Mo & Erin: Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

March 3, 2012

Post image for Mo & Erin: Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

Anniversary: October 30th From: Lombard, IL

My name is Mo, and my girlfriend’s name is Erin. We’ve been together for about 4 years, and we recently bought a house together in Lombard, IL. We both have a passion for music. Erin is a music teacher, and I teach music lessons and ensembles outside of my administrative job. Throughout our time together, the love we have for each other has grown through our shared interest, mutual respect, optimism, and enjoyment of each other’s company.

We met in college, at the University of Dayton. Both of us were music majors, but we had never spoken to each other. It turns out that we had more in common than we thought. With some luck, we were introduced through mutual friends, and immediately felt a connection. This was during Erin’s junior year, just after she had started coming out. Our initial conversation was “set up” so that Erin could talk with me about what it was like for me being out. Before that time, I had never presumed she was gay! We started spending lots of time together, and I asked Erin out a few months later. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we had a truly special relationship. We were falling in love.

One of our favorite memories of college was at the band awards banquet, a little over a year since we had been together. Voted on by the band members, we were voted the “Cutest Couple,” and got a standing ovation from the members. It was such a special feeling to be shown such acceptance from this group of people. Another great memory we share was also at UD. During a summer after we had both graduated, we packed a picnic and enjoyed it on a large hill on campus, while we watched the sunset. UD will always hold a special place in our hearts as the place where we met.

After graduating from UD, we started having discussions about our future together. We shopped together for engagement rings, and bought the perfect pair. Once our intentions were known and the rings were purchased, there was only one thing left to do: get engaged. Early on, I had told Erin that, since she never asked anyone out, and was always the one asked out, she had to do the “ultimate asking out.” We had recently closed on our house, and were finally handed over the keys. It was my first day driving home from work to our new house, and Erin had been there all day. I couldn’t wait to get there. When I pulled into the driveway, the garage opened, and Erin was there to greet me. She showed me a note on the wall, in her handwriting. She had set up a tour for me of our new house, and the note had a clue of where to go next. The clues (in the form of short poems) led me through each room of our new house. The last clue directed me to the dining area. Erin had set up a makeshift table and chairs, using lawn furniture. On the table was the last clue, propped up with a small box. Erin opened the box and proposed. We popped champagne and took lots of pictures. Later, I learned that Erin had been planning this all week, and had even asked my mom for her blessing (as well as some lawn furniture to borrow). It was so perfect.

Since same-sex marriage is not legal in our state, we have chosen to wait to get married until it is. We have decided to obtain some benefits through getting a civil union, as it will be permitted in Illinois later this year.

I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share my life with. Every day, I really do feel our love getting stronger. I hope that our story can help others who are struggling with society’s negative views of gay relationships. For the younger people out there who may be reading our story, Erin and I would like to say this: Be comfortable with yourself and don’t worry about what other people think of you. Who are they to judge? Be the best “you” that you can be, and do the things you’re passionate about. We like this quote by Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

-Mo & Erin