Asha Hill and Valencia Walker had all the reason in the world to be the happiest couple to get hitched this year. The day was absolutely perfect – summertime-blue skies, a generous breeze paired with the lucent sun and most welcoming, pride flags proudly waving in between the rays of sunlight outside of San Francisco’s City Hall. Wedding party in tow (my girlfriend and I) and support from gushing on-lookers and random passersby, Hill and Walker marched up city hall’s steps garnering applause and blessings. To top it all off, the genuine love shown between the pair was just heartwarming – you could see it every single time they stole a glance of each other. But aside from such “perfect” circumstances, I’d say what makes this couple one of the happiest to get hitched this year is the simple fact that they were able to do something they never thought they’d be able to do and now they have each other for a lifetime. It was truly a wedding to remember.
Valencia Walker on finally tying the knot…
VW – It feels like a dream come true. Never thought that I could actually get married to the person I love and it would actually be legal.
On meeting Asha…
VW – Asha and I met through a mutual friend 10 years ago during her earlier days of playing basketball in college. From the first time I saw Asha, I was intrigued by her wit and athleticism. Nonetheless, I knew things were not going to be as easy as I would have liked it to be, given we were both in a relationship at that time. In short, moving the storyline on, Asha and I rekindled in Atlanta while I was visiting with friends for Black Girls Run in the Fall of 2012. Since that very moment 2 years ago we have been inseparable. The shade of it all!
On their relationship…
VW – Asha and I have a very close relationship. Some people don’t believe in soul mates but I believe Asha is my soul mate. She completes me. She understands me and loves me for me.
On the marriage proposal…
VW – The marriage proposal was another surreal moment. It reassured me that dreams do come true. On a Saturday evening, during our visit to Kunde Winery, Asha took my hand, looked me in the eyes and spilled her heart out to me and then asked me to marry her during our sunset picnic. It was beautiful!
VW – I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, but once I visited Austin for the first time I quickly decided to call the lone star state my home. My connection to Texas was my brother who was in the service and stationed in Killeen with his family. (Austin is also home to Asha Hill, who played basketball for the University of Texas)
With gay marriage becoming legal in many states , a lot of LGBT couples are tying the knot. What does it feel like to be a part of something historic like this and what does it mean to you to be experiencing this in a place so accepting and supportive as San Francisco?
VW – It’s a powerful moment that I am proud to be a part of. It shouldn’t matter what gender your partner is. Love is love. The heart falls in love with a person for who they are, not what they are. San Francisco is that place that I can feel free to be able to walk down the street holding Asha’s hand without being looked at like as if I were walking naked.
You were able to get married here (San Francisco) but in Texas couples can’t. What words do you have for couples living in states without the right to marry and what’s your hopes for marriage equality ?
VW – Keep loving who you love and be proud of who you are. Keep yourself informed and participate in activities that support LGBT [communities]. My hope is that Texas will be the next state to approve gay marriages. It’s a long road but it’s just the right thing to do. What was the most exciting part of your journey to the alter?
AH – The most exciting part of the journey was finding the wedding dress and seeing Valencia cry once we found the “right fit.” It was heart-warming emotion and at the same time it also left me speechless. Simply, by knowing that I have found the one who was compatible to me, my best friend, who would soon be called my wife. Another exciting moment was, of course, planning the honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas.
What do you think will be the biggest adjustment starting a new journey as a married couple?
AH – One adjustment would be saying my relationship status as a married couple and expressing that to my family.
What are some of the things you’re looking forward to as a married couple ?
AH – Having a family is something that I am looking forward to as a married couple. Raising a child together would just be the extra extra icing on the cake.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Austin and in San Francisco?
AH – My favorite things to do in Austin would be sitting at the Oasis, going to Trudy’s, long walks on Town Lake, and spending time with family. My favorite things to do in San Francisco would be enjoying the beautiful landscape, the ocean breeze, architectures like the Golden Gate Bridge and the accessible drive to the wine country.
Anything else you would like L Style G Style readers to know?
AH – As Nike campaign has barked on, it is important to “Be True” to yourself. Love yourself and never settle because you deserve happiness and equality as others do.