Gay Couple in Marine Homecoming Photo Speaks Out: VIDEO


Brandon Morgan and Dalan Wells, the couple in the Marine homecoming photo that went viral over the weekend speak to Honolulu news station KHON.

Says Brandon: "This is a homecoming picture. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter who you are. Love is love. We haven't fought for more rights or better rights than others. We fought for equal rights. And now we have them."

More on the KHON website. The couple says it was their first kiss!

There to meet him was his friend of four years, Windward Oahu artist Dalan Wells -- a friendship that had turned to a long-distance love during the deployment. This was their first kiss.

"We couldn't talk, I can barely talk now, his hands went numb, my legs were shaking, our first kiss after just knowing how we felt about each other,” Morgan said.

The arrival had come unexpectedly early. Wells made it to the base ahead of other invited friends.

"I’m so glad I got him a lei, I almost didn't have time,” Wells said. “I stopped at a Safeway, grabbed him just a carnation and pikake lei. One friend finally did make it, Dave Lewis and he's the one who took the photo there. He was able to get to the hangar just in time, because we were too happy to be able to take picture."



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  1. They are adorable... but that Marine needs to take his boyfriend shopping for another shirt!

    Posted by: endo | Feb 28, 2012 11:46:55 AM

  2. "Boyfriend of four years." Sheeeesh! Some reporters are simply DENSE.

    Posted by: Reed B | Feb 28, 2012 11:49:12 AM

  3. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! So nice to see them together, see their faces, and hear them speak--clearly, eloquently and from the heart. All the best to them!!

    Posted by: jim | Feb 28, 2012 11:50:59 AM

  4. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

    Posted by: tim | Feb 28, 2012 11:54:40 AM

  5. Real. Gay. Men. Thanks!!!

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 28, 2012 11:57:15 AM

  6. I wish it had been a more masculine embrace

    Posted by: asfasf | Feb 28, 2012 11:57:54 AM

  7. Very nice!

    Posted by: AllBeefPatty | Feb 28, 2012 11:59:39 AM

  8. All I read from ENDO was, "They are adorable... blah blah Marine blah boyfriend blah blah blah blah blah!"

    Posted by: Edd | Feb 28, 2012 12:01:46 PM

  9. masculine embrace? wtf is that?

    and how would a more "masculine embrace" change anything but your narrow self-hating mind?

    Posted by: truthiness | Feb 28, 2012 12:02:20 PM

  10. Fairly clueless but well-intenioned reporter. She said that a year ago when DADT was still in effect, this kind of photo would have been "frowned upon." Lady, this kind of photo would have gotten that guy kicked out of the Marines. Let's not whitewash the past. That said, nice overall tone to the piece. And gotta love the official statement from the Marines - "This is just an ordinary homecoming photo." Progress. Gotta love it. (And props to Obama for repealing DADT, as he promised.)

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Feb 28, 2012 12:02:37 PM

  11. Good for them, but a phrase comes to mind: "Discretion is the better part of valor".

    Posted by: Rance | Feb 28, 2012 12:03:04 PM

  12. Discretion is for wimps who dont' want people to know that they don't have balls.

    Word. Discretion is SO 1992.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 12:07:12 PM

  13. @Rance

    I think you need to know more about what that phrase really means:

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 28, 2012 12:09:43 PM

  14. About the public display involved - the man has completed THREE deployments, all of which were endured by his worrying spouse at home. As the official response indicated, "This is just an ordinary homecoming photo" - which are the way they are because the emotional response is so over-whelming. There is no discretion necessary, nor any validity to recommending it.

    Posted by: DG | Feb 28, 2012 12:09:51 PM

  15. "Discretion is the better part of valor" ... yes let's hide every display of public gay affection. NOT! My husband and I would drive you nuts. There are times I meet the guy for lunch and he is so freakin hot we can't stop ourselves... (little joke there).

    These guys didn't set this moment up to gain publicity, as the Military says, it is your typical homecoming. So nice to have them step forward and put a voice to their faces - masculine handsome regular gay guys. Sure to marry when HI allows same-sex marriage.

    Nice to see Hawaii. My husband graduated from UOH and lived in Hono for a decade prior to our meeting in SF. We go back every summer and visit friends and grandparents who live on the Big Island in a little town called Volcano since 1950. Pretty place to visit but still prefer SF.

    Posted by: OS2guy | Feb 28, 2012 12:25:48 PM

  16. @Rance

    Please explain your comment...why should they have been more discrete? This man's partner was in Afghanistan for 6 months. I don't know if anyone in your family or friends has gone off for a tour of Afghanistan, but there is always something inside you wondering if they will come home alive. When they MUST do what comes naturally and embrace them in whatever way you want.

    Posted by: Ian | Feb 28, 2012 12:31:07 PM

  17. By leaving 'The' off the front of the headline the gay couple remain a plural, therefore it should be 'speak out' rather than 'speaks'.
    Studying English is a horrible affliction. It drives me batty and I can't help it, sorry.

    Posted by: Daniel | Feb 28, 2012 12:35:14 PM

  18. Yes I'm sure you'd have just given your partner a handshake. You don't even wrinkle the sheets, do you?

    Posted by: Dev | Feb 28, 2012 12:37:20 PM

  19. well, some people care more about What Bigots Think than about What The Man That Loves Them Thinks. But that's because these people don't actually have A Man That Loves Them. Even in hypotheticals they're unable to fantasize about love or affection. eek.

    happy these two sweethearts are safe together :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 12:41:37 PM

  20. That image just slays me.

    Something about the way his boots are dangling -- speaks to me of the bravery of a masculine gay man and the sweet vulnerability and trust of a little boy.

    I love it, and hope it lives on like the famous WWII sailor/nurse photo.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Feb 28, 2012 12:44:25 PM

  21. Yeah, the 'frowned upon' bit was pretty annoying. Yeah for them!

    Posted by: Trask | Feb 28, 2012 12:52:16 PM

  22. @RANCE:

    "Discretion "........
    I had to be discrete when being a homo was punishable by 14 years in prison;
    I had to be discrete when being gay was revealed to destroy my career;
    I had to be discrete when they were going to beat the living st1t out of me;

    If I was a soldier with such tours of duty behind me and had been victorious in overturning DADT and was meeting my BF at the airport........would I not be entitled to a little equality of appreciation and esteem ?
    As these men have said so perfectly :
    "Love is love."
    There's nothing that needs to be discrete here.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 28, 2012 12:59:45 PM

  23. No one thought that the D-Day Times Square kiss photo was in bad taste.

    Posted by: J. Leo | Feb 28, 2012 1:02:44 PM

  24. Good on you, Brandon & Dalan, for creating another U.S. Icon!!

    For "Daniel": The word "couple," in this instance, singularity is implied [and there is not more than one couple], ergo "speaks" is correct.


    Posted by: GraciesDaddy | Feb 28, 2012 1:06:20 PM

  25. The battle has been won, but the war goes on in Congress and elsewhere. Most gay military people will tell you that they are under extreme observation and are expected to be beyond reproach in their action and words during this time. If one knows the real meaning of the phrase I used, they will realize it has nothing to do with "being discreet".

    Posted by: Rance | Feb 28, 2012 1:12:32 PM

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