Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Thomas Roberts

Gay Marine Brandon Morgan Talks to Thomas Roberts About Homecoming Photo, Breaking Stereotypes: VIDEO


Gay Marine Brandon Morgan spoke with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts about his homecoming photo, how it helps break stereotypes about gay people, what the photo might mean to kids who are struggling with sexual identity, and what he has to say to people who have said they are offended by a photo of two men kissing.


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  1. in what alternate dimension does "still afraid of what straight people will think of me" constitute as "masculine"?

    i can't think of anything less manly than still hiding from people.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 29, 2012 4:11:52 PM

  2. What a polite Marine Brandon is. And I agree with others, there is no reason to apologize for the intimacy. I was hoping Brandon would say "Get over it!" or "Tuff nuggies!"

    As for the difficulty in coming out, I'm at a loss there. I don't recall a time I wasn't "out" and with five brothers and a sister above me it was never a secret. It was accepted and no one ever told me I couldn't date another guy. They expected and assisted with it.

    It was a bit harder for my husband. :-) His parents were aware of me and we all had dinner and family dates together but Greg was apprehensive to show any intimacy for the longest time. It wasn't that he was afraid they would disown him because they adore him - it was that he didn't want to disappoint them. He thought telling them that he was in love with another man would break their hearts.

    So I was his friend, then his boyfriend then his fiance and finally his husband. His Dad bawled like a baby at our wedding and it was all happy tears. Happy that his son was happy and loved. They all wailed three years later when we announced a child was on the way (thru surrogacy). You would have thought gold had fallen from the heavens they were so happy.

    Today our families treat us like a son. My Dad and brothers often spend more time with Greg then I do while Greg's parents are either here with us (they have a lovely home of their own) or are stopping by to take me (and son) to eat or shop ("let's buy the baby some shoes..., btw the "baby" is nearly five now but he will always be their baby, LOL!".

    My advice to any gay person who wants to come out is to take a moment. Maybe understated is better. After all, the people who know you probably already know you are gay and they love you. What they want most is for you to be happy with yourself and your life. Ease them into it.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 29, 2012 4:26:43 PM

  3. The image is beautiful and in the long run, may prove more iconic than the anonymous sailor kissing the nurse at the V-J Day celebration. While those two were complete strangers, these two love each other. People will look at this kiss and think, "This is what love looks like: unrestrained, passionate and sloppy."

    Posted by: @drmichaelsimon | Feb 29, 2012 4:26:48 PM

  4. I LOVE this homecoming photo! (Seriously!)

    Posted by: SCollingsworth | Feb 29, 2012 4:29:53 PM

  5. To my knowledge, neither the New York Times nor the Los Angeles Times have published the photo of the male Marine kissing his male partner. Apparently, they refuse to do it.

    I'm surprised that Andy of Towleroad, who's usually on top of things like this, has so far not said much on this issue. What's going on, Andy?

    Posted by: Bruce | Feb 29, 2012 4:43:34 PM

  6. I think it's terrific they could express their happiness to see each other again after a long separation. He fought for his country and he's earned a warm welcome home from his partner.

    Posted by: JenB | Feb 29, 2012 4:49:42 PM

  7. Because no one cares about the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times. What a ridiculous thing to get your panties in a bunch about.

    Posted by: endo | Feb 29, 2012 4:51:23 PM

  8. *ENDO - LOL! So true!

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 29, 2012 5:08:10 PM

  9. Endo,

    Well, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ran the lesbian kiss last month, so why not the male-male kiss?

    Maybe you just don't want to admit that the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have a homophobic double standard. Perhaps Andy of Towleroad doesn't want to admit this either.

    Posted by: jason | Feb 29, 2012 5:09:52 PM

  10. Go away before somone drops a house on you "Jason"

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 29, 2012 5:13:52 PM

  11. "This was for us". I think that was the best comment from Brandon. The anti-gay climate and the recent DADT repeal makes the kiss significant both for anti-gay forces and pro-equality forces, but the bottom line is about two people in love wanting to kiss. Hopefully one day the photo will be as iconic as the male/female kiss shared in the clip and all people will see is a marine getting a welcome home kiss.

    Posted by: Gary Alton Russell | Feb 29, 2012 5:17:59 PM

  12. Haha, I figured that Bruce was yet another alias of Jason. How many screennames are you up to now, big guy?

    Posted by: endo | Feb 29, 2012 5:51:38 PM

  13. Kudos to thse 2 people. I wished that there had been no DADT when I was in the Army. I'd probably still be with my lover, but I digress. To all you hater's out there, people are gay, get over it and get over yourselves. You hater's hate yourselves so much that you have to make everyone around you miserable too. If you looked inside yourself and worried about your own back yard, you wouldn't have time to hate others. And all you religious freaks, practice what you preach. Everytime you hate on someone, you are going against the bible. So stop all the hate and love everybody.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 29, 2012 6:44:11 PM

  14. Geez America, do you realize how many bottoms there are in the Marines? ;)

    Posted by: tkjasd | Feb 29, 2012 7:57:12 PM

  15. @Jason/Bruce/Sybil: The other day you were complaining that the kiss wasn't featured in any mainstream media outlets. Since then it's been all over the mainstream media (and great to see that). So now, since your panties were in a bunch for nothing, you're whining about the NYTimes and the LATimes. Who cares if it appeared there or not? The NYTimes had yet another editorial today in support of marriage equality. We've all seen the pic, and that's terrific, but I'd rather the NYTimes be doing editorials in our favor than featuring a photo anyone can find a 100 other places.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 29, 2012 8:39:39 PM

  16. It is absolutely at this Marine Sergeant's heartfelt core that he would express remorse for "offending" anyone. This brave, focussed, seasoned veteran of war as an American Hero does what he does because he loves America and thereby loves his fellow citizens. I agree that this dear patriot has no public duty to apologize at all for the "discomfort" others who don't know him might feel. Eventually, I believe, he and the love of his life will realize that their love and dedication to each other is paramount. As my Roman Catholic Mom used to say when I came home from grammar school after a schoolyard fist fight: "What do you expect of hateful people. After all, they crucified Christ!" Now that I'm an agnostic adult, and see my Mom's aphorisms as quaint, I still see the heartfelt love they represented and I'm comforted by Mom's particular wisdom. My hope for this fine young American man and his (probably equally fine) young lover is that they can endure in their devotion to each other under any external negativity that would mean to interfere with what they feel for each other. Great love requires great diligence and work for it to survive and thrive. This Marine Sergeant seems to know what great diligence and work entails. I know that I speak for millions of Americans and friendly others when I wish them the very best in the pursuit of their shared dreams!

    Posted by: Thomas Cardellino | Feb 29, 2012 8:42:53 PM

  17. He is being respectful and I understand that...however he does not need to say he is sorry if he offended anyone! Love is not offensive, PDA is not offensive in the right setting, this was absolutely the correct setting...period!!!

    Posted by: Sean | Feb 29, 2012 8:48:50 PM

  18. The photo is, finally, the other shoe dropping from the famous VE day photo of the sailor and nurse. This makes my heart happy.

    Congrats to the happy couple.

    Posted by: David R. | Mar 1, 2012 1:52:45 AM

  19. I wonder what risks Little Kiwi has taken to be OUT. Assuming she/he is even OUT.

    Posted by: jack | Mar 1, 2012 2:40:09 AM

  20. Good luck guys. I hope you have a long and happy life together. Ignore most of the PR stuff of the left and right and just concentrate on building your new relationship.Don't let yourselves become anybodies poster boys or whipping boys.

    Posted by: jack | Mar 1, 2012 2:58:01 AM

  21. Thank you for all you have done. WELCOME HOME

    Posted by: Don | Mar 1, 2012 5:29:01 AM

  22. To ALL GBLT lets Continue The Fight...To ALL of our Soldiers...Thank You For Our Freedom...To ALL our Straight/Gay Alliances...Thank You For Your Support...To ALL PFLAG members, Thank You for Your Openness and Acceptance Of Your Gay Family Member and Friends...Thank You GOD for making me GAY, and giving me a GAY partner whom I love Very Much. Jesus Wore Dresses and Had Long Hair, Does That Make Him Gay?

    Posted by: Kent | Mar 1, 2012 10:35:29 AM

  23. Jack -Little KIWI wouldn't know a risk if he saw one or how to take it. He's lived in a warm shower his entire life supported by a wimp for a father who was/is too scared of him to offer any much needed guidance. Hence, as a reverse bigot, he attacks anyone who doesn't agree with him and keeps ridiculously bellowing at Rick to post his URL. Who would do that with KIWI around? Why doesn't KIWI post his phone number if he's such a paragon of valor.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 1, 2012 2:14:14 PM

  24. UFFDA - Because even paragons aren't crazy?

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 1, 2012 2:32:51 PM

  25. you show me an LGBT person who took no "risks" in Coming Out, and who doesn't continue to experience challenges in being Openly gay, every day, and I'll show you a unicorn.

    unlike some bitter commenters, i'm not doing so from a place of online anonymity. y'all are free to use the internet like a burqa, just know it mutes your message. big time.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 1, 2012 2:45:42 PM

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