Erika Crenshaw & Patricia Torres | Washington, DC
Erika Crenshaw and Patricia Torres met by accident. Neither Erika nor Patricia was looking for a relationship, and they originally connected through a mutual Facebook friendship and, “from all the gorgeous pictures of Patricia that were coming up on my News Feed,” as Erika notes. Erika spent ten years teaching in both Los Angeles and Hawaii before she decided to join the military. She not only joined to honor her family, but also to explore life being queer and in the military. This was always an interest that she felt drawn to pursue, and she finally found an opportunity to do this.
Patricia started her career as one of the founding staff members for a youth development organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. She then moved to London to complete her master’s degree, followed by a move to Los Angeles in 2009 to attend graduate school in urban planning.
The year that Patricia moved to Los Angeles (2009), was the same year that Erika moved away from the city. But it was also the same year that the Facebook friendship began. After a few months of friendly flirting over Facebook, Erika asked to read Patricia’s graduate school papers and from that point on, their relationship became more serious.
The summer before Erika was set to ship off to boot camp, in June 2011, she and Patricia finally met for a lunch date. Patricia planned an early lunch with a backup plan of her friend “stopping by” exactly two hours after lunch was scheduled in case it wasn’t working out. It turns out that the couple did not have to worry about that backup plan. The two had a long meal, and by the end of it they both knew that there was something special between them. As they say, the rest is history.
A year later, Erika proposed to Patricia, and they had a very private and intimate wedding ceremony in California. This turned out to be only wedding 1 of 3. The couple did long distance for a while, and when DOMA was overturned in June of 2013, they knew they wanted to get their marriage legally respected by the United States government. The two traveled to Washington D.C., the state closest to them with the freedom to marry, to have wedding #2.
Erika is currently stationed in Spain, and by the end of 2014 Patricia will have moved out to Spain to join Erika for the rest of her time stationed there.
Wedding #3 is set for 2016 once Erika fulfills her commitment to the Navy. The couple calls this wedding the “party wedding,” since the previous two were intimate ceremonies that their friends and families were unable to attend. Marriage is very important to Erika and Patricia and they are excited to have their entire community of friends and loved ones come together to celebrate their love and union, and enjoy a night of partying and dancing.
“It matters to me [Erika] because I found a person that I want to share my life with, in every sense of the word: the sharing of life.”
“Marriage for us means making home, creating community, loving life together, right here, right now, with intention, with love, with family, that’s marriage for us.”