The Gaga Connection
By Demetre Daskalakis and Michael Macneal
Photograph by Martien Mulder
DEMETRE DASKALAKIS & MICHAEL MACNEAL
Demetre Daskalakis, right, is an HIV doctor and researcher and the founder of the Men’s Sexual Health Project. Six months after ending a near–13-year relationship, he went to Michael Macneal’s spinning class.
MACNEAL We were doing a special Lady Gaga class, a 90-minute ride with a live DJ, a Gaga impersonator, the whole works.
DASKALAKIS I walked in and was like, That is a hot straight guy. I was front-row center. As I was leaving the gym, I saw him in his street clothes. He had a short leather jacket on and drop-crotch pants and combat boots.
MACNEAL There was a barbecue at this pizza place and I asked him, “Do you wanna come meet my friends and grab a drink?” We danced our faces off.
DASKALAKIS I am an old club kid and love looks, and he walked in wearing a crown of thorns!
MACNEAL I wore thorns like Jesus. I have turbans, too.
DASKALAKIS You know how when you get a text but don’t respond for an hour? There was no game. If you looked me up in a dating rulebook, it would say I am an asshole. I was a puppy.
MACNEAL Everyone tells us we look alike. We have beards, big noses, and short hair. I’ve never dated anyone like him, taller and older, who has the same style and likes the same things. I’m 26, and he’s 38. We’re going to get married. We’re going to do the legal stuff soon and then have the celebration next year. We did the next step -- last week we got tattoos! He got an M, and I got a D. We are branded forever.