Happy Friday the 13th everyone! What do you have planned this weekend? We are going to be deep cleaning the house and editing some videos and we are looking forward to the down time. It's been a hectic week, but it's been a lot of fun. We posted our coming out story as well as the story of how we met, and you guys have left the most heartfelt and sincere comments. Also, we've been getting a bunch of messages from you guys about your coming out stories and we are in the process of responding to them, so thank you for your patience!
This week's Feature Friday is a beautiful one. Jeff and Giang gave us all the feels when they describe what they love most about each other. You can feel the love coming through the words and we think you guys will fall for their words, too. See what we mean below...
Where are you from? Jeff: New Jersey, Giang: Connecticut
Where do you live? Philadelphia, PA
What’s your Instagram handle? Jeff: jsp483, Giang: giang315
How long have y’all been together and how did you two meet? Who asked out who? Jeff: We celebrated 8 years together in July. We met online in 2009, when I lived in Philadelphia and Giang lived in NYC. I suggested Giang come down one weekend to visit me and go to the beach. That was two weeks after we first started talking. (My favorite picture is posted here from that day at the beach).
Choose a song for the story of your relationship: “Opposites Attract” by Paula Abdul. So many lines are spot on! “You like the movies, and I like TV. I take things serious and you take ‘em light. [You] go to bed early and I party all night…he makes the bed, and he steals the covers. he likes it neat, and he makes a mess. I take it easy, baby I get obsessed.”
What is your favorite thing about each other? Jeff: My favorite thing about Giang is how uncontaminated he is by drama. Many people thrive on drama. Others have a way of finding themselves caught up in drama. Giang is impervious to drama. This is one of the main reasons we almost never fight, since there is never drama that is straining or stressing our relationship. Giang: Physically, my favorite thing about Jeff is when we cuddle and he squeezes me in a bear hug so hard that I can't breathe for two seconds. He does this to me several times a day. Personally, my favorite thing about Jeff is his authenticity. He doesn't hide the fact that he isn't hip and cool, and up to date with all the social flavors of the day. It gives me a lot of ammunition for teasing him. I remember when Adele became big. We were in the car, and he asked me who "A Deli" was. He wasn't kidding. He likes his old school music, music he grew up listening to with his parents. He prides himself on being a contrarian and an iconoclast, sometimes to my frustration, but it's a character trait that I deeply admire. He doesn't try to hide the fact that he's a nerd, and a history buff. He doesn't like being out of his comfort zone and he does little to hide it. We recently came back from a two week family vacation to southeast Asia, and his comfort zone was certainly tested...food, culture, weather, everything. While I laughed and teased him about it, he made no effort to change the way he is. If Jeff likes you, you'll know it. If he doesn't like you, you'll know it. There is no fake smile with Jeff. I say all this to try and convey how authentic he is. He is who he is and does not hide any of it. He embraces the way he is almost as much as he would a gallon of ice cream. Oh that's the other thing I love about him, his love for ice cream. He can go through two gallons of ice cream in one sitting.
How would you describe your home décor style? Giang: Modern and minimalist. I am an architect, and take the lead when it comes to furnishings and décor. Jeff happens to have very similar tastes, so it’s a good match. We both like glass, white, and clean lines.
Any big plans for the future? Where do you see yourselves in 10 years? Around 10 years from now we will probably sell our home in South Philly (which we just bought 11 months ago). With 10 years of homeownership experience (and with our student loans finally paid off!), we hope to work on our own projects. Jeff is happy in his career as the COO of a consulting company, and Giang has his own budding career as an architect. We hope to combine our expertise and turn it into a new career, or at least an expansive hobby. Just as long as we do it together!
What is your favorite memory together? Our favorite memory together was the day we rode bikes through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge, in September 2014. It was the most perfect day, weather-wise, and it was just the two of us, all day. We had lobster rolls for lunch, a delicious chocolate chip cookie in Sausalito, and Italian for dinner after taking the ferry back past Alcatraz. Close runner up would be Jeff’s 33rd birthday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
What is one thing still left on your bucket list? We both want to be self-employed. Achieving this will give us the freedom to fulfill all of the other bucket list items (Australia, Mykonos, finishing the Internet).
How old were you when you came out and what was your experience like? Jeff: I was 23, in between college and law school. I told my best friend first. Next, I told my mom, one day while driving to the store together. She had realized it years ago, and reacted by noting that patio furniture was on sale at Home Depot. I would be hard-pressed to think of a truly bad experience. My parents, siblings, friends and extended family did not care that I was gay. It should be this way for every person coming out. Giang: I came out when I was 24, after I was done with college and grad school. My coming out experience was one filled with lots of love and support. I came out first to my sister, then all my close friends, and then finally my parents. I struggled to speak when I came out to my sister, making her think that I was trying to tell her I had a terminal illness and was going to die. When I finally got the words out, she continued to cry but as a result of happiness and relief that it wasn't "bad news." All of my close friends were completely supportive, so I could not have asked for anything more. I told my mom before I told my dad. My mom cried for a few days, but my dad told me that I'm his son and that I needed to be me and do whatever made me happy. In hindsight, my only regret about coming out was not doing it sooner.
Have you faced any backlash or hardships as a couple? Jeff: We really haven’t. During our time together, we’ve lived in Philadelphia and NYC, so not exactly the Bible Belt. Giang: The only hardships we really face are self-inflicted, as a result of our differing personalities. Jeff's a homebody, while I like to be out and about. Jeff doesn't consume alcohol, while I enjoy spending time with friends having a drink or two. Jeff likes the beach, while I like the city. We make it work. Or perhaps, that's WHY our relationship works.
What is one piece of advice you would give to others on how to make a relationship last? Jeff: Avoid fights, as there is rarely a good reason to have one, and no one ever feels good about it afterward. Oh, and our super-duper secret to success: we do not judge what each other eats. Giang: I think the key is to always make sure our own identities shine. Once one person tries to change another person into something they're not or something they don't want to be, that's when the relationship fails. Also, buy him lots of ice cream. Also, agree that Giang is always right. Humor is extremely important. Make sure you make each othother laugh every day.