Paula and Pam

14 Paula and Pam.jpg

Oklahoma City, OK

"Paula: So we have two marriage certificates, you know one that was declared invalid, and then the other one that recognizes us as a woman and woman couple. So, it turned out good.

Paula: We’ve been together almost 14 years and we’ve been married for 11 years. Our marriage was challenged and struck down once. 

Pam: We got married in Texas actually, using Paula’s birth sex. And then Oklahoma said, “Oh no, that won’t fly. She has to go back to being a man.” 

Transilient: Seriously?!

Pam: Yeah, that’s what they said. They said we will either not recognize your marriage, or she has to go back to being a man. Obviously she cannot go back to being a man, so our marriage was disallowed.

Paula: The lemonade out of that was I had a court order that recognized me as female. But then two years later, the 10th circuit ruled that the amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that banned same sex marriage was unconstitutional, and so we got married again in October of 2014.

Pam: Our friends tease us about how many weddings we’ve had.

Paula: Four! We’re gonna make it stick!

*all laugh*

Transilient: Coming from a highly divorced family, it’s just inspiring to me. People who really love each other who are together.

Pam: Well we do. And you know, it hasn’t always been peaches and cream. You know, there have been times that I’ve gone, “Okay are we really gonna make it?” And then you get to the point where you go, “I just don’t think we’re gonna make it.” And then, you make it. And then you’re stronger than before.

Paula: When I went to Washington last summer…

Pam: That was a hard summer.

Paula: That was a tough time for both of us. I just felt like I had to do it because I haven’t had the opportunity to be involved in the national scene with transgender movement because in my life I was so busy fighting for my job. And then I spent all my personal leave time fighting for my job. I just stuck it out. Sometimes I wonder if it was worth it, but I guess it is. I was lucky and had a steady life — and much happier after all that fighting, and then I retired after 22 years in the police department. I got crazy and ran for office here in the Oklahoma state legislature in district 88. I lost by 22 votes. Not 22 points, 22 votes! That’s less than 1 point. 

Transilient: I would have voted for you!

Paula: Thank you. Pam and I, you know we’ve had our ups and downs. She stuck with me through everything, and I stuck with her through everything. We stuck together.

Pam: Yeah we did.

Paula: When I came back from Washington, D.C. we got back in sync. 

T: I’m glad to hear it.

Pam: Better than ever.

Paula: Now she’s going on her own journey, she’s going to seminary this Fall."