In honor of Valentine's Day, Facebook used its official LGBTQ resource page to gather and share the stories of couples who came together using Facebook.
Here are few of the couples Facebook chose to spotlight:
Meet Bria and Chrissy. They are a singing/performing duo trying to combat bullying through their inspirational original music (find them on Facebook and Youtube). They began by winning an international anti-bullying competition with a song they uploaded on YouTube called "15 Years." Their content began to go viral, and Bria says, “Facebook has been the best source to get our message out." Both women are drive to use social media to combat bullying because of their own personal experiences of being bullied. Their efforts receive overwhelming positive responses, often in the form of Facebook messages. Bria and Chrissy plan to sell their music on iTunes and donate half of it to Freedom to Marry, a coalition committed to marriage equality.
Meet Keith and Gabriel. They connected in June 2011 when Keith commented on Gabriel's post in a group. Further communication via Facebook brought them closer, and by the end of that month, Keith flew from Virginia to Florida to be meet Gabriel in person. Two weeks later, Keith helped Gabriel and his two children move north to Virginia and they were legally married in Washington, D.C. in October 2011. "Since day one -- after making the connection and deciding to become a couple -- we have received great support from our Facebook friends," Keith says, adding that the photos they've shared documenting their new life together have "received a multitude of 'likes.'"
Meet Shannon and Ally. They met at work in 2011 and Shannon was immediately smitten. "I was dying for her attention but she would walk past me and act like I never existed," Shannon recalls. "I was ecstatic when she accepted my friend request." The next day, Ally texted Shannon and they talked for four hours and made weekend plans.That was November 2011, and they've been a couple ever since. They hope to get married someday and Shannon has been using Facebook to promote LGBT greeting cards, a small company she started to help fund their dream wedding. She says, "If it wasn't for the wonderful world of Facebook, I would've probably never had the guts to approach her. I'm so thankful to have my dream girl."
Meet Kate and Max. Kate had only come out to close friends and family before meeting her partner Max. When they started dating, Kate was nervous about sharing the news more broadly for fear of losing support from friends or damaging business relationships. Kate and Max got engaged just a few weeks ago and they turned to Facebook to share their big news. Kate and Max are now making a new home together with their family of cats and dogs, with the recent addition Oreo, a 6 month old Boston Terrier. They plan to marry in 2014 and are saving up money to travel to London, Hong Kong and Ghana!
Meet Nathaniel. He lived in Côte d’Ivoire during a time of great turmoil and was evacuated from the country in a matter of hours. Unfortunately, he didn't have time to exchange contact information with friends he was leaving behind. That was more than a decade ago and over the past few years, Internet access has improved throughout Africa and Nathaniel has been able to reconnect with many of his friends on Facebook. Nathaniel recently decided to come out as a gay man on Facebook and was anxious to see how his friends in Africa, most of whom are very religious, would react. One man and his wife, who are now living in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sent him a very nice Facebook message.
Meet Andrea and Carissa. Early in their relationship, Andrea and Carissa had a long distance relationship and would often leave cute little notes on each other's Facebook walls. When they made their relationship "official" on Facebook, they weren't sure how people would respond. "I was overwhelmed with joy when I received an enormous amount of support and love from all those familiar faces that I hadn't seen in so many years," Andrea says.When they got engaged in 2009, they told their parents, siblings, and close friends first and then announced their news on Facebook. They were inundated with messages of love, support and happiness. Andrea and Carissa were married in 2011 and once again turned to Facebook to share photos from their ceremony.
Meet Keith and Gabriel. The two men connected in June 2011 when Gabriel posted in a Facebook Group and Keith commented on his post. A few hours later, Gabriel also commented on the post and they began communicating directly via Facebook. Over the course of a month, they learned about each other's families, friends, likes and dislikes. Keith also let Gabriel know that he was a single parent of two children from a previous marriage and Gabriel was very comfortable and accepting of that. By the end of that month, Keith, who lives in Virginia, flew to Florida to meet Gabriel in person for the first time. Sparks flew and two weeks after that encounter, Keith returned to the Sunshine State to help Gabriel pack up and move north. The couple was legally married in Washington, D.C., in October 2011 and celebrated their one year anniversary with a renewal of vows in front of their family and friends.