STORIES: Cody & Joey

My name is Cody and my husband is Joey. We have been in a committed relationship for five and a half years and have been married for one year and a few months.  We live in Lenox, Iowa where Cody was born and raised.  Joey was raised in Creston, Iowa only twenty minutes from Lenox.

We met in a rather unprecedented way.  Cody was driving around Creston on a fall evening waiting on a friend of his so they could go out, and while driving around Cody noticed Joey sitting on a street corner with two friends. Cody knew of Joey through friends though they had never met so Cody stopped and asked Joey if he would go to dinner with him.  Thankfully Joey was not one to be bashful around strangers and accepted the dinner invitation.  Five and a half years later we are still together and still go to that restaurant every so often for a good meal and a few memories. 

We bought a house together in Lenox in March of 2011 and then just fifteen days after we purchased that house we were standing before a judge in a courthouse with Cody’s parents, our two best friends and their children exchanging vows and rings.  It was a very happy day for us but it was not the way we wanted it to be.  Neither of us had wanted to get married that way.  We wanted all of our family and friends to be present at our wedding in our church. But we decided to keep our wedding small and have it at the courthouse because of HJR6–the marriage ban legislation–that was creeping through the Stage Legislature at the time. We just did not want to wait and miss our opportunity to marry, so we got married with that hanging over our heads.  When many of our family and friends learned of our marriage we soon realized that everyone else was as disappointed at our courthouse marriage as we were.  They all wanted to be present for our wedding.  So, exactly one year later on our one year anniversary date of our courthouse wedding, we were standing in front of all our family and friends in a beautiful church wedding.  It was so perfect.  Though neither of us saw it we were later informed that Cody’s father, who is a burly stoic man, cried during the ceremony.  This in turn made all of our bridal party cry as well.  Then the rest of the church was moved as we sang “our” song to each other during the ceremony.

Lenox is a small community of about 1300 people and is mostly farming community.  That is why we chose to live in Lenox.  We like a quiet environment and we love being in nature.  We have horses and two dogs and garden.  Cody is a Registered Nurse and Joseph works in the Lab at Michael’s Foods. You would think that living in such a small community in a conservative area would be a challenge.  However, this is not the case.  We are very welcomed in our community and have a very large support group.  Over the years we have signed petitions, and attended marches/rallies, etc all with the goal of extending equality to the LGBT community.  However the one thing we have learned is that the most effective thing we have ever done for equality is simply meet, fall in love, get married, live together, be involved in the community, and let people see us as a couple.

In short, the most effective thing we did to change hearts and minds is to live.  Let people see us as a real couple.  Our plans now include starting a family and we can’t wait.
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