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A Gay Running Club, A Gym Locker Room, And 16 Other Ways Queer Celebrities Met And Fell In Love With Their Partners

My lil' gay heart is melting, y'all. 🌈 💖

1. Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallem first met when Linda was the showrunner of That '80s Show. She wanted Melissa to play a record store owner on the show, so the two met to discuss the role. While that didn't quite work out, they did become good friends.

Melissa and Linda smiling on a red carpet

After Melissa and her first wife divorced, she invited Linda to live with her and her kids, just as friends. She told Variety, “We were in separate rooms, but every morning, we would get up and feed the kids and make them lunches and breakfast and take them to school."

Melissa and Linda smiling at each other

She went on to explain that the whole thing turned into a bit of a Parent Trap situation, in which Melissa's kids really wanted them to date. Eventually they did, and they eventually got married in 2014.

Melissa and Linda smiling and holding hands

2. George Takei met his husband, Brad Altman, in the '80s at a gay running club, where he asked Brad to help him train for a marathon.

George and  Brad posing and holding hands

On Oprah: Where Are They Now? George explained, "He was the best runner in the club, and also great-looking. So I went up to him, and I asked him to train me for my first marathon." Thankfully he said yes, and the pair have been married since 2008.

3. Lily Tomlin originally reached out to Jane Wagner for help with her character Edith Ann in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, but the meet-cute turned into a case of love at first sight.

Lily holding an award and Jane smiling

Lily told Variety, “A friend brought her to my hotel room, and I tell you, in two minutes, I fell in love with her. She had on hot pants, stretchy boots that went up to her knee, and a little backpack. I don’t know what it was, but I was in love.” Though Lily had to leave the next day for a show in Chicago, she flew back as soon as she could to reunite with Jane, saying, “I called Jane immediately, and I said, ‘Look, I don’t have much time, but I have to see you.’ She agreed to see me, and we had our first date.”

Lily and Jane laughing in an image from 1986

The two have been together and collaborated on numerous projects since the '70s, like Lily's one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and The Incredible Shrinking Woman. They officially tied the knot in 2013.

Jane and Lily smiling on a red carpet

4. Neil Patrick Harris first met David Burtka on a street corner in New York. Neil assumed David was his friend Kate's boyfriend and congratulated her, saying, “Nicely done.” It turns out the two weren't together, but David was in a long-distance relationship with another man.

Neil and David were "always around" each other, but they didn't actually sit down and hang out for the first time until Kate threw an American Idol viewing party and invited them both. Neil explained, "I just stammered around him. I couldn’t take my eyes off him." David told Out, "I ended up breaking with my boyfriend, and a week later, Neil and I had a date. ... We started hanging out every single night, and after three months, it was just nonstop."

Years later, David proposed to Neil on the very street corner they met on. The two have been married since 2014 and have two kids together.

5. JoJo Siwa met her girlfriend, Kylie Prew, on a cruise ship. They started off as friends, but things became romantic toward the end of 2020.

JoJo and Kylie smiling on a red carpet, JoJo holding her face

JoJo told People, "I told her my whole spiel that I tell everyone when they ask me my life story," Siwa remembers. "She goes, 'I could have Googled that. I want to know your life story. You just told me about your career. I want to know about you.' And I was like, 'No one's ever asked me that before.'" Though they separated for a while, the couple is back together and going strong.

6. Jesse Tyler Ferguson likes to tell people he met his now-husband Justin Mikita through mutual friends, but the pair actually met in the locker room of an Equinox gym in West Hollywood.

According to Jesse, Justin recognized him from the Modern Family pilot, so Justin stopped him to ask about his character. Jesse told Variety, “I was taken by how handsome he was and how sweet... I started asking questions about him, and I think he was sort of thrown off by that and ran away from me.”

Jesse in the modern family pilot, what Justin recognized him from

Fear not, the two did make their way back to each other after that! They kept in touch and Justin eventually asked Jesse out, but he was in a relationship at the time. Luckily, they ran into each other again when Jesse was single, and the rest is history. Jesse and Justin have been married since 2013 and have one kid together.

7. Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli both worked on the set of Orange Is the New Black, where Samira was an actor and Lauren was a writer. They met to discuss Samira's character in an episode that Lauren was writing and felt an instant connection.

Samira kissing Lauren's cheek

Lauren was married at the time, so nothing romantic happened between the pair at first, and they became close friends. Lauren says Samira was crucial to helping her understand her sexuality during a very hard time in her life. She explained, "Samira became the person I felt safe talking to...I was so confused, and it was such a scary time that I think our romance came out of me leaning on her when it felt like my life was falling apart."

Two years later, they made it official as a couple but continued to take their time. The pair decided that Lauren would propose to Samira when she was ready, and that day finally came in 2016. The couple has been happily married since 2017 and have one kid together.

8. Billy Porter first saw his future husband, Adam Davis, while walking to a restaurant with his friends and was immediately into him. Luckily, he learned that the handsome stranger would also be attending the dinner. Billy sat next to him, and they instantly hit it off.

The couple dated for a year before they broke up in 2010, but they stayed very good friends the whole time. They got back together in 2015 after watching Hamilton at the Public Theater. Billy explained the night to People magazine, saying, "I felt it and the tears came, and I pulled over and he said, ‘I love you, and I’ve always loved you, and if there’s any chance, I would like another shot — I would like us to have another shot at this.' He was the one that got away — so it wasn’t hard. The yes came easy and immediately!” They got married in 2017.

Billy and Adam cuddling on a red in red carpet attire

9. Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor have a mutual friend, a Twitter PSA, and Holland sliding into Sarah's DMs to thank for their love story.

Sarah and Holland smiling on a red carpet

On Watch What Happens Live, Sarah explained that they first met "a very, very long time ago" when they were both with other people. However, thanks to a social media event at Martha Plimpton's house, the two were reunited.

Sarah and Holland smiling at each other on a red carpet

They were both there, working on separate PSAs for the organization Martha was working with and "breezed past each other" at the event. They started following each other on Twitter because of it, and, of course, Holland eventually slid into Sarah's DMs. The pair has been together since 2015.

10. Elton John wanted to meet new friends when he returned to his Windsor house in 1993. So naturally, he asked one of his friends in London if they could get a group of people together for dinner at his place that weekend. Little did he know that his future husband, David Furnish, was in attendance.

Elton John and David Furnish attend the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, holding an Oscar

Elton told Parade, “I was attracted to David immediately. He was very well dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner. After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly.”

Elton and David smiling in a picture from 1996

The couple was legally married in 2014 and currently have two sons together. Elton shared how they've kept their love alive all these years, saying, "Every Saturday for 16 years, we’ve sent each other a card, no matter where we are in the world, to say how much we love each other.”

Elton and David smiling with their two kids

11. Wanda Sykes first laid eyes on her wife, Alex Niedbalski, while boarding a ferry to Fire Island, and thought to herself, Wow, that’s what you need, Wanda. She told a friend the next day, who promptly informed her that she needed to start using cheesy pickup lines to ~pick up the ladies~ instead of telling boring stories about things like remodeling her kitchen.

It turns out that friend was very wrong, because when Wanda told the next person she met about her kitchen remodeling plans, they introduced her to Alex — who, coincidentally, sold granite countertops. The pair have been married since 2008 and have two kids together.

12. Chrishell Stause and G Flip started talking at a Halloween party after G Flip made the big move from Australia to LA. They both were dating other people at the time, but the pair quicky realized they had quite a lot in common.

G Flip and Chrishell posing on a couch

G Flip later personally invited Chrishell to star in their "Get Me Outta Here" music video, and the two totally hit it off on set. You can watch the music video for yourself here:

View this video on YouTube

G Flip / DNI Productions / Via

Chrishell confirmed their relationship in the Selling Sunset Season 5 reunion, and they've been happily together ever since.

13. Cynthia Nixon met her now-wife Christine Marinoni at a campaign event for the Alliance for Quality Education, where they were both fighting to decrease class sizes in the New York City public school system. Cynthia was there as the mother of two kids in the school system, and Christine had helped found the nonprofit organization.

Cynthia hugging Christine

In an interview with Attitude, Cynthia — who had previously only dated men — explained, "Falling in love with my wife was one of the great delights and surprises of my life, but it didn’t seem like I became a whole new person, or like some door had been unlocked. It was like, ‘I have fallen in love with different people in my life, and they’ve all been men before. Now this is a woman, and she is amazing.’”

Cynthia and Christine smiling at a pride parade

They started dating in 2004 and have been married since 2012. They have one son together as well as two kids from Cynthia's previous marriage.

Christine and Cynthia smiling at each other

14. RuPaul met his now-husband — a Wyoming-based rancher named Georges LeBar — on the dance floor of the Limelight nightclub on Georges' birthday in 1994.

RuPaul and Georges posing on a red carpet

RuPaul spoke highly of Georges in an interview with BuzzFeed News, saying, "He's so kind and funny. I remember praying, 'I want a sweet, sensitive man,' and I got an Australian who's just lovely." The couple got married in 2017 on the anniversary of the day they met.

Georges smiling at RuPaul on a red carpet

15. Robin Roberts and Amber Laign were set up on a blind dinner date by friends in 2005 and hit it off.

In her memoir, Everybody's Got Something, Robin revealed that Amber had no idea who she was, saying, “She rarely followed sports, so she never saw me on ESPN. Her office mates at the time watched a different morning show…ouch!" Robin came out in 2013, and thus the couple went public with their relationship.

16. Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef got together all thanks to Ricky seeing him on Instagram and sliding into his DMs.

Ricky and Jwan posing on a red carpet

On Radio Andy, Ricky explained, “I’m scrolling and I see this beautiful piece of art, and I’m like, ‘Whoa, how cool! Who’s this?’ Then I start checking, and all of a sudden I’m like, ‘Ooh, ooh." So, Ricky reached out. "We were talking for like six months without me hearing his voice. We talked about art — nothing sexy." Jwan lived in London at the time, so Ricky went to London to meet him. They've been married since 2017 and have four kids.

Ricky and Jwan smiling at each other on a red carpet

17. Fortune Feimster and Jacquelyn Smith met at a Pride parade in Chicago the day after the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling in 2015.

The pair got engaged in January of 2018 and had a small, intimate wedding in 2020.

18. Lance Bass and Michael Turchin had a classic friends-to-lovers start to their relationship. The duo first met at a friend's birthday party in Palm Springs and soon became really good friends. They both really liked each other, but were pretty convinced the other didn't feel the same way.

Michael told People magazine, "I am so shy and never would have made the first move. I was thinking, 'This is Lance Bass. I grew up watching him on TV and listening to his music.' That just added a whole other layer of intimidation." Michael was really good at hiding it, because Lance was totally convinced the feelings were not mutual at all. So, Lance "focused on becoming such good friends that [he] wouldn’t be able to look at [Michael] in any other way."

Thankfully, things changed about a month later when they had their first kiss. The couple got married in 2014 and have two kids together.

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