When Ken Felts came out at age 90, his story made headlines around the world.
It went like this: Felts was writing his memoirs in the isolation of the pandemic and reflected on an early love affair with a man named Phillip. The relationship did not last, and Felts married a woman. They would later divorce, and Felts stayed in the closet as he helped raise his daughter.
But the memories that emerged during the lockdowns of 2020 were too powerful to bottle back up. So Felts, who lives in Arvada, announced to his friends and family, and eventually the globe, that he is gay.
A man named Johnny Hau, who was himself in the closet, caught one of the many articles about Felts’ late-in-life revelation and decided to email him.
“I really found encouragement from his story and just said ‘Thank you for putting out that message.’ Because he really spoke to me,” Hau said.
Hau, who also lives in Colorado, did not expect a reply.
“Then I heard from him. And that’s when we decided to meet at a Japanese restaurant.”
They closed the place down, continued talking in the car, then returned to Felts’ place to talk some more.
“We talked at my house until almost dawn. Then he went home. But we made arrangements for him to come back, and he did,” Felts said.
The two men, now 34 and 93, fell in love. A May-December romance.
“I’ve always been attracted to older men. And that was another fear of mine,” Hau said. “How will society see me?”
“Numbers are stuff in your head. They don’t mean a lot. It’s our feelings that mean the most,” Felts added.
Those feelings led Hau to come out to his friends and family, as Felts had done before him. He was afraid.
“I grew up in Mexico and I was brought up Catholic,” Hau said.
But he found acceptance. And in Felts, he has found a husband. The couple married July 8 in the backyard of their Arvada home.
“He's tied to me now. He can't get away, so I'm gonna hang on to him,” Felts said while laughing.
Their cake was decorated with a rainbow and a figurine of two men embracing. A reception followed.
But of all the wedding rituals, a poem Felts wrote really stood out, Hau said.
JOHNNY, I LOVE YOU
Near the end of my days, and in the heat of my night
I found a great love whom I shall ever hold tight.
We explore our new world with breathless delight.
Together we glimpse a future so bright.
A memory from my past comes soft on a breeze,
Across shipless oceans and dark waveless seas.
But I lie with my love and my soul is at ease.
To my heart he now holds tightly the keys.
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