2023 Love List
Brent Mecikalski & Nick Ross, Appleton, 4 years
Rachel & Peg Zizmann, Madison, 8 years
D’Quionte (Que) Hughes & Quinton Marks, Milwaukee, 14 years
Dawn & Amanda Siebert – Evenstone, Madison, 16.5 years
T.J. Meehan & Larry Ortt, Boscobel, 47 years
Our love story began in Southwest Arkansas, where we are both from. We were in high school. The two of us came from completely different upbringings, yet we had a lot in common. We met online through a mutual friend and talked just about every day and night for months. Eventually, our friendship flourished into something beautiful and different.
During the summer of 2008, after Que’s highschool graduation, we finally met in person for our first date to see a play in the neighboring town. Funny enough, neither of us can even remember the name of the play! From that moment on, we’ve been almost inseparable. We grew up together, learning about ourselves and each other. We built a genuine friendship and took our time. We attended the same colleges and even studied the same subjects. Now, we share interests and hobbies like showing off our beautiful plant babies on Instagram (@BlackGuys_GreenThumbs).
Being from small towns in Arkansas and, at the time, living in the Bible Belt, it was difficult for us to live in our truth. As two young Black gay men, we both had our fair share of run ins with adversity and ignorance. A search for a breath of fresh air brought us to Wisconsin. Once we moved to Milwaukee in 2020, we realized we were missing out on a life where we could be freer, uninhibited, and love out loud.
Quinton is the organizer, the one who keeps the house from burning down when Que wants to try some absurd project or cook some strange new food. We are both lovers of art, traveling, fashion, music, and all forms of creativity. We hope to use our skills one day and find a way to give back to communities that represent where we come from. We want to be a beacon of light to young gay men and young men of color to show them not to fear adversity but to face it.
Our advice to anyone struggling to come out is to remember that it is at your own pace and your own narrative. The most important thing to remember is that you deserve to be happy by being YOU.
Needless to say, 15 years later, we are still having the time of our lives, together.