A marriage proposal is one of those moments destined to be cherished for a lifetime, except, it would appear, if you are Team USA softball star Haylie McCleney. According to TeamUSA.org, the athlete, who opened up about her sexuality with the story, remembers nothing of the moment she proposed to now-fiancé Kylee Hanson.
“I completely blacked out,” she revealed to the official Team USA website. “I don’t remember anything I said. But whatever I said worked because she said yes.”
And while McCleney may have forgotten that one particular moment, the sporting couple have written quite a story together.
The pair met as 17-year-olds playing softball and immediately became inseparable friends, but initially didn’t realize how deeply their relationship had evolved. Their circle of friends sure saw the burgeoning bond, though, and eventually the ball-playing duo embraced the obvious.
“We both realized our feelings had taken the next step,” McCleney explained. “And yeah, it was crazy because it was so obvious probably to anyone else that OK, you guys are more than friends and it’s amazing that you don’t know that.”
The pair dated for two years while McCleney played outfield at the University of Alabama, and Hanson pitched at Florida Atlantic University and then at Florida State where she was part of their 2018 National Championship team.
Coming out officially for McCleney seemed even more complicated than a long-distance same-sex relationship, though, due to her conservative religious upbringing in the small Alabama town of Morris. She quickly discovered that her family and friends loved her just the way she was.
“I feel very, very lucky to have had a conservative upbringing and still be fully loved and accepted,” McCleney revealed.
McCleney also explained how she is able to reconcile her own personal intersection of religion and sexuality.
“Faith is a big part of my life; always has been, always will be,” McCleney explained. “I kind of got away from it up until the coming out process because I didn’t think I could be gay and be faithful. Now I’m at a point in my life where I’ve accepted myself because God has accepted me, and I feel very strongly about that.”
The couple had planned on getting married last February, then spend the next few month in training for McCleney to play on Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Like the summer games, though, the wedding has been postponed. McCleney and Hanson seem to be taking the delays in stride. They’ve already bought a beach-front condo in Jupiter, Florida.
For now, McCleney and Hanson are focused on the important things, like spending the rest of their lives together.