Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Better Together

The Travers family

Upon a starlit night Nov. 12, a set of towering wooden doors push open, as Alexis and Melissa Travers walk out for the first time as wives and eternal partners. Alexis walks down a staircase towards the altar, while from outside Melissa steps in. By their side is sophomore Mabry Travers and her siblings, Kamry and Logan, who fight back tears of joy as their biological mother, Melissa, marries her girlfriend.

“I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful combination than that,” Melissa said. “People [could] truly feel the love that we have for one another, the love that we have for the children, the love that they have for us.”

Prior to their relationship, Alexis recalls a life preoccupied with work, while Melissa was a single mom of three. It was on a dating app in 2019 that they both found the courage to swipe right on one another, hitting it off immediately. When Mabry discovered that their family friend wasn’t just a friend after all, she couldn’t have been more excited for her mom.

“At first, it was obviously surprising and I didn’t expect it, but I was really happy for her — that she felt comfortable telling me and she was comfortable in her sexuality,” Mabry said.

Being a couple outside of the heteronormative structure, Melissa and Alexis both faced varying struggles with expressing who they truly were. Alexis found support among her high school peers, but struggled to admit her sexuality to her parents. 

“Whenever I went away to college, I told myself that I was going to try and be straight, for the benefit of my parents, because I felt like that was what they wanted,” Alexis said. “It wasn’t until  later that I realized that what they really wanted was for me to find happiness.” 

For Melissa, however, her experiences were very different. This was due to her being raised in a primarily religious and small community.

“I dared not ever allow myself to think or feel or show any sort of feelings or thoughts towards that,” Melissa said. “It’s something that came much, much later in life. But even then it was something I would feel so heavily convicted for because of prior conditioning.” 

Their family remains optimistic for the future ahead, with the relationship marking the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. While Melissa originally suggested a more quaint wedding, Alexis wanted the opportunity to celebrate her love in a more meaningful way. 

“People fought for this,” Alexis said. “People died without ever having the ability to marry the person that they loved because it wasn’t legal for many years, and I didn’t want to do some courthouse ceremony that silences the right that we have been given.”

While Mabry herself has not experienced the particular struggles they have, her love and admiration for her parents is unwavering, and she chooses to support them as family. 

“Having two moms is not a bad thing,” Mabry said. “I mean, if anything, it’s a great thing. It’s important to be proud of who my moms are and support  and love them unconditionally.”

The Walker-Milton family

The moment your best friend becomes your sister is often the stuff of Hollywood fantasy and movie magic. For seniors Chloe Walker and Molly Milton, it became very much their reality. Throughout early elementary school, both girls had been close friends and even neighbors, which served to bring their parents together following each of their divorces. In 2014, after years of mutual playdates and drop-offs, Chloe’s mother, Amy Walker-Milton, and Molly’s father, Stephen Milton, officially began dating before tying the knot in 2016. For Molly and Chloe, however, it didn’t feel as the relationship had  changed anything between them.

“It didn’t really change that dynamic that we had,” Walker said. “We were best friends for so long and so close forever.”

 After the marriage, they both left their respective schools to move into a home together in Ladue, and neither of them were apprehensive about the change. To them, their families had not truly been whole for a long period of time before the relationship. 

“At first it felt like a split family, and then when they started dating, I felt like I had two families,” Milton said. “There were more kids to be around, we got dogs, it was a whole new environment I’ve never been a part of and I’m so grateful for it.”

They had also grown closer to each other’s siblings, even creating game nights occurring two to three times a week. Popular games include Yahtzee, Mexican Trains and Shanghai Rummy ­— a long-standing favorite passed down from Chloe’s great-grandmother. 

“It’s just a good moment and a good way to spend time with your family, and even though it’s planned [it] is still a great thing to do with each other.” Walker said. 

With Molly switching from living with her father’s side of the family, to her mothers’ household throughout the week, these game nights become all the more precious to them.  

“[Nuclear families] don’t have to make time for family because there are a lot of times they all end up happening to be there,” Milton said. “But with me only being there half the week, it doesn’t just happen. You have to plan it. The family has to be together. Time is more valuable because you don’t have as much time with each person.”

Even with a large and split family, they continue to prioritize one another in their social lives and endeavors.

“We show up for each other’s events no matter how hard it might be; we figure out how to even see 15 minutes of something,” Steve Walker, Chloe’s father and Molly’s step father, said.

Through the experience of having a blended family, for the Walker-Miltons,  it was time together that has always been most valuable; from family outings to game nights.

“I’d say family is everything,” Milton said. “And I know that in 20 years who knows what life is going to look like but we’re still going to be together. We’re going to be friends and family.”

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About the Contributor
Emily Liu
Emily Liu, Opinions Editor
Emily Liu is a junior at Ladue, the Opinions Editor for Panorama and Junior Editor in Chief for Melodrama. This is her second year on Panorama. You can typically find her writing, impulse shopping online or making bracelets.
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