Monday, March 5, 2018
2016 Daughters of Bilitis Awardees Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman
Cleo and Nicole are a vibrant couple who has been together for over 13 years, they are native Texans, and got legally married in Massachusetts in 2009, at that time same sex marriage was not recognized in the State of Texas.
When Cleo went into labor with their first child, the delivery process was a challenge. After hours of trying, the doctors took her in for an emergency C-section, and Nicole and Cleo were separated. If anything had happened to Cleo, Nicole wouldn't have been able to make decisions for their son. If anything catastrophic had happened to Cleo, he would have been an orphan. And that was after they did everything they possibly could to be seen as a family in Texas. The terror of 30 minutes in the delivery room - 30 minutes where the holes in their well-meaning friends' claims that marriage equality wasn't a necessity became vividly clear - were part of why Nicole and Cleo signed on to a lawsuit aimed at striking down anti-marriage laws in Texas in 2014. And on February 2015, they rejoiced as their case - DeLeon v. Perry - inspired a federal judge to strike down those laws as unconstitutional.