This gay Atlanta marriage goes down in history

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You may know them as one of the hot couples doing up gay Atlanta nightlife, or simply great guys who put their party energy into signature events. Now their backstory is on the airwaves of LGBT posterity.

When we think of John “Neon” Douglass (photo, left) – aka DJ Neon the Glowgobear – and his man Sean Lanoue (right), it’s most often in terms of hot ManShafts, cool Sunday Fundays or shiny GlitterBalls. Now the PBS ad NPR StoryCorps project lets us see the pair in a whole new light.

StoryCorps records dynamic duos interviewing each other as an ongoing oral history of American life – fathers and daughters, mentors and acolytes, spouses and other pairs across every walk of life. Their stories are caught in time on permanent record. Not since the LGBT recording event Out & OutLoud, or its preceding lesbian StoryCorps day that got these women on the record, have we checked in on StoryCorps Atlanta.

Since then, the local arm of the national project has taken up residence in the Atlanta History Center, where Lanoue and Douglass talk about how they met and how their decision to get married fits into the zeitgeist of LGBT rights in Georgia and beyond.

The marriage proposal itself, and its place in their lives and in the ongoing conversation about marriage equality, takes center stage in the men’s StoryCorps clip that aired Tuesday on WABE.

Sean Lanoue  and ''Neon'' John Douglass were attracted to each other from the start. There were obstacles and setbacks, but ultimately they decided to tie the knot.

“At this time, gay marriage is not sanctioned by the state of Georgia,” Lanoue says to Douglass. “So why did you want to do this, even though right now it doesn’t count?”

“Well I never really was a person who thought marriage was going to be in the cards for me,” Douglass replies. “But slowly but surely more and more states have come along that accept gay marriage, I felt that I turned 40, ‘What am I waiting for? Why can’t I have a sheet of paper and tell the world that I’m in love with you and say it every day?’ So that’s what started the hamster wheels turning, ‘How can I propose to you?’”

How he did it employing an Atlanta landmark is the kicker, and we'll leave that to the couple in their full StoryCorps interview.

StoryCorps is ongoing, and there's a wait list to record your contribution at the StoryBooth. In the meantime, you can listen online to hundreds of StoryCorps contributions, including LGBT-specific entries.


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