Mothers May I?: Chwanda Nixon & Kacey Frierson


By Editors

With seven children in total, you’d think this couple would have their hands full. But after a civil union ceremony in Illinois, they were inspired to take their family on the road for an “I Do” Marathon: nine marriages in eight cities in 10 days.

Photography by Chris Stanford

Chwanda: I always had attractions to females, but Kacey is my first relationship with a woman. I was on my way to being separated from my husband when I met her. He and I were together -- on and off -- for 17 years. We didn’t get married until 2005, and I knew I shouldn’t marry him, but I did. We had our four kids together.

After Kacey and I met, we talked on Facebook. Then we decided to go to the mall together. I said how I liked chocolate-covered strawberries and she bought one. She decided she wanted to feed me the strawberry. We bought it and went to the car, and she fed it to me, and I went, “Ooookaay...” And it went on from there: Boom! I love hard. I won’t say I love quick, because I don’t. But I love hard. I’m very romantic. I was missing that.

Also, we both had surgery early on in the relationship, which I will always remember. After she had surgery, I stayed with her, for a week. This was before she even really knew we were gonna be together. I think that was one of the things that really took us over the top: that we could care for each other in that sense.

It was Kacey’s fault my kids found out. Kacey’s a picture freak, and she was taking some of her friends, while I was in the bed watching TV, trying to hide from this picture she was taking. No one noticed until she put the picture up on Facebook and tagged me, and I started getting phone calls. Two of my stepchildren from my ex-husband, who were way older, found out. So I let everyone know: “You guys are grown, so I’m not really worried about how y’all react. I’m more concerned about the younger ones.” I think my youngest son may have cried a little bit. I don’t think he was disappointed, but I think it was finally real that I was not gonna be with their dad anymore. The one thing I remember is that they kept saying they wanted me to be happy. And they liked Kacey.

We decided to move and left for Georgia, but we came back in April 2011 after civil unions were made legal in Illinois. We had a big ceremony. We danced to Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” as our song. It was a nice turnout, a mixture of close friends and family. A lot more of her people than mine, I’d say.