AUSTIN – Former TCU football star Vincent Pryor received an award Wednesday from LGBT advocacy group Atticus Circle.
But the award that highlighted his courage to come out to his teammates in 1994 was not the event’s surprise. It was his proposal to his partner, Alan Dettlaff, at the end of his speech that shocked the sold-out audience of 300 and brought them to tears.
“It was a beautiful, touching moment,” Atticus Circle Executive Director Ruth Gardner-Loew said. “People were in tears and it was wonderful.”
Pryor and Dettlaff met at TCU at the beginning of their junior year. Dettlaff announced in their social work class one day that he was gay and was starting a group for other gay students.
The announcement came months after Pryor had decided to commit suicide and was desperately seeking support.
The two became friends and the group Dettlaff began, TCU Triangle, came to inspire Pryor to reveal his sexuality to his teammates in the fall of his senior year.
The two began dating several years after they graduated after running into each other at JR.’s in Dallas. They live together in Chicago now.
Pryor said he and Dettlaff have been discussing marriage for a long time and he thought the event was the perfect place to propose after 13 years with Dettlaff.
“I thought doing it in Texas in my home state with my family there would be the best place to do it,” he said. “It was a blast. It was completely exciting.”