A Beautiful and Unexpected Love Story

Friday, May 4th, 2018

I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Nikki and I met at a time when neither of us were looking for commitment and certainly not for love. What was supposed to be something casual ended up turning into a beautiful and unexpected love story, a story we’re still happily writing. As Rita Ghatourey said, “The beauty of love is that, you fall into it with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time.

While it wasn't love at first sight, I knew right away that Nikki was someone special. I like to tease him that his secret weapon on our first date was his Misfits bow he had clipped in his hair. It was something so small and simple, and yet it made me feel instantly safe. To me it was a sign that I was on a date with a man comfortable in his own skin and not afraid to express himself outside of gender norms, and it turned out I was spot on.

Nikki is a fearless, brilliant, and expressive artist who’s creativity, intelligence, and passion shine through in all that he does. I am in love with his generous, kind, empathetic, and passionate spirit. He is a man who will literally give the shirt off his back to help a stranger in need. His generosity and passion for loving people is how this NOH8 photoshoot came into being. I was unable to attend Phoenix Pride this year and he knew that I was feeling really down about missing it. He wanted to make sure I got a chance to celebrate Pride since it’s an important event for me as a bisexual woman, so he planned the NOH8 photoshoot as a surprise. I had no idea what we were doing or where we were going right up until we were walking into the hotel lobby where the shoot was happening. I was especially curious about his requirement that we buy and immediately wear white shirts.

It was such a dope surprise, and we had a blast doing the shoot. It was special to me for so many reasons. Bi-erasure is very real and something I have experienced as a bi-woman, especially as a bi-woman dating the opposite gender. Most people assume I’m straight, and like many bisexuals, I often feel left out of the LGBTQ+ community. It means so much to me to have a partner who acknowledges and celebrates my bisexuality and who makes a conscious effort to make sure I feel seen and heard.

This photoshoot was also the perfect representation of our shared values and our different expressions of those values. As a politically active intersectional feminist I am passionate about affecting positive change on a macro level. My activism tends to involve working towards changing the institutions and systems that are causing the oppression of so many people, whereas Nikki is all about affecting change on a micro level. He believes in making the world a better place one person at a time. His constant love and care for those around him is how he engages in his activism. This NOH8 photoshoot was representative of my style of activism since it is a well-known political and cultural campaign, and his activism since it was an opportunity to make a positive impact on one person’s life, mine. Nikki represents all that makes love so powerful and I am proud to be in love with such a beautiful strong man!



-Bex Hex and Nikki Echelon


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