Hello friends, this week we have the lovely couple Chris & Alex who go by the handle of @BurritoandTortilla which is also where you can find them on Instagram as well as Chris & Alex on YouTube. I loved getting to know them a little more and I hope you will too.
1. What are your names, how do you identify and what are your pronouns?
C: My name is Christine (the burrito) and my pronouns are she/hers. I use queer/bisexual/pansexual, but I’ve found I don’t feel most comfortable in labels. I am attracted to people regardless of their gender. When it comes down to it, I identify as a woman who is in love with another woman!
A: I’m Alex (the tortilla), and I identify as a lesbian woman (also she/her).
2. How was it like when you came out to family, friends? (Talk about any troubles/complications.)
C: So I never really "came out". I remember being really young and realizing that I had the potential to be with men or women but not feeling that it was necessary to share that information with anyone until it was relevant. I met Alex my junior year of college and we instantly linked up and started seeing each other. I don't think queer people should have to come out -heterosexual persons never have to make that kind of announcement. In fact, I look forward to the day where individuals aren’t straight until proven queer. So I didn't really say anything to anyone about the fact that I was dating a woman for the first time and just went on with my life. While this is what felt right for me to do, it confused and shocked a lot of friends, family, and peers and prompted a lot of questions that I had to answer (and still have to answer). I had the support of my siblings all along but gaining the understanding of my parents is more of a work in progress.
A: All things considered, I’ve had a seamless experience in coming out. I was bullied for my sexuality in both high school and college, but my friends have always been a source of strength that I could always confide in. The only true bump in the road was coming out to my mother, and that’s only because she understood how difficult my life would be as a queer woman in a world that might not always accept me. It was when she realized that living anything less than my truth was a more grueling reality that she became my biggest ally. My family is my most important support system and has loved Chris the instant I brought her home.
3. When and why did you ladies decide to make a joint Instagram account?
Funnily enough, we literally started our account based on our misadventures.
@burritoandtortilla came to life in the waiting room of a car shop after a flat tire left us stranded on the parkway for hours. It was some point between trying to warm up a leftover pizza on the car vent with the heat blasting and sitting next to each other in a tow truck that we realized other people might get a kick out of what happens to us since it happens so often. Our account gives us an outlet to express ourselves creatively and that is super fulfilling.
As freelancers, we also get to travel often because we dictate our own schedules. People always ask us where we’re going next and come to us for travel recommendations and itineraries! We loved the idea of being able to share those tips on a grander scale and inspire others to travel. We hadn’t seen other couples like us on social media until we created our account and discovered how much of a network was already out there. We always had friends and peers tell us they “loved our love” and that our relationship inspired them not to settle for less in love. The fact that we get to be part of that online visibility and community is really just incredible.
4. Your Instagram bio says that you both are freelance filmmakers, how did you get into filmmaking?
C: Television and movies were always my releases when I was younger. I looked to them for entertainment, distraction, insight, and for education. I realized that film was a visual universal language, understood by all. I wanted to study the art form so I could create or assist with content that would also provide that release for others. I dabble in all the ways that I can. Camera, editing, art design, if it’s creative it’s for me! Filmmaking has taken me on a journey of reality tv, commercials, New York Fashion Week, documentaries, and independent films. And here’s the irony: we both attended the same University for film, at the same time, but didn’t meet until after Alex graduated!
A: I found my livelihood under unconventional circumstances: I was over a year out of college working in retail when I applied for a production assistant position at one of the largest journalistic conglomerates in the world. It would give yield to my career of day playing at a few different companies in New York, but it also affirmed my love of human-interest stories. It fueled my desire to account my own adventures and, to boot, with my partner in crime.
5. You ladies are also travelers, what’s the best place you traveled to? And what the place that you ladies can live without visiting again?
If y’all have been following us it’s no secret how much we love Miami, Florida. Something about the city makes us feel so alive and so at peace at the same time. We love the food, the culture, the beaches, and the lifestyle! England will always be a second home because we each lived there for a semester. Ireland has the nicest folks and most stunning views. The nature of Washington and Portland is something we miss every day. All the places we have visited are the best for different things! It’s kind of like asking us to pick our favorite child-we love them each in their own way!
There’s really no place we wouldn’t visit again. You can always find completely new things to see and do in a place you’ve been before. And even if there was a place we could live without visiting again, we would never want to steer others away. What might have been a miss for us could be a hit for someone else!
6. Any tips that you ladies have for new travelers?
C: If you’re new to traveling, find out what kind of traveler you are! What works for others might not work for you. We love to do a lot of research before a trip and break down a shared google doc into what we might want to see, eat, and do. Then we make a loose schedule based on our favorites while also leaving room for spontaneity! We save up a good amount for our trips so that we don't have to hold back from anything we might want to do-who knows when we'll get to return to any same place again. But I also don't think you need a lot of money to travel or that you have to leave your country to “travel”. There is so much to see that's just different states or miles away and it is possible to travel on a budget! If you are queer, always look into the laws and general attitude toward LGBTQ+ persons of where you're traveling to so that you can have the safest experience. Unfortunately, as women, we also always research the safest neighborhoods and areas of where we plan to go and explore. Don’t only save travel for special occasions. You don’t need a reason to travel the world other than “just go”!
A: Also, for all of those in the dietary restrictions boat like me, make certain to know what foods are prevalent in cultures. I am personally a pescatarian with a fair share of allergies, so I always look into what I can and cannot eat. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it might behoove you to look into what eateries you can go to ahead of time!
7. Final thoughts?
We just want to thank you for giving these voices a chance to be heard. It is so wonderful to see how much representation and visibility is present on social media today and how rewarding it is to meet and be the people we needed when we were younger. As much as social media has a negative connotation, it’s brought together such a beautiful queer and passionate travel community that we would not have met otherwise. It’s brought us together and fortified friendships that we hope to foster for the rest of our lives.
Thank you so much Chris and Alex for sharing your story with us, and providing us with a little more insight in your lives and filmmakers. Again, if you want to connect with them, you can find them on IG here: @BurritoAndTortilla and on YouTube here: Chris & Alex
And if you would like to be featured, please feel free to shoot me an email at TheKyannSimonee@gmail.com and we'll be in touch.