Will was kind enough to share his story with me. Romance, no matter the gender is special. Take a moment and read Will and Paul's story.
Back before there was in Internet there were computer bulletin board systems (BBS’s). They were the central hub of online meetings. You’d call from your computer and get connected to them via your telephone line. It was all pretty primitive, and yet that’s where our story began.
I had gotten my first computer, a Commodore 64. I was enthralled with it and found out about gay bulletin boards from a paper I picked up at a store and they just seemed to fit so well together. I went to my first one and was asked to chat by “Electronic Kid”. It was my very first online chat and I couldn’t wait.
Oh what a mistake. This Electronic Kid typed so…freaking…slow. I politely excused myself and logged off. A few days later I found another BBS called “DYM-492” (Dial Your Match). I went there, did my registration and within seconds I got pulled into chat by the system operator (Sysop), who typed so…freaking…slow.
He said he was wondering when I would get there. Turns out that it was his BBS. He introduced himself as Paul Parkinson. I told him my name was Will Bowden. We chatted for a brief time until I got to the point where I wanted to just finish his sentences because of how slow he typed. I gave him my phone number and asked him to call instead.
This was how I met Paul. We talked on the phone for a couple of hours. He was fun, fascinating, and had a great laugh. I liked him. We made plans to have dinner that weekend, the only time we could get together as he worked 3rd shift and I was on 1st. We still talked every day, though. And I was smitten.
When he got to my house I’ll admit he wasn’t what I was expecting. He wasn’t traditionally good looking, but he was so genuine and had the prettiest blue eyes that just made his entire face smile. We went to eat at a local pizza place, had a really nice time. We got into his car so he could take me home, he put it into gear and drove forward. Over the parking pylons. All you heard was BUMP “shit” BUMP “shit” followed by laughter. It was then that I decided I was head over heels in love.
We’d been together for about six months when I asked him to marry me. He said no. I was heartbroken, but refused to give up. A few months later I asked him again, explaining to him logically why he should say yes. This time he did. We had a private commitment ceremony on April 1st in a room in Chicago, just the two of us promising to love each other. Why April 1st? Because friends told us that within six months we’d be looking for other people. We chose that day because every year that passed would just make them bigger fools.
Almost two years ago I again asked Paul to marry me. This time legally. We made plans to go to Vermont. We stayed at the Moosemeadow Lodge, where the owner also was the Justice of the Peace. We planned our wedding day to be April 1st (because Paul is terrible with dates and I figure it was easier for him to remember one that we’d already gone through for years).
That day it was just the two of us and the two owners of the lodge out on the deck, the beautiful mountains in the background. It was a cool, misty morning. Paul looked dashing in his suit. He took my hands and repeated the vows that he was given, then I did the same. When they pronounced us married it was the happiest day of my life, one that I seriously doubted would ever occur in my lifetime.
We’ve been together twenty-five years now. Every day has brought something new to make me grateful for. No matter what else, I will always look to him for love and guidance. He’s my rock and I want to be his. Forever.
This is our second in the mini-series of Gay and In Love. Do you have a story to tell. We would love to hear it.
Submit your story of love to Sara York firstname.lastname@example.org or Seymour James email@example.com Submissions from 500 words up to 5000 words in English only. Submission due February 1, 2013. Names can be changed to protect your privacy. We are looking for gay, bi, lesbian, transgender, and straight stories of love and relationships that work to give inspiration to others and to show that love is love.
All proceeds will go to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project operates three core program areas in order to provide life-saving and life-affirming resources for LGBTQ youth and to create safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.