Jonathan Bennett & Jaymes Vaughan discuss the release of their engagement ring for LGBTQ+ couples
TV host Jaymes Vaughan and fiancé Jonathan Bennett (known for playing Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls) have continued to make history with their epic engagement. Not only did they become the first gay couple on the cover of The Knot, but now, in partnership with Kay Jewelers, the couple has released their very own engagement ring for LGBTQ+ couples.
“Our Ring by Jaymes + Jonathan” was released today, June 2, on Kay.com in limited supply. According to Kay, it is “one of the first same-sex engagement/wedding band offerings by a major retailer.”
The 14k brushed white gold ring is flippable, with diamonds all the way around one side and the look of a traditional wedding band on the other. The diamonds can face out during the engagement and then be flipped during the wedding ceremony.
Vaughan and Bennett spoke with Equally Wed about why they created the ring and how it feels to be part of something that will help other LGBTQ+ couples celebrate their love.
The ring is now available on Kay’s website! How are you feeling about the release?
Jaymes: We’re so excited about it. We want this to be so successful that it shows the industry there’s a space for this. The LGBTQ+ community is here, and we’ve got a lot of love to give. Be a part of it.
I love that our tradition is resonating with people. I can’t wait to see what other traditions more of our community creates.
How did the partnership with Kay come about?
Jaymes: When I went to propose to Jonathan last year, I was in search of a ring for a while. I couldn’t find anything anywhere, and that’s when I realized, I’m just going to create it.
That’s the beautiful thing about LGBTQ+ people, we get to choose our family sometimes, and we also get to choose our traditions. So I decided to make traditions for us that hopefully can be shared by other queer couples when they decide to go down this road of love together.
How did you come up with the ring design?
Jaymes: I wanted blingy and flashy, and Jonathan wanted more simple. That was where the idea for hidden diamonds came from.
Jonathan: What I love, too, is that this is history making in so many ways. Not only is this the first time people are going to be able to buy a ring like this at Kay, but it’s an engagement and a wedding ring in one.
Traditionally in a straight couple engagement, the girl gets a ring and the guy doesn’t wear anything until the wedding day. That’s no fun. We wanted to both wear a ring for the engagement because that’s exciting.
Jaymes: We get that moment where our officiant, Jonathan’s best friend, is going to say, “Here are your vows, and now flip the ring,” and it’s sealed.
How does it feel to have this ring that began as just for you become something that will be enjoyed by other couples?
Jaymes: We needed to create this not just for us but for our community, so I knew going in this was going to be something more than just for us. But to actually have it come to fruition…
The moment the first couple reached out to me and said, “I’m using your ring,” I was emotional. I was like, that means he didn’t go through what I went through, where I walked into the jewelry stores and got the weird looks. That means he knew exactly where he could go right away and keep this moment beautiful from the start, which is exactly how it should be.
Jonathan: I want to shout Kay Jewelers form the rooftops. I am so proud of them for being a partner in this and taking action. They are taking away the otherness of LGBTQ+ relationships. It is normal, available to buy on the site. It’s just a ring that exists.
Between this ring and The Knot cover, what has it been like to keep making history?
Jonathan: It feels like progress, and it feels great. I can only imagine what younger Jonathan and younger Jaymes would think [if they were] in a grocery store in their small towns in middle America and they looked over and saw two men happy and in love on the cover of [one of] the world’s biggest wedding magazines. They’d feel seen, they’d have hope that there’s love out there that looks like theirs. When we were younger, we had no representation of love that looked like ours.
Jaymes: Especially as you’re figuring yourself out, and I know it’s changing for future generations, and thank God it is, but there’s that hopelessness where you’re like, I’m different, what is this, and you just feel depressed.
That’s why it’s so important for us to post photos of our love, to post photos of us kissing, because it’s not so much look at me as it is, look you can have this too. I didn’t think I could, and I do. I want you to have that hope too.
All we want is for ten years from now for this to not be groundbreaking, for this to just be what is.