American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Making a Difference: Jenni and Lisa’s Love Story

AFER’s Love Stories series tells the stories of couples who are waiting to get married. If you are a gay and lesbian couple who is planning to get married, tell us your story and you could be featured.

In June 2011, Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols of San Francisco began a year-long trip that covered 15 countries across Asia, Africa and South America. In each country, they sought out what they refer to as the “Supergays,” people who are leading the LGBT movement in their respective countries.

“We wanted to take a year to travel together, but my lovely fiancé is an ambitious woman, and we wanted the trip to mean something,” recalls Lisa about how the idea first came about.

Jenni and Lisa documented their voyage on camera and through their blog, Out and Around. “We really hope that it can be a platform to help people,” says Jenni.

Lisa continues, “People [in these countries] really appreciate affirmation from the international community. We hope to continue that.”

Their goal is to “inspire gay youth by showing them examples of successful gay people around the world,” as well as decrease homophobia and shed light on the struggles of LGBT people in developing countries.

Great Minds Think Alike

Jenni knew Lisa wanted to get engaged with her grandfather’s ring, so she got it from Lisa’s family before they left on their expedition. She hid it in her luggage for months, waiting for the perfect place: a stunning beach in the Philippines.

Lisa also had plans to pop the question and was hiding a ring of her own. When you’re travelling the world together with limited baggage, keeping something even so small can be a daunting task.

But then Lisa started to grow anxious. “Jenni suspected that I was going to propose on her birthday and she told me that she wasn’t ready to get engaged and that I should hold off. Talk about heartache!” said Lisa.

“When I pulled out her grandfather’s ring and asked her to marry me, she was shocked,” recalls Jenni.

A Bright Future

After a long year of travel, a tough adjustment back to American life, and difficulties with Jenni’s parents not accepting their relationship, this couple has been put through the ringer. Regardless, their true love hasn’t faded one bit.

“Lisa is an incredibly generous person,” says Jenni. “She truly gives herself to people. Plus, she’s really funny! Sometimes I don’t know if I think she’s funny because I love her or if she actually is…” she jokes. “But really, Lisa is someone you can truly count on.”

“Jenni is a very big thinker. She’ll say things like, ‘Let’s quit our jobs and travel around the world!’” says Lisa. “She is always thinking about ways to make an impact and to grow.”

Jenni and Lisa are planning to have a wedding in June of 2013. Here’s hoping marriage will be legal for gay and lesbian couples in California by then.