After growing up in Brisbane Australia and spending a few years in Japan, Mark came to the US to work at Caltech, and sang there in an a cappella group Ecphonema with two cool gay guys (Dule, above left) and Paul, who prompted him to come out.
Meanwhile, Chuck was born in Port Hueneme, and grew up in Anaheim and Tucson, but then after coming out in college, high-tailed it back to the Los Angeles area, where he's been most of the time since.
One fateful Halloween, in 1999, Chuck and some of his church buddies from Pasadena First Congregational were planning a drag extravaganza for the street fair on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. Chuck's friend Wesly invited his boyfriend Chuck (no relation), who invited his buddy Dule, who invited Mark. Chuck was dressed as a nurse, Mark as a wizard. (Dule was not dressed as Dame Edna Everage, but might as well have been.)
Chuck and Mark hit it off, and when Mark heard that Chuck had been asking for his phone number, got in touch, on what turned out to be the day before Chuck's 40th birthday. Rather than create an awkward situation, Chuck suggested a first date the day after that, 11/14, which has been their anniversary for 15 years now. Until this year.