Back in April, I had a glorious afternoon wandering around Ingbirchworth Reservoir in Yorkshire with the lovely Faye and Shep. We chatted about drag theatre and opera, ran away from bees and trudged up and down hills in the beautiful sunset light. After so many months of being stuck at home speaking to the walls, it was absolutely divine to be back in the company of new, exciting people, and getting to spend time with two people so clearly in love just made it all the better!
Read on for Faye and Shep's love story.
How did you meet?
We met on Tinder five years ago. I swiped because they had a picture at the seaside with their younger brother and their grandad, and they all just looked like people I wanted to know. Shep swiped caus back then I had lavender hair and they were jealous. Theirs was pastel pink at the time- like candyfloss. I pulled by way of cringey chat up lines, and I asked Shep out first- but they messaged first!
What’s your best memory together?
One top memory is impossible. They just make me laugh all the time, so there's too many to count. Between lockdowns we went to Whitby a bunch- we just needed to see some different sky, you know? We kept going on these boat trips that just kind of go around the harbour and then a little way out to sea, and this one day it was glorious sunshine, the sea was so flat and perfect, so we signed up for a boat trip and oh my god I've never known anything like it. As soon as we got out the harbour it was UNBELIEVABLY choppy- there's some poor lass having a panic attack and bawling, I'm clinging to my seat trying to deep breath and not lose my mind, shaking, whilst this tiny sailboat is basically vertical on these massive waves- and Shep is next to me, whooping like a kid on a roller coaster and laughing their head off. That was one of those 'I love you moments', you know? One of those 'my head might explode because I love you so much' moments. That's the one that comes to mind.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
Understanding each other's nonsense, definitely. We're totally different people, and there have been so many times where something seemed so obvious to me, and I'd be saying it over and over, and it just wasn't going in for Shep, or vice versa, because we were just on completely different levels of comprehension for whatever the thing was. Like, I can't cook to save my life, so Shep can tell me to saute an onion a hundred times, and I'm not being obtuse, I just haven't got a clue what they're on about! So it was all about kind of establishing this sort of middle ground of understanding, how to decode each other and make it make sense- kind of like learning a new, mutually 'us' language. I'd guess they would say the same, I think. Or like... family issues, like health issues and stuff. There's been some scary times since we got together and that's been hard to navigate.
What’s your favourite thing about one another?
I love their authenticity. That sounds so daft, but they're so unapologetically themselves. I was so scared before we met of being misunderstood or not being liked, or something being misinterpreted or coming off just... wrong. And they just charge in wearing whatever the hell they want even when it doesn't match, eyeliner wings that could kill a man, and they're gonna say what they believe no matter what anyone else thinks, and that's just... I'm so proud of them. They're so genuinely inspiring. I wouldn't be the me I am now without them showing me that I was allowed to.
What are your hopes for the future?
I'm a big old hippie at heart, so I'd really love to be semi self-sufficient and grow all our food and have some cute little witchy cottage and a massive garden. I really want to put a massive priority on joy, because we only get to do all this once, so I want lots of brunch dates and lazy Sunday mornings with books, and like... museum adventures and stuff. Just my brand of hedonism, you know, with Shep there, sharing all that happy. I really want to run a theatre one day, and Shep has a background in opera singing, so I'm hoping we might get some professional crossover as well. I just hope they're there, that's all- I just really want to see them prove everything I already know to themselves and to everyone else. Shep just wants dogs. Lots and lots and lots of dogs
Anything else you’d like to add?
I'm the romantic of the two of us. I'm the demonstrative, affectionate, silly with poetry one, and don't get me wrong- they never let me think for a second that I'm not loved, but those pictures you took? It's so nice to actually see it. I don't think I knew they looked at me like that, until now.