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Gay Couple in Marine Homecoming Photo Talks More About Their Relationship: VIDEO


Brandon Morgan and Dalan Wells give another interview about their photo, and that first kiss:

Marines"We've known each other for four years, but we only just started going out this last deployment," explains Morgan. "And I've known how I've felt about him - ever since we've met but had to keep it down."

"Down" because it's only been six months since the Don't ask, Don't tell law was repealed. Without it, the couple says they'd likely have reunited with a simple handshake.

"Apparently this photo has been dubbed 'The Kiss Seen or Heard ‘Round the World' and is breaking barriers," says Morgan. "People feel more confident to live their own life and be truthful to who they know they are."

The couple started dating via Facebook two months ago – while Morgan was on his third overseas deployment in four years.

"That's why that kiss was so crazy. It was the first kiss!" says Wells.


Video may take up to 15 seconds to load in.

Brandon also gives a longer interview to the Daily Beast:

Going through the deployment and having nobody to look forward to coming home to, I emailed some friends and they were like, “Yeah, sure, we’ll come see you at the airport.” At one point I just made a general comment on Facebook like, “Wow, loneliness is really starting to sink in.” And he was the first one and the only one to comment on that.

When he said that, I wrote him a very, very long email. He wrote me back, and then it was what seemed like hundreds of emails a day. Every email he sent me I would read a hundred times. Weeks just flew by and I couldn’t wait to get home, and I was like, “When I get home, I’m going to give him the best kiss I can think of.”

All my superiors are happy for me that I finally have a love, someone to be with, that I’m not always hanging out at the single Marine center on the weekend. I believe that the general consensus was that the military didn’t want this, but the people who say that can’t really speak on the behalf of my Marines. My Marines, my family, have welcomed me, they’ve been very happy for me. We’re a family. They care for me the way they always have.

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  1. I am hooked with their lil saga...The more clips I see of them the merrier..


    Posted by: George F | Feb 29, 2012 9:08:46 AM

  2. Upon first hearing that they've only been dating a few months (via Facebook no less), it sorta softened the impact.

    But then again, that iconic V-J Day Kiss in Times Square is between two total strangers -- and it's stood the test of time.

    Posted by: endo | Feb 29, 2012 9:34:13 AM

  3. Wow. If that's the first kiss...

    BTW, in this pic that dude looks like Tatum Channing or is it Channing Tatum?

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 29, 2012 10:19:19 AM

  4. Nothing hotter than love.

    Posted by: Bobby | Feb 29, 2012 10:23:16 AM

  5. You see? Love is OUT there, you just have to reach for it. I swear, for years I went from guy to guy or no one and figured I'd always being alone. And then this guy I had seen fifty times and secretly yearned for chose me from out-of-the-blue to be his coaching partner (coaching junior soccer at the time). I was bewildered - the guy wasn't gay - but I'm a good coach, kids love me and I figured that was it.

    We were spending every day together. I couldn't wait to be with him. He came over for breakfast, dropped by for lunch, we'd go out to dinner, surfing, Giants games, biking, shopping, laundry and one night we were walking home from a James Bond movie and I told him I was in love with him. He'd never kissed a guy before but we moved into a doorway and he liked it - he liked it very much.

    So that's how it started with Greg and me. He moved in (even tho he had a beautiful apartment, he's an architect after all) and every day was a day to wake up for. When Newsome announced same-sex marriage I gave it little thought. Greg had been married for six years and divorced over a year so I wasn't about to spook him with a proposal. He surprised and in the shower pulled me into his arms him and asked me to marry him.

    That's a capsulated version, there is much more, but the point is, I NEVER thought I'd be married to a handsome wonderful guy much less have a son together. I live every day for the two of them, they are my amazing life. If it can happen to me it can certainly happen to you. Just keep your eyes and heart open. These two Marines are proof of that.

    Posted by: OS2guy | Feb 29, 2012 10:48:10 AM

  6. @OS2GUY That is a great story; just realize, though, that for every story like yours, there are at least 10-20 of situations like that that end very badly, with the "straight" guy experiencing "homosexual panic" and returning to his "straight" life, leaving the other guy devastated.....

    People who have been extremely lucky in life often have a tendency to think that everyone else will be equally lucky if they just persevere--but that is not the way the world works, unfortunately.....

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 29, 2012 11:02:34 AM

  7. OS2GUY, you made me tear up with your beautiful story--thank you for sharing!!

    And just loving the latest from Morgan and Wells, it just keeps getting better and better. Love how the MSM is treating it with respect and weight!

    Posted by: jim | Feb 29, 2012 11:07:05 AM

  8. being a veteran myself, i thought it was so magnificent. just beautiful.

    Posted by: steve | Feb 29, 2012 11:46:57 AM

  9. @Rick - I do know that every story is not like mine. I have five older brothers and all are straight yet they welcomed Greg just as they did the other family spouses. Probably more so for the oten monopolize his time more than I do. It is a matter of maturity. He had experienced marriage as well as infidelity. He wasn't a nube in that sense and he wanted marriage again. We were best friends first and every day was a struggle to keep my hands off of him. There are men, straight and gay, who have figured out what life is about and Greg found a partner he could love, make love to and make a life with. That was the dream I had as a little gay kid and there is no greater happiness for me then to have it granted.

    I'm not directing gay guys to go out and hit on straight men and your words of caution should, of course, be heeded but our options are what we make of them. And you'll note I didn't go out and jump this guy. He pursued me as much as I pursued him.

    Greg is as gay today as I am. He just doesn't come off as the stereotypical gay guy the media loves to highlight and the far-right loves to drum home. He won't hesitate to take my hand while standing in line or kiss me hello in front of his co-workers. He will tell you that ten years ago he would have never believed he would be married to another man, be a dad to a wonderful little boy he dotes on, and be as happy as he is with our life together.

    I may make it sound like it is a bed of roses and we have our moments like every couple but when it comes right down to it, neither one of us wants to climb in bed with anyone else but each other. For that I am truly greatful because I love waking up with him every morning.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 29, 2012 11:57:23 AM

  10. I am so proud of you guys. That took guts. THANK YOU for everything you've done for our country - overseas, and right here at home.

    I wish you both well.


    Posted by: L. Sierra | Feb 29, 2012 11:57:49 AM

  11. @Jim - thanks. It is nice to know my message can move someone. What moves me is the obvious love between Brandon and Dalan -and it is clearly visible. After four years of friendship they have actually found each other and that's very sweet.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 29, 2012 12:04:01 PM

  12. OS2 - I guess you have published on line the much more detailed story of your beginnings with Greg, such an extraordinary story that I was reluctant to believe it - though I wanted to - until now. You are indeed living a great "fiction" which is true, exemplary and inspirational. Same for Brandon and Dalan. That this, the photo, was their first kiss after four years of knowing each other has made us all extraordinary witnesses to both a genuine love story as well as to a sea change in human history. What a great privilege to be able to be here for it. Thank you.

    Posted by: uffda | Feb 29, 2012 12:34:22 PM

  13. @OS2Guy

    that's totally romantical. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing a love story.

    This is exactly what I meant in my other post. We fall in love with someone's spirit...all of us are more than our physical form. Yes, its hard to believe that we can fall in love with someone RICK who doesn't fit what we think we want...but it's those surprises life throw us that can be pure magic.

    Maybe that straight guy didn't experience gay panic...maybe he was like...hey, this isn't what I want. It does happen to all of us. No one is obligated to love us or like us...or even call us again. You can't force-fit something. That bird thing.

    However, IF he was "the one" for would still be together. That someone is out there, though, and when you find him you will realize that this other guy who obviously scarred you wasn't Mr. Right at all and you will be glad he dumped you so that you could be with The One.

    There was this dude I could have married...I was certainly nuts about him, didn't happen and now I'm glad that it didn't. I don't feel like sharing more than that...I'm just glad now. At the time and for a few years after I was devastated.

    Everything worked out in my life in a very good way. It will for you, too.

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 29, 2012 12:49:44 PM

  14. Thanks again guys for the great encouragement here on my favorite daily site. Yes Brandon and I knew each other for 4 years and had an ongoing crush which I did not know was mutual at first. He was very anti-gay kind of extreme christian, "straight" and married once even. So this has been a long road for us over the 4 years. Looking back I see that he was clearly one of those protest too much guys who have something to hide. Then when he came out finally he asked me out a few times and I always said no because of the age difference and I was scared I now realize of opening up to someone so wonderful. So this all began a long time ago but finally happened a few months ago while he was in Afghanistan. Because of the losses and daily pressures over there he was thinking of what his biggest regret was back home, and it was not getting me to go out with him. That was the focus of that first letter he sent me telling me exactly how he felt. I was blown away to finally know how he really feels. We then started writing long letters to each other everyday to keep sane till he finally landed here in Hawaii and we got to have that first kiss after four years of waiting. Guess I feel like I am over explaining things but I know some people thought this was some casual relationship that started on facebook. Again I really appreciate all the kind words on here and all the paintings of mine you guys have bought. that will help with our car search. My old beat up 94 jeep had to go and die the day Brandon got back! Life is strange that way.

    Posted by: Dalan Wells | Feb 29, 2012 1:25:39 PM

  15. @Dalan: I was going to rib you again for wearing that same gray shirt! ;)

    Posted by: endo | Feb 29, 2012 1:34:53 PM

  16. Being a veteren I cheered!

    Posted by: Chet Wilkinson | Feb 29, 2012 1:35:14 PM

  17. Oh No the shirt again! Yes that was the same day still. I guess if we were more media savvy we would have gotten changed. But we did not even have time for dinner that day. Brandon was live on MSNBC with Thomas Roberts this morning right here in the Rec Center where I work. This is what Brandon has been referring to as the Single Marine Center which he credits for us getting together. If I had never had this side job I would not have met him. Oh well the point was in that interview he was wearing his uniform and was very stiff and proper but looked very cute.

    Posted by: Dalan Wells | Feb 29, 2012 1:44:04 PM

  18. for once, rick is right... i had that story too once. and wouldn't you know, it was with a grunt from kbay. in my eyes the most beautiful man i had ever seen, with paul newman eyes, and the requisite high&tight and obscene tattoos. we were together every day for better than a year. i almost did it again, telling the crazy story. as i was over 50 and he was not quite 30, nothing about it made sense.

    its about here the story differs. first it was nearly 20 years ago, and 2nd, my brokeback marine could not imagine a life beyond what his michigan roots had prepared him for. on leave he married a barmaid girlfriend with 2 kids (a very nice lady i met later who had a pretty good idea of the nature of our relationship) and i went back to the mainland nursing a broken heart as "i will always love you" was on every radio station on the planet.

    here we are, 20 years later, whitney's passing has the song on repeat again, and i see a civilian and a jarhead being able to express the depths of that feeling that we has to suppress and compress and my heart is hurting, but i'm happy to see the story play out differently.

    i know his later years were not good and drinking binges were causing problems, but there was nothing for me to do but step back, but yesterday, i googled his phone number and put it on file on my computer. not sure if i will use it.

    that's another version of the story. i didn't wind up in a hospital, but i carry the scars.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Feb 29, 2012 2:18:31 PM

  19. @Dalan,

    one question since you are now the equivalent of the Life magazine cover...

    Do you wish you were in dress blues instead of fatigues?

    Congrats on being a part of history and finding someone you can see yourself growing old with. :)

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 29, 2012 2:45:14 PM

  20. So wonderful to hear all these life stories and to read directly from Dalan. You see? He's just like all of us. I'm sure the whirl-wind of media (and I am seeing more and more of it) is at the very least, pretty over-whelming but the two of them are handling it all very well.

    The past is behind us - I can remember the "day of revelation" when I realized I no longer had to look away from a guy who was checking me out, fearful he would pummel or jump me. On that day it became okay to look and smile back. Maybe its because I was born and raised in SF (I can't fathom what it is like to be gay and live in (example) Lima, Ohio) but here no one but tourists offer a double-take to two guys holding hands or kissing hello at a coffee house. Here it is a normal part of City life.

    Best wishes to Dalan and Brandon and to all the Towleroad readers and writers. Life is good!

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 29, 2012 2:46:23 PM

  21. @Dalan: Thank you for adding your experiences and voice to this amazingly wonderful story. Glad we have you here among us at towleroad. That was one Hollywood first kiss!

    All the best to both of you! Hopefully you can grab some extended quiet time, alone together, after the initial frenzy is over! Hoping the age diff isn't even a consideration at this point--Brandon seems to have it together a HELLUVA lot better than most guys his age.

    Now go buy yourself a couple of shirts, boy!

    Posted by: jim | Feb 29, 2012 3:05:33 PM

  22. Why must Rick go out of the way to bring the clouds in?

    Posted by: jim | Feb 29, 2012 3:07:25 PM

  23. My partner of 16 years and I have been following this story. It's so incredibly sweet! It's a Valentine's Day story that's just a little bit late. I'm so happy for those two guys to have found each other.

    Posted by: seattle mike | Feb 29, 2012 3:44:59 PM

  24. Hi Rin they do not travel in dress blues or even had them with them since they were in an active war zone. The return flight was very long. All across asia with the last re-fueling stop in Japan. so they were beat and tired by the time they landed.
    Hi Jim, hell yeah about the shirts, but maybe after the car and the move to New Orleans.

    Posted by: Dalan Wells | Feb 29, 2012 9:43:24 PM

  25. Thanks, Dalan, for the backstory, and best of luck to the two of you!

    One more sign of how the times are changing (to quote the end of the news story) is that they didn't feel the need to include a soundbite from some homophobe opposed to gays in the military, to provide "balance". There is no "balance" in this story, and no need for any. It's great that the media doesn't ALWAYS treat our relationships as controversial any more...

    Posted by: Matt in PDX | Mar 1, 2012 12:13:09 AM

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