Prince Charming Meets His Match
By Out Contributor
Photography by Rob Howard
Ryan, Dancer & Actor: The theater community is a very small one, so I knew who Matt was—we’d worked with the same director in movies (Private Romeo for Matt and Five Dances for me) about a year apart, so that was our one-degree of separation. I’d seen pictures and found him so darn cute—he looks like a Disney prince—that I was crushing from afar. We were at a mutual friend’s birthday party and I walked in and I saw him from the other side of the bar. I gave him an awkward smile and a wave and continued ordering my drink. And then I realized I was being stupid and needed to go over. I felt so fumbly the entire time, but I knew I wanted to keep the conversation going with anything that came into my head.
We went for a date in Hell’s Kitchen a week later. I was just coming from a show, so I looked sweaty and gross and not put together, and he, of course, looked perfect. We were among the last to leave the restaurant. It was raining, and I didn’t have an umbrella so he walked me home under his umbrella, and halfway down 43rd Street he just leaned in and kissed me.
At the end of January, we’re taking a mini-hometown tour—I’m taking him to my hometown in Walled Lake, a suburb of Detroit, and he’s going to see my old dance studio and my school. And I’m going to go to his hometown. Growing up there, I was part of a large community of male dancers in Detroit, which was wonderful. I didn’t have to think too hard about coming out—I did a lot of traveling to compete and study with different teachers, so I was so exposed to that world that I didn’t think it was weird having those feelings. I came out right after taking my mom to see Milk. It felt like an appropriate moment.