Active Duty Gay Couple New Paths

Active Duty Gay Couple Tie the Knot

They've protected and served all of us, and now they can finally celebrate their love.

Captains Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, met during the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ era—a time when it was forbidden for non-straight folks to disclose their sexual orientation. Congress repealed the policy in 2011 and these Apache helicopter pilots became the first active duty, same-sex couple to get married when they exchanged vows in January.

The captains, who were college sweethearts, kept their relationship under wraps for years, even briefly splitting up when Hall was deployed to South Korea. When they finally made their love public, not everyone greeted them with respect. Franchino admitted to the New York Times that it was definitely a bumpy road.

“My brother’s a cop, he’s a tough guy, and so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy for him and his wife to handle this news,” Franchino told the New York Times. “But whatever initial shock they had, they got over it quickly and immediately embraced Dan.”

 

Hall and Franchino getting engaged
Hall and Franchino getting engaged. Photo: Daily Mail

 

The two wore their uniforms at their wedding and used their officer saber to cut their cake. Their first dance was to ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Edith Piaf, and we have a feeling a few cried, just a little.

While close friends and relatives call them two peas in a pod, “We’ve just grown accustomed to being apart at times,” Franchino told The Times. “It’s a part of who we are, a part of what we do, so we simply accept it.”

America comes in all stripes and colors, and that means the army, too. Their story is a friendly reminder of what we can overcome. More of this, please.

 

Hall and Franchino dance at their wedding reception. Photo borrowed from @dan.vinny Instagram
LGBTQ characters in book New Paths

The Maiden Voyage, an LGBTQ Children’s Book

In a land far, far away, women fell in love with other women and it was perfectly alright.

The second children’s book in an inclusive series about LGBTQ adventurers debuts in June 2018, after their November Kickstarter campaign raised $4,000 more than their $40,000 goal. Readers have been waiting for this story for a very long time.

The Maiden Voyage is a fairytale following a fisherman’s daughter, Ru, who is given a treasure map by her father and joins a crew of sailors, captained by the charismatic Freya. Throughout their adventures and escapades together, the two fall in love.

“It’s important for young people to feel included, that they have a place in the world and something they can relate to in Maiden Voyage” co-author Jaimee Poipoi told NBC News. “If they can identify themselves within a story, that empowers them to be who they are.”

The book comes on the heels of Promised Land – an illustrated love story between a prince and a farmer – created by Maiden Voyage’s other co-authors Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris. The book was also funded through a Kickstarter campaign. A Kindle edition of this story can be found on Amazon.

 

promised land LGBT Childrens book

 

A 2011 Florida State University study found that children’s books are severely lacking female characters, let alone LGBTQ characters. Male characters, unsurprisingly, dominated.

The Maiden Voyage is trying to turn these statistics on their heads, highlighting brave and badass LGBTQ and POC characters in their books.

“Girls need to grow up knowing they can be a powerful queen, a brave sea captain, or anything else they set their minds to,” Harris told Upworthy.

For these three authors, giving children representation in the media will offer them the confidence to explore who they truly want to become when they grow up.

“We invite you to step aboard and join us on this journey to bring a little more kindness and love into the world,” their Kickstarter reads. “Because love is love, and everyone deserves to live happily ever after.”

 

LGBT Children's book authors
Maiden Voyage authors Adam Reynolds, Chaz Harris, and Jaimee Poipoi. Photo: Maiden Voyage Kickstarter.

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