BL3: When did you know you were a lesbian?
Rose: I’ve been gay all my life, since I was a kid. I’m still a woman. I feel comfortable in pants. I don’t dress in skirts. I had a girlfriend in the first grade. I always took my girlfriends home to my mother and dad. They always understood me and never put me down or condemn me.
Wendy: I’ve been on my own since I was 14. When I went to my mom’s house [in Trinidad], I always had a girl with me. My brother said he always knew.
BL3: How does your families feel about your relationship?
Wendy: My nieces and nephews they love us. They were born into our relationship. They figured it out and they asked questions right down to the little ones. They came to our wedding and they were in our wedding. It’s just who we are and they accept it. If you try to hide, they will think something is wrong with it. We are just Aunt Rose and Aunt Wendy and they love us to death.
BL3: You live in Princess Anne, Md., which is a conservative, small town. How did you two end up on the Eastern Shore?
Rose: I became disabled at work and we decided to move back here and my mom was sick and dying at the time.
Wendy: We didn’t think we’d be here this long. We’ve been here 14 years.
Rose: It’s very quiet, peaceful and our neighbors are laid back. When we want to get away, we take a drive and have fun. We have Ocean City, Rehoboth Beach, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Beach is not far from here.
BL3: Do you know anyone else who is gay in your town?
Rose: We know a white, gay couple in Snow Hill [a nearby town] and one of my doctors is gay and has a wife. All of the gay folks out here are mostly men. Most of the gay folks we deal with live in D.C.
BL3: How do you handle being gay in a small town?
Wendy: We just be ourselves and everybody accepts us. Rose is from here and they all know her. Just by being ourselves we fit in. We’ll go to a regular club, we dance, hold hands and no one says anything to us. They may not like it, but don’t say anything. Rose has a reputation and no one messes with her. She will kick butts. She doesn’t start anything but she sure enough will finish it. She will knock a man out. I feel very safe with her.
BL3: Do you go to church?
Rose: We walk to the church three doors down from us. We joined it in 2012 when it was a brand new church. They put us in the program for our anniversary.
Wendy: When we joined, we had some questions and they answered them. They accepted us, plus the first lady is Rose’s cousin so they know us.
BL3: Who else belongs to your family?
Rose: We have a dog, Maggie, who is 14 years old. She is part Husky and part Golden Lab. Wendy just had to have a dog. One of my co-workers bred Siberian Huskies and Timberwolves and that was our first dog. We got our next dog after we moved to Princess Anne. We went back to Baltimore and got Maggie from the ASCPA. We’ve had her since she was six weeks old. Then Honey came after we had Maggie and she passed young because she was born with a defect. Now all we have is Maggie and after Maggie, we are going to travel all over.