When seniors at a small public high school in the Bronx cast their votes for "Best Couple" earlier this year, they chose a pair they admire but who definitely defy the stereotype of best couple. This story was produced Victoria "Vikky" Cruz.
NARRATION: Every once in a while when I'm watching novellas with my grandmother, she'll get a mean, serious look, and she'll say, "I've been wanting to ask you something for a long time." And in my head I'm like "Oh my God! Please don't let it be she knows about me." She closes the door, lowers her voice and says, "Since you're going to college, do they need your mother's signature on the papers?" Phew!
Deoine: There's no parties to go to, I want to party.
NARRATION: When my girlfriend comes over we have to act like friends.
Deoine: Oh that's when y'all ran between the two?
NARRATION: I'm scared to tell my grandmother because she judges other gay people in our family, like: "Ewww! Why does she dress like that? Why does she have a girlfriend?" But, Deoine and I go together like mac and cheese.
Deoine: Okay, the first time I saw Vikky it was on a web site called Sconex and I thought she was pretty. I used to call her my favorite Puerto Rican girl.
NARRATION: I thought she was pretty too, but I just didn't like the way she acted with her friends—showing off, flirting, and talking about boys. UGH. Then, one day in math, she told me that she liked me. I was shocked but happy. We started going out after a few weeks, and now, two years and five months later, we're still together.
Deoine: I never thought love exists before because with my parents my father you know, just got my mother pregnant and then left. And the other men that my mother ever loved, they just dissed her.
NARRATION: Yeah. I always thought love was fake, that people would just be together because they're bored, like my mother and my father (who are not together). And, like all the other couples at my school.
Maribel: You not on and off with her, you have this solid relationship, which means that you have this strong bond with her.
NARRATON: Maribel is the editor of the yearbook. Last year, she kept bugging me that: "you and Deoine should be best couple for the yearbook."
Maribel: You guys are the definition of a relationship: support, love, care. These other relationships in this school, what's that word, a fling maybe?
NARRATION: I wanted to win best couple, but I didn't know how people react. I thought they would discriminate. But Deoine and Maribel went around to every class telling them to vote for us. When the papers came out for people to vote, it said "best couple: pick a boy and a girl." Deoine asked if I voted and I said "no," but then I was thinking about President Obama and I told myself "one vote could make a difference," so I scratched out boy and I put girl.
Maribel: But let me tell you something, you did not win by just two points, you won by a lot.
NARRATION: When we found out I was like "awwwwww." Now, there's a picture of us in the yearbook with the best dressed, funniest, most popular, and so on. But, I'm not getting a yearbook because I'm broke. Oh!! I have to remind Deoine not to show her yearbook to my grandmother.
Victoria: Well, I just got dressed, tucking the stomach in is hurting!
NARRATION: I'm waiting for Deoine to come over so we can get in a cab together for prom. I'm wearing a silver dress with silver heels and my hair down. I ask my grandmother if I look pretty and she says yes.
Grandmother: Se te ve bonita beautiful. Sexy!
NARRATION: I plan to tell my grandmother I'm gay when I'm older, so I don't have to hide anymore and we can be closer.
Victoria: Them heels is killing me! Them heels is killer.
NARRATION: But for now, I'm still hoping she doesn't realize Deoine is my date when she shows up in a white and silver dress, with silver heels, and a silver rose in her hair. Deoine helps me with my make up and then the cab arrives.
Victoria: Here! Here! Take it.
NARRATION: I had a great time slow dancing with Deoine and acting stupid with my friends at prom.
Deoine: I used to watch like a lot of shows, all the movies where at the end the girl gets the guy and they live happily ever after. And I always thought "maybe that�s going to happen to me." But it wasn't a guy I got at the end.
NARRATION: Teachers, classmates, and people outside tell us we are "perfect"...but we're not. We go through the same mistakes other relationships go through—disagreements (a lot of those, oh my God), we're both stubborn, and we have broken up a couple of times. But, we're still staying close. And next year, we're both going to college in New York. Hopefully this love lasts forever.
Deoine: I love you.
Victoria: Oh wait, one, two, three.
Deoine and Victoria: I love you!
NARRATION: For WNYC, I'm Rookie Reporter Victoria Cruz.