The hidden man
11 Images

The hidden man

Capt. Stephen Hill had a 23-year career in the Army and a secret that he felt he could never make public without throwing it all away.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Stephen Snyder-Hill, center, hugs niece Brooke Hill, 8, as he and his husband, Josh, top, visit Stephen’s family in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, for the holidays. Stephen’s mother, Marnie, is at left.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Stephen Snyder-Hill and his husband, Josh, work out in the basement of their home five times a week. Stephen holds a master’s degree in dietetics. As an Army diet and fitness instructor, he was known for his ability to out-run and out-lift men half his age. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
A photo of Josh and Stephen Snyder-Hill taken for NOH8, a marriage-equality campaign, hangs on a wall of their home. Their duct-taped mouths symbolize the silencing of people’s voices.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
A 2011 photo shows the plywood quarters in Iraq where Stephen Snyder-Hill recorded the YouTube video in which he came out as gay with a question for a Republican presidential candidates’ debate.  (Stephen Snyder-Hill)
Stephen Snyder-Hill relaxes at home in Columbus, Ohio, with his dogs Macho, a beagle-pug mix, and Gizmo, a boxer. When he was in Iraq, his husband, Josh, sent one of Macho’s chew toys to him as a reminder of home.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Stephen and Josh Snyder-Hill, center, play a game with Theresa Hill, left, Marnie Hill, right, and other family members as they celebrate the Christmas holiday early with relatives.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Stephen and Josh Snyder-Hill are surrounded by people from both sides of their extended family as they prepare to open Christmas presents. The family usually opens presents early because Stephen’s brother, Tommy Hill, right, is a police officer and often works on the actual holiday. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Stephen Snyder-Hill makes turns to his husband, Josh, as the two speak at Josh’s old high school about diversity issues, the military and their life as a gay couple. Though they have aired their story on a national stage, they appreciate the opportunity to share their story at the community level. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Josh Snyder-Hill’s license plate reflects the couple’s hope that Ohio, their home state, will someday recognize their marriage. They were married in Washington, D.C.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Stephen and Josh Snyder-Hill walk hand-in-hand on a street in Columbus, Ohio. When Stephen left for Iraq in 2010, the couple had to hide under an airport escalator to say goodbye, while other soldiers were able to embrace their loved ones publicly.  (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)