We’ve received so many heartfelt love stories for our Brand g Vacations contest to win a romantic Danube riverboat cruise. Here’s one of our favorites of the week…
When I first met Nick, I was finishing up my degree at Utah State University, working two jobs, struggling with my sexuality and I was about to move to a new city where I had no friends. I was desperate for a connection with someone else; I needed someone to help me understand how to come out of the closet in such a conservative atmosphere. There were no gay bars, no gay organizations, no Pride Center for me to look to for a resource in the small, college town of Logan, Utah. Simply put, I was alone and didn’t know who could help me.
As I was preparing to move to Salt Lake City, I checked out some of the dating websites on the off-chance that I would meet someone who I would connect with. That rainy April Sunday afternoon I met the sexiest, sweetest guy imaginable. We hit it off immediately and there was no one I wanted to spend time with. From the moment we started chatting, we were practically inseparable. After I finished an internship, I graduated from school and moved in with Nick.
We come from similar backgrounds, both raised as Mormons – before we met we even went on Mormon missions for two years to try and spread Mormonism. But we both knew we were living a lie. When he turned 30 he was finally able to get enough courage to start living like he knew he needed.
His tells me sometimes his biggest regret is taking so long to be true to himself. But as cliché as it may sound, all things happen for a reason, and his waiting so long to date men led him to me, as did my own journey. We are about to celebrate our three-year anniversary and we couldn’t be happier.
Nick has helped me with so much! I can’t even begin to describe how much I love him. His love and support pushed me to get my life back on track; I was able to come out to my friends and family, land a job in one of the few gay-friendly environments in Salt Lake City and he continues to support me through all the tough times. I run the only gay newspaper in Utah, QSaltLake. Although we’re a small operation, we’re a scrappy bunch and our audience is growing. Publishing a queer newspaper in Mormon central is more challenging than I ever would have thought and I simply couldn’t do it without Nick’s support.
Nothing would make us happier than to win the trip on the river cruise. We always talk about exploring Europe together, but haven’t had the time or the finances to get across the pond. We’ve dedicated a lot of the funds that would be for a vacation budget to providing for me to work for the newspaper. We feel very strongly about advancing equality in Utah, but frankly, we sure could use a vacation from it all.
Going on a river cruise in Europe combines so many aspects of our dream vacation. Nick watches every television program he can about boats and ships and we have always talked about taking a river cruise but we’ve never had the chance.
This Valentine’s season, if I could repay Nick’s love and kindness with a surprise, dream vacation, it would make a wonderful relationship even more spectacular.