THE MARRYING KIND

Gay Military Couple Surprised By Attention Their Engagement Received

kyle proposes to lanceWe’re living in an amazing new age, everyone. Remember back in the day, when iconic military couplehood photos were of heterosexuals celebrating peace in Times Square? (And even that picture turned out to be an assault.)

These days, it’s all about queers getting hitched. The latest gay military couple to go viral in a good way is Kyle and Lance, who got engaged earlier this month in Washington DC.

It was of course a very sweet proposal: Lt. Kyle Bandermann, a newly-graduated clinical psychologist, popped the question to photographer Lance Buchanan in front of family and friends at a fountain at sunset.

The American Military Partner Association shared a photo of the big moment, and then it got seen more than a million times and shared more than two thousand times. Remember, this is an image that would have spelled the end of Kyle’s career just a few years ago.

In a new interview, Lance and Kyle are a little shy about the attention. “To us, this was just one magical moment in our life together that I asked to be captured by friends, so we could remember it forever. What started as a friend’s ‘congratulations’ by posting it on his organization’s page quickly became more attention-gathering than we ever imagined,” Kyle told a Nashville blogger.

And they really are just the nicest guys. They’re active in the Metropolitan Community Church, and fret that religious attitudes in larger religious groups are harming LGBTs. They care deeply about trans liberation — don’t forget, trans people still can’t serve openly in the military. And Kyle, ever the professional, has concerns that people responding negatively to the image might do harm to folks with vulnerable psyches.

But, he says, “We as a culture are progressing and the negativity is becoming more of a fringe attitude. I am certain that the response would have been mostly negative even five years ago.” Now that’s progress.