Many couples have spent their quarantine parenting, educating and working, but very few have done it as…newlyweds! Oz & Alex Muñoz married shortly before the entire world changed, and they have embraced the rollercoaster that 2020. As they look forward to the new year (and new drag shows to attend!) they chatted with me about falling in love, merging their lives together, being an example for their community, and gave me a peek into one of the the fiercest weddings you will probably ever see.
Michael Cook: How did the two of you meet?
Oz and Alex: Never, ever, ever, underestimate the power of a good Facebook stalking. He was looking at me, while I was looking at him, and that’s the way it all started-with a friend request. Our story is quite lovely, it is one of romance, friendship, and passion. From the moment Oz reached out to me through a crowd and grab me and say hello, the world changed for both of us. We didn’t need each other, we weren’t “looking” , until we fell into each other’s smile. Our friends, our family, our cherished confidants, & guardians provided us with the biggest clues and the greatest support. “I like him,” “You two are great together,” “You got lucky with this one” these are the things we hear Never, ever, ever, underestimate the power of a good Facebook stalk!
MC: When did you both know that this was truly “it”?
Oz: I’m a helpless romantic (very Carrie Bradshaw) and Alex showed me all the lovely things I ever wanted. From opening the door to the car to ask me “would you like to be my date to this event?” to the “would you like to be my boyfriend?” I was like, who does that? Who said that? Alex won me with real old fashion love; so try that sisbears, it does work!
Alex: It’s a funny kind of a sleazy story. We were at Ramrod, a local leather bar and we were having drinks; I really wanted a harness. Oz took me into the store and bought me a harness. I thought if he can do that for me he is more than a date, he’s my friend and a partner in crime. That night I asked him to be my boyfriend and I knew we were destined to be together forever.
MC: What was your engagement experience like?
Oz: I was never engaged before, Alex was, so I wanted something special to make it work. He told me, “I always get the rings and it never worked out.” So one Saturday, we woke up and he told me “lets get rings!” Just like that; I told him, ok but I’ll buy yours and you will buy mine. So we did that and we picked a beautiful set of rings to make it official! It was fun, lovely and so exciting to do it together.
Alex: We planned a mutual engagement at one of our favorite restaurants, where we had our first date ever (GGs Waterfront). It was a beautiful night, the sun was setting over the water and we pulled out the boxes with the rings. The waiter caught site of the rings and said “hold on a minute don’t move”. He brought us two glasses of champagne, we counted to three and both said will you marry me. Little did we know that by that point the entire staff and all the customers were watching. We said YES! The whole place erupted in applause which we did not expect at a restaurant that was not gay. It’s a moment we will never forget.
MC: The wedding I hear was truly a once in a lifetime experience right?
Oz and Alex: “The Wedding”… where do we start?! From having another gay wedding literally right next to the house we got married in, to have rain on the day that statistically never rains in November, our wedding ceremony changed in five minutes and it was amazing. We ended up getting married inside and at the top to the stairs of the beautiful home of our friends Rod and Scott. We got to look at all our friends and family…seeing everyone’s faces was lovely, I also lost the microphone so it was very acapella (LOL).
We had a Wedding Ball-Yes we did! Legendary Ballroom icon and friend, Angel Camacho Infiniti, MC’d the ball, beats by the Regal Deejay Smeejay made the people gag and participate in the categories. It was sickening and fun and even Oz’s mom won Best Dress (duh he picked it) 10’s 10’s 10’s across the board! Drag royalty Tiffany Fantasia performed twice. First song, (we didn’t know the choice), she selected “All The Man That I Need” by Whitney Houston and after “A Woman’s Got The Power” and everybody got the strength, strength, strength; fans were cracking, We lived for it!. In between, our best man Johnnie and best woman Emy, shared their messages to us and OMG, tears of love! Oz’s mom handmade seven hundred pieces of chocolates and put our initials on each one. She told us “I did the same for my other son and I’m so happy I’m doing it you both”; Happiest Day of our life! Word of advice, the day of your wedding-let it go. Enjoy every second of it because it goes so fast and you don’t want to do it twice (LOL)!
MC: Florida is known as such a hotbed for the LGBT community. What do you love the most about your own community? Any favorite spots you have to grab a cocktail or meet up with friends?
Oz and Alex: Miami/Ft Lauderdale is a full of communities of different countries, you can have Venezuelan food in the morning and Cuban food for lunch or any other country you can think of; we love that. Local places you must go are The Palace “A must for the best drag shows”, and Versailles, our go to Cuban restaurant. Now we live in Oakland Park next to Wilton Manors (Gay epicenter of the word). We love Drynk, Rosie’s, Georgie’s Alibi, The Eagle and honestly, too many places to mention. Just come over, you will not be disappointed. Lastly, Sebastian or Haulover Beach should definitely be on the list.
MC: You’re major fans of the art of drag and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Who are some of your favorite performers on the show and in your hometown? What is it about drag that makes you so passionate about the art?
Oz: This Is a hard one, I adore all my queens but Sharon Needles, Acid Betty, Sasha Velour, Ivy Winters and Alaska are my Top Five. Also Shangela, Kameron Michaels, Aquaria, and Adore Delano, Jessica Wild and I have a soft spot for our local queen Latrice Royale. Drag Race helped the world to see the art of drag. the passion, love and dedication of these queens to show what I call live art is admirable. On that note, please support your local queens! All of them work hard to entertain you!
My hometown queens are amazing, I adore the incredible Tiffany Fantasia, The one and only TP Lords and the goddess Athena Dion; tons of other talented queens are on the scene and I do appreciate a good show (as long as you have the nails LOL) I take my hat off to anyone who had the balls (tucked) to go out and perform.
Alex: When I met my husband I had never seen RuPaul’s Drag Race. Much to his surprise I may add. He was kidding, but kind of not kidding, and said to me “if you don’t watch the show we will not work out.” So I started catching up immediately and now I’m a big fan. My favorite by far is Miss Vanjie…Miss Vanjie…Miss Vanjie!
MC: What do you think the key is to staying together and making your marriage work? Do you see yourselves as an example to the younger generation and to some of your single friends?
Oz: Communication, understanding, commitment and most important real love. It’s not easy at all, but when you find your partner for life you need to think not only about you but also about him. Respect the relationship, help the relationship to grow like a baby and have fun with it. Is it perfect?-of course not, but the power of your words will help to keep things grounded and alive. Do things that make both happy, simple things will take you far. Alex is not my half; Alex is my whole and I live my life around that. We are very different in many ways together, but also the same in many ways.
To the younger generation, Believe in love. Don’t give a fuck about what other think, what works for you may not work for others and is ok. You truly only live once, so make the best of it. To all my single friends, value yourself, know you are worthy and if someone doesn’t see that-Thank you, next. You need someone to adore you.
Alex: It’s been a very strange first year. We got married and six months later, the world went into quarantine. We’ve both been lucky enough to work from home, but that meant being home together twenty four seven and that’s a lot of togetherness for a newly married couple. We had many long talks and got to know each other very well. I think our key to staying together is our laughter.
I do see us as an example. Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky enough to have many young gay men to mentor because of my work in the HIV Field. I try to live a life of integrity, and I believe in karma so I act right. Today I still give lectures and because of my many years in the field, many of my customers witnessed the name change and erupt in applause when I proudly proclaim, “I am now a married man.” People naturally gravitate towards me for advice, I believe it is because they see that I made it. A career, a husband a home, I love to talk to young people and encourage them. It can be difficult to be a young queer person; I believe they need our support, guidance and love.
MC: What has it been like in quarantine together? What have you each learned from each other during this time?
Alex: Because it was a new relationship, we went out to dinner a lot in the beginning. During quarantine I told my husband “you are going to see a different side of me-the chef.” I started cooking my ass off and I’m a good cook. So I tell people we did not get COVID-19 we got Covid-15- the 15 pounds we gained during the quarantine!
Oz: Quarentina Turner has been really interesting, prior to COVID19, I traveled half of my time for work and suddenly we were in each other faces 24/7. I’m a very needy bear and spending so much time together really shows the amount of love we have for each other and every single detail about our life was on the table. We did tons of house projects and little by little, this house became a home, if we were able to survive this time, we are up for a pretty good time together. I learned about space. It takes two to argue to so find a way to calm down and do not take things personally. I learned that Alex is a great cook, more passionate than what I thought and of course, I learned to see him as a friend and a professional. I looked at a wonderfully romantic and sensible guy. I’m lucky to call him my sexy Bigoton!
MC: What do you celebrate the most about each other?
Oz: Alex is force to be reckoned with, I admire his dedication to his work and he always look for ways to be the best at what he does. I’m his biggest fan and often remind him that no one’s knows more about what he does than him. Alex loves me with passion and I embrace that because I do the same. Alex is an amazing person, but I do love a challenge and most of the time I win the lip-sync battle. Never take for granted the person next to you. On the contrary, support him and making him feel you will always be there. PS: He took my last name…I thought he was joking until I got the SS Card. WOW he really did that?
Alex: I think the thing that I celebrate the most about each other is that I’ve never been with someone who is so much like me. I thought opposites attract, but it turns out that opposites didn’t work for me.