Hunter, in his own words:“My name is Hunter. I am a 22 year-old native of North Carolina currently living at Lake Tahoe in Nevada. I came out of the closet Valentines day of last year. My journey out of the closet and becoming who I am today is one I am proud to share; however, finding the love of my life is why I am emailing you today.
I met Ryan mid-august of 2013 in Raleigh, NC via OkCupid. Both of us were definite “haters” of online dating but participated due to deviant peer pressure of friends. I was on the verge of deleting my account since I had plans to move to Nevada in a week but one night Ryan messaged me asking to hang out. Ryan had just moved to Raleigh from Clemson, SC and was looking for someone to casually hang out with and show him the city. Thinking this was a harmless commitment, I said yes! It was a night of random story sharing and me serving as an obnoxious city tour guide. I felt a connection.
We parted ways with a kiss I wanted to last forever but knew had no future. That was it, so i thought. I went back home, packed my belongings and hit the road to Nevada. Each day away from him I could not help but dream about how wonderful of a guy he was. We maintained communication throughout my trip and settling in, both knowing we were avoiding the reality that we would never see each other again. A month went by and we only grew closer. Every night we would talk or skype just because. I knew I liked him and he the same but we were both denying any form of relationship. Mid-september I made up an excuse to return to Raleigh to “catch-up with friends” and he and I can hang out. I booked my flight and headed east. I landed in Raleigh and there he was, standing at baggage claim waiting for me. I knew from his smile and our embrace that this was more then a friendship. The brief visit seemed like a lifetime of bliss. The whole time I had this feeling inside that I had not felt before and too confused to talk about it. Love.
Standing before security, back at the airport, we stared in to each others eyes, both full of tears, knowing exactly how momentous the visit was and how much we truly cared for each other. We had both found love for the first time.
Ever since that September visit we see each other once a month for an extended weekend in a place of our choice ( San Diego on March 14th!!). We are 2700 miles a part for now but every day, every hour, every minute I’m with him, I know I have found love. Ryan is the love of my life and I want to share our story for all to hear and understand that it does exists no matter how shitty things are. I am planning to move back to Raleigh and back to Ryan for I will do anything to be in his arms and see his face every day for the rest of my life.
Thank you for all you are doing Kevin. Your story and project inspires me. I would love to be a part of your project if you are looking for participants.