Young hearts run free: Cory & Leigh’s story

Publish Date: 28/03/2014

Johnny Blackburn speaks to Cory and Leigh. They are like any other young gay couple - they are madly in love and have promising futures ahead of them. 

After winning Mr. Model Guy UK 2013, Cory James, 19, is a model who has recently been signed with both UKMM in London and Cliche in Manchester, while he studies Media Performance at The University of Salford. Whereas Leigh Drennan, 21, is a student at Manchester Metropolitan University and has already started to climb the political ladder by holding a position on Tameside Council until 2016.

However, their relationship is ready to advance to the next level now they’ve decided to get married. Cory said: “I think it’d be an insult to the people who have worked so hard to then go and have a civil partnership. What have they been fighting for, if not for this? I’d feel cheated going for a civil partnership. Being told I can’t have it makes me want it more and now we can.”

Leigh added: “We want to be married. Cory’s right, but it’s also something that has been denied to people all around the world just because they were born in a country that may not be as progressive as the next. That’s one of the reasons we want a marriage.”

After a romantic escape to Berlin where they discussed getting engaged, they spent a day in Liverpool to celebrate their one year anniversary and stayed overnight at a swanky hotel. Cory explained: “We got to the hotel and there were two towels shaped as swans which made a love heart. Of course there was champagne and chocolates. I was amazed. Then I opened the balcony door and there was a view over the whole of Liverpool and I shouted ‘oh my gosh, there’s a big balcony!’ and I turned around to see Leigh, and there he is on one knee with this ring. I was shaken and taken aback.”

They were both so caught up in the moment that they’ve completely forgotten what was said. Leigh said he had meticulously planned it, but at that moment it just went straight out of the window - and, apparently, onto the streets of Liverpool.

Some may show concern over what could be regarded as their short time together and the young age of these two lovebirds. But Leigh doesn’t think that matters. He holds fast to the fact that his mum and dad were also together a year - now they’ve been married for 27 years. He said: “They say you’ve got to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince and we’re just lucky to have found each other at such a young age that, well, I don’t have to kiss any toads now.” Looking towards the future and wondering if it involves children, Cory beams, announcing that it is definitely on the cards.

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