Shew guys. Still recovering from the excitement of launching the #CTMeetUp ticket sales yesterday. All the admin and overflowing inbox will totally be worth it on 9 April!
Today I get to share Kelly and Lee’s story. Funnily enough they’re plotting and planning away at starting their own blog called Married Too Young and if you know anything about our (as in Seth and my) story, you’ll know that we’re all about that life. I can’t wait to read it.
For now, let Kelly, uh I mean Lee, uh, I mean Kellee take over…
Tell us about yourselves:
Well, we are Lee (him) and Kelly (her) Lubbee, sometimes called Kellee for ease (let me know when it clicks). I think the best term for us right now is adventurers. We have recently left a life we’ve known for many years and the comforts of working in full-time ministry in Durban for the great, wide Cape Town. It’s a funny story and maybe more will be revealed, but basically Lee wasn’t the risk-taker and Kelly was the “let’s sell all our things, pack the car and drive to Cape Town” person. So here we were a year ago, jobless, ‘our own home’less and ready to see whether this would stick.
And now… Lee works for an Audio Visual Solutions Company (aptly called, The Solutions Company) as the Operations Manager and Kelly works as the graphic designer/social media manager for a PR Organisation. It’s new, a challenge but it’s built our characters and moulded us for whatever lies ahead in our future. Lee is a musical legend (guitar, drums, electric guitar, bass and some keys on the keyboard) while Kelly just sings nicely along. We like to sing together and we’ve got a few of our own songs. (Who knows, maybe the band name ‘Kellee’ will work out?) We’re both passionate about young people, seeing social justice rise up and good music.
How did we meet?
It’s just your typical, youth leader meets youth story. (Pause for the gasps). Kelly was 14 and Lee was 21. (Pause again). We were friends for a year or so before Lee plucked up the courage to ask Kelly out. She said yes, there was excitement and then the reality kicked in as Kelly’s parents freaked out. And rightly so, looking back now it is a big deal and was a big gap. Instead of ending it and saying it wasn’t going to work, we fought for each other. We guess that is why we are such warriors now.
We’ve overcome so much rejection that other stuff doesn’t phase us. Funnily enough, race wasn’t even the issue at all as age was. Fast forward eight years of dating, a high-school career, college, and first jobs, second jobs and dreams… We got engaged and have now been married nearly 4 years. Woo!
Some insight into our cultural backgrounds…
Well Lee is a coloured guy and comes from quite a mix of culture and race. On his mother’s side there is Cantonese and coloured. On his dad’s side, there is coloured, with a mix of Indian. Even though this big pot of culture is there, some have just thought he is a really tanned white guy. But if you go to any family event, you see all the cultures together.
Lee likes to envision Kelly as the girl you see on the beach with blonde hair, blue eyes… To Kelly this means, typical white girl. Kelly comes from a very laid-back family with a very British gran who makes it quite different.
Basically, this means that going to an event with Lee’s family is very different to one with Kelly’s family. The cultural difference is quite distinct but being married, we don’t feel the difference. We like to think this means we’ve merged and created our own culture.
Let’s talk about babies…
So we have only recently become more excited about kids as Kelly, the adventurer, who was happy to give up everything and take a big risk but was not keen on kids… Until now. So maybe in the future there will be, as people like to say, little Lubbee’s running around.
We’ve always envisioned our kids and what they would look like. More so, because people can’t stop talking about our kids so we have had no choice but to dream them up. Little Lubbee’s with blonde curls (not sure where that’s from with Lee’s Cantonese, straight hair), blue eyes and dark skin. We have no choice now. They have to be beautiful. Haha. We are genuinely excited. Mixed race babies are so unique because you never know what can happen with the big mix of genes. We’ve also always been keen on adopting – so that will be exciting and a blessing in itself.
Have we had any hurtful experiences regarding being in a mixed race relationship?
We really haven’t. Even if we had, we clearly didn’t let it get to us and don’t remember. I think more prominently than that, Lee has been looked at differently by other colored guys because he doesn’t talk with an accent. But then, it’s not a big deal.
We think if anyone pursuing a mixed race relationship is worried about being hurt or judged, they should really focus on the fact that it’s what makes them happy. Just like Lee and I fought to be together regardless of age, we were willing to have people look at us, judge us and even say it was wrong but we were happy and that’s all that matters. I don’t like cheesy things but the truth is, “Home is where-ever I am with you.” If you’re feeling at home with that person no matter where or what the environment, then that’s a good sign.
Is this is the first time you’re joining us? If it is, a big fat WELCOME, it’s good to have you stop by. Fancy catching up on all these other interviews that you have missed? Here are the other features – make yourself a hot cup of the good stuff, and settle in for some reading.
Here’s a little bit of background as to why I want to do this series and why I want YOU to read it and share it with your friends. I am one half of a mixed race marriage (if you want to read my story, check it out here) and we have had our fair share of adjusting to this new life that is often not accepted by everyone.
Besides the odd intentional racist, I feel like a lot of the hurtful comments floating around are actually just brought about through ignorance about how their words will affect other people. Thinking only of our own personal situations with little regard for others, because that’s all that we know. So in an effort to broaden what we know, I thought I would interview a wide range of South Africans that have a variety of different situations – from mixed race couples to single race couples that adopt cross racially to couples that share the same “race” but differ vastly in terms of culture. A bit of a mumble jumble of everything really.
If you would like to join in and be featured in this series or know of someone that would, please feel free to get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want this to be a safe space where we can share stories and encourage each other to be more accepting of our fellow South Africans of all races, cultures and situations. So while I want to encourage you to comment and open a discussion, I will not tolerate any abusive or troll like comments here.