We first met in New York City almost 20 years ago, working at a major ad agency in the city. Michael had just come from Germany, and Jeff arrived from Cincinnati. We were paired up as partners for four weeks... and it ended up being for life! We both have highly tuned gaydars, but we were each uncertain of the other's orientation; were we both gay or was Michael just a creative "European type", Jeff just a naive Midwestern boy?
Our coming out to one another was basically our first proposal. This happened at Cowgirl in New York City. While drinking a margarita, Jeff took the plunge, looked Michael in the eye, told him how much he loved him and that he very much wanted to spend his life with him. Michael turned white and had to go outside for some air. Jeff joined him outside, and Michael professed his love in return. And that first kiss -- on the Hudson River with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop – goes down as one of the most romantic experiences either of us has ever had.
The couple on their Halloween-themed
wedding night; Frankfurt, Germany 2003
We ended up moving to Frankfurt Germany, where we have lived for the past 18 years. We were married there on October 31, 2003. It was a beautiful and romantic wedding, with guests from the US and Europe. We selected Halloween for the wedding, as it is our favorite holiday. Instead of gifts, we requested that the guests invest in a great costume for the evening. And they did! We had everything from slutty leather latex nuns to a dead drag queen to Siegfried and Roy (directly after the tiger attack, with Roy’s face bleeding)!
Since then, we founded COMMUNIGAYTE®, the world’s leading full-service advertising agency specializing in the LGBT community. With clients like Air France, Delta, KLM, Pall Medical and Avis, we are quite happy with our progress. Importantly, we are also happy that we helping to move the LGBT rights movement forward.
We are marrying again on November 3, 2011 -- this time in City Hall in Manhattan. We are looking forward to it romantically, given that we first met there; and also to celebrate the hard-earned progress which is being made -- one state at a time -- for LGBT rights in the USA.