Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation
Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation | Foto: Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation

PRIDE MONTH: Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation

Por: Edward Rueda

15, June, 2022 en Business Concept

Love Without Reservation

Geraldine Zialcita

To celebrate Pride Month, on behalf of the LGBQT+ community, Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, together for 30 years, share their inspiring story that demonstrates their struggles and yearning for love, freedom, and acceptance.

Dan was born in New England in Springfield, Massachusetts, and attended boarding school at Williston Academy in Easthampton, Ma. He pursued an Arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and earned his Master’s Degree at the Art Institute of San Francisco. Before acquiring his real estate license in 2000, Dan worked as a gallery consultant. After joining Coldwell Banker, Dan earned numerous sales awards including their highest level, President’s Premier. “Helping buyers find the perfect home during a seller’s market and negotiating top dollar is thrilling and extremely satisfying. Training new agents and inspiring others to do their best is also a part of my work ethics,” Dan shares.

Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation
Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation


Jorge was born in Mexico and grew up in Las Choapas, an agrarian region in the Southern state of Veracruz with a population of 500 people during that time. His Chinese parents migrated from mainland China to Mexico before the Cultural Revolution to follow Jorge’s paternal grandfather who had moved there a few years before them. “I was the middle child (the younger of a pair of identical twins) of five children—3 boys and 2 girls―and we were one of three Chinese families among primarily Mexican and indigenous residents. My father had an engineering background but decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and went to help his father run a grocery store.

Although we were considered poor back then, we were never deprived of anything. When my parents won the Veracruz State Lottery, my parents were able to expand the grocery store, and, eventually we were able to move to Los Angeles before settling in San Francisco. Despite the initial language barrier, the kids excelled in school and this unlocked my fondness for learning new languages—I majored in Chinese and Russian languages and culture at Brown University and also studied Portuguese, German, and French—and an interest in other cultures prompted studying and living in Portugal, France, Spain, the UK, and Taiwan. After graduating college, I pursued Law at Stanford University and worked at various major law firms in San Francisco and New York―Morrison & Foerster, Cleary Gottlieb, and Brown & Wood. I later worked for NUMMI—the Toyota-GM joint venture, Trend Micro, Intel/Wind River, Symantec, and I am now working at a French startup, Ivalua,” Jorge shares.

As an adolescent, Dan who is intuitive by nature noticed he had a different perspective on his beliefs, thoughts, and actions compared to his peers. “I wondered if life would have been easier if I were straight, but I very well knew I was exclusively attracted to men. I knew that most guys liked girls, but I didn’t. I was scared that the kids would beat me up if they knew I was gay. There was always a sense of fear about being honest for who I was,” Dan confides.

Jorge was raised in a predominantly Catholic country with strict Asian roots. “What I was feeling and going through didn’t match what was expected from me. Growing up somewhat sheltered in a small city, then moving to a large city and a new country and having to learn another language and a different lifestyle proved to be very overwhelming for a 16-year-old teenager like me. I focused on my studies and tried to ignore the feelings I had about my sexuality,” Jorge unveils.

Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation
Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation

During his time in boarding school, Dan encountered bullying which affected and hampered him from being true to himself and others. “The kids were very cruel, calling me lots of names and this made me very sad. I found a couple of teachers and staff that were supportive, but I mostly stayed in the closet and started drinking alcohol and smoking pot so I could fit in with the other kids. Despite all that, I still felt so different. At the university, being gay prevented me from becoming a part of a fraternity which was a saving grace because had I joined, I would have ended up drinking too much and flunked out of college,” Dan discloses.

As one of the three Asian families residing in Las Choapas, Mexico, Jorge also experienced some bullying in school. He chose to ignore these actions and concentrated on his studies which gave him more credibility since his intellect and high grades kept the bullies away. “I stayed within my comfort zone, far away from the bullies, and only mingled with my circle of friends and siblings,” Jorge informs.

For Dan and Jorge, the coming-out stage entailed a gradual process where they felt more secure and confident in their own skin. “I started meeting some gay students at the university where I became more comfortable in sharing the truth about myself,” Dan states.

While in high school, Jorge met a man in his thirties who was helping his parents and this sparked a connection between them that quickly developed into a close friendship. This man introduced Jorge to many things that he otherwise would not have experienced without his help. “My older brother discovered our relationship but accepted the situation with no qualms. While studying at the university and excelling in class, my sexuality suppressed me from being open which was quite a lonely time for me. During my late 20s when I met Dan was when I came out in the open. I informed my family and parents,” Jorge relays.

Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation
Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation

Before Dan could confide in his parents about his sexuality, his mom stumbled upon a letter from his gay friend who elaborated on how his parents had reacted upon learning about his status. “She was very upset and concerned about growing up and being gay in our society would be difficult. My mother requested me to inform my father whose reaction was less emotional and more calm and accepting compared to hers. He wisely suggested I should be very careful about with whom I could share my ‘secret’ but did not consider it that big of a deal,” Dan briefs.

Sexuality was never discussed in Jorge’s conservative home and Chinese culture. Jorge’s parents recognized that Dan was not shy about his sexuality. When Jorge’s brother was set to get married, his mother prohibited Jorge from inviting Dan to the wedding because of him being gay. “I simply blurted out, well if he can’t come, then I can’t either because I am gay. This confirmed how much I cared for Dan because I was willing to stand by him. Dan attended the wedding but my parents refused to speak to me and insisted I move to China so I can get ‘fixed.’ Eventually, they had no choice but to accept it,” Jorge explains. And now they accept and love Dan as if he was their own son.

While Dan was waxing the floors of his apartment on a Saturday night working his way out to go night-clubbing, little did he know he would meet the love of his life. “Jorge and my housemate tried to enter the premises, but I told them they could not come in until the floors were dried. Shortly after, my housemate suggested I consider dating Jorge because he was smart and a really good catch. I’m glad I agreed because he was very sweet―he kind of grew on me; I wasn’t sure but he sold me on himself and we’ve been together for 30 years now.” Dan smiles.

Jorge remembers that fateful night which unfolded into a lifetime relationship. “There was something about Dan that stayed with me. Ever since I saw him, I believe it was love at first sight for me. I still remember seeing him on his knees cleaning the floor with the biggest smile etched on his face. Dan is the funniest and most generous person I have ever known. When Dan pays attention to you, you feel that you are on top of the world—that is how he makes everyone whom he meets feel. He gives everyone unconditional love,” Jorge relays.

Smitten by his first encounter with Dan, Jorge who initially went out on a date with Dan’s housemate yet didn’t hit it off, asked him if he could date Dan instead. “Dan’s housemate had no issues about it. As we dated, we learned about the many things we had in common, in particular, going out to dinner, art, travel, and family. I learned about unconditional love from Dan,” Jorge expresses. As they continued to date, Dan and Jorge purchased their first home and traveled on countless vacations. Their first memorable trip before cell phones existed was a trip to France and the UK. Jorge was a helpless romantic reading Balzac, his favorite French writer, to Dan on the banks of Normandy. “It was magical.” Dan beams.

While Dan and Jorge are polar opposites, they have learned to embrace their own identities and quirks, while balancing each other’s personalities. “We are like Ernie and Bert. He is organized and I am spontaneous. I am loud and he is quiet. I am a risk-taker and he is very cautious. I am an experimenter and he likes to follow recipes and know the results in advance. What I love most is that he is kind, generous, supportive, and he genuinely wants to see me happy,” Dan describes.

“There are certainly many things we have in common, but there are certain things that we didn’t like or had no idea about until we experienced it together. What I love most about our relationship, is that Dan knows not only the good things about me but my flaws as well. He loves me with no reservations and is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” Jorge smiles.

Despite their differences, the couple discovers a common ground to complement one another. “We both like art, global travel, having a clean home going out to nice dinners, enjoying watching movies/TV, and playing with Charlie, our new puppy. I do the shopping and cooking and Jorge does the cleaning. Although Jorge is not a real dog lover, he still got me a pandemic Labrador puppy as a birthday present in 2020 and now he loves and spoils Charlie more than I do.” Dan winks. “Dan paints and does the macho stuff around the house while I handle the bills and create spreadsheets. Dan chooses the vacations, dates, and locations, while I book the flights and accommodations.” Jorge smiles.

Over the years, the couple has learned to comfort one another during challenging situations in both their professional and personal life. They also support their endeavors and celebrate each other’s success with enthusiasm and generosity. The loving couple has built a strong foundation that keeps their relationship healthy, harmonious, and sustainable.

Balancing a prestigious career and their relationship is what Dan and Jorge value since this is where they can build fond memories while building milestones. As a couple, they spend their free time together outside of work. They enjoy taking our puppy out to the park or the beach. They have traveled around the world and experienced beautiful places and cultures, like Italy, France, the UK, Mexico, Morocco, Israel, Turkey, Greece, South America, and Jordan, among others. They watch movies, attend art events, and support charities. For the lovebirds, experiencing new places, food, and culture for the first time is always special when spent with your significant other.

While Dan and Jorge may have the ideal relationship to be admired, they also face challenges but learn to overcome them because love and commitment are what bind them together. “Jorge is very cautious and methodical, and I am spontaneous and carefree which means we constantly need to balance each other. We not so much need to compromise but rather work with each other. I believe we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. I still have to remind myself of this when I make mistakes. It’s easier having a partner like Jorge but still not being so self-critical is very important. I remind myself to always forgive and forget, try to compromise, and understand each other’s differences and quirks,” Dan says. “My biggest challenge has been accepting that AA will always be a huge part of Dan’s mental well-being (and has been now for 20 years) and I try my best to support him in any manner I can,” Jorge chimes in. “I don’t think he would be where he is but for AA and I am extremely grateful for that.”

Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation
Dan Hendel and Jorge Young, Love Without Reservation

As the LGBTQ+ community still encounters stereotypes, Dan and Jorge offer a tad of wisdom on how to break the barriers and be true to yourself. “Being honest with yourself (in my case, being gay) has been the key to unlocking my success and happiness in life. In a judgmental world, there will be people that will criticize you and I have learned that when I am judging, I am not loving and I want to grow into a more loving and accepting person myself,” Dan imparts. “If you get to know others who are different, you will learn that they all have the same hopes and dreams as you do,” Jorge adds.

As the saying goes, #Love Wins, Dan and Jorge share their own definition and how the saying resonates with them. “I do agree that if we are compassionate toward one another or love each other, this acceptance and love wins by easing the pain that people suffer around us. Having been fortunate in our lives, we try to share our fortunes with others, whether it is by inviting friends, family, and acquaintances to experience certain events (such as art openings), buying cases of water bottles and distributing them to the homeless, and bringing and serving food to the homeless,” Dan narrates. Dan and Jorge are glued at the hip, individually stellar, yet together is where they shine. “We hope that everybody can experience what we have together because nothing is bad or too difficult when you have someone supporting and loving you unconditionally,” Jorge affirms.

Dan Hendel and Jorge Young hope their story serves as an encouragement knowing that love without reservation shall always prevail.