The Tale of Steven and Stephen
Steven Nicholas Romo and Stephen Robert Morgan have a lot in common. They have the same first names. They’re both reporters. They were both raised in religious homes that eschewed homosexuality. And they both had the same fear: that being gay would mean there could be no happily ever after for them.
One of those similarities was the very reason they met. The competing television stations for which they worked in Houston had sent them each to cover a primary watch party on March 6, 2018 for Kathaleen Wall, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Texas’s 2nd congressional district. They exchanged pleasantries.
“We were mostly focused on the assignment,” said Mr. Romo, 38. “But we did follow each other on Instagram later.” For a while, the two liked one another’s photos and left innocuous comments.
“I was in a relationship,” said Mr. Morgan, 33. “And I wasn’t publicly out. Two years went by where nothing happened between us.” Mr. Romo was also in a relationship, and in the closet publicly. “We were out to our families, coworkers and friends, but hadn’t made any overt coming out public statements,” Mr. Romo said.
But then those relationships ended. Mr. Romo said he “noticed Stephen’s DMs seemed to become a lot more flirtatious.” Mr. Morgan characterizes them as “direct and intentional,” adding that “Steven was a closed book. I wanted to open that book at least a bit.”
It wasn’t long before, Mr. Romo said, “Stephen would no longer take double-tapping for an answer,” referring to his liking of Mr. Morgan’s photos on Instagram. So, Mr. Romo asked Mr. Morgan to join him for coffee on Nov. 1, 2020.
They talked for longer than either expected about their similar religious upbringings and Mr. Romo’s childhood in Dallas, marked by squalor, poverty and neglect. “I have a hard time opening up to people and being myself. But for some reason I was telling my life story to Stephen,” Mr. Romo said.
The conversation left Mr. Romo knowing that “there was something special there.” He called his sister to tell her just that. Little did he know that Mr. Morgan had done the exact same thing with his sister.
Their second date was a week later at a Chili’s, a restaurant they chose for nostalgic reasons. Each used to go there after youth group meetings with fellow members. “We went as kind of a joke,” Mr. Romo said. They had their first kiss after that date. “He was hopping out of the car, and I said, ‘Can I get a kiss?’” Mr. Morgan said.
They got together again the following weekend, and, Mr. Romo said, “We’ve been together since that third date.”
Mr. Romo is now a correspondent for NBC News in New York City. He attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, but left the school when his mother died.
A St. Louis native, Mr. Morgan, is a meteorologist at Fox Weather, also based in New York City. He has a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Saint Louis University.
A few weeks after they began dating, Mr. Morgan received a few out-of-state job offers, and Mr. Romo was offered a promotion. But, “we both agreed we’d waited long enough to find each other and long distance was not for us,” Mr. Romo said.
In June 2021, after Mr. Morgan accepted the Fox Weather job, Mr. Romo quit his job, and the two traveled to Manhattan to find an apartment. It was Mr. Romo’s first visit to New York City.
While out walking, they stopped on Sixth Avenue near Mr. Morgan’s future workplace. Mr. Romo handed Mr. Morgan some writing he had done about his life’s journey. The piece ended with his intention to propose.
As Mr. Morgan read the draft, Mr. Romo pulled out two rings and asked Mr. Morgan to marry him. After becoming engaged, they came out publicly. “It surprised us when our somewhat blurry selfie after the proposal got a lot of attention,” Mr. Romo said.
The couple were wed Oct. 8 at the Filter Building on White Rock Lake in Dallas before 125 guests. Brandon Adair, a childhood friend of Mr. Morgan’s who was ordained by American Marriage Ministries, officiated the outdoor ceremony.
The couple played a round of Rock Paper Scissors to decide who would be first to recite the vows they each had written. Mr. Romo won.
Mr. Morgan said of the wedding, “All of us have been on this journey, and my family really turned the corner. My dad, Robert Morgan, prayed over us. He said, ‘I pray that you bless this celebration tonight and that this time of happiness will continue.’”
“I never thought I’d use this expression,” Mr. Romo said. “But it felt like a fairy tale.”