Two soldiers who met during the war in Iraq shared their love story on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today.
Nayyef and Btoo, who are now married and living in Seattle, met in 2004.
Although it was too risky to ask each other if they were gay, Btoo says ‘gaydar’ answered the question for them.
‘He saw me and started inviting me for dinner and food, we started to talk and my heart started beating for him,’ Nayyef said.
But absolutely no one could know.
‘It’s too difficult to be gay in Iraq,’ Nayyef said.
‘They find out about you and you either get tortured or get killed. So after our relationship is going bigger and bigger, we felt like we could not stay (there). And at the same time I was in danger because of my job working as a translator and that’s when I applied for asylum to go live in the United States.’
Nayyef was granted asylum but Btoo was initially not.
This resulted in the couple going four years without seeing each other.
‘This time (was) a really, really bad time,’ says Btoo. ‘He is my life.’
But they spoke every single day even eating meals together while on Skype.
When they were finally reunited, Nayyef quickly proposed and Btoo quickly accepted.
‘Believe me, after that, love wins,’ Btoo says.
DeGeneres asked what would happen if their families knew they are gay.
‘It’s not going to be good,’ Nayyef said.
‘I just want to tell them how much I love them. Especially my mom. I love her so much. But that’s me, that’s how I came to the world. But my happiness is with him, and I want to spend my whole life with him. I want to spend all my life with him.’
To help them start that life, DeGeneres presented the couple with a check for $25,000.