Some love stories span multiple life stages while others involve landmark Supreme Court decisions. Their love story was a mixture of both, with a little interstate travel. Claiborn notes that they have been friends for more than a decade. “We met at Smith, which is a women’s college and very activist college.
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Drake adds, “It’s all about timing.” “We have been attracted since our first meeting, but we were at different points in our lives. The development of my professional career has been something I prioritized more than any other part of my life. Camilla supported me through every step of the process, even though I wasn’t sure where I would end up for residency.
The coronavirus pandemic struck New York City in March 2020 with such force that the couple was finishing up their wedding plans when Drake, who was then a chief resident, was summoned to the frontlines as an healthcare worker. Drake recalls that he spent several weeks in the ICU this spring. It was definitely one of the most challenging and formative experiences in my life.
How COVID shaped our perception of marriage
They had originally planned to marry in front of a few hundred family members in May in New York City. However, they put off the ceremony for a while. However, COVID made Drake and Claiborn realise that simple rights such as hospital visitation rights were not an option for them if they were not legally married. Drake, in her thirties, explains that “in my role as hospital medicine doctor, I am routinely exposed death and dying.” You can say, “Bad things happen for good people” or “Challenging things happen to great people.” That is why Drake, who is in her thirties, said that she believed that each stage of her life was a chance to live the life she wanted and to follow her values.
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Why RBG’s Death Made Marriage Feel Urgent
They continued with their plans to wed when, like millions of Justice Ginsburg admirers, they learned that she had died on September 18, 2020. Drake says, “When our May wedding didn’t go as planned, it became obvious to me, as a physician, that I don’t know yet when as a state, we’d have in-person celebrations.” “So we decided to have an elopement that could be seen by our family. Then we planned a huge celebration party whenever it was possible.”
Why Vendor Selection was intentional
The couple wanted to be specific about their spending on wedding-related events, with so much up for 2020. Drake says, “As a queer couple it was very important to support minority owned businesses in general… in regards to our literal investment in money, time and energy, there was a line in sand that for every vendor we worked with, had to be a woman or a person of colour, small business, or another queer person.” “These people have been historically marginalized, and that’s where our money should go.” It was important to include marginalized voices throughout the board.
Planning for LGBTQ+ Couples
There are many decisions that must be made when planning a wedding. But, for LGBTQ+ couples, certain aspects of the process were different. Wedding day attire was one of the many challenges. It was finding the right suit for Drake that was both tailored and unique for her wedding day. Claiborn said it was finding the right dress for her, knowing that she would be the only one wearing it. Both Claiborn and Claiborn had to learn from the wedding day photography.
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Drake says that Drake was “relatively speaking as a gender-queer-[identified] individual, thinking about what I was planning to wear to get married was much more difficult than most people.” “When you get fitted for a suit like anyone else, you want it tailored and to look great. The process for a suit is a heteronormative. I knew about Bindle & Keep [a company specializing in tailored, gender-neutral suits] for a while.