Love is in the air at this time of year, so it’s a great opportunity to celebrate some of the gay couples in Hollywood who have the cutest and most romantic love stories. One pair’s first meeting was straight out of a Hallmark rom-com movie, another married couple met on a blind date, and one dynamic duo was set up by a famous A-list stylist.
For many gay couples, being able to be together openly and walk down the aisle is a big deal. Marriage equality in the U.S. was legalized just over seven years ago, so it is a major thing for the LGBTQ+ stars to be able to discuss their love stories with their fans and the public. Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett loves gushing about his husband, Jaymes Vaughan, as a newlywed. “I love how I can be unapologetically myself and I love that he loves me unconditionally for it,” he told People in 2020.
Some couples prefer to keep their relationship out of the limelight, like Magic Mike‘s Matt Bomer and Simon Halls, but other celebrities radiate sunshine when talking about their significant others on social media. Neil Patrick Harris raved about his husband, David Burtka, in 2021, writing on Instagram, “I’m simply amazed by this awesome man. David is the glue that holds our family together, the constant provider of meals and compassion, and the funniest, most loving man I know.”
There are so many romantic moments that will have you grabbing for tissues — and don’t miss who found the love of their life on the disco dance floor in the ’90s at a New York City nightclub.
Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s romantic beginnings are a very New York story. They met on a street corner in 2004, but Harris was not out to the public, so their relationship stayed off fans’ radar. In 2006, the Doogie Howser, M.D. star came out and later told Ellen DeGeneres (via People), “I’m not a very scandalous person and so I didn’t want to have to respond to some story … I just made a statement and sort of squashed the fires. My life had been relatively open in my world. I’ve been dating the same guy for three years and our families know. We go out together all the time … I never felt it was an obligation for me to hold pinkies down the red carpet or anything.”
The duo welcomed twins Harper Grace and Gideon Scott in October 2010 (and if you follow them on social media, they are Halloween costume family goals). They married in Italy in September 2014 where their love still endures.
Jwan Yosef & Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin met husband Jwan Yosef in a very modern way: online. However, they kept their relationship old-fashioned for the first six months. “I contacted him, and we talked for six months. We were just sending messages, talking about life and existential issues,” the “Living La Vida Loca” singer told the Associated Press in 2018. “Nothing sexy, nothing sexual. It’s not that he was sending me sexy pictures and vice versa, I swear…but when I first saw him, I said, ‘I am marrying this guy’. And apparently he said exactly the same thing.”
It was love at first sight when Martin finally met the painter face to face. “I lost my breath when I saw him. Six months’ build-up and it was very romantic,” he added. The couple married in 2017 and raising four kids, 14-year-old twins Matteo and Valentino, Lucia 4, and Renn, 4.
Justin Mikita & Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita met in a very stereotypical Hollywood way: at Equinox gym. However, it took 10 months for their relationship to even get a green light because Mikita had a boyfriend.
“We were both in the locker room, fully clothed,” Ferguson recalled to Variety. “I was leaving.” Mikita had just seen the pilot for Modern Family and was eager to discuss the show with him. “I was taken by how handsome he was and how sweet,” the actor continued. “I started asking questions about him, and I think he was sort of thrown off by that and ran away from me.”
That didn’t stop Ferguson from asking the lawyer out, but he had to deliver the bad news. “I was like, ‘Full disclosure: I’m in a relationship, but I’d love to get a drink with you as a friend.’ And he said, ‘I have enough friends,’ which I loved,” Mikita noted.
Less than a year later, they both found themselves single and the rest, as they say, is history. The dynamic duo not only lobbied for marriage equality, but they also got married themselves in New York in 2013.
David Furnish & Elton John
Elton John and David Furnish are celebrating three decades together this year after meeting at a friend’s dinner party in 1993. They instantly connected, shared a Chinese food dinner the next night and haven’t left each other’s sides since. They formed a civil partnership in 2005 and legally married in 2014 when marriage equality passed in the U.K. with their two sons, Zachary and Elijah, as their ring bearers.
For John, it’s a dream come true because LGBTQ+ rights often seemed like an impossible goal for him. “If you’d had said to me 10 years ago, I’d be sitting on your show married to the man I love and have two beautiful children I would have said, ‘You put acid in my drink.’ But life throws you challenges, and life throws you curveballs — great curveballs,” he told Ellen DeGeneres (via People) in 2016. That unexpected detour brought the “Circle of Life” singer the greatest joys of his life.
Adam Smith & Billy Porter
Billy Porter is a big believer in second chances after he and his now-husband, Adam Smith, had a very on-again, off-again romance. They dated briefly in 2009 after meeting at a dinner party but rekindled their relationship five years later. They knew they were meant to spend their lives together and were only engaged for 16 days before tying the knot in January 2017.
The couple has the Broadway show, Hamilton, to thank for bringing them back together after a night at the theater where Porter felt his heart tugging at him. “I felt it, and the tears came, and I pulled over, and he said, ‘I love you, and I’ve always loved you, and if there’s any chance, I would like another shot — I would like us to have another shot at this.’ He was the one that got away — so it wasn’t hard,” he gushed to People. “The yes came easy and immediately!”
George Takei & Brad Altman
Star Trek actor George Takei knows all too well what it is like to hide the love of his life from the public. He and Brad Altman have been together since the 1980s, but kept their relationship hidden for 20 years. They met in a gay running club in 1984 and it was Takei who made the first move after he asked Altman to help him train for a marathon.
Little did they know their love was also on a marathon course. They became one of the first couples to obtain a marriage license after the California State Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriages in 2008. They also became the first openly gay couple to compete on The Newlywed Game in 2009.
Takei is proud of their successful Hollywood relationship, telling Out in New Jersey, “It really isn’t a secret,” he shared. “In any marriage, there is give and take. At first, there is lust, and it turns into love, then it turns into comfort, especially when you have been together for 33 years. It’s making the loving compromises.”
Matt Bomer & Simon Halls
Matt Bomer hired his future husband, Simon Halls, to be his publicist when he was on White Collar. But, oops! They fell in love instead and the 45-year-old actor had to find a new publicist. The couple keeps their marriage out of the spotlight, and the world didn’t find out they were married until three years after the ceremony.
“It was very chill,” he said of his 2011 wedding in a 2014 interview with Out magazine. “Very small: only our nearest and dearest. There’s a security, a validity of knowing that it’s legal. It’s hard to put into words. It’s just a feeling, I guess, something about saying vows in front of the people around who love and support you. I think it was good for our family.”
The duo also share three sons, Kit, 18, and 15-year-old twins, Henry and Walker.
Lance Bass & Michael Turchin
Lance Bass’ relationship with husband Michael Turchin happened in a very millennial way. They met at a friend’s birthday party in Palm Springs, California, and Turchin later added him on Facebook. Yes, it was 2010 before Instagram allowed anyone to slide into those DMs. It was strictly platonic for a while until Bass made a move.
“I was attracted to him and wanted things to go further but I was convinced he wasn’t into me,” Bass admitted to People. “So I focused on becoming such good friends that I wouldn’t be able to look at him in any other way.” They took their friend-zoning very seriously until the ‘NSYNC member “finally went in for that first kiss.”
“It was just so organic and not a forced situation,” Turchin chimed in. “We just knew each other so well by the time we got to that point. We had a great foundation to build upon.” Aww, what a rom-com moment for them. The couple has been married since 2014 and they welcomed twins Alexander and Violet in October 2021.
Georges LeBar & RuPaul
RuPaul’s love story with husband Georges LeBar began at the disco at New York City’s former go-to club, Limelight, in 1994. They are both tall drinks of water and that is exactly what drew the Drag Race creator to his future husband.
“I had to go over and say, ‘Who are you? What are you doing? Can I put my arms around you?’ Because I’m tall, I’ve never been able to put my arms around someone’s shoulders who was taller than me,” He told Vanity Fair in 2019. They didn’t marry until 2017, but the very private couple is very public about their open marriage. “The hoax is that monogamy is something that can actually happen,” added the TV personality. That’s a marriage strategy that doesn’t work for everyone, but it definitely works for them.
“I wouldn’t want to put restraints on the person I love the most on this planet,” RuPaul explained. “Listen, if you get something that you cannot resist and that is gonna make you happy, go for it. Because the truth is, I know in my heart of hearts like I’ve ever known anything before, that man loves me more than anything else in this world.”
Jonathan Bennett & Jaymes Vaughan
Jonathan Bennett has become a Hallmark rom-com staple on the network, but the Mean Girls star didn’t know he was going to have his own real-life meet-cute moment when he saw his husband, Jaymes Vaughan, a TV host for Celebrity Page, for the very first time.
“I was on a press tour for Halloween Wars, and I walked into The Grove [an outdoor mall in Los Angeles] to do an interview with the guy from Celebrity Page. I had never heard of him before, but when I saw him setting up to do the interview, I thought he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen,” Bennett recalled to The Knot. “I ran to the bathroom to fix my hair. I came out of the bathroom and his producer Jade was standing in front of me. I asked her this exact question: ‘Am I about to meet my future husband?’ And she said, ‘I think so.'”
Even though the 41-year-old actor described the interview as “a complete disaster,” he did score Vaughan’s number and waited less than an hour to call him. “I said, ‘Would it be weird if I came back to The Grove so we could kiss and see if this is the real deal?’ And he said, ‘Not at all.’ I said, ‘Good because I’m already in my car and on the way.'” Yep, the men had their dreamy Notebook moment in the parking lot of The Grove where they first kissed.
Todd Spiewak & Jim Parsons
Jim Parsons and his husband Todd Spiewak have two people to thank for setting them up on a blind date over two decades ago: Parson’s BFF from grad school and Spiewak’s then-boss. The women decided the men would be a match made in heaven — and they were right. They went to a karaoke bar and Spiewak sang Cher‘s “I Found Someone” — a total meet-cute moment to remember.
The Big Bang Theory star only has the loveliest things to say about his husband and raved about him a few years before they walked down the aisle in 2017. “You know what’s very funny to me? So much of my adult life [marriage] wasn’t really a possibility,” he said on The View in 2015. “I have grown more interested in the idea and certainly supportive of the notion, and if [me getting married] would help the notion in general, even that might be enough to make me want to do it. My own personal interest in it has never been that high … I mean, both of us — we’re roughly the same age and we just didn’t grow up with that as a possibility. We have a very, very happy life.”
Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe to thank for bringing them together for nothing more than a friendly outing while furniture shopping. However, it was love at first sight.
“I would say it was within 15 minutes. I’ll never forget it,” Oprah Winfrey’s favorite interior designer told People. “It wasn’t because of the conversation; it was just this huge energy shift and we both felt it at the same time.” Brent agreed with his husband’s assessment — there was such a spark between the two of them.
“I was sitting in a brown leather chair, and we were just talking. And I remember thinking to myself, oh God, what is this? This is not what I thought it was,” Brent added. “There was something about him that, in his presence, I just felt so safe.”
They got engaged less than a year later at Machu Picchu in Peru and married at the New York Public library in 2014. They now share two children, daughter Poppy, 7, and son Oskar, 4, and are not only creative design partners, but they are now partners in life, thanks to their celebrity matchmaker.
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