A Little More About Us…
Dena was born in Saginaw and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She moved to Illinois to attend the University of Chicago, and focused on gender studies and comic art. After many years as a web designer, Dena realized she’d rather be designing outdoor spaces. She enrolled in graduate school at IIT, and completed a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in 2013. Dena is passionate about plants, sustainable design, and animal welfare; she is particularly fond of rabbits and ginkgo trees.
Poonam was born in the Chicago Area, and grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois. After completing her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, she returned to the Chicago area for her medical training and currently works as a Sports Medicine Physician. She enjoys puzzles, sci-fi, music, local hand-crafted products, and making things. When neighbors leave usable wood out in the alley, she can recycle it into a functional object faster than you can say “jigsaw.”
Dena & Poonam first met in December of 2002, while playing soccer. A mutual friend brought Dena along one night as a sub for a co-ed team that also included Poonam, and they connected immediately. Their meeting was likely inevitable, as both lived near Andersonville, went to the same gym, and had other friends in common. After that fateful soccer meeting, Dena & Poonam found ways to run into each other accidentally-on-purpose, hung out in groups, and officially started dating in April of 2003. The rest, as we say, is herstory…
Dena & Poonam have made a home together in Chicago’s Bowmanville neighborhood for the past 10+ years. They both enjoy playing soccer, biking, snowboarding, gardening, good food, good drinks, road trips to southwest Michigan, and spending time with their animal friends: Malcolm, Tula, and Luna.
The Right Side of History
Before Illinois got its legal marriage act together, we were planning to throw a party with family and friends to celebrate our relationship. Dena’s graduate school adventures disrupted any chance to mark our ten year anniversary in 2013 with a gathering, so we looked forward to 2014.
While we were in the early stages of planning, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned DOMA, and the Great State of Illinois passed marriage equality legislation on November 20, 2013. (See a history & timeline of the freedom to marry in the U.S.) After these historic developments, we figured it was time to head downtown to Marriage Court. So, in a small ceremony in the basement of Chicago City Hall on April 26, 2014, (our 11th anniversary) we made it official!
We are proud of Illinois for being on the right side of history, and hope that you will join us for a celebration of love and equality. See you there!
— Dena & Poonam
Over the Years…
Dena was born in Saginaw, MI
Poonam was born in Oak Lawn, IL
Dena moves to Grand Rapids, MI
Poonam moves to Lake Forest, IL
Dena attends University of Chicago
Poonam attends Cornell University
Dena moves to Andersonville
Poonam starts Medical School
Poonam moves to Andersonville
Dena & Poonam meet at a co-ed soccer game
April 26, 2003
Dena and Poonam officially start dating
Dena & Poonam (and the rabbits) move in to their home in Bowmanville
November 20, 2013
Illinois passes Marriage Equality: Dena and Poonam can finally get (officially) engaged!
April 26, 2014
Dena & Poonam celebrate 11 years together by getting MARRIED! (Watch a video of part of the ceremony.)
Thanks to Christy & Yvonne for taking this video!×
September 6, 2014
Wedding celebration with family & friends in Three Oaks, Michigan!
We would like to thank our parents for their unwavering love and support throughout all these years. Thank you for raising us to be strong, independent, loving people. —D&P