Dear Ellen Degeneres:
My name is JRH and I am currently engaged to my partner the Doctor and we are competing in Crate and Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding Contest. While competing something amazing happened the community rallied around us and we are now a same sex couple leading a nationwide contest to win our $100,000 Ultimate Wedding.
The Doctor and I met through a mutual friend in the Boston area and we quickly became the best of friends. I knew from the moment I met the Doctor he would be a part of my life forever. It was a rare occasion that we would be out separately. We were completely at ease with each other, and we knew that we could be ourselves. As the months passed we grew closer, but we knew that the friendship would always be the basis of our relationship.
Our story wasn’t simply a fairy tale, it has been a long road, even before the contest the Doctor and I had to endure a great deal of hatred. I am the survivor of a violent hate crime in the Boston area. A hate crime where my attacker screamed; “die faggot die” as he stomped my head into the pavement. A hate crime where my attacker pled guilty on all counts and still walked away with no jail time.
After all of the attack and the trial the Doctor stood by my side. He held me up and he pushed me forward. He was there with me through the constant nightmares and my struggle to understand. He was also the one who helped me gain the courage to speak out about what happened to me. We both made the decision to help our community by not sitting still. We both became unlikely activists. I even lent my words and experience to a speech read at a protest in Boston, and plan to speak at the Maine LGBT Civil Rights March.
Our love helped us survive this dark time but our love was also stronger than all of this. Our love allowed us to persevere. All relationships are hard, but we had to overcome many obstacles to openly experience our love. But the obstacles have made both of us appreciate what we have and celebrate that we still have a life to spend together. The hate from others has tested our love, and neither of us have any doubt about where we stand.
I proposed to the Doctor on October 10, 2009 in an unplanned moment sitting in front of the fire in our new place. I knew that no matter what, I needed this amazing man by my side for the rest of my life. The Doctor said yes and we have been engaged now for four months and we love every moment of it.
We will always face those people who do no accept us, but we will stand up together and show them that we are proud, and we are going to be happily MARRIED for a very long time.
And now there is a chance that we can show the world how happy and lucky we are by winning this contest. This contest means a lot to the Doctor and I, but it will also mean a lot to the LGBTQ community.
I would hope that you would consider telling this story, and helping not only us out, but also help make a strong statement to the world.
PLEASE VOTE FOR US!