Ryan surprised Clayton by proposing at their favorite place in Portland, Powell's Books, surrounded by friends and family on June 10th, 2014.
Their engagement came one month after Judge Michael McShane struck down Oregon's constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples from the freedom to marry.
Growing up in Ohio, I had no support when I realized I was gay. It was wrong as far as I heard from my church, family and community. I was alone until I found a gay Christian chat group on AOL. That group let me know that I was not alone; it gave me hope. I struggled with my faith versus sexuality for years and many times, I came to the conclusion that I would just end up single, alone. Then I found Clayton and all of a sudden I felt something so different than the years of hopelessness. All of a sudden the lonely future in my mind was erased.
When June rolls around the question of whether Gay Pride is still needed pops up more and more. What we in many progressive states forget is that there are a lot of people still living in the closet and in fear to be themselves because of where they are or their lack of connection to the community. Like Harvey Milk talked about in his Hope speech, "There is a kid somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio" that needs to be given hope "for a better tomorrow." My hope is that our proposal will be seen by those kids and adults and then in return gives them hope.
Watch the heartwarming proposal, after the jump. Fair warning: have tissues ready.