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2013 Valentine finalists

As Valentine’s Day draws near, we like to open our pages for gay and lesbian couples to share their stories. Although we may not have full marriage equality under the law in Utah, there are still thousands of couples committed to one another and growing together. We asked our readers to send in Valentines and we’ve chosen a few of our favorites.

valentine_Jackie-and-AlexJackie and Alex

This picture was taken in July when we went down to Vegas to meet Alex’s mother. We had been together for about six months. It was a great trip and his mom and I hit it off wonderfully. I was a little nervous because there is a bit of an age gap between Alex and me. He is 23 years old and I am 43. We met on a phone application called Scruff in January. We have been together since.

We’re going on a year and we share a home, our four kids and our lives. Recently we had his mother, father and brother at our house for Thanksgiving and he and I spent our Christmas holiday with his mother. I was alone for 13 years and was fighting depression and self-medication from a bottle. I stopped drinking, lost some weight and started feeling happy with my life and that is when we met. When I started giving a damn about myself is when somebody else started giving a damn about me. And I love him for that. All my scars and imperfections didn’t phase him at all, he loves me and is proud of me just the way I am. He’s amazingly brilliant. At 23 he is so much more together and accomplished than I was at 23 — even at 43! We are celebrating our first year together Jan. 21.

valentine_Megan-and-ChristinaMegan and Christina 

My name is Megan and my sweetheart’s name is Christina. We met three years ago at a teen drag show at a bar called the Garden in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m in the military and I saw that she was having a bad day. I stopped and talked to her and got to know her to see how things were going and what was wrong. She explained that she was having trouble with her ex, but I told her to text or call if she needed anything.

Time went by and we talked occasionally.  Eventually we both knew we were each other’s soul mate. We have been engaged off and on because I keep messing up and letting the stress of getting ready to deploy build and I take it out on her. I never mean to, but now I’m in Afghanistan serving a 9-month-long tour, which is almost done. And every day I try to show her how much she means to me and how without her by my side during this deployment I would be nothing and won’t have accomplished the things that I have. She is the love of my life and what keeps me going. I don’t normally do contests like this because I know that there are couples out there with more interesting stories than ours, but if you want to know true love, it’s us.

valentinee_Cole-and-JohnJohn and Cole 

Cole and I met in March of 2011 at Club Jam on the patio where the light pole is. I was drunk and I tripped over Cole’s leg and he caught me. Truly, it was love at first sight and we have been inseparable ever since with the exception of Cole being deployed to Afghanistan during the summer of 2012.

Cole and I are both veterans and he is currently a defense contractor while I am a librarian at the local community college.

valentine_Mark-and-KevinMark and Kevin 

We meet a while ago at a meeting for Understanding Same Gender Attraction, a group at Brigham Young University. It is closest thing to a gay-straight alliance that BYU has ever had. In fact we both were featured in the BYU It Gets Better video. I was the sad sack from the beginning and he was the cute one in the BYU football T-shirt.

Although we met in my final semester, fall of 2011, we did not start dating until the summer of 2012, about 10 months later. We had limited interaction due to my lack of social involvement at the time. I eventually started spending time with fellow USGAers outside USGA meetings. We had our first substantial interaction at Gay Day at Hogle Zoo. Then a couple if weeks later we went to Club Pure together and connected throughout the weekend of Pride. We have been together ever since.

I am a recent BYU graduate working at Hill Air Force Base. I grew up in the military but my parents retired in Kansas. I currently live in Salt Lake with Kevin and my sister.

Kevin is a recent transfer student to the University of Utah from western Washington. He is a self-proclaimed nerd and I can confirm that.

We once were struggling with reconciling our upbringing and sexuality but now love our lives together. We may be a young and new couple, however, we are in love for the first time.

A boy who loves a boy,

Mark

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