After experiencing years of forbidden love, two former Iraqi soldiers found acceptance in the U.S.
Nayyef and Btoo met as enlisted Iraqi soldiers 12 years ago, and they instantly fell in love in the harsh and violent landscape of homophobic Iraq.
They both appeared on Ellen to share their incredible story of hardship, and ultimately, a happy reunion.
Because being gay in Iraq is not an option, Ellen asked the couple regarding each other's sexual identity, "How did you figure it out?" Btoo replied, "We call that gaydar."
The couple's relationship grew over frequent, clandestine dinners together. But eventually, one had to leave the other's side.
In addition to keeping their liason a secret, Nayyef's own life was in danger being an English translator. He was being tracked down by militias and was targeted as a "traitor." To avoid persecution and putting his own life at risk, Nayyef applied for asylum in the United States.
Btoo was not granted that right however, and as a result, the pair spent their lives apart for four years. But there was one thing that allowed them to remain close.
During their separation, the two didn't miss one day of Skyping each other. Typical sessions involved sharing dinner times together, just as they did when they first met.
Eventually, they were reunited at an aiport in Canada where Nayyef proposed.
On their marriage, Ellen asked, "What would happen if your families knew you were gay?" Nayyef replied, "It's not gonna be good. I just want to tell them how much I love him, especially my mom. I love her so much, but that's just me. That's how I came to the world, and my happiness is with him and I want to spend all my life with him."
The couple currently resides in Seattle where they help the LGBT youth from the Middle East get assimilated into the U.S.
Of the work they do, Nayyef said, "People helped us, and now it's our time to help them back."
Amidst the current turmoil of the immigration ban, Ellen once again, brought us another much-needed, heartwarming story.
Watch the clip of their interview on Ellen by clicking over to the next page.