ABC Journalist James Longman Engaged to Boyfriend Alex - a Glimpse Inside His Coming Out Story
James Longman has a wedding in his future following a lengthy coming out history. The ABC journalist proposed to his boyfriend at home, and the answer was a resounding yes.
On Friday, James Longman kneeled in a luscious green backyard garden and asked his boyfriend Alex to marry him. The latter didn't know it was coming.
The moment was secretly filmed by Alex's mother, who stood in the distance where the men couldn't see her. Longman came out to his own mom as gay at 24 years old.
LONGMAN ENGAGED TO BOYFRIEND ALEX
Now 34, he's finally sound someone to spend the rest of his life with. In the clip, a stunned Alex put his hand to his mouth and said yes at some point as he hugged his fiancé.
The pair's family came running over when it was all done, including Alex's nephew, who had almost crashed the proposal earlier. "There was quite a lot of crying," wrote Longman in the caption.
The ABC foreign news correspondent has had a long journey to reach where he is today. He documented it in an essay to "Good Morning America" last October.
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This is the general who heads Chechnya’s police force. He’s been sanctioned by the US for human rights abuses. His men are accused of rounding up gay men and women, torturing and imprisoning them. On a rather surreal evening in Grozny, he showed me around the town and his prisons. He seemed to enjoy himself. I then took the opportunity to give him something to think about: as we stood in a cell, I told him I was gay. I won’t lie, I was a bit worried what he’d do. (It’s fine we’re all still here). His reaction, and what happened next - all on @nightline soon...a story that’s taken us to Moscow, Grozny, St Petersburg, Belgium and France, meeting the victims and the alleged perpetrators of crimes against #LGBT men and women
A TOUGH BATTLE OF COMING OUT
In the touching piece, Longman described how much he cried when he told his first friend he thought he might be gay. "Coming out for me felt like admitting a crime," he said.
Over the eight years that followed, the reporter came out to more and more people. He recalled when he told a university girlfriend that he was gay, and she cried at no longer having him as an option to date.
They both laughed it off after. Longman notes that all interactions he had before officially coming out felt like a lie. He could not be true to himself by hiding that part of his identity from the world.
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One of those stories where you get to learn a lot very quickly about something of which you know very little (actually that goes for most of my work!)... climbing Everest has always been dangerous, but this year was more deadly than usual...are inexperienced climbers risking other people’s lives?
LONGMAN HELPS OTHERS COMBAT DEPRESSION
This dilemma factored into a period of depression in his early twenties. He wrote an email to his mom at 24, revealing that he was gay, and now uses his platform to encourage others like himself.
Longman's career was part of him regaining power by going to places where it might be controversial to be gay. However, there was a time Longman went beyond depression and considered taking his own life.
RETURNING FROM THE BRINK
After his father passed away from the act, the reporter stood on the verge of doing it himself. Longman's grandfather also died by suicide, so he thought his fate would be the same.
Since coming back from that incident, he's become an activist for people who may have suicidal thoughts and he's in a much better place. Congratulations to him and his fiancé.
HEATHER LOCKLEAR REPORTEDLY ENGAGED
Actress Heather Locklear is also recently engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Chris Heisser. The news was reported after Locklear showed off what appeared to be an engagement ring in late June.
The media took photos of Locklear out in Los Angeles, running errands. Soon after, a source through People confirmed the pair got engaged back in April.
The couple is high school sweethearts who broke up then reconnected a few years ago. The source claimed that their engagement followed a year of sobriety for the actress.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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