Tom Kirdahy and Terrence McNally: An Immediate, and Lasting, Need

Tom Kirdahy and Terrence McNally: An Immediate, and Lasting, Need


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Terrence McNally, left, and Tom Kirdahy, who have lived in the East Village of Manhattan for 20 years, sharing a moment at their house in Watermill, N.Y.

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Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

Because marriage is an ever-evolving experience, we constantly shift, change, love harder, love less and, in some cases, start over. In It’s No Secret, a new feature, The Times highlights couples who share thoughts about commitment and what they have learned about themselves and each other along the way.

Who Tom Kirdahy, 54, and Terrence McNally, 78.

Occupations Mr. Kirdahy is a theater producer and lawyer; Mr. McNally is a Tony Award-winning playwright.

Their Marriage 13 years, 11 months and counting.

Through the Years

When Tom Kirdahy met Terrence McNally in June 2001 at Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y., something ignited in both men. “When I first saw him, I thought he was completely adorable,” said Mr. Kirdahy, who was producing a panel discussion, “Theater From a Gay Perspective,” organized by the East End Gay Organization. “It sounds cliché, but his eyes just smiled. I can’t say it was love at first sight, but I knew I wanted to get to know him more.”

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The couple shown in 2003 during the weekend of their civil union ceremony in Vermont. Mr. McNally recalled the moment they first met: “I was immediately struck by him. It was mystical, emotional and spiritual.”

Mr. McNally spoke similarly. “I was immediately struck by him,” he said. “It was mystical, emotional and spiritual. I thought, ‘This guy is really special, I like him.’”

During the panel, which included Edward Albee and Lanford Wilson, the two shared a laugh. Then an intentional look. “Towards the end of the evening a dear friend told me, ‘You’re going to end up with him,’ ” Mr. Kirdahy said. She was right. The pair have been together since.

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