REAL STORIES : Love Stories

Tell us your LOVE STORY! – We're looking for gay couples, as well as long-term gay couples who would like to be married, to share their stories.

Sarah & Pam

We made our family the hard way! But it was totally worth it.

Pam and I met at work more than 14 years ago, and went on a date that sort of turned into a weekend. But let's keep this family-friendly. More than five years ago, we decided to have kids and now we have two beautiful girls that are 2 and 4. For a long time, it wasn't all that important to me that we get married, because it didn't offer more legal protection and our parents and our friends didn't seem to care either way because to them we were already married. But now that we are a family of four and with all of the excitement about gay marriage and gay families, it feels like it's time. And we'll have been together for 15 years.

I thought we might need to be a good idea to be together for 20 years before we take the leap, but why wait? But most of all, I want to get married for our girls, so they can feel and know that Pam and I love each other more than anything, and we'll always be together as a family. And I think they will love the dresses, of course! So we're going to do it.


Arlene & Carol, Fort Myers

Carol and I met when we were just 13 years old in the Bronx, New York. While we were just friends, during our teen years, there was always something special between us. When we turned 20 we knew we were in love and here we are 46 years later still together loving each other even deeper.

We stayed " in the closet" during many of those years as being in a same sex relationship was not something that you told to everyone. So life was hard for us during those years....hiding our love from our family, friends and peers at work.

This coming October we will celebrate our two year anniversary after traveling to New York to get married. Why did we want to marry? Because we love, respect and honor each other and always have during our 46 years together. Because we are not eligible to enjoy the benefits that are due to us as a married couple. There is no logical reason we should not have been married and there is also no logical reason our marriage should not be recognized here in Florida and by the federal government.

We will both work with Equality Florida to ensure this, that has always been a dream of ours, becomes a reality.

Glenvy & Theresa, Port Orange

My wife & I met during our freshmen year in high school when we were 14. We decided to fly out to New York City & get married on our 10 year anniversary. I know that there are probably 100's of stories like this but here's 101.

I think every Love Story should be praised, special & celebrated. I'm proud of how far we've come in our relationship & I can't wait for what the future has ahead of us. Unlike my wife, honestly, I'm not the girl who knew that I was gay. I fell in love. I fell in love, with a person who happens to be my best friend, love, soulmate & my rock. I'm lucky enough to find all thesde characteristics in one. I don't know where my life would've taken me if I hadn't met her. She's an amazing person inside & out.

Not every love story is perfect, ideal or easy. It's after each chapter you realize how far you've come & appreciate each page. Equality will happen. With patience & understanding, possibilities are limitless. We just have to be patient & with compassion we can change people's hearts one by one.

The picture on the left is our first date & the picture on the right is our wedding day.


Ed and Phil, Tampa

We first met at the Badland’s bar in downtown Louisville on a Tuesday evening, October 10, 1977. I remember the date because it was the day of my parent’s anniversary. Going out to the bar on a Tuesday night was not normal for me but I’m so glad that I chose that night to vary from my routine. I saw Ed standing alone. He had a flannel shirt and a closely-trimmed full beard and he looked hot. I can’t recall who spoke to whom first but we engaged in some basic conversation and quickly learned that we were the exact same age and our birthdays were just 2 days apart. When you’re 25 it’s OK to ask and share ages. Not so much at age 60.

He asked me to come over that night but I declined as he lived quite a ways from my apartment and I had to get up early the next day to attend a funeral in my hometown of Columbus, Indiana and didn’t have time to adjust my schedule. I did take his phone number and on my way back to Louisville the next day from the funeral I called him from a payphone at a gas station (those were the things you used before cell phones to make a call when on the road). He seemed excited to hear from me (always a good sign) and invited me to come by his house. I was impressed to find that he had a house rather than an apartment like everyone else I knew. He asked me to delay my arrival for a few minutes. I later learned that the extra time was so he could straighten up his house to make a best impression.

In the daylight I was relieved to see that he was as cute as he looked in the bar the night before. Bars and beers can make people look better than in the daylight. We decided to go to dinner and after a quick rundown of options we decided on Steak-N-Shake. Not exactly a “big night out” kind of place but was never-the-less romantic. On the way back to Ed’s house after dinner our hands touched ever so slightly and we then held hands the rest of the way home, at least until I needed my hand back to shift gears in my 1976 Chevy Monza. The next day I had decided that this guy was a real catch.

What followed that first date has been 36 years of a most beautiful life with a wonderful guy.

– Phil Dinkins, Tampa

Yes, I remember that first meeting very well. I wasn't expecting much on a Tuesday night but on my way home that evening I said to myself, "Man did I just hit pay dirt".  When I went in to work the next day I couldn't wait to tell my work friends about this extremely handsome guy I met with beautiful blue eyes and big guns (arms is what I think you called it back then). And on top of that he was an assistant vice president at a bank! (I was a teller at another bank at the time). So as Phil said, the next day when he called, I was so excited but wanted time to put a fresh vacuum on my sculptured avocado green carpet  (remember that popular 70’s color?) and a shine on my glass-top coffee table.

We proceeded to date for the next few months and I realized that I was hooked and knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. One Friday night I was hoping that we were going to go out but he told me he had other plans. Well of course I knew he was probably going on a date. I don't give up easily, so I drove out to his apartment in my 1973 burgundy Monte Carlo, talked my way into his apartment via his roommate and told the roommate I wanted to wait for him (I guess that could be called stalking). Hours passed and it was time for bed so instead of going home, I got in his bed and waited for him. I still remember the expression on his face when he arrived home and saw me in his bed. He would later tell me that was the day he decided I was the one for him and well, the next 36 years are history.

– Ed Lally, Tampa

Photo credit: Chris Zuppa/Tampa Bay Times

Kelly and Cindy, Florida

Kelly and I met in 2000 and right away we had an instant connection and same passion for life and family. Shortly after, we moved in together and knew that we would spend our lives together. Since then we have added three Boston Terriers and a baby girl to our family. We have been through a a tragic event that most couples don't endure over a life time. Kelly and I have proved our love and commitment to each other over and over again. We love to travel and explore new destinations and cultures. December 3 of this year will be our 13 year anniversary and we are so proud of our relationship.

In 2008, we went to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica for an amazing adventure. I planned to purpose to Kelly there and carefully carried the ring across the country and planned out the perfect night. We got engaged there and after a wonderful trip, Costa Rica will always hold a special place in our hearts.

In 2012, after lots of planning and lots of waiting, we welcomed our first baby girl, Mackenna into the world. We knew that getting married was a priority for us and our family, and we want Mac to have parents that are legally married, love each other and are committed to each other for life. Although some may think of our relationship as non traditional, we both grew up in traditional close families and we also want this for our daughter, it's what we believe. We have taken so many legal steps to try and protect us so far. Kelly legally changed her last name to mine, so that we have a one name family unit and to honor my late parents. Our Wills, POA and health care surrogates are done. We have went through a second parent adoption, so that we are both Mackenna's legal parents and that both of our names appear on her birth certificate. You would think that couples who are this dedicated would be able to get married in the state they live in. If we were legally married in FL, we would not have had to do alot of these added expenses, and jump through so many hoops.

We aren't waiting for Fl anymore. This is too important to wait any longer. On Aug 21, 2013, Kelly and I will be legally married in Provinvetown, Mass. Our ceremony will be on the beach at sunset and we can only hope that when we return to our home state of Florida, that our marriage, just like anyone elses marriage, will be legally recognized, and protect us and our family. Our marriage will not hurt anyone elses marriage. So PLEASE, when marriage equality appears on the voters ballot again, please vote YES for same sex marraiges so that our families can be protected and treated equally as well. It is our human right, and we hope by sharing our love story about our commitment and our family, you can see, that in the end, we all just want the same things in life. Check back for our wedding picture!

– Kelly & Cindy, Florida





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