Sarah and Kokebnesh have been dating for five years. One day, at the beach, Koki got down on one knee. Here’s their beautiful story…
When did you start planning?
Koki: First, I started looking into rings. The good thing is that Sarah loves looking at proposals and rings, so I was taking mental notes. Finally, I ordered one. I shipped it to a friend’s house instead of our address. I was deleting all my internet history. I had this double life!
What was your proposal plan?
Koki: I wanted Sarah to feel like a princess. I realized that a way to get her a little glammed up was to make it a photo shoot. Photographers often ask to take our photo for their portfolios and social media. So, I asked one of our favorite photographers in Hamburg to pretend to ask us to do a photo shoot. We decided to meet at the beach.
What happened when you got to the beach?
Koki: The photographer started taking casual photos. I had told her to give me a cue when she felt the lighting was right and the moment was good. She was going to tell me to get my analog camera, so we could use it during the shoot. That was the signal.
Sarah: So, Koki went to get the camera. She also had something small in her hand. I was like, is it a camera lens? And then she got down on one knee. And I was like, OH MY GOSH!!!
How did that moment feel?!
Koki: When I got on one knee, I said, ‘Sarah,’ and suddenly all the emotions came up. My voice was shaking — ‘You are my home, I love you’ — and I was just sobbing.
Sarah: It was an out-of-body experience. My emotions changed every second. First I was surprised and then so happy and then emotional and then shocked again, and I was like, Okay, okay, try to listen to her.
Koki: Everything happened so quickly, and at the same time, time was standing still.
Sarah, when did you see the ring?
Sarah: At first, I was just looking at her face. And then we kissed, and she was like, ‘The ring!’
Koki: We were just screaming and hugging.
Sarah: I looked at it and was like, oh my gosh, it’s perfect.
Afterward, when you told friends and family, were there any funny reactions?
Koki: Sarah’s parents were lovely. They’re typically German — more reserved, really kind and loving, but not so expressive. Her mom had tears in her eyes. And her dad had this smile on his face the whole time, like the big grinning cat.
What about your parents, Koki?
Koki: Unfortunately, it was kind of weird. The sad part was that when I first came out, my family was supportive; and they seemed to welcome Sarah with open arms. Five years later, we live together, we have our own flat, we have a dog, and it felt like, all of a sudden, they were like, oh shit, is this really serious? I had been excited to tell them about the engagement, but their reactions didn’t feel happy or hopeful. I felt so disconnected in that moment.
That’s hard, I’m really sorry.
Koki: My dad seems to look at our life as a burden, like, Oh, it must be so hard. I was like, but don’t you see the life we have and how we have each other? Nothing about this is a burden. There are definitely things that aren’t right for the queer community and we have to fight and be vocal, but most of the time it’s just being in love with a person, so why can’t that be the major thing?
How about your friends?
Koki: You could feel their love. My cousin in London was freaking out. When we called her, she was in a mall eating a burger, and she was like, ‘WHAT!!!!! NO!!!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!’
Finally, I’d like to ask: what do you love about each other?
Koki: Sarah is one of the funniest people I know. And she will bring out the best in you. She knows your potential even if you don’t; if I struggle to believe in me, she lifts me up. She always has my back and would do anything to protect me. I feel really safe with her.
Sarah: Koki is so kind, she is the nicest person you will ever meet. She has this big heart and makes everyone feel welcome. She doesn’t even have to try, it comes naturally for her. Everyone loves her.
(During our phone interview, we were smiling and laughing the whole time — here are two screenshots!)
(Photos by Susi.)