Meet Dominic and Nick, a newly-engaged couple living in Brooklyn who've been together since they were teenagers.
The Way We Met, an Instagram page that adorably documents how couples met their partners, recently shared Dominic and Nick's adorable love story and it currently has over 17,000 likes, for good reason. In the caption, Nick shares all the challenges he and Dominic faced to be together. Warning: you might want to grab a few tissues.
"Dominic and I met as teenagers," the story begins. "We went to different high schools but they were close in proximity, so we had a lot of mutual friends."
"High school was also the time period in which we both came out to our families, although at separate times and unknowingly of each other's personal journeys. After graduating high school, life took me and Dominic in different directions. He went on to attend UCF in Orlando while I went to college in Kentucky."
"We reconnected one summer when I was in Orlando helping a friend move into her dorm and asked Dominic to have dinner with me. That night we talked for 4 hours and shut down the restaurant. Shortly after, Dominic asked if we could make it official and so our long distance relationship began. But the distance wouldn't be ending anytime soon."
"After college, I moved to New York for work and Dominic moved to D.C. to go to law school at Georgetown University. Finally, after 7 years of the back and forth, we are finally living together in Brooklyn...and engaged!"
"Dominic and I feel lucky to have found love at such a young age. However, falling in love with another black man was scary in ways neither of us could have ever imagined. It forced us to face the very real resistance from society for being not only homosexuals but black men as well. We had to confront the stereotypes of being largely defined as uneducated, disloyal, untrustworthy, and unreliable individuals. But together we chose to rise above those prejudices and rewrite our own story- one of inspiration."
"We want others to see that our union is marked by achievement, love, friendship, respect, and unconditional support. We hope to encourage other black and brown men and boys everywhere to be true to who they are. And when they find love in each other's eyes, to know that their love is just as strong and beautiful as anyone else's."
Dominic and Nick received an outpouring of support for sharing their story, including a mother who was worried about her own son who had come out.
"She had come across a photo of Dominic and I together and wanted to know how she could best support her son," Nick told BuzzFeed News. "Even though she knew little about the LGBT community and feared how he would be treated."
The couple understands how hard it is to be at the crossroads of black and gay.
"It is easy to feel unwanted as a black man in America and the same can be said for being queer. When you exist at that kind of an intersection, it's easy to feel as if you'll never find someone to love you or even fully love yourself. Which makes the idea of two gay black men finding love in one another so powerful. To do so is to be completely confident in your blackness and queerness which grants you the freedom to fully express yourself. It's not easy, but it is liberating."
Nick and Dominic's wedding date is set for this July in Miami Beach, Florida.
Follow their Instagram account to keep up with the two!