Romantic engagement photos at Milwaukee Central Public Library
“When I started dating this woman nearly four years ago, I had no idea what the universe was gifting me: A talented, beautiful, frustrating woman that I fell head over heels with. It was a cold February day, and I was sitting in a nail salon in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, chatting with my nail artist, Richard, when a woman walked in. She said that a friend wasn’t able to make it and offered Richard a single ticket to Barnum & Bailey Circus with the only caveat being the show was that very evening. Richard couldn’t make it, so the woman offered the ticket to me. I rushed around to get ready, really excited to go to the circus for the first time.
I walked through security at the entrance not knowing this day, this event would forever alter my path. Watching the show, wide-eyed, I relished the opportunity to be a child even if just for a little over an hour, then headed home. A week and a half later, I received a Facebook message request for this gorgeous masculine woman who took my breath away.
“Were you are the circus the other day? If so I liked your dress.”
Jodyann Morgan was working security at the door that day and noticed me enough that later when seeing my face in a queer Facebook group, she decided to message me.
I agreed to a date. That year was the last time the Barnum & Bailey Circus toured with elephants, so they will forever remind me of the fateful day she noticed me. In a crowd full of people my dress, my body, my face stood out and made a lasting impression.
In August, Morgan asked me to be her wife. It was an engagement just like I expected of her, quiet, in nature, overlooking Lake Michigan. ‘Can we do that thing, you know?’ In the gentle, emotional way only she can, without words, she promised me a lifetime of rollercoasters, curry chicken and telling me to stop working already and come home.
My promises remain the same. I’ll drive us towards our goals and show her the world, hold her in my arms and protect her. Together, we support each other, complementing each other’s style, challenging each other’s opinions and encouraging each other to grow and flourish.” —from Chaya Milchtein, one half of the couple
Chaya Milchtein is the driving force behind Mechanic Shop Femme. As an automotive educator, speaker, and writer, she’s made it her life’s mission to educate women and LGBT people about their cars. Her website also highlights her work on her other passion: empowering people to live their best lives in the bodies they have, through fashion and modeling. Chaya’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Rewire by PBS and others. She lives with her fiancée and tortoise in Wisconsin. You can find Chaya on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Photographer: Mckenna Patterson Photography
Location: Milwaukee Central Public Library
Attire: Sydney’s Closet
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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