An openly gay military couple made waves on the Internet this week when they shared an adorable photo of their small, intimate wedding ceremony on The American Military Partner Association's Facebook page.
Spc. Shane Adriano and Pfc. Tristian Resz held their nuptials at the courthouse in Springfield, Missouri, on Feb. 11 and plan to move together to Waynesville, Missouri.
The photo gained traction immediately after being posted to the AMPA's Facebook page. "A huge number of people found this to be a historical day for them," Adriano told The Huffington Post. "After it all went viral, we both have received numerous amounts of messages of 'thank you' and stories told to us by prior service members about how they knew this day would come. They are proud, excited, and grateful that they are still alive to see this story."
The Huffington Post chatted with Adriano this week about the wide-reaching impact of their photo and what he hopes people take away from their story.
The Huffington Post: Why do you think this photo has received so much attention?
Shane Adriano: I think the reason that our photo has gotten lots of attention is because we are two men in the army, in our dress blues, kissing and getting married to each other. Other than the obvious, a huge number of people found this to be a historical day for them. After it all went viral, we both have received numerous amounts of messages of "thank you" and stories told to us by prior service members about how they knew this day would come. They are proud, excited, and grateful that they are still alive to see this story.
The other part of why it has gotten so much attention is because lots of people are against it. Lots of people feel that our small little ceremony in a courthouse doesn't need to make the news at all, which to me is fine. It is not what we expected at all. Others feel the need to express their opinions about it as well. And it's ok. Not everyone can like or accept the changes that have come. Not everyone will accept two homosexual soldiers kissing on their wedding day because they are in their dress blues. Not everyone will accept two men having an intimate moment at their wedding in a courthouse in Springfield, Missouri, and not the other town. Not everyone will accept just two guys being married period. But I accept it. It doesn't matter what some people say, think or do. I have my job, my husband, my family back home, my closest friends and our two new gold fish, Timone and Pumba to support us. That is all that matters in the end.
What has your journey been like getting to this moment?
Our journey to this moment was simple. We immediately had so much in common; our first date was going on a hike in northern Arkansas. We love sightseeing. We both love to volunteer here in the Fort Leonard Wood, Saint Robert, and Waynesville area. The trips that Tristian took going back and forth to Fort Leonard Wood from Springfield were the only hard part about the beginning of our relationship, but we made it work. Tristian moved jobs from Springfield to Lebanon just to be closer to me which made it a lot easier for us to see each other more.
The most special part of the two of us at this moment is that we can still make fun of each other and be mad and back to normal within two minutes and laugh about it. We are normal human beings.
We finally got ourselves a place together and we stayed for almost 24 hours trying to fill the empty spaces of our new home this first night. Our first breakfast and first morning is wonderful.
What do you want people to take away from your story?
Surround yourself with good people, work hard for the things you love the most. Ignore the things that don't matter and pay great attention to the things and people that do. I'm sure so many people out there are going through tougher times than we are and what the media is showing everyone; this short story of ours will only get better from here on out for the both of us and we hope that most of the people reading this will appreciate the people to their left and right, wherever they are and whomever they are. Everyone has their own story. Get to know them -- you might be surprised.
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