Our identity as the Waters Chicks started shortly after we both finalized our divorces. Choosing a completely new last name was important as we began our new life together. It signified our togetherness and referring to ourselves as The Waters Chicks helped remind us that as a couple we were important even if no one else thought so.
Because we came out later in life, left long term marriages, and changed the way our families looked, our relationship was a hard sell to others. Our relationship was characterized as a mid-life crisis and seen as less than as we moved forward simply because we were lesbians.
As a way to insulate ourselves from the hurt, and as a joke, we began calling ourselves The Water Chicks. What began as a joke became a reminder of our strength and commitment to live authentically and on our own terms. We do what we want.
Over time, as we expanded our circle of friends, we noticed others began referring to us as the Waters Chicks. The self-declared nickname stuck and has been a reminder that while still individuals, we are stronger together than we are apart, and a kick ass team.
Building a life together from the ground up helped us learn about our strength. We worked hard, played hard, and fought for those who are vulnerable. Our daily mission was “handling our shit.”
As flawed, imperfect, works in progress, we are guilty of using colorful language in every day conversations. When unexpected things happen, we cry, curse, feel pain, and worry but we also laugh, rally, fight, and never give up.
Our message is simple. Be kind. Be authentic and willing to do the hard work to find peace within.
Finding peace means stretching outside of comfort zones and sharing ourselves with others. It means learning to speak up, stand tall, and learning how to add more love and understanding in the world.
This is our outlet. As married lesbian women who are raising a family and creating a life together, we had a lot to say about many topics including women’s rights, LGBTQ discrimination, and human rights.
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Yvette Waters (1969-2017) was a photographic artist born in Massachusetts and worked in Orlando, Florida. A graduate of the Southeast School of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida. Her work has been published in a variety of print and online publications including USA TODAY, Curve Magazine, and appears on the cover of Switching Teams, A Memoir.
With more than twenty years behind the camera, she owned Yvette Waters Photography, an event, entertainment, and location portrait business. Her most recent projects included “Moving Through: A visual story of life, pain, courage and art’s healing power”, and Braving Life Photography, which provided complimentary photo sessions for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and transgender individuals.
When she was not working or creating art, she enjoyed being an activist for women and LGBTQ rights. Yvette lived in Debary, Florida, with her wife, Dawn, and their three sons. She unexpectedly passed away from metastatic breast cancer a year after her initial diagnosis of breast cancer in October 2016.