But “two weeks later, she came around,” Ms. Gaebe said. “She told me she loved me.”
In late November, Ms. Gaebe asked Ms. Bozorg to meet her after physical therapy for a surprise. “Oh you’re taller than me,” Ms. Bozorg said when she saw Ms. Gaebe without her crutches. And then for the first time, they held hands walking down the street.
They spent Christmas with Ms. Bozorg’s aunt in Barnard, Vt. While they were there, Ms. Bozorg, whose parents arrived in the United States after the Iranian Revolution, discovered a random Persian connection to Ms. Gaebe.
“My aunt went to school in Tehran with Molly’s father’s cousin,” Ms. Bozorg said.
In the summer of 2019, Ms. Bozorg took Ms. Gaebe to Cherry Grove on Fire Island for a weeklong stay. It soon became a yearly tradition. The next summer, Ms. Bozorg bought a weekend house in Big Indian, N.Y., and moved into Ms. Gaebe’s apartment.
In August 2021, Hurricane Henri swept through Cherry Grove. The couple evacuated the house they were renting at the time and stayed at a hotel through the worst of the storm. It was during this time that Ms. Gaebe started hatching her plan to propose. She bought a rainbow fabric ring the next day and contacted Boudoir LeFleur, one of the couple’s favorite drag queens, to be a part of the proposal.
Halfway through Boudoir LeFleur’s show at Cherry’s on the Bay, a restaurant and venue on Fire Island, she called out in mock innocence: “Is Molly in the room?”
“Leila joon,” Ms. Gaebe said onstage, using a Farsi endearment. When Ms. Bozorg joined her, Ms. Gaebe got down on one knee with the rainbow fabric ring she’d picked up that day from a local souvenir shop.