Tom Ford Tells All
BY Advocate Contributors
November 09 2009 7:00 AM ET
Ford has been with Buckley for more than 20 years. Their relationship continues to be the anchor in Ford’s life. “One might think on the surface that I’m the boss, but really Richard is driving and running the relationship,” he says. “That’s because I want more than anything in the world for Richard to be happy. I sometimes think he doesn’t still believe that. But it’s true. Sometimes I think he forgets how much I still love him and how much his happiness means to me.”
No amount of Botox or Restylane can disguise the emotion in Ford’s face when he talks about Buckley. His whole countenance softens. All world-weariness disappears and is replaced by a look of devotion and even delight. He said in the past that it was love at first sight. What was it about Buckley that made him fall so?
“His soul,” Ford says without hesitation. “Something clearly spoke to me. It wasn’t his beautiful blue eyes and his silvery hair and his slender handsomeness. It was something that reached out to me through his false self—his true self connecting with my true self—and it was instant. On our first date he took me to a Southwestern restaurant in New York because he knew I was from New Mexico, and we were poor and could eat for about five bucks each. At the time one of Richard’s best friends was dying of AIDS and one of my best friends was dying of AIDS too, so we talked a lot about that, as I’m sure a lot of guys did on first dates back then. We were both just so emotionally exhausted. So there was no sex on that first date. I think it took about three dates before we had sex. He knew I had a fondness for sugary breakfast cereals, so he had put a box of Froot Loops under the bed, hoping I would come home with him that night of our third date. I did. And the next morning he pulled out that box of Froot Loops from under the bed. It was so cute. We moved in together a month after we met.”
Would they marry each other after all these years together? “Yes, when it becomes a federal law. Right now it doesn’t do any good in the states. A few weeks ago Richard had to go into the hospital for something, and I had to carry around all these legal documents saying I could make medical decisions for him. It was insane. The fact that we are not married in the federal sense means that if I were to die, he’d have to pay all these taxes on my estate and receive but a fraction of it and he’d have to alter his life —whereas if we were married, he wouldn’t have to face that burden. That’s disgusting. It’s wrong. But that said, I think I am in favor of terming what I’m talking about as a civil partnership. We all get so caught up with this word marriage. For me, the word marriage is something that a religion should decide. Just give me all the same rights. A civil partnership is what I’d like for everyone—heterosexual as well as homosexual. Call it what you like—it’s the rights that are important. Getting hung up with the semantics derails the cause we’re all fighting for.”