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Unselfish Love

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Keith Clark and Dexter Williams knew they could do more for the community as a team.

By Henry V. Thiel 

Dr. Keith Clark was crushing on Dexter Williams for nine months before Williams knew Clark existed. They first crossed paths at a men’s discussion group at the Montrose Center.

“To be perfectly honest, I was on a date,” Clark says, recalling that they sat directly behind Williams that evening.

Williams was active in the group discussion and extremely opinionated, which Clark liked. After the meeting, Williams went around the room shaking hands and hugging people. He even hugged Clark’s date, but never even looked at Clark.

The next day, Clark called his cousin and told him, “I have found my husband! I actually haven’t met him, but I saw him.” When Clark confessed that he didn’t know the man’s name, his cousin laughed hysterically. “How do you know he is the one?” Clark’s cousin said. “I just know,” Keith replied emphatically.

Clark thought of Williams from time to time over the next nine months. Then, one day, he saw a “People You May Know” suggestion on Facebook, with a photograph of Williams that literally froze his computer. After rebooting, Clark received a message from Williams, and they became Facebook friends. After three weeks of messages, they decided to meet at El Tiempo 1308 Cantina in Montrose.

“When I saw Keith walk into the restaurant, I was instantly attracted to him,” Clark says. “When he opened his mouth, I knew I had been given a gift. He talked to me as if we had known each other since birth.” Over dinner, they shared their life stories, including their experiences in college, their careers, and their religious beliefs. “When he spoke of his love for his family, especially his mother, he became even more attractive to me,” Clark says.

When Clark told Williams that he had seen him at the men’s group nine months prior, Williams thought to himself, “How could that be? I never miss a cute face.” But the more Williams thought about it, the more he realized he wasn’t in a good place at the time, and that everything happens when it is supposed to.

Engrossed in each other, they ditched other obligations that evening so they could continue to get acquainted. They would have stayed at El Tiempo until closing if it weren’t for a toddler who kept interrupting them.

When they hugged each other goodbye, Clark says Williams exhaled in a sigh of joy. Williams remembers how Clark’s lips gently brushed against his neck, and how hard it was to end the hug.

As Williams started his car, he decided he wasn’t ready for the date to end—so he called Clark and invited him to meet at Davenport’s Martini Lounge. When Clark walked through the front door, Williams knew he was in love.

Three years later, they spent Valentine’s Day on the beach in Galveston with their furry children, Ziah and Jake. On a warm and breezy Saturday, as they ate lunch and drank Clark’s favorite margaritas, they talked about merging households—but also found themselves planning their wedding, too. There was no fanfare, no kneeling with a ring to propose; it was just another beautiful day in their life together. Their marriage proposal was simply an acknowledgement of a conscious decision that they both wanted to be together for the rest of their lives.

“I knew this was the right decision when Keith told me that when we merged our households, we would be able to do more for our community as a team,”  Williams says. “I’ve always wanted a loving partner who loves people as much as I do. As a therapist for the Source of Healing Counseling Services, giving back to the community is second nature for Keith.”

As a philanthropic couple, they have created the annual B.Y.O.P. Community Picnic to raise money and awareness about community organizations and small businesses. They have also raised thousands of dollars for the Dr. Willie and Robbie Clarke Scholarship Fund, which supports students in the medical field. With their Day Parties, Clark and Williams have stepped into the club/entertainment scene, giving established and mature LGBTQ people a place to have a good time.

“It’s that unselfish love that makes me love Keith even more,” says Williams, who serves as the social media marketing manager for Bee Busy, Inc., a nonprofit that provides HIV/STD information, education, and testing to individuals and organizations.

Since Texas didn’t legally recognize same-sex marriages at the time, Clark and Williams decided to exchange vows in Washington DC. They were on their annual June vacation in Miami when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of nationwide marriage equality in 2015.

Clark and Williams decided to have a second Texas marriage ceremony in Houston at Chateau Polonez on February 26, 2017, with pastor Reginald McCracken officiating.

“We chose Chateau Polonez because it gave us the outside wedding with the inside reception we both desired,” Clark says. They fell in love with the Italian Renaissance-style castle, the flawless landscaping, and a gazebo draped in vines and bluebells sitting at the edge of a beautiful pond. Everything about their wedding had a story behind it, including their rings, tuxedos, African tunics, Rolls-Royce, vendors, musicians, décor, and officiant. “Even the weather was beautiful that day, Williams says. “Everything came together to make our wedding day a dream come true.”

Clark cried tears of joy throughout the ceremony, while Dexter wanted to run laps around the buildings screaming, “I’m getting married, y’all!”

“At the reception, we stood on the stage and looked out at our assembled family, and the love we felt was overwhelming,” Clark says.

“It’s the type of love that has no judgment, no fear, and no boundaries,” Williams adds. “It’s that all-inclusive love that we pride ourselves on as husbands. We believe that love is nothing if not shared by all.”

Dr. Keith Clark Williams and Dexter Williams capped off their Texas nuptials with a wonderful honeymoon in Puerto Rico, where they indulged in their love of waterfront beach hotels, and where every day was a different adventure of hiking, kayaking, and water sports.

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Henry Thiel

Henry V. Thiel is a principal with The Epicurean Publicist, a boutique public relations company which works exclusively with chefs and restauranteurs. He loves weddings.
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