Since November 2008, Jacob Whipple has been a familiar face in Utah’s resurgence of gay rights activism. Under his All for One Initiative, Whipple has organized community meetings, service projects and rallies (most notably the thousands-strong protest at LDS Church headquarters on Nov. 5).
But on April 18, Whipple will take a little break from activism to marry his fiancé, Drew Cloud.
As Whipple tells it, he found true love in the pool.
On the way out of the pool, anyway.
On his way to the locker room in between water polo games at last year’s International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships in Washington, D.C., Whipple — a member of the Queer Utah Aquatic Club’s water polo team — met Drew Cloud who was on his way out.
“Time kind of stopped and it was one of those perfect moments,” Whipple recalls.
After showering, Whipple headed to the bleachers and found the handsome stranger. He seated himself a few rows away to “check him out”—and quickly found that Cloud was looking at him with the same interest. Even though Cloud was a member of a rival water polo team from West Hollywood, the two spent the rest of the day together, having lunch with QUAC’s team and then visiting the city’s monuments that night.
“We both knew the moment we saw each other and were able to talk toe ach other that we wanted to be together and marry each other,” says Cloud.
To be sure, the couple went on a few more dates (some in Utah, some in California) before Whipple proposed to Cloud in September. The two set their wedding date for April 11 in California, where the Supreme Court had recently ruled that gay marriage was legal.
But while Proposition 8 may have taken away their chance for legal recognition — at least temporarily — the couple aren’t letting the measure ruin their plans.
“We’re still going through with it, and our family, friends and God will be there,” said Whipple.
On April 18, the two will have a ceremony in California at sunset on Angel’s Gate Beach. The two will exchange Roland Humphrey titanium rings tension set with black diamonds and wear custom-designed three button white tuxedos, royal blue vests and matching neckties.
“Because we’re gay and romantic like that,” Whipple laughs.
The two will be basing their vows on those used in a traditional, Christian ceremony with some rewrites to be “appropriate for who we are,” says Drew. For example, instead of saying “husband and wife,” the officiate will say “husbands for life.” They also hope to get members of their respective water polo teams who can make the ceremony to play a short match before the festivities.
Although the couple will probably just dine at a restaurant with California friends on April 18, they’re looking for a caterer for the ceremony they will hold in Salt Lake City on April 25 at Club Jam. The two say they haven’t decided on a service yet, but Channel 2’s noon chef and QSaltLake restaurant reviewer Bryan Woolley is advising them—especially when it comes to picking a wedding cake everyone will like.
“If it were up to me, it would be some three or five-layer chocolate peanut butter fudge cake,” says Whipple.
“I agree with that extensively,” laughs Cloud. “However that will probably be the top layer of the cake, so on our anniversary we’ll be able to gorge on that.”
Their photographer friends David Daniels and Brian Gordon will photograph the festivities.
The two will, of course, keep fighting for their right to sign a marriage certificate. But ultimately, they say that their love for each other is what counts the most.
“We couldn’t be happier to be together, and we’re looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together being with the one we know God put on this earth for us,” says Cloud.