Gordie Mitchard, right, proposes marriage to partner Steven Stull in Sydney. | Gordie Mitchard

Gordie Mitchard and Steven Stull loved the idea of marriage so much that they proposed to each other twice, a year apart, with each of them taking turns getting on bended knee and saying “Will you marry me?”

“My turn!” Mitchard, a former college hockey player and later referee, posted on Instagram this weekend from the Sydney waterfront. “This was a double proposal — we wanted to both present rings,” he told Outsports.

Gordie Mitchard, right, and Steve Stull during their second proposal.

This followed by nearly a year the couple’s first marriage proposal in April 2023, where Stull wrote: “I am so grateful and lucky to be engaged to my best friend! I am so excited to spend my life building new memories with you! I love you so much.”

After the first marriage proposal, Mitchard said: “I was made the happiest version of myself yesterday when my best friend asked me to do forever with him. 💍 @stullsj

“My family and friends have gone on the craziest of journeys with me the past 6 years… I never saw this day in my future, but I guess the present is different. The people that surround Steven and me are filled with so much love – we feel it and we are so incredibly thankful.”

The couple met in Chicago on Feb. 28, 2018, through a mutual friend Mitchard grew up working with at the golf course.

“When Steve moved to Chicago, he happened to be neighbors with him and when I came out, my buddy insisted we meet lol!” Mitchard told Outsports. Stull is a bid manager at Accenture and Mitchard is a customer success manager for VelocityEHS.

Mitchard came out publicly as gay in a 2020 essay in Outsports where he detailed his career as a college hockey player at the University of Iowa and later as a hockey referee working youth, juniors, college, and semi-professional leagues.

In the essay, he described the shame and torment he once felt for being gay and the lengths he went to hide and fit in as an athlete. He then celebrated how liberating it was once he came out after starting to officiate.

Looking back, I wish I could have come out sooner. Maybe I should have had the courage to grow up redefining what male athletes could look like — and could be. But everyone comes to understand in his own time. … Being who you truly are is courage made real.

Being out is a huge decision for any athlete because what male athletes traditionally stand for in our culture is the pinnacle of traditional masculinity. But I guess that definition — about what it means to be a man — needs to change to be more inclusive of all kinds of men. I share my story in hopes that if you read it and you need to find the self-empowerment to be OK with being gay, I’ve been there. I have your back. Nobody deserves it more than you do!

Gordie Mitchard, left, and Steve Stull have been together since 2018.

Mitchard and Stull have not yet settled on a wedding date, though they are considering October 2025. There’s plenty of time enough left if they choose to do a third marriage proposal.