March 29, 2013

Kristen Ellis-Henderson '92
Kristen Ellis-Henderson '92

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By Gigi Marino

As lead guitarist for the all-female band Antigone Rising, Kristen Ellis-Henderson '92 did have that famous rock-star fantasy of being on the cover of "Rolling Stone," but TIME Magazine called first.

Ellis-Henderson and her wife, Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson, appear on the April 8 cover of TIME, with a callout that reads, "Gay Marriage Already Won," the magazine's response to the Supreme Court hearings happening this week on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

TIME contacted them a week ago, asking if they would be interested in posing for the cover. The couple, who've published a book about their simultaneous pregnancies, blog for the Huffington Post and are the go-to couple for GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) are accustomed to media attention. They immediately said yes. The photo editor asked them to wear grays, beiges and whites. As a guitarist in a rock band, Ellis-Henderson doesn't own anything remotely neutral. "We had to go shopping at the Gap. I felt like we were posing for a catalogue."

The photo shoot occurred on Monday in the Time, Inc. offices in New York City. After 10 minutes of shooting them holding hands, the photographer asked if they would be comfortable kissing in front of the camera, and should he clear the room.

"Why would he need to clear the room?" asks Ellis-Henderson. "We're married."

The Ellis-Hendersons were one of several couples being photographed on Monday. They didn't think they had much of a chance of being chosen. "We passed the next couple on our way out, gave them a high-five and wished them luck."

On Wednesday, Kristen was at the playground with their children, Kate and Thomas, when Sarah called to say that they had gotten the cover - but it was embargoed until the next morning. "It's a weird call to get," she says. "You're on the cover of TIME magazine. I'm standing with 14 of my friends, and I can't tell anyone."

The next day, however, everyone knew. The cover was broadcast widely on all the morning shows and major news networks.

"My cousin kept texting me saying he couldn't turn on the TV without seeing my face," says Ellis-Henderson. "But I couldn't watch it on TV because the kids wanted to see 'My Little Pony.'"

When she finally did see the cover, she says it was shocking. "The woman who wrote the article asked us what our comfort level was with being on the cover of TIME Magazine kissing. It was so surreal."

Contact: Division of Communications