Now this is a love story fit for Pride! The charming meet cute and queer manifestation between two queer artists is going viral. And we couldn’t help but share the story with you. But that’s not all! We also shared some words with and got details directly from the couple themselves!
The growing viral moment began on Monday, June 20th. A TikTok user under the username @whmayo posted a video sharing how he met his current fiancé. The user began by sharing how he once saw an actor in a Comcast Xfinity commercial when he was 18. At the time, whmayo, whose real name is William Hensen Mayo, decided that he would one day end up with a man like the actor.
“In high school I saw this commercial, it was a Comcast commercial, and it had this red-haired, cute, kind of sweet, goofy guy in it,” Will Mayo explains in the video. “And I remember thinking, very specifically, that that was the type of guy that I was going to end up with. I’m not sure why I had that instinct, but it just felt right.”
Mayo then shared that he later moved into an apartment during his senior year of college. And who happened to live in the same building? A man named Ian Scott McGregor.
He adds, “Flash forward to senior year of college, I move into my first apartment. It’s two units and I meet Ian on the stairs, almost the first day. He’s very cute, he’s very sweet, he’s very charismatic, but I also think he’s straight. Later I found out that he is gay and he actually thinks I’m cute. And I was immediately interested. And we immediately went on several dates, which I know is probably a terrible idea if you’re in the same building. But….”
Mayo then shares how the first date went well. He later learned that Ian was an actor and asked to see a clip of McGregor’s work.
“That commercial was on it, and I’m back on my couch in high school,” Mayo shares. He then raised his hand to reveal a ring on his finger, alluding to the fact that the two are now engaged.
But that’s not all! Will Mayo then shared a few clips of his fiancé’s work. The follow-up videos show that McGregor filmed several variations of the Comcast commercial and also worked in Grand Theft Auto V, the fastest-selling video game in history.
But after hearing about the videos, I searched for more info about the couple behind this adorable story. Who was this @whmayo, for instance? After some digging, I found out that he has a successful creative career of his own! After graduating from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Will Mayo went-on to direct, write, edit, and produce several film projects. This includes editing Grindr’s web series Bridesman last year.
But most interesting is the fact these two aren’t just romantic partners. They’re creative partners too. They have co-created several award-winning short films such as First Night Out, which Mayo directed and produced while McGregor wrote and produced it. The film went on to be selected for the Aspen Film Shortfest, Outfest, and Vimeo Staff Picks in 2016. It also won Best Super Short at The Art of BKLYN Film Festival.
After learning this, I HAD to reach out to the couple to learn more. We quickly discussed topics like the impact of their story, their creative projects, their love of working together, and the future of their relationship and careers! Check all of that out below.
Devin Randall: Four days ago, Will uploaded a quick and cute video sharing his “queer manifestation” and how you two met. It’s a sweet story that’s now been heard over 160 thousand times, according to TikTok data. What do you think it is about your story that’s having such a big impact over the internet?
William Henson Mayo: I think people respond to a sense of happy fate, whether that’s real or not. We’re always hearing bad news, and it can feel like hope is hard to come by.
Ian Scott McGregor: Everyone loves a good romance! Stories like ours, though distilled for social media, can be quite heartwarming. It’s good to see strong connection in an increasingly disconnected world.
DR: In follow-up posts, Will shared clips from Ian’s acting past. This included different versions of the Xfinity commercials and work on the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Then after some digging, I not only discovered Will’s writing, directing, and editing career but also the fact that you two have worked together on several film projects. Can you describe to me what made you two consider working together creatively?
ISM: The first spark between us was a shared love of cinema. I mentioned to Will that I had been enjoying silent Russian silent films, and Will then stood very close to me. We both have weird tastes in pretty different directions, but it’s lucky that it all works so well together.
WHM: I’ve always gravitated towards actors, and Ian’s work really fascinated me, what he was able to do, and his knowledge of working on film sets. I first cast him in my film school thesis, which he helped so much with beyond just acting, and from that point on, it was a very organic thing for us to work together and make things.
DR: Love that! Growing together. And what were some favorite moments of working together on your films?
WHM: As Beautiful Inside is a short documentary about assessing my grandfather’s legacy in woodworking as he was fading from dementia – Ian helped me tremendously with interviewing my family members, which I found very difficult to do, as it felt like diving headfirst into a strange emotional territory. That allowed me to build myself up to finally interview my ailing grandfather, which was not originally planned, but became an important and intimate emotional centerpiece of that film. The film helped me process the fragility of life and the sadness of time passing. Ian was right there helping me through it.
ISM: Our first short together (First Night Out) is a super important story to me. It’s a recreation of an experience a high school friend had while waiting tables. In the mid-90’s, when this happened, being openly queer or non-binary was even more risky than it is now. This person had enough spine to take themselves out to a full dinner at a diner on the side of the interstate, dressed as they wanted to be seen. I always thought about them growing up, remembering their courage – they helped me to keep going and be brave about who I was. Being able to tell their story with Will brought me full circle with my own courage. My hope is that we sent their brave energy back out into the world for whoever might need it.
DR: That’s lovely. Speaking of that first film, you two have been working together for several years now. That short film, titled First Night Out, made a big splash in 2016 and was selected for several awards and acknowledgements. That then led to the creation of several more films. In all those years, how have you two navigated the similarities and differences between creative partners and being romantic partners?
WHM: It’s tricky territory working together, but over the years we have managed to learn from each other and communicate very, very carefully about what our intentions are and how we feel about what we’re doing.
ISM: It’s a lot of communicating, and constantly learning how to communicate better. We talk until we’re blue in the face, but it helps us to understand as much as we can about how to best support each other – which is the main goal. I love this guy with my whole heart, I want him to win all the ribbons and be as happy as humanly possible.
DR: It’s all about communication and celebrating each other, at the end of the day. But enough about the past. Now let’s look toward the future! Focusing back on the romantic part of your partnership, you two got engaged last year. Congratulations! If you don’t mind sharing, who proposed to whom and how? And, how are wedding preparations going?
WHM: We’ve been together for almost 10 years now, have moved across the country from Brooklyn to Los Angeles together, have two rescue cats, and we always sort of knew it would happen eventually. We were talking about deep stuff one night and it came up in a way that was completely unavoidable, and Ian revealed that he had asked my parents the week prior for their blessings. I completely lost it, because I realized how much I had wanted it for so long. So, I suppose you could say Ian was the one who proposed!
ISM: Yep. I think it was a few months before then, he’d said something, I don’t remember what exactly, but it was like big bells went off in my head and a huge neon sign said “MARRY HIM,” so I asked his parents and his brother and they were all thrilled. Just had to ask him. As for the wedding, we’re better at planning film shoots than we are weddings, it seems. But…
WHM: We hope to get married sometime in 2023, and a forest will be involved.
DR: How sweet! I hope the event is as lovely and fun as the last ten years have been. Now I have one last question for you two. What’s next for you two creatively? Any interesting projects in the works?
WHM: Ian just wrote us a new short film that we’re excited about, and I’m writing a feature script while editing some feature films by other talented filmmakers I adore. Keep your eye out for Treatment, a queer horror feature by Matthew Fifer, coming soon.
ISM: The new short film is very funny/sad, and we hope to make that next. I recently directed a short doc about a legendary comic book friend, which is currently playing at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. I’m also co-writing a surreal but deeply heartfelt comedy series about a hopeless romantic dance instructor with Ars Nova NYC alum, Peter Nachtrieb. In addition, I have a headache pill commercial running currently (I voice a Scottish troll), and I’m auditioning as often as they’ll let me. Still waiting on that ten picture deal from RKO…
What a beautiful story, what a beautiful couple, and what a beautiful future in store for them! If you want to keep up with the two, you can follow Will Mayo and Ian Scott McGregor’s TikTok accounts at @whmayo and @Ian Scott McGregor, respectively. Happy Pride!