June is Pride Month, and what better way to celebrate than by featuring a beautiful out and proud interracial, trans and queer couple? Brookelyn Paden and Kasen Dean’s story truly celebrates the importance of support, love, and dedication to each person’s individual needs, unique differences, and relationship goals.
Both Brookelyn and Kasen are active in the LGBTQ community, and they are committed to making a difference in the world. We had the honor of sitting down with them and talking about their love story, activism, and plans for the future.
How They Met
Brookelyn and Kasen met in March of 2019 at Flex Night Club in downtown Raleigh, NC. Brookelyn was singing karaoke with her sister and friends, and Kasen was there with his friend, enjoying the not so talented bar patrons attempting to carry a tune. Brooke was surrounded by friends that night because it was the weekend after receiving the news that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
After such a life-changing and emotional week, she had no idea she would be meeting the love of her life days after her diagnosis.
Brookelyn’s sister thought Kasen’s friend was attractive, so Brooke had to do what any little sister would do, go up to them and “play wing-woman”. Right away, Brookelyn was captivated by Kasen, and the two shared smiles and laughter all night. As the evening went on and their vibes connected, Brookelyn shared her diagnosis of ovarian cancer and the discovery that she would need to undergo a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.
Kasen understood as he had experienced the same risky surgeries before and told Brookelyn that if he could make it through, so could she. The two genuinely connected on a deeper level than most people do on the first night they meet. Unfortunately, at 2 am, when the last call was announced and the bar closed for the night, they didn’t want the evening to end. The two continued their conversations at Waffle House and shared a romantic meal of hashbrowns, waffles, and bacon. Before parting after their date of greasy breakfast food, the two shared the last first kiss they would ever experience and exchanged numbers. Romantically, every year on the anniversary of their introduction, they go to Flex and Waffle House to relive that first night together.
Through Brookelyn’s surgeries, Kasen stood by her side, including the recovery after a botched reconstructive procedure. Regardless of Kasens’ dedication to supporting Brooke, he wasn’t ready to fully dive into an official committed relationship…and then the pandemic of 2020 happened.
Their first anniversary was approaching, and the world was starting to shut down. Brookelyn and Kasen had spent every other day together and could not imagine being apart any longer, so they moved in together. As the world started opening back up and life was returning to semi-normal, they decided to take a beach trip for their second anniversary. As the two started reminiscing, Brooke knew it in her heart that she wanted to be with Kasen forever! Kasen planned the beach trip, and Brooke secretly purchased an engagement ring.
With the help of Brookelyn’s friend, they planned and pulled off the sweetest proposal Wilmington had ever seen. Then the wedding planning began. Sadly, even today, wedding planning as a queer couple is scary. Something Forever & Company is striving to help change the wedding industry.
Brookelyn and Kasen have successfully found LGBTQ+ friendly vendors, like Ann McKenzie of Joy-Filled Weddings, and decided to hold a drag show brunch for their reception. Their wedding date is October 16, 2022, and the two are beyond excited to continue their lives together and help show other LGTBQIA+ couples that a safe space wedding is possible and that the only thing that truly matters is their love for each other.
Professional Photos by Rosie Valentine Photography (@rosievalentinephotography)
We encourage everyone to follow Brookelyn and Kasen’s love story on Instagram and remember, Love is Love!