To be LDS and gay raises an unbelievable amount of questions in one’s journey to finding themselves. Having decided for myself that a life of loneliness was not for me and having found that special someone that I love more than anything, the next step in our relationship seemed only logical. The only question on my end was how to approach my family with what I had in store.
It is funny how life can take you down paths you never thought were possible. I remember growing up always telling myself that a mission wasn't for me and yet when the time came, I knew it was what I needed to do. When I moved back home from Detroit, I tried to convince myself that I could marry a woman and lie about who I really was for the rest of my life. I tend to not be the most realistic person with my dreams for the future, however, in this case I knew I could not do that to another person. Marriage to a woman being out of the picture, I realized I needed to admit to myself who I really was and I needed to find my peace with it. It was around this time that I met my partner, Nicholas. We have been together for over 5 years and together we have moved into a house, purchased vehicles, combined finances and we have two furry dog children we are fortunate to call our own. We have a life together and we have plans for our future and those plans include becoming a family and extending it as well. Call us old fashioned but we agreed that marriage needed to come into play before we consider extending our family unit. With it being our 5 year mark, if we were a normal LDS couple we would have already been engaged 4 years and 10 months prior but obviously our situation needed a little more time. (ha ha!)
Knowing that I wanted to propose, I began planning back in May. Anyone that knows me is more than aware that I get an idea in my head and my OCD comes out and enforces that every detail is planned to perfection. The first step was deciding how and where to pop the question. I like to do big extravagant gestures and Nick hates any sort of attention so that meant the flash mob was out of the picture (kidding … kind of). I decided on San Diego, a place we both travel to frequently and love. Having been planning since May, the night before the trip finally came and Nick surprisingly still had no idea for what was in store. I’m not the greatest at keeping secrets, especially when they are as big as a vacation let alone a proposal so you can imagine my surprise that I had pulled this off. I told him at 10pm Thursday night and we flew out early the next morning. Still unaware of the true reason for the trip other than it was for our 5th year anniversary, I took Nick to dinner on Friday and then we found our way to the Sunset Cliffs near Point Loma. I had found a picture of a couple proposing in this area and knew it was exactly where I wanted to do it. I had a photographer waiting who was secretly taking pictures of us and as we pulled up I could see him already in position. We had to climb down this steep cliff which ends by you having to repel down about 15 – 20 feet by a rope that is just wrapped around a rock. Once we made our way to the spot, I knelt down and asked Nick to marry me. Once he said yes, I introduced him to Derek, the photographer, and we had a little photo session. While I was in the process of booking a photographer it was amazing the similarities we had with Derek and after meeting him in person the similarities continued to amaze us. He was the perfect man for the job and we could not have been more impressed with the outcome. Everything went perfect, everything worked out, and of course, he said yes. The next night we celebrated with friends who were also in San Diego and the day following he took the lead and surprised me by taking us up to Disneyland for the day. It truly was the perfect weekend.
The reactions have been interesting to say the least. Some who seemed fine with us being a couple have asked “But why do you have to get married?” I’d simply like to address that here in case there may be more who are wondering that same thing. For many of you, it’s easy to date and decide that you want to marry your best friend and live the rest of your lives together, maybe even eternity. To be married means that we are committing to each other for the rest of our lives. We are deciding that we want to have a companionship and be there for each other just like any other married couple. There are obvious benefits such as for tax purposes or perhaps if there is ever an unfortunate event and one of us is in the hospital, this will allow the other to be there without question. When it comes to the religious side of things, we are not asking for this to be looked at in the eyes of the church. I am a firm believer that we do not know everything that will happen after this life and we are aware this may not be an eternal situation. However, while we are going through this life, we have each other and we can have a family and we can make a difference for the better. We are good guys, simply trying to be better and help each other on this journey. There is obviously a lot of individuals who disagree with same sex marriage and I am more than welcome to answer any questions or concerns that some may have. We are not trying to change anyone's religion, we are not going to affect anyone else’s marriage, and yet the big concern is that if we allow “gays” to marry than where does it end. I will address this topic at another time but for now I will simply say that it is hard at times to digest the hardness and pain of other people’s hurtful words. I wish there was a greater peace and understanding between all of us and dare I say a more Christian approach.
I could not be happier at this time in my life. I have a fiancé, a great job, a roof over my head and I am more than aware how blessed and fortunate I am for these circumstances. I am so very grateful for my family and friends that have been supportive or who have taken the time to approach me with concerns by being able to have adult conversations. It means the world to us when people want to understand or want to be there for us. I love this man. I love his character and his drive. I love his ambition to do right by me and by his family. I love who he is when no one is watching and the love and concern he has for anyone he comes in contact with. I am so very happy to now call Nick my fiancé and to plan for our wedding. I’m excited to spend the rest of my life with this incredible person. Life has a way of working itself out and I can’t wait to see where life leads
me us next! WE’RE ENGAGED!
Here is the link for the video Derek made for us :)
Photography by Derek Chad Photography