Ryan Messer decided he could go home again.
Messer was one of a number of gay men of his generation who packed up and left Cincinnati, a city with a history of official discrimination, for friendlier cities on the coasts.
"They still have this Cincinnati group in San Diego," he says. "They're doing great things, and we lost that talent."
But the city charter, which blocked legal protections for gays and lesbians up until a decade ago, has since been amended.
"When I was 23, we were such a novelty," Messer says. "Now, there is no issue."