HACKENSACK, N.J. — Bergen County is a welcome home for Hackensack's Ryan Huban and Jason Palleschi.
"Most couples take feeling normal for granted, but for a gay couple feeling normal can be abnormal," Huban said. "In Bergen County no one stares at us. No one makes ignorant comments. No one treats us unfairly.
"We feel like we can be ourselves."
The couple met 11 years ago at a party in New York City and took a Hackensack apartment together in 2008.
Huban, 34, works at an advertising agency in Park Ridge. Palleschi, 35, works at an education technology company in Manhattan.
Outside Bergen, they say, they have to keep their guard up.
"We've been stopped many times on our travels to be asked if we're brothers," Huban said. "We don't want to find out what happens if we say 'No, we're lovers,' so we say 'Yes.'
"Intolerance makes this world a dangerous place, but here in Bergen County we're home.
"Of course, that isn't a good thing," Huban added. "Until gay people can feel 'normal' wherever they go, we have a lot of work to do."
Huban and Palleschi tell of how they met in the video above.
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