Crista & Jess

 (c) Catalina Kulczar, 2014

(c) Catalina Kulczar, 2014

Jess and Crista make a lot of people very, very happy.

In 2010, two years after an epic six-hour first date that started over drinks and ended with a shared steak meal, they began making ice cream together, coming up with imaginative and inventive recipes inspired by childhoods in Maine and Florida. A chalkboard wall covered in ten prototyped recipes later, the duo attended Penn State’s Ice Cream University, quit their jobs, and began producing as Phin and Phebes, which, as any ice cream connoisseur will tell you, makes freakin’ awesome ice cream. As if all of that wasn’t enough, they also moved in together, renovated an apartment, and got a dog, indicative of their shared inability to sit still.

 It’s easy to believe, then, that Jess and Crista want to live in a world where there is love and happiness; after all, ice cream probably doesn’t belong in an unhappy one. And in their little bubble of a progressive Brooklyn, it’s all too easy to forget that there are people who are ruled by misunderstanding, maybe even hate or fear. But all it takes is that one look they’ll get or that one comment thrown their way when holding hands while walking to remind them. It’s having to be conscious of pronoun use around new acquaintances because you never really know and maybe it’s dangerous and unwise, or maybe it’s just fine and they have nothing to worry about. Either way, for Jess and Crista, and other LGBT couples, you don’t really know until you know, until you’ve already taken that first step, thrown caution to the wind, and revealed that part of yourself.

But for days like that, when uncertainty and caution linger at the periphery, just sit back, crack open a pint of Banana Whama or Vietnamese Iced Coffee, and let the happiness and love take over.