To Have And To Hold: How Unconventional Starts Led Two Black LGBTQ Couples Down The Aisle
Takia Canty, 40, is aware that lesbians have a reputation for moving quickly into relationships. She hadn’t dated her then-girlfriend Nastassja Canty, 37, a full month before she was certain that Nastassja would be her wife. To many onlookers, their relationship appeared to be moving at lightning speed, but for the Canty’s, the whirlwind romance that led them down the aisle in an intimate Las Vegas ceremony in June—after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance in 2004—and then losing contact for 17 years, felt like fate.
“It was an underlying attraction between us that we never played on,” said Takia, who tells The Reckoning that both women were in relationships when they initially met but waited until those relationships ended before they explored their mutual attraction.
“And then I kind of slid in her DM, maybe three or four years later. But I was tipsy,” Takia jokingly recalls.
The DM from Takia to Nastassja (pronounced N ah - S t ah - S ee - ah) was short. She simply wrote: “Missing you.”
But to the surprise of both women, the distance in terms of years and miles was about to be reduced significantly following Takia’s move from Atlanta to the Dallas suburb of Richardson, TX—where, coincidentally, Nastassja also lived nearby.
“After 21 years, I decided to leave Atlanta. I needed a new start. I needed some freshness,” Takia said. “I didn't even know that she lived here, to be honest.”
“I saw she was in Dallas. I sent her a message, and I said, Takia, are you in Dallas? And she never responded,” Nastassja recalls.
“I didn’t mean to do that,” Takia says through a soft apologetic voice layered with an awareness of how their story turned out.
After 17 years apart, Nastassja’s grief after the death of her aunt became the catalyst for their reunion.
“I automatically reached out first out of concern. I had just lost my father in 2020, so I understood what that felt like,” Takia said.
The two reconnected first over FaceTime, before planning to see each other in person after Nastassja’s return to Texas following the burial of her aunt in Louisiana.
“I think it [FaceTime] solidified for me what I felt all those years before, because I promise, we picked up where we left off, and I could tell she was blushing,” said Takia.
There was only one obvious obstacle they’d have to overcome—this was Nastassja’s first time being in love. She tells The Reckoning that although she had experience with relationships, they didn’t compare to what she was now feeling for Takia.
“I don't think it was love. It was a strong like, but never in love where I felt that I couldn't go a day without being with the person,” Nastassja said.
“Okay, you have never been in love? Well, talk to me about what love looks like,” Takia recalls saying during a conversation she had with her future wife. “Or let me show you how I [choose to show] love. And then let me teach you how to love me.”
Similar to the message from Nastassja to Takia that initially went ignored, Mel Johnson-Norwood’s invitation for drinks with his future husband Franklin, during their time in Atlanta for The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Weekend, ended with him being stood up.
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