Matthew Thomas McConkey was at home watching the movie ‘Death Becomes Her’ when he first spotted Michael Grassi on the dating app Grindr.
“I had shown pictures to Erin, my roommate,” he said, “and I stopped on him and literally said, ‘He’s going to be my boyfriend.'”
It was November 2013 and Mr. Grassi, a television writer, had just arrived in Los Angeles to write for the first season of “Schitt’s Creek.” He and Mr. McConkey, who lived in the Mid-City neighborhood, quickly set up a date. But it was canceled when Mr. Grassi had to fly to Vancouver for a family emergency.
Although Mr Grassi, 39, feared he would appear “a flake”, they quickly rescheduled. The day before Thanksgiving, they met for drinks at the Dresden Room in the Los Feliz neighborhood. Before the evening was over, Mr. McConkey, 42, had invited Mr. Grassi to a Cat Power concert the following Monday.
Having previously invited his roommate, Mr McConkey then had to tell her that he had given his ticket. “She wasn’t happy, but she understood,” he said. “She had seen the photo. She knew the stakes were high.
At the concert, the stakes got even higher. “It was like, ‘Oh, this is the start of a love affair,'” Mr McConkey said.
“We’ve gone to see her every time she’s been to the Los Angeles area since,” he added.
In January 2014, Mr. Grassi had to return to Canada once again, this time for work. After finishing the first season of “Schitt’s Creek,” he began a nine-month job in Toronto as showrunner for the fifth and final season of “Lost Girl,” a queer sci-fi show he had joined. the fourth season as writer and consulting producer.
But before Mr. Grassi left, he and Mr. McConkey decided they would remain a couple.
“Matt was such my happy place,” Mr. Grassi said. “It was the most natural simple version of a long distance courtship.”
Born and raised in Montreal, Mr. Grassi is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto. He’s written for TV shows like “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” for which he won a Peabody Award in 2010, and The CW’s “Supergirl,” “Riverdale,” and “Katy Keene.” Mr. Grassi is currently executive producer of HBO Max’s “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.”
Mr. McConkey, an NYU graduate, is originally from Waverly, Ohio. After working as an actor and freelance writer, he got his first job as an assistant to a television writer on an NBC sitcom, “Marry Me,” in 2014. Comedy on Seeso and “Heathers” on the Paramount Network . In 2017, he launched Homophilia, a podcast about queer culture, with Dave Holmes, a former MTV VJ. Mr. McConkey is now the executive editor of an upcoming holiday show for Hallmark Channel.
After completing his work as showrunner for “Lost Girl”, Mr. Grassi returned to Los Angeles in October 2014. The following year, in August 2015, Mr. McConkey moved into Mr. Grassi’s apartment in Los Feliz . In 2016, they adopted a rescue dog, a former boxer-pitbull mix named Faye.
In 2018, as Faye became less agile, the three moved to a house in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. “We always joke, but it’s kind of true, that we bought our first house for Faye,” Mr McConkey said.
Mr. Grassi proposed to Mr. McConkey in December 2020, while on a trip to Hawaii. This trip – and its proposal – came a year later than originally planned due to work and the pandemic. This also happened months after Faye’s death.
On their first night out in Hawaii, as they sat on their hotel room balcony with margaritas, Mr Grassi pulled out his cell phone and played a video he had commissioned from the actress favorite of Mr. McConkey. It ended with her saying, “Take a look at Michael, he has a very important question for you.”
At that moment, Mr. Grassi knelt down and handed a watch on which he had engraved the word “Faye” and a small heart.
The couple tied the knot on May 7 at Provence in Ojai, Calif. Heidi Rose Robbins, their friend and minister from Universal Life Church, ministered to 95 vaccinated guests.
Lincoln, an elderly dog they adopted in February 2021, pulled out their wedding rings, and the newlyweds’ first dance was to Cat Power’s cover of “Sea of Love.”