Jared & Nate
Featured in Hillary Clinton's 2016 viral presidential campaign commercials, we never imagined that our simple act of affection - holding hands - would resonate with so many people. But we're proud to share our love for each other and have a small part in making the world a more open, equal place.
Our story began in November 2008. We first heard about each other when Nate's roommate - who was also a good friend of Jared's - said that we'd probably find each other "pretty cute."
Turns out that prediction was spot on. Just a few days after finishing his stint as a field organizer for President Obama in New Hampshire, Jared returned to Boston and met Nate. We've been together ever since.
In March 2010, while driving to dinner in Boston, we nearly hit a dog that ran in front of our car. We both love animals, so pulling over was an easy choice, but we didn't expect that the dog we later named "Cooper" would walk right up to us and into our car! After we took Cooper to the shelter to make sure he wasn't lost, we brought him home and never looked back.
A little more than two years later, after Jared worked on President Obama's reelection campaign, he suggested that he and Nate spent New Years' Eve in New York City, where Jared was born and raised. Little did Nate know that later that evening, Jared would propose to Nate at the historic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement began in 1969. Nate's response: "You know the answer!" (which turned out to be a yes).
While we were very excited to get married, the next few years proved somewhat challenging. Jared's dad experienced a rapidly worsening struggle with dementia, which inspired us to move to New York City in 2013 and live closer to him. Meanwhile, Nate was working for a new healthcare consulting company, and Jared was developing a new non-profit organization, Civic Legal Corps.
We soon decided to move to Chicago, a city that we'd always loved from afar. Fortunately, the move allowed Jared to launch his non-profit, while Nate continued to conduct quality of life healthcare research.
In March 2015, we began planning for a summer wedding. A few weeks later, one of our mutual friends mentioned a video about people undergoing "big life changes." While we knew the video would be in support of Hillary Clinton, we didn't know that it would be for her presidential launch announcement - and we certainly had no idea that it would make history.
We hope that our experience inspires others to make a difference in their own communities, even if it's doing something ordinary like holding hands.
We urgently need more love, joy, and equality in this world, and we're proud to have a small role in making that happen.
"Historic representation of LGBT people and families in Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign launch.
Congrats Jared Milrad and Nathan Johnson!"
- Chad Griffin
President, Human Rights Campaign
Print and Radio (U.S.)
Print and Radio (International)
*Our story was translated into more than five languages and published throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and South America.
Jared & Nate: A Love Story
A short film about our story, shot and edited in Chicago in 2015.