Kaci and Holly Clark-Porter have what could be called a spiritual connection. Beyond the fact that they met at Austin Seminary and watched a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” during their first date, this married couple (they tied the knot in New York City late last year) seems to have wisdom that belies their two-year connection. Kaci is the director of campus and young adult ministries at University Presbyterian Church, and Holly is a full-time graduate student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. They took time out to share details about their bond as a couple and how they’ve found success.
How long have you been together?
K: We’ve been together for a little over two years. Our official anniversary is on November 17, which was also the date of our Covenant Blessing.
H: I know this is cheesy, but I can’t believe we have only been together for just over two years. It feels like we’ve always been in love, like we’ve been together forever and when we finally met, we got to live out the love we’ve always known.
Where and when did you meet?
H: I get to answer this one! We met at Austin Seminary in the fall of 2009 during new student orientation. Kaci was the student body president and I was a new student. I was sitting at a table and she walked into the cafeteria. I looked up, and from that moment on, I knew I needed her in my life. Later on, I was lucky enough to be invited to a get-together at her apartment where I actually met her; we stayed up the entire night sippin’ on scotch and talking.
What was your first date like?
K: Our first “official” date was dinner followed by a perfor- mance of Handel’s “Messiah” at the Riverbend Centre. It was the perfect date. We split a pizza and a bottle of wine then hurried over to the Centre to find our seats. I’ll never forget the look on Holly’s face when the usher sat us in the front row! We held hands throughout the entire performance, our hearts soaring higher than the voices of the vocalists. But, like any performance, the most exciting part was the finale: When we got back to our car, we made out like teenagers until we were the very last car in the parking lot!
Tell me something you want our readers to know.
K: Holly proposed to me at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and they were totally in on it!
What’s your favorite place to visit as a couple and why?
K: Urbanspoon.com, since our favorite pastime as a couple is reading menus.
H: Ha, Kaci is right! But, we also love Boston—the history, the Italian cuisine, the people! We love to set out in a new city in search of local charm. Last year we went to Boston for New Year’s. We planned to go to a particular bar for New Year’s Eve but found the cover was going to cost more than our plane tickets. Cold and disappointed, we slumped into this divey-looking place in a dark alley where we found a table of people who immediately invited us to join them. Na- tive Bostonians, they were proud to buy us a round of Sam Adams. Boston was our first big trip together, and I will never forget the joy of holding Kaci’s hand as the snow settled upon this marvelous city that continued to surprise and delight us.
What is the secret to maintaining a strong, long-term relationship?
H: A good therapist…and doing what you love together. For us, discovering new restaurants, cooking, and playing with our dog at Auditorium Shores gives us time to laugh together and to enjoy the particular moments of life that we each love so much. One time, I was trying to surprise Kaci with raw oysters and a homemade champagne vinaigrette—the vinaigrette was easy enough, but the evening became much less romantic when Kaci and I had to watch YouTube videos about how to shuck an oyster. After a few close knife mishaps and 30 minutes later, we finally shucked six oysters together. We laughed at ourselves, kissed one another when we triumphed, and sat down to eat a meal that we accomplished together. There is nothing more important than having your partner by your side as you adventure together.
Tell me about your marriage ceremony.
K: Yes, we were married in New York City at City Hall on December 7, 2011. It was a tremendously fun and life-altering experience! We loved seeing so many same-sex couples tie the knot while we were there. And I absolutely cherish my souvenir, an “I-got-married-in-New-York” T-shirt!
What do you love the most about your partner’s personality?
K: Holly has a history of loving people who have been rejected and cast out by others. She not only accepts them but truly befriends them. She may seem cocky at times, but ultimately she’s one of the most selfless people I know.
H: Kaci’s constant passion for renewing adventure (including the way she thoughtfully declines the rules of society).
Do you have plans to start a family? Do you already have one? If so, tell us about it.
K: Yes! We’ve already found a donor (a redhead like Holly!) and hope to get started right away! Having a family is something we’ve talked about for a while, which is, in part, why we decided to have a Covenant Blessing. We knew that when we became parents we would need lots of support from friends and family, and a public ceremony celebrating our relation- ship seemed like a good beginning.
Who are your gay couple role models?
K: Who else? Alisa Weldon and Lynn Yeldell!
H: Their individual perseverance, creativity and ingenuity have given a strong voice to the queer community in Austin, and together as a devoted couple, they are unstoppable. We would love to be like them—to start something that creates a positive energy within a community, all the while being a beautiful example of a sage, loving partnership.
How do you celebrate your anniversary?
H: If you can’t tell by now, we love food and wine—so our anniversary is usually spent sippin’ on a better-than-average bottle of wine over a delicious meal.
K: We cook, drink wine, and listen to Handel’s “Messiah” at home then sit down to the great meal we’ve prepared. When the hallelujah chorus starts playing, we stand up on the couch, wine in hand, and belt out the melody, all the while terrifying our poor pets!