Photography by Harry Borden. Styling by David Bradshaw. As told to Aaron Hicklin.
Together, they make one of the cutest gay celebrity couples, and their love story is full of fun anecdotes. Here, our favorite excerpts from Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley's cover story. Read the full interview here.
Dustin Lance Black gave Tom a barbecue as a birthday gift, and then wooed his family with his grilling skills.
Tom Daley: "He came back to Plymouth, and he was originally going to stay for four days, and then he extended his trip for another week, and I told my mom (we were dating) in that time while he was making burgers in the back garden, on the barbecue. I said, 'Oh, what do you think of Lance?' And she was, like, 'Oh yeah, he's really nice; he makes great burgers.' And then I was like, 'Yeah, Lance and I are in a relationship,' and she was like, 'What do you mean? Of course you're in a relationship.' And I said, 'No, he's my boyfriend.' And she said, 'Oh, you're in a gay relationship with him?' And I said yes, and she said, 'Well, Tom, he is lovely, and whatever makes you happy makes me happy.' And that was that."
They talked about marriage within two weeks of meeting.
Daley: "Quite honestly, we talked about marriage within the first two weeks after seeing each other the first time in L.A. That was the weird thing: that it came up in conversation so many times. I always knew it was going to happen at some point."
On their first real night together, Daley taught Black how to enter the water from a diving position.
Daley: "It was one of the first times that I felt, Oh my God, this isn't just a thing where I am attracted to someone. This is someone that I've connected with on a whole new level. It was new for me, and that was when I thought, Shit, I'm in trouble here. And we just kept talking and talking. I taught him how to do a hand grab, which is how you enter the water correctly from a dive, and the rest of the night was the rest of the night, if you know what I mean."
When they're not together they text every few minutes.
Dustin Lance Black: "I remember sending a text, wondering if he would answer, and he did -- right before I boarded the plane. We made a commitment that we would keep talking, and I tell you: If we're not together, there's a text message every couple of minutes. It's been like that for years now. We've kept it up."
They like to spend time sketching pictures of the house they'll build together. It will be on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
Black: "We were so busy making all these plans -- we both wanted to have children; we both wanted to build a home of our own someday. I draw, so I was sketching little plans for houses on cliffs overlooking oceans, while Tom watched over my shoulder -- it was a very grown-up version of playing house."
They each attempted to propose to the other a minimum of eight times on several continents before finally giving up on finding the perfect place.
Daley: "It turns out that we had both asked each other's parents, and we both had rings ready to go. I took mine away with me to America after my final diving competition last year, and I planned on doing it in San Francisco, because it's his favorite city. There were so many points when I thought that I was going to do it: We went out on a boat in the bay, but there were too many people around. And then we went to Lands End near the Golden Gate Bridge and again, there were a lot of people around. We went to dinner, and I thought, You know what, after this dinner, we'll go to Dolores Park, we'll sit down, and then I'll propose, and it will be somewhere we can go back to and relive that moment. Well, we got to Dolores Park and it was full of construction, and the first thing he said was, "Oh, it looks awful here," and I just thought, Great, I'll just have to save it for another time. So, I ended up bringing the rings back to London."
When Daley finally proposed to Black they were both in their underwear.
Daley: "I had the ring box in my underwear, and when he came out of the bathroom, I just went down on my knee and proposed. Then he ran off to the bathroom to get his rings, and he had this whole speech prepared, but he's a writer so his was quite extravagant. But looking back, all I can remember is being completely overwhelmed, like, Oh my God, we're now engaged. Who do we have to call? So I called my mom, and he called his stepdad."