Monty and Steve: A couple who participated in the WE DO Campaign in Wilson, NC, at 9 a.m. on May 9, 2012.
Monty and Steve were introduced by a mutual friend around fifteen years ago shortly after Steve moved to Greenville, NC from Indiana. Steve immediately knew Monty was the one for him after hearing him sing one night very soon after they started dating. After a year of dating, they decided to purchase a home together in Greenville and start a life together. And on May 23rd 1998 they had a commitment ceremony surrounded by family and close friends. Five years later, Steve got a job at Barton College in Wilson, NC and they decided to move from Greenville to Wilson. Steve and Monty found and purchased a 1917 two story Colonial Revival Bungalow in Wilson’s historic district and the renovations began! One year later they were finally able to move in their new home.
During the renovation, they met Susan Myers, Sheila Milne and Cameron Myers Milne who was only two at the time. They quickly became friends, but more like family. Shortly after, Steve and Monty started talking about having a child of their own. They found it incredible to not only have such good friends in the Myers-Milne family, but also parenting role models and mentors! Two years later Steve and Monty adopted their son from Vietnam.
While it was an exciting time, it was also incredibly sad as Monty was encouraged not to go to Vietnam at the last minute to not cause any concerns about them being gay. So Steve traveled to Vietnam along with a good friend to bring home their 8 month old son, Sonny Garrish Myszak. It was a tough decision but ultimately the overall desire to have a family was the driving force for Monty to remain in North Carolina.
Since Sonny has been in Steve’s and Monty’s life they have become a stronger couple and a devoted family. They have become involved in their church as well as the Wilson community. It is due to this strength and involvements that Monty and Steve began to see the injustice in our state and in our nation regarding LGBT rights. With second-parent adoption not being allowed in North Carolina, Monty began looking for other opportunities to be a legal parent. During an internet search he found the Campaign for Southern Equality. Monty sent an e-mail and the rest is history!
After meeting with Lindsey and Jasmine, becoming involved in WE DO was easy and felt like the right thing to do for our family. Both Steve and Monty feel like it is one of the most powerful activities they have ever done as a family. They hope that by sharing their story it will help to change someone’s mind about equal rights or inspire another LGBT person.
– Monty and Steve