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. "Love is love." Wise words.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 28, 2012 1:15:55 PM

  2. Discretion is the word you use in your Craigslist ad when you are trying to get laid during the CPAC convention so your wife doesn't find out.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Feb 28, 2012 1:16:16 PM

  3. Best of luck, guys!

    Posted by: Peter | Feb 28, 2012 1:17:22 PM

  4. I love everything about this photo. I love Brandon and Dalan, I love their embrace, I love the GIGANTIC American flag in the background. Yes! This picture will live on through the ages, as it should. A picture tells a thousand words, and this one is no exception.
    Brandon is right, "Love is love."
    You can't stop progress, haters. You just cannot. If it is one thing history has taught us, it's that the haters always lose and the oppressed are always victorious.

    Posted by: TC | Feb 28, 2012 1:22:01 PM

  5. Thanks for the posts guys. We are getting emails and interview requests from all over but the Towleroad coverage is what still awes me since I have been a daily reader for so long. The PDA complaints are still from people who do not realize what a "Homecoming Ceremony" is. All the couples in that hangar were jumping all over each other and hugging and kissing. We do not carry on like that when he is uniform. I just dropped him off on base and did not even give him a good bye kiss since he was in uniform. As far as me needing a new shirt, yes that is a little weird that I was wearing the same one! I do have more. We have been so busy with phone calls and emails. On top of Brandons mountain of homework for college and me trying to find us a car to get around in. The last thing on my mind has been what shirt am I wearing in what photos and interviews lol. The more masculine embrace comment was pretty dumb. I am sure my boyfriend could benchpress that guy.
    Allright thanks again everybody. This has been a weird public adventure but hopefully it will help someone someday.

    Posted by: Dalan Wells | Feb 28, 2012 1:25:20 PM

  6. Bravo, bravo. Thanks Dalan and Brandon we love seeing your pictures, the video and these new comments. Now we own you like we want, you're part of us. Best to car hunting and all the details of everyday life.

    Posted by: uffda | Feb 28, 2012 1:32:46 PM

  7. Dalan, ignore the masculine embrace comments. Obviously they are made by self hating guys who never had a love to snuggle up next to. I thought the pic was spot on in showing true emotion and both of you having the courage to just be honest and in the moment is what is so striking and timeless about this photo. There is a reason this has hit us so hard and it's because of the raw honesty of love.

    Posted by: jersey | Feb 28, 2012 1:34:51 PM

  8. @ Dalan Wells

    Wish you both all the best.Side note:Don't mind the warped queens on towleroad,they have said more ruthless and outrageously rude nonsense,usually relating to racial groups and other gay/lesbian relating issues in other blog postings.Why the blog owner allows this nonsense to continue is beyond me.

    Posted by: John NYC | Feb 28, 2012 1:38:55 PM

  9. Dalan & Brandon: a couple for the ages.

    Best of luck, guys.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Feb 28, 2012 1:41:15 PM

  10. Discreation? What is this Victorian England?

    Posted by: J. | Feb 28, 2012 2:04:47 PM

  11. @ DALAN:

    As you both say "Love is Love.

    Now why don't the Christians get that ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 28, 2012 2:08:26 PM

  12. I assumed the "masculine embrace" comment was made tongue-in-cheek, as I would if it had said, "too bad they're not a handsome couple."
    "Dolly Parton is pretty but she's a little flat-chested for my taste.". That sort of thing.
    This is a wonderful picture and exactly the kind of thing that would have given me a sense of hope for the future when. I was a kid.
    It's a little naive of the reporter to say that they wanted equal rights and now they've got them.
    Imagine if a white man could finally greet his black wife without getting fired but still had no marriage rights that his co-workers with same-race spouses had. Would anyone say he finally had equality?
    Equality has yet to be accorded but this photo represents the fact that the discussion itself is now allowed to take place.

    Posted by: Gregv | Feb 28, 2012 2:18:32 PM

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

    Word. Discretion is SO 1992.<

    You GO, KIWI! +1!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 28, 2012 2:18:35 PM

  14. One of the ways we can help Dalan and Brandon get that car, Towleroaders, is to purchase some of Dalan's paintings. You can find some on Then search for Dalan Wells in the dropdown on the left. I'll be bidding on at least one (not telling, don't want competition!)

    And, please, if you look at them and it's not to your taste, keep it to yourself.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Feb 28, 2012 2:20:30 PM

  15. Congratulations, Dalan and Brandon. Let's hope we are moving toward a world in which such a photo will be utterly unremarkable. In the meantime, it made me smile.

    Posted by: Fritz | Feb 28, 2012 2:25:49 PM

  16. Valor is the better part of valor, right up there with integrity, honor, transparency, and steadfastness. How this is in any way indiscrete is beyond me. It was a genuine display of affection, the kind to which EVERYONE is entitled. In a way, this picture is mundane - it happens all the time when someone deployed returns. One day, such a photo will be of interest only because of artistry, not novelty. I love how this couple is embracing the chance to be true heros: using this unscripted moment to help others despite ridiculous calls for discretion and the wishes of small people with narrow minds to keep such displays of affection behind closed doors.


    Posted by: TJ | Feb 28, 2012 2:31:27 PM

  17. How many videos and photos, local to you and national, have you seen of the "emotional homecomings" of military personnel in the last 10 years? A straight soldier surprising their wife or husband or a child surprised by their parent returning from Middle East. I'd estimate I've seen dozens of them, though I didn't always watch the whole video or read the entire article accompanying the photo.

    But I don't think I've ever read anyone say THEY ought to "tone it down" or accuse them of just "trying to get attention!"

    As Brandson Morgan said in his initial response to the photo getting so much attention, the haters are going to hate you no matter what. If these two men had just shaken hands but were identified as gay they still would hate them. Because that's what haters do, who they are.

    So you've got two options. You can either live your life trying to win approval from people who will NEVER give it to you (and who sure as h*ll aren't living their lives to please YOU) or you can live your life authentically.

    So congratulations to Brandon and Dalan! Well done!

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 28, 2012 2:36:58 PM

  18. @Dalan

    Your photo is iconic. Many thanks to both you and Brandon for allowing it to be shown! :)

    Posted by: Dana | Feb 28, 2012 2:54:41 PM

  19. Not necessarily, KIWI. There are some people who feel that any such public display of affection or intimacy is out of bounds no matter if you are gay or straight. There is a lot to be said for discretion, especially in this era of cell-phone voyeurism. I salute this young couple and wish them well.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 28, 2012 3:13:45 PM

  20. @ Rance.
    I know what you meant and for those of you that don't please read....
    strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery

    It's a great quote!

    Posted by: till the world ends | Feb 28, 2012 3:26:16 PM

  21. Is it just me? There is more bitching about the photo here than there is on FB.

    Posted by: melvin | Feb 28, 2012 3:32:18 PM

  22. i think they look silly

    Posted by: megamike | Feb 28, 2012 4:02:13 PM

  23. Both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have refused to publish the photo of the two male Marines kissing.

    Posted by: Bruce | Feb 28, 2012 4:13:53 PM

  24. My husband and I actually shook hands at our wedding.

    But even I know a great photo when I see one, and this is a great photo.

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 28, 2012 4:49:55 PM

  25. @ CALIBAN :

    "....or you can live your life authentically.....

    Dude, you shall have to change your name to "Prospero".......because your words are pure wisdom.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 28, 2012 5:19:53 PM

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