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Carrie says when she heard they could legally marry, she couldn’t believe it. “It’s a dream,” she says. “I am still in shock. I cried when I heard the news. I was at work and I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘We can really get married!’”

Carrie (left) and partner Crayola.

THE COUPLES Carrie and Crayola Among those married since the April 3 decision are Carrie Visser, a nurse, and Crayola England, a photographer. Carrie and Crayola of Des Moines, together for two years, chose a wedding set at their home.


Carrie and Crayola met at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival 16 years ago, and Carrie says although they didn’t connect at that time, Crayola revealed later she’d thought Carrie was “really cute!” A few years later Carrie’s daughter met Crayola and asked her mother, “Why don’t you ever go out with anyone cool like Crayola?” Eventually, Carrie did go out with the very hip Crayola. She recalls, “The spring of 2007 we were both having lunch on Easter Day in the same restaurant with our separate friends. I sat facing Crayola in the next

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booth.” Carrie had recently ended a five-year relationship and for the first time in quite a while was feeling good about herself. “I now believe that self-love attracts romantic love,” she says. Although the couple didn’t connect that day either, Crayola set out on a mission to find Carrie. After a very long string of calls to friends and friends of friends, at last she found the woman she would eventually marry. The couple clicked. At that point, Carrie says, “We knew right away that we were meant to be together.” So their first wedding, April 11, 2008, shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone, but by design it was! “We invited friends and family to an ‘Anniversary Party,’” Carrie explains, “and once they were there, we announced we were really having a wedding.” For that first ceremony, it was Carrie who had done the asking, so upon Iowa’s legalization of same-gender

Volume 4, Issue 2 (Summer/Autumn 2009)  

Heartland in Gay America

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