write out! messages

So here's the first Write Out! submission on the YouMakeMeProud.org website!

I woke up this morning, very excited that the website is about to go live, and I thought wouldn't it be great to have a lovely Write Out! submission already there as some inspiration for the future. And the first thing I saw on facebook was this photo of some friends who had just got engaged in San Francisco. And what a beautiful photo it is of Grant and Aaron's marriage proposal!

So, many congratulations to Aaron and Grant in San Fran and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together!

This is in California, USA where you would hope that full equality would be championed, yet it still remains strongly opposed, and reminds us how much important work there is to be done all over the world.

I want to be the first to say, Grant and Aaron...You Make Me Proud!

Howard Alexander, UK

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Grant and Aaron proposal

Hi Howard, I got your message on Facebook and we would love to help out with your website. What a great idea and inspiration to others.

I met my partner Aaron in July 2011 - two weeks after moving to San Francisco from new York. I'm originally from the UK but have been in the states for five years now. Aaron is in the marine corps and has just recently overcome the "don't ask don't tell" policy and has now openly come out in the military, and thankfully hasn't met with any negativity in his unit. Last Tuesday 7th August, quite unexpectedly, Aaron asked me if I'd like to watch the sunset in my favourite spot in San Francisco, just up on the cliffs behind the Golden Gate Bridge. He set up his iPhone and told me he was going to take a photo of us. After waiting for it to take, he asked me how much I loved him and then got down on one knee and proposed with a rose gold ring from Tiffany. I was completely shocked as it was out of the blue. It was so romantic. I said yes. Afterwards I found out that he had secretly filmed the whole thing.

Aaron is my best friend, we have a great connection and I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else. We have had our fair share of problems adjusting to being in a committed relationship but have come through stronger than ever, and time apart only made us realise how much we both loved each other and couldn't stay apart. Both our families are excited for us and have given their blessing.

Unfortunately it is not yet legal for gay couples to marry here in California yet so we will most likely tie the knot back in the UK and then have a ceremony back in California once it becomes legal.

I look forward to building a solid future together and doing the things that heterosexual couples have has the opportunity to do throughout time. I feel very fortunate that the world is starting to take notice of equal rights amongst the gay community, and that we also get to express our love for each other in public and also have the rights to get married.

Grant and Aaron