Charlotte Johnson and Tony Lee Blackburn: Full Interview

Duration 08:24


Charlotte Johnson and Tony Lee Blackburn
Interviewed by Paula Smith
13th June 2019

PS: Okay, interviewing Tony and Charlotte, 2BU Wakefield, 13th June. So, Charlotte and Tony, tell me how you two became a couple.

CJ: You start first.

TLB: Um…

PS: Why don’t you start with how you met? Where did you meet?

TLB: We’ve met at 2BU…

PS: And were you friends first?

TLB: Yeah, at first…

PS: Do you want to tell me what attracted you to each other?

CJ: Go on Tony.

TLB: I just… liked her for a long time.

PS: How long?

TLB: Since I first saw her…

PS: And who asked who out?

CJ: Tony asked me out.

PS: And how?

CJ: She asked me out on Facebook. And I said yes, cos I was gonna ask Tony out, but she asked me out first…

PS: Do you wanna tell us more about your first date?

CJ: Oh, the first date, we went out for a meal.

PS: Yeah, where did you go?

CJ: Jacob’s restaurant.

PS: And how did the date go?

TLB: Really enjoyed it, didn’t we?

CJ: yeah, he were really chatty.

PS: And did you become partners straight away or – first date?

CJ/TLB: Yeah.

CJ: Became girlfriend/boyfriend.

PS: What’s it like, your relationship? How do you feel about it?

CJ: It can get some – it can get hard sometimes.

PS: Is that because of the distance?

CJ: No, it’s with people being jealous.

PS: What people? Tell me about it.

CJ: Well it’s like people say, ‘why are you together’… ‘you’re trans, I’m trans’ and ‘it won’t work’.

PS: So people say that because you’re both trans, it won’t work? How does that make sense?

CJ: I know, that’s what I was telling Tony.

PS: And what do you do as a couple? What are your activities, what do you enjoy doing together?

CJ: Well, I stop at Tony’s. We cook a meal, we watch a film, we play on Xbox, and then we’ll go out for a walk.

PS: Do you like doing that too?

TLB: Yeah, yeah.

PS: What’s your favourite thing to do with Charlotte?

TLB: Spend time with her. Be there for her. Protect her, really. Love her for who she is, so…

PS: So would you say that 2BU Wakefield is the reason why you met?

CJ/TLB: Yeah.

CJ: If it wasn’t for 2BU Wakefield then I’d still be single.

PS: So would you recommend 2BU Wakefield to other people with learning disabilities to come to?

CJ: Yeah, cos it would help them find a relationship.

PS: And would it also help them find friendships?

CJ: Yeah.

PS: And what has it done for you guys?

CJ: It’s helped us in many ways. We’ve gone out on day trips, we’ve gone out for meals, we’ve gone nightclubbing.

PS: Has that brought you two closer together as well?

CJ: Yeah.

PS: And how long have you both been coming here?

CJ: Since it started in 2018.

PS: You as well? Yeah? Oh so that’s – so how long have you been together?

CJ: Year and half.

PS: Oh! That was pretty quick wasn’t it?!

TLB: Took the words out of my mouth.

CJ: That’s a song!

PS: And what’s your favourite thing about Charlotte?

TLB: I just love everything about her. She’s funny, she’s caring, she’s lovable and she’s always there for me.

PS: She makes you laugh? I’ve seen that.

TLB: Yeah.

CJ: You’ve missed one thing [?] about I’m posh.

TLB: Yeah, she’s posh [laughs]

PS: And what’s your favourite thing about Tony?

CJ: Tony makes me laugh. It’s her smile and the way she looks, that’s what I like about Tony.

PS: And do you think that you two will be together for a very long time?

CJ: I think we will when people stop putting us down.

PS: Well obviously, there’s only two people in this relationship, so... It’s about you two, and you just ignore them.

CJ: Cos we’re planning on getting married in December and then, in about a year and a half, moving in together.

PS: Oh wow, so you’re going to get married. Who proposed to who?

CJ: Tony proposed to me.

TLB: I proposed to her in my flat [laughs].

PS: […]

TLB: I got nervous at first, and when I proposed to her [laughs] I got a bit shaky and I couldn’t get back up.

PS: And you said yes, obviously?

CJ: I did, yes [laughs] and started crying [?].

TLB: How did you know [?] [laughs].

PS: And what do you look forward most to, in your relationship?

CJ: We are planning on um, when we did our future book, we’re planning on having our own family.

PS: Excellent.

CJ: Like a girl and boy.

PS: That’s good, yeah. […]

CJ: If we can’t have them ourselves then we’ll adopt them.

PS: And what are your aspirations for the relationship? So, what do you wanna do together, apart from having family and a house and marriage, do you want to travel, do you want to, y’know?

CJ: We’re planning on going on holiday together next year.

PS: Yeah, where do you want to go?

CJ: Depends where Tony wants to go.

TLB: Anywhere, I’m not fussed where.

CJ: [unclear]

PS: Do you guys have a song?

CJ: Oh, it’s that Westlife song, ‘All My Love’

PS: ‘All My Love’ by Westlife

CJ: Yeah, she plays it to me all night.

PS: And why is that your song?

CJ: Because it stands for me and Tony, everything – everything in that song is about me and Tony. And she’s – it’s even our wedding song.

PS: Are you excited to wear a dress?

CJ: I am, yeah.

PS: Are you going to wear white?

CJ: Yeah.

PS: Yeah? Are you gonna wear a tux?

TLB: Yeah, I’ll wear a suit, yeah.

PS: That’s gonna be nice. And have you asked the guys if they’re gonna be in your wedding party?

CJ: I didn’t ask ‘em yet.

PS: Were you thinking about inviting them as…?

CJ: Yeah. They’re like family to me, in a way, so I’m gonna –

PS: Got any bridesmaids lined up out there? Probably Adam, Alan sorry.

CJ: Alan and two people in my building.

PS: Yeah, what about you, have you decided on a best man?

TLB: Er… I don’t know yet [laughs].

CJ: Could be Jimmy?

TLB: I’d rather take Geoff to be best man.

PS: How do your parents and family feel about your relationship?

CJ: Oh, that’s a tricky one [laughs nervously]. I don’t have contact with my family.

PS: Okay, right.

TLB: My family’s, er, very supportive about it.

PS: That’s good. So you kinda, not only gain Tony, but gaining a family as well?

CJ: Yeah, her family love me to pieces, they said you don’t need your family, you’ve got us.

PS: That’s nice. And, so when is your anniversary?

CJ: It’s, well this year, 12th of February.


PS: […] So would you recommend – so you would recommend 2BU Wakefield?

CJ: Yeah.

PS: And would you welcome new members and be excited to meet new members?

CJ: Yeah.

PS: Okay, I’ll stop it there.


Part of: A group for queer adults with learning disabilities