Sam Stanley, the former rugby sevens player who came out publicly in 2015, recently got engaged to his partner of seven years, Laurence Hicks. He posted across social media last weekend:

“After being a part of each others lives for almost 7 years, Laurence has been my pretend godfather, uncle, cousin and many others in order to make sure no one found out about us and that we were a couple 🙈 funny looking back after having come so far together. The most loving man I know and I'm incredibly happy to say that we're now engaged 😁”

What a great next chapter for this athlete who was so scared of being discovered for so long. Yet think about that: They loved each other so much, they put themselves through a bit of hell just to be together. Certainly seems like true love to me!

That hasn’t stopped some raging assholes from taking to comments and social media to question the love of the two men because there may be a few years of age difference between them.

“I’m sure as everyone knows, you’re not doing anything right if you’re not getting criticized in this world,” Stanley told Attitude magazine. “Laurence and I love each other and to us that’s all that matters. We’re proud to represent the many relationships like ours.”

Big kudos to you both for finding love through whatever differences other people perceive. We wish the couple much love and success in the next chapter of their lives in Sicily.

You can find Sam Stanley on Facebook, or on Instagram @samstannerz.