A moving photo depicting a U.S. marine leaping into the arms of his boyfriend has become an internet sensation.
The picture was taken when Sgt. Brandon Morgan returned home to Hawaii from his deployment in Afghanistan. He jumped into the arms of his partner Dalan Wells and gave him a kiss on the lips.
The photo was posted on the Facebook page Gay Marines and has elicited hundreds of comments, both positive and negative, and tens of thousands of ‘likes’. The image has also been emailed around the world and posted on other social networks.
It has become an iconic representation of how the repeal of America’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ban on gay military personnel last September affects real people.
Morgan took to Facebook to comment on the reaction to the photograph.
“To everyone who has responded in a positive way: My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can’t believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn’t do this to get famous, or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt,” he wrote.
“As for the haters, let em hate…to quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in uniform…it was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn’t care…then why do you care what these random people have to say?
“In summation thank you for your love and support. I received a lot of friend requests off this. I don’t just accept requests so if your request was because of this post message me and let me know. Goodnight all, and Semper Fi,” concluded Morgan.