Meet Grey + Grayson. Two people I actually both followed on instagram before they even got together - Watching their love unfold on the gram has been one of my few social media delights. Learn how they fell in love in a Covid Place. Because what better than to celebrate queer love during February !
Grey (On the right): My name is Grey… I’m pronoun fluid, afro-indigneous, and I suppose I identify as a multi-media artist and vigilante (I do indeed blame it on my Sag sun and ancestry). My main focuses have been music, acting, the subtle redistribution of wealth and knowledge hehehe but people know me more for my casting and curating which is groovy to be recognized for. The intention behind everything I do is to help preserve the lives and stories of those who I believe will further aid in raising the vibration of the planet for this generation and the many more to come.
Grayson (On the left): I’m Grayson. I’m a 23-year-old nonbinary musician and my pronouns are they/ them. I accidentally do it all, blame it on my sag rising. I make what I want - when the inspiration comes. I make everything from coffee, to shelves, to pop music, to clothes, to “one of a kind” (heh-heh) pieces of art. Currently I’m working on my first self produced record, as an adult human. I have some previously released self produced works, but they’re hopefully a little harder to dig up. I’m really trying to come from a place of trusting myself again, but maybe actually for the first time. I also somehow want to figure out how to make my baby a mid century chair to go with our Bowie photo in the record nook. You know, regular gay shit.
How did you two meet? Tell us the deets.
Grayson: Tiktok. I’ll let Grey take this one…
Grey: Welllll, I ended up getting very depressed during last year’s election and made a Tik Tok account. I made a pretty cheeky post asking what queer would want to pull a Thelma&Louise moment with me. Ya know, ride off into the sunset or off of a cliffside...Little did I know that anyone would actually respond to that but Grayson did. They left a comment saying that they had a Vespa. Then I responded back very cunt and I asked them to clarify that statement (I’m sorry but if someone is asking you out they have to come correct).
I had a feeling that I should just dm them my number. I’m very bad at internet flirting and new age connections don’t really appeal much to me. So, I sent Grayson my number, it was the wrong number at first, but then I sent them the correct number 24 hours later. I’m sure Grayson thought I did that on purpose but I was really not paying attention when I sent the incorrect number and I felt so bad afterwards. It actually hurt us both because we were two gays living less than 10 minutes away from each other constantly looking at a phone that didn’t ring all day. But once we started texting we didn’t stop for about 3 days straight, sending videos, voice memos, songs, and I’m sure etheric waves from across East Hollywood in our sleep.
On Indigenous Peoples Day Grayson surprised me by saying they are in my neighborhood and would like to meet me in person but also had a “thing” they had to give me. And my chaotic self thought that was so cute just having this person I’ve been talking to for a few days come over to my house with a “thing”. Sometimes it pays off to trust your gut tho! So, I let them come by and immediately as they rode up on their motorcycle to my building's gate... I - was smitten. I lost all cool, calm, and collectedness. They brought me flowers and I ran, I mean walked rather quickly in my 5 inch boots back to my house with them trailing behind. Once they got in my house I was so taken aback that I forgot to even offer them water. Grayson had to literally ask for a glass of water. Anyone who knows how much I love to host is reading this in shock. Southern hospitality is my kink. They then gave me flowers, that was the “thing”, a bouquet of flowers. Then they took in the space as I glued my ass to the couch and sat there literally shaking in my boots for what felt like a lifetime. I was just watching Grayson walk around and trying my best to answer questions they had about my art or my home decor.
I don’t know how to explain it but the room was full of energy and I was physically becoming overwhelmed by it to the point that I couldn’t hide it. At one point Grayson placed their hands on my boots and held my feet to stop me from shaking. In my head I was like “WHO THE HELL IS THIS PERSON!?” I’ve spent the majority of my life unable to be touched in any type of intimate way due to childhood trauma and here was this person who could touch me and ease me with physicality. I truly do think that my body and soul responded to the infinite, indisputable, and immediate love I had for Grayson before my mind was even able to catch up.
To give myself some credit, I did still have my guard up a bit, I didn’t kiss them, hug them, or anything else that day. I actually asked them to leave and told them I would see them again soon. I clocked top energy from jump, Grayson is a double Leo, I thought I wouldn’t hear from them for a few days or at all, I didn’t know what their intentions were at first. I wasn’t interested in anything that wasn’t meaningful in my eyes, I didn’t need a distraction at that point in my life. I think I really needed love but wouldn’t dare admit that to anyone.
Grayson ended up texting me immediately after they left my house asking to see me again and wanting to know me, really know me. The funny thing is that we already knew each other, after months we’ve been more like catching up instead of getting to know. This can’t be our first lifetime together, sorry about it. Sooooo, this is how we met!
What were the major challenges of finding queer love during a global pandemic? Or if there weren’t any challenges, how has this experience differed from your other experiences?
Grayson: I don’t know how to best answer this because so many thoughts and feelings come rushing. The pandemic has affected us in terms of the dates we go on, and not being able to meet all of our friends/ share our partnership with community. Chosen family means a lot to us both, so when we are able to share through social media or with close friends, I think we hold it close to our hearts. In terms of this relationship, I am buzzing with words but I’ll try to articulate just a few. Those being, I didn’t know love before - not like this. I tell Grey, “I would never have dared to dream you up.” I couldn’t have imagined I would be on the receiving end of such cosmic, kind, love.
Grey: To be honest the major challenge to me was that every way I could’ve met someone had been taken away. The internet was the only way. I mean every government has been constantly cockblocking/clitblocking the queer community for centuries but we will and have always found a way to be gay during the best of times or the worst of times. I feel like a lot of my queer friends and myself at times were really struggling through scene 1 of the pandemic and began searching for serotonin more than love. Just having someone in a time of isolation is such a privilege and the connections or compromises we have made are wild but with context are in all actuality pretty tender.
How does the other lead you closer to your truest, most authentic self?
Grey: By recognizing my ancestry and my duality. Grayson is the one who usually performs morning rituals for the house before I’ve even gotten up. Grayson doesn’t have any problem standing in between me and the old versions of myself advocating for balance instead of breaking. I’ve also discovered my sexuality more. I didn’t grow up with any queer knowledge and I’m really glad that I can say proudly that I am a bratty switch with a hot service top/dom daddy but that’s only to be understood by the girls, the gays, the thems, and the theys!!!!
Grayson: Our partnership has brought out my inner child, and is slowly talking that little guy through the day to day. I’ve experienced so much gender euphoria, really for the first time. Just being with them makes me feel like my full self, or on the path. We have what we call, a deal to heal together. We heal ourselves first, and then extend that softness/ support to each other. We don’t expect perfection, just communication.
Do you two practice radical self care differently? Together? Apart? What does radical self care look like as individuals and as a unit?
Grey: We cook a lot, witch-hazel our faces together at night before Grayson does Agender oil. Those little things I do hold dearly but more importantly we love each other free. The way we heal and care is with a lot of gentle movements. Gentle movements! Our mornings start around 6am, we cleanse our spaces, we make tea/coffee, make a meal, and start making things before the rest of the west coast is awake. I think the time and space we hold and allow is the true bonding agent behind all the little things we do.
Grayson: Both. Together and apart. Two fire signs need some RADICAL self care and acceptance on consistent rotation. I’m definitely a work in progress and hope to always be. I go in and out of giving myself that TLC vs. kicking myself while I’m down…or up. But it looks like a lot of things for me. Being in water, making music, going for a walk, building something, playing with a dog, putting on a record, connecting with a friend, my personal favorite - making *clap* a *clap* list *clap*. We do a lot of these things as a unit for grounding. A big one is cooking together/ for each other. Grey is a literal master chef! *chefs mother fucking kiss*
As a Genderqueer couple, what has your journey with makeup and beauty entailed?
Grayson: It’s a part of the healing I mentioned previously. I am, as of now, getting top surgery this May, and I feel like the last couple years in particular I really started to experience dysphoria wearing makeup. It made me sad, as it used to feel like armor. I would paint ocean waves, or flowers on my face. When I was a barista I’d cover half my face in gold glitter or stream silver glitzy tears down my cheeks. But as my dysphoria has changed over the years, so has my relationship to clothing and what products I feel comfortable with. Also, plot twist, I can change on me at any moment! Nothing is gendered, and I stand by that, but that doesn’t mean the attachment to the visuals and marketing of that item don’t fuck with me. And sometimes I just don’t have the energy. Grey has given me so much freedom and affirms my identity every time I put makeup on. Calling me Bowie, or Freddie. I even get a little Prince reference now and again. I also love doing Grey’s makeup, and putting them in my clothes. A literal futch God, I tremble in her greatness!! It feels like raising hell when my baby and I stunt on those silver lake hoes like a couple of rhinestone cowboys. We are somehow the exact same size, but the clothes hit hot and different on each of us. Like what GAY GOD dumped an entire batch of faggotry onto planet earth in 2020. I love my baby, and the way they see me has truly changed the way I see myself.
Grey: I think for me learning that I don’t always have to perform femininity like I once did is the biggest journey I’ve been going on. I love being fluid and playing with makeup but I never really took skincare into consideration. I love that Grayson used serums and sprays, it made me want to play more with that side of beauty. Because I have a blood disorder I’ve relied heavily on makeup to bring color back into my face or to express myself. And ever since the pandemic and meeting Grayson I’ve been doing more internal healing work. I’ve wanted to treat my body better and have a body that lasts. Discovering NOTO was the beginning of that journey for me. I am terribly in love with a guy who wears serums and glitter at the same time. I’m learning everyday how much more fun healing and beauty can be. I get to play with all sides of myself in this relationship. I don’t have to have a defined relationship to any type of gender norms and that’s brilliant.
What’s your go-to NOTO product & why?
Grey: Deep Serum changed my life and started to shift my ideas of beauty and balance. This was the first product I tried that actually healed my skin, also NOTO is constantly introducing me to ingredients I’ve never seen used in skincare before. It’s my favorite thing to look at a NOTO ingredient list - PERIODT!
Grayson: AGENDER OIL. Let me say that again cause it felt so sexy and fluid and affirming. A-G-E-N-D-E-R OIL. Because I use it everywhere and for everything. I bought it for the first time from Otherwild during this “panorama,” and consequently bought a strap on later that week. You connect the dots.
Thanks for sharing your true love story with us G+G!! To those reading this, feel free to send yours to : Store@notobotanics.com