Shanna & Leo

Shanna had just finished teaching a class when Leo walked up with a couple of questions. The conversation sparked a love that has lasted for four years.

Shanna is a Colorado native who works in development and community relations for a local Head Start Montessori school. Leo moved to Denver to pursue a Master’s degree in social work, and now he leads the training program at a local health-focused non-profit.

Together, with their three cuddle-loving cats, they’re the Kattari family.

In 2011, Shanna and Leo celebrated their commitment with a ceremony bringing together family and friends from across the country. When you ask them how they came to fall in love, their responses elicit laughter.

When she first laid eyes on him, Shanna was attracted to Leo’s shirt, which said “100% Guapo” (translation: 100% Handsome). “I loved how he was able to pull it off without being cocky. And of course, the shirt spoke the truth.”

Leo, on the other hand, was so unaware of Shanna’s interest that she had to find creative ways to capture his attention: “Despite Shanna’s well-practiced femme wiles, I was totally oblivious to her interest in me. I needed some prodding to get it.”

Once Leo “got it,” he found himself attracted to Shanna’s confidence, poise, and genuineness. And the two spent many weekends together taking pictures with the animal sculptures at the Denver Zoo, watching indie films, drinking tea, and exploring all the excitement of Denver PrideFest.

Shanna and Leo are building their lives in Denver, Colorado, where they intend to stay “unless climate change brings scorpions to the city.” The social-justice-minded pair is committed to giving back to their community and spend their free time volunteering with a variety of organizations, including Keshet, One Colorado, the Mayor’s Youth Commission, and more. From advocating for equal access to healthcare for trans people to building community among LGBTQ Jews—the Kattaris can often be found out-and-about making Denver a better place to live for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer folks.