Inspiring Couple: Adam and Ryan

Adam & Ryan

Adam & Ryan

Adam and Ryan with children Justice and Justin

Adam and Ryan with children Justice and Justin


Names:  Adam and Ryan.

Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada

How did you meet?

We met online, in 1996, before anyone was dating that way. I was in Las Vegas and Ryan was in Wisconsin. We dated online for 6 months, with one visit to Wisconsin,and another in Las Vegas. Ryan moved in with me November 21, 1996, and we’ve been together for more than 16 years.

What is your relationship status?  

We’ve been “partners” since 1996. In 2009 we got our Domestic Partnership on the 1st day it became legal. We were the 200th certificate issued. We got our civil marriage license on 11/21/2011 (our 15th anniversary) in Canada. Then on our 16th Anniversary, we had a wedding in our synagogue. After that, we started using the word “husband” more, but it’s tough, since we’ve identified as partners for so long.

We decided to adopt children on April 9, 2012, when we found out about two Jewish siblings in foster care, looking for a permanent home. It happened fast. We were one of the fastest adoptions in Nevada History. From the date we had our first appt., to the date we took custody of the kids, only 2 months elapsed. We now have a beautiful girl and boy who call us Dad (Ryan) and Daddy (me).

What is your favorite activity together?  

Our favorite thing to do at the moment is cuddle on the couch in front of the TV, after the kids have been tucked in. We’re both sci-fi fans, and our current favorite shows are the Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, and Battlestar Galactica. We also love to go out to eat and see movies, but since the kids have come along, we rarely do that.

How do you deal with conflict as a couple – what do you do to make staying together work?  

In our time together, there have been very few moments of conflict. We talk a lot. We also compromise a lot because both of us hate fighting. We used to call it “effortless brotherhood” but since the kids have come along, there has been some disagreement because of our different parenting styles. We just muddle through the tough spots.

When and how did you each come out?   

Ryan came out to his family in 1997, after he moved in with me. His dad disowned him. His mom freaked out for a few months, but then accepted it. 6 years later, his dad finally spoke to him and came to Las Vegas to meet me, and genuinely liked me. He realized we would have had a great relationship, but he was terminal, and he died shortly after that.

Ryan and I were out as a couple to virtually everyone in our synagogue as well, and that happened over a period of years.

I didn’t start coming out to family until 2009, but most everyone already knew, except my parents. My dad had already previously died, and my mother also did not handle it well. She was in shock and very freaked out, more so than Ryan’s mom because my mom was in DEEP DENIAL about it, so it turned her world upside down. It wasn’t a religion thing. We’re Jews. Non-orthodox Jews tend to be very accepting of gay people. In my mom’s case, she loved gay people. She always regarded gay people as comical and silly, but didn’t want people to laugh at me (so basically, she was embarrassed). After a few weeks of hell, she got over it. She’s now one of our biggest supporters, though she still puts her foot in her mouth every now and then.

Are you out to everyone?  

We are out to everyone.

Where their obstacles from friends or families?    

The obstacle I had was knowing my parents were in deep denial. My mom did every subtle thing to convey to me the message that she didn’t want to know. She loved gay people. She laughed at their “antics” all the time on tv. She made fun of them all the time…in front of me. But there hasn’t been a single gay joke since I came out to her 3 years ago ;-) Now she’s moved onto ridiculing her transvestite gardener behind his back. She thinks that’s a safe one because she’s pretty sure I’m not a transvestite (and I’m not).

How are you accepted in your community as a couple – if there are difficulties, how do you deal with them?  

Ryan and I seem to be 100% accepted in our community. We were the first same-sex wedding performed in Temple Sinai of Las Vegas. Our Rabbi and 2 cantors officiated. Guests at our reception included most of the executive board of directors: our past president, our current president, the first- and second-VP’s, etc. One of the biggest surprises was our bachelor party. It was hosted by the Temple Sinai Men’s Club, a group of mostly senior citizens!! The 80+ year old Men’s Club president paid for everything.

In the course of our adoption, we were 100% accepted. No one batted an eye at any meetings. No one on the adoption team had any concerns about us at all.

Our kids go to a Jewish private school. When we registered them….again, no one batted an eye. We were treated like any other parents. In fact, I feel like we’re “trendy” and other trendy people want to friend us because we are a gay couple. I feel like we are a Black couple in 1973: we have just turned the corner toward “overcoming” and now it’s cool to be seen with us. :-) At some point, we’ll have achieved full equal rights, and be a wholly normal part of society in every way, and we will no longer stand out or be in the news. Although that’s what I want, I’m sort of enjoying the “in” status we have right now.

The only discrimination we have faced was mostly a kind of reverse-discrimination (people who can’t tell we are a couple). If we’re in line at the grocery store, a clerk always wants to pull me away to another register. If we go to a restaurant (without the kids), the server always asks if we want separate checks. We had a small incident with Lifetime Fitness of accidental discrimination. Each member is required to show his or her ID card upon entering. Opposite-sex couples generally only have to show one card, in order to keep the line moving, but same-sex couples always have to show 2 cards. We complained about this, and they didn’t realize they were doing it. They were embarrassed that this was happening, but we still quit the club.

And there have been discriminatory company issues. Our insurance provider (Nationwide) wouldn’t recognize our marriage or our DomPart. So we switched to Progressive. And don’t get me started on forms in doctors’ offices (or our nightmare of a federal tax return).

Are there any big world changing or creative projects you like to do together?   

We don’t have any world-changing projects in mind. But if someone wants our help, I would love to get involved. We were initially chosen to be plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal lawsuit against the State of Nevada for equal marriage, but they decided to choose a couple that didn’t have a marriage license.

What is your secret to staying together?  

Ryan and I have no secret to staying together for so long, other than the fact that BOTH of us really want to be together. A unique thing about our relationship is that neither of us have male exes. We are each other’s first and only male partner.


Ryan is a promising photographer, and we do portrait photography and green screen at events and parties. We work exclusively with a company called Events by Juls and our website is .

Ryan is also keeping a blog on the unique challenges of gay men adopting and raising older children. The blog is mostly funny and fascinating, but I don’t recommend reading it without a box of tissues, because some of it is very sad.


Our “Inspiring Couples” series  features LGBT couples around the world sharing their secrets to navigating a relationship, dealing with adversity and celebrating their love.  If you would like to share your story, contact us as

Inspiring Couple: Christina and Jill

cj murla 2

Christina and Jill


Christina and Jill

Names: Christina and Jill

Residence:  Monroe, New York

Occupation:  Owners of Melange Med Spa

How did you meet?  We met when I (Christina) interviewed Jill for a job.

How long have you been together?  We’ve been together for 5 years

What is your relationship status?  We are living together and are engaged to be married.

What is your favorite activity together?  We spend a lot of time together since we own our own business.  We love going to shows, cooking and being active – we laugh a lot when we are in motion!  We  are great companions to each other and love just  just hanging out.

How do you deal with anti-gay adversity as a couple?  We just live our lives like everyone else.  We try to take advantage of lesbian vacations and events.

Are there any world changing or creative projects you do as a couple?  We would love to show our lives on TV in a REAL Reality Show, not some souped up show, but the real deal deal – fights, kids, laughter, pain , work, all of it!

What is the secret to staying together?  Our mortgage,  LOL!   We own a business together, so anything we can do to be supportive to the LGBT community through that is beneficial. Staying together is good communication.  We would miss each other terribly if we weren’t together!

What sets you apart/makes you unique as a couple?    We were once married to men and we each had two kids.  We both left our marriages and fought for each other.    Today we have built our own home together, we have our own business, have  four kids (3 teen girls and a 9 year old boy) - We count on each other, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. To say that and mean it, that’s unique!


Our “Inspiring Couples” series  features LGBT couples around the world sharing their secrets to navigating a relationship, dealing with adversity and celebrating their love.  If you would like to share your story, contact us as


Victor Garbor Comes Out in Interview


Victor Garbor, the 63 year old actor who has appeared in numerous movies and on television, acknowledged his long term relationship with partner, Rainer Andreesen.

For some in the LGBT community this was big news. For many others, they said have known for years. Garber is known for his roles in “Titanic” and most recently, “Argo”.

I remember him best from a version of “Cinderella” which my daughter watched about 3000 times.

Oregon Couple Shares Their 60 Year Love Story

oregon couple

Eric Marcoux, left, and Eugene Woodworth, photographed in Chicago in 1955 by photographer Jo Banks, have been a couple for almost 60 years.

This is a wonderful article about a couple that has been together for 60 years.  When they met, their relationship was illegal.  Now, marriages are being performed in the state next door.  Read the article here.

My favorite quote:  ”There wasn’t anything else. Really. There was nothing else for me to do other than spend my life with him. From that very instant that we met. That was it.”


Sweet Story of an 8 Year Old with Two Dads

This is such a sweet story from about a great famly.  Zach’s dad, Paul met Neil online – they fell in love.  But the story of how Neil became  such an important part of Zach’s life, and that the family all moved to San Francisco to make sure Zach could be close to his mom…  this is what family is all about.

I met my husband online – it was love and first click!  We, too, have blended families.  Most people don’t understand that Christmas includes me, my husband, my ex-wife, her boyfriend and our kids.  Its about wanting what’s best for everyone and not buying into how society thinks we should act.

When it comes down to it, how many people really live the Ozzie and Harriet life, anyway?  How boring would that be!

Inspiring Couple – Fede and Toe

Fede and Toe

Names:  Fede and Toe

Location:  Brookline, MA

Met:  Online (

Been Together:  3.5 years

Relationship Status:  Domestic Partners

Favorite Activity Together:  Traveling, cooking and watching animation domination

How we deal with adversity as a couple:  We work with each other and talk about how our shortcomings impact our relationship and we work towards making those changes.

World Changing or Creative Projects we do as a couple:  We try and volunteer for different causes

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