicine. 

What 1 word describes/characterizes your relationship and why? Star: Poetic. My relationship with Jenn is like a sonnet that will never be finished. Jennifer: Magical. Star is like my fairy God mother. Things are just better with her. Chocolate is sweeter and the sun shines brighter. She’s the silver lining for everything.

(Interviewed by SharRon Jamison)
We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples. We wish you continued success and happiness.

Create Love Founders

Imani Evans and SharRon Jamison 

We will see you at the 2014 Create Love Conference on March 8, 2014: More Info

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