Rock Solid, Even in Turbulent Times

Dr. Huy Nguyen hadn’t yet settled his sense of sexual orientation when he and Vincent Quan met in 2013, at the birthday party of a mutual friend in New York. The soiree was at a gay bar, and for Dr. Nguyen, even walking through the door of such a place was a first. He was…

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Jason Rodriguez’s Vogue Family Values: Positivity, Trust, Love

Jason Rodriguez is worried. Not for himself — the dancer, actor and choreographer has been doing well during the pandemic. His concern is for those in the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community, specifically Black trans youth. “They may have found themselves back home and in a space where they can’t be themselves, where families limit their identity,” he…

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6 Steps to the Best Barbecued Ribs

Let Texans brag about brisket and Carolinians extol pulled pork shoulder. For the rest of us, the ultimate emblem of barbecue — and test of a grill master’s mettle — is ribs. Picture meaty slabs stung with spice, bronzed with smoke and slathered with sticky sweet barbecue sauce. The meat is tender, but not too…

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How a Waiter, With Over 30 Years at the Same Restaurant, Spends His Sundays

John Roney has been a waiter at J.G. Melon, the old-school burger joint on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, since 1986. He has worked through plenty of urban disasters, including Black Monday, Sept. 11 and Hurricane Sandy. But the coronavirus outbreak posed new challenges. “When the pandemic hit, everything was gone,” Mr. Roney said. “While the…

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A Four-Ring Ceremony (2 Wooden, 2 Golden)

Christian Willmes surprised Lily Clare McElwee on May 7 with two wooden rings he hand carved from a tree that had fallen near their house during a rainstorm earlier this year in Oxford, England. They were symbols for the date they started dating in 2017 at Oxford College and the date they were supposed to…

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My House Has Not Kept Up With the Pandemic

My house is not what it used to be. On any given morning, passing through the living room, I might spot a random Amazon package here, a pile of discarded face masks there. There’s a good chance that an open box of art supplies for my daughter’s Zoom summer camp is sitting in a corner…

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He’s 83, She’s 84, and They Model Other People’s Forgotten Laundry

TAICHUNG, Taiwan — At Wansho Laundry in central Taiwan, most dirty clothes dropped off to be steamed or washed or dry-cleaned end up right back in the hands of their rightful owners, cleaner than when they arrived. Abandoned garments, however, can end up on Instagram. The blouses and skirts and trousers adorn the bodies of…

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A Little Wager That Led to Love

Ashley Beard was in the second semester of her first year of law school at Howard University in Washington when she accepted a wager from Claudy Bince, who was a second-year law student there. “The bet was that I could not wake up consecutively every day for a week, at some ungodly hour, to go…

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Always an Open Table for Each Other

Zach Sawyer and Rachel Lindstrom both ended up in Austin, Texas, on a whim. In 2015, Mr. Sawyer, now 33, had gotten out of a serious relationship on the East Coast and had a friend in Austin who offered him a couch. Ms. Lindstrom, also 33, had opted out of grad school for health care…

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Love, Marriage, Sex. (Not Necessarily in That Order.)

After 32 years together, it was the advice of a lawyer that finally pushed Susie Bright and Jon Bailiff into matrimony. “It was Covid-19 — we were already devoted but needed to pull the wedding trigger to cover every weird possibility in today’s existential apocalypse,” said Ms. Bright, a well-known vanguard in the sex-positive feminist…

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