I admire black gay couples because it’s hard to come across genuine happy gay couples. All relationships aren’t perfect but when you have real love nothing can break that bond. I came across Will and Dre a few years ago on social media and I knew immediately I had to bring them on my platform.
I loved their honesty, their authenticity, and their truth.
They wanted to share their love story and I think this interview is one of my favorites thus far. They didn’t spoon feed us bullshit or perfect answers. They opened up completely sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly side of their relationship. We can’t do anything but respect their transparency.
I wish we had more black gay couples of color who could be this open and candid about their relationships. We have a lot of gay couples on youtube but as we can see everything ain’t always what it cracks up to be off-camera as much as it appears on the videos.
I want you guys to enjoy this interview I did with Will and Dre and I hope other gay couples of color will reach out to me to come on the platform as well.
First, before we start this interview, I want to thank the two of you for doing this. Please introduce yourselves to the readers, and tell us how the two of you originally met, and when exactly did you guys know it was real love?
We’re Will and Dre and have been together going on 9 years and married going on 3 years. We met back in 2009 right after Dre’s graduation from high school and his transition to college. He was 18 and I was 25 at the time. The two of us met via Facebook when Dre’s friend requested me.
I had just built my Facebook page and we had no mutual friends in common, but I decided to accept the request. He immediately in-boxed me and it was kind of weird, but I went with the flow. The way we met is common but wasn’t at the time. We knew that we had a real love for each other at two different points.
Dre – within 6 months he was in love and as far as me, about 7 months.
A lot of gay couples struggle to have longevity in relationships. For the two of you, what has kept the relationship strong and stable vs in previous relationships before meeting each other?
There are a couple of things that have kept our relationship stable. First, we are always honest when it comes to our relationship and how we are feeling. When we are feeling some type of way we address the matter right then vs letting it build up and erupting. Second, we’re adventurous, which means that we enjoy trying new things with each other as opposed to being stagnant. Finally, we are committed to each other mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
As black gay men, it seems like many of us are having a hard time finding genuine love, and true companionship.
What advice would you give other gay men of color, who may be seeking a romantic partner, but don’t know how to go about finding one or always coming across the wrong type of men?
Sometimes when it comes to love we have to stop seeking it out, because sometimes at that moment when we want to be in love we aren’t ready. More specifically, before getting into a relationship with someone we have to ensure that we are not taking baggage into the next relationship. Just because one person treated you one way doesn’t mean that the next person will. When we carry baggage into the next relationship it only shows that we are still hurting and other people can feel that negative emotion and may be put off.
Therefore, waiting until we know that the negativity is out of our system may better the chances of finding true love. Next, we as men of color, just like any sex have what we call “standards.” We want everyone that we are interested in to meet these standards to have a chance at our hearts. If a person doesn’t meet the standards then we don’t give them the time of day, but we could be dismissing the person that is potentially meant for us.
We think that instead of immediately dismissing someone, give them a chance, and get to know them before making assumptions. You may get lucky and find out that you have something in common with them and you could potentially get lucky with a date and whatever else may come. Finally, we as men of color must keep some things about ourselves to ourselves. What we mean is simple. Everything about you doesn’t need to live on social media. If an individual can learn everything about you on your Facebook page, what else is there to learn? You should have several things on your Facebook page that make you seem interesting, but only enough to where the individual will be interested in taking the conversation to the next level.
Keep it honest, but it’s okay to save some things for that special person. People have this belief being in a relationship is supposed to make them happy. But you should already be content before entering into a relationship.
A relationship shouldn’t be the only thing that makes you happy. If you are not happy before getting in the relationship then you have nothing to offer the person you’re getting in the relationship with. This is because your happiness will solely be based around them, which is bad because that means if the individual you’re in a relationship is doing something without you then you will be more than likely to be upset. Long story short, we have to know what makes us happy before we can make someone else happy.
I think it’s quite evident that there aren’t any true “perfect” gay couples of color out here, and it’s okay to admit to having challenges in the relationship.
For both of you, what would the two of you say, would be the biggest challenge in the relationship? And how do you guys overcome those challenges as a couple?
One of the biggest challenges that we faced was allowing other people to have an opinion about our relationship. When people see that you’re happy they will do everything in their power to invade your space and bring negativity. But, it’s important to have an unbreakable bond with each other so that when it does come the two of us are ready. The next challenge we faced is the influence of the media. What we mean is the usage of cell phones, social media, etc. We used to be heavy on social media, especially in each other’s presence and it began to drive a wedge between us. We finally reached a breaking point in our relationship and decided that to continue we needed to take time to regroup and get to know each other.
We were once considered the poster children for social media and many people loved seeing us, engaging with us, etc., but keeping up with what others are defining you as gets hard. At this point, we decided to take a 7-month break from social media and it allowed us the opportunity to reconnect with each other, family, and friends.
Honestly, it was the most exciting time we’ve had in a long time because we were living a life based on what we defined it as and didn’t feel a sense of loyalty to our followers to be a specific way or showcase our daily life. When we re-launched our pages, it was done so together with the understanding that we would not repeat the same mistakes.
I’m sure the majority of gays already know communication is important for any potential relationship. If you guys could give us, five key factors to having a healthy relationship, what would those five things be and why?
- Commitment – Being committed to each other allows us to be fully focused on making each other happy while ensuring that we are making ourselves happy as well.
- Growth – In many relationships, you’ll often see couples stay the same for years, but it’s important to grow together and not leave the other person behind. If one person is lagging, pull them up and encourage them to be better and provide support on whatever they’re trying to accomplish.
- Honesty – Throughout everything, it’s important to be honest with each other, because honesty is the foundation and without it you have nothing.
- Fun – Being in a relationship or married for our case is exciting and an opportunity to have fun with each other. Having fun for us includes shopping, working out together, playing video games, cooking, etc., therefore, it’s important to find out what each other considers fun and do those things often.
- Understanding – It’s important to be understanding of each other. One thing we realize in our marriage if that nothing is always going to turn out the way we want it, but it allows us to understand each other and converse about any differences that may come up.
Domestic violence, unfortunately, occurs among heterosexual couples all the time, but it’s also a substantial issue within our community. Speaking of your relationship, what keeps the two of you from resorting to that level when trouble occurs in the relationship?
This is an interesting question because the two of us have had our share of physical and verbal abuse. When we first became a couple, we argued and fought for quite some time. Eventually, we got to a point where within our 3rd year we almost didn’t make it. We came to the understanding that if we could not work things out with our words then we didn’t need to be together. Since then we have been able to work our problems out using our words. If we ever get to the point where we are upset then we take a break and regroup to come back with a better state of mind.
Why do you think so many gay men stay in domestic situations, instead of getting out and leaving those toxic relationships?
There could be a couple of different reasons why gay men stay in a relationship after experiencing domestic violence. First, they could feel like they do love the individual and would hope that everything would work out. Second, one person could be dependent on the other and if they feel like they can’t make it without them they might be willing to stay. There have been some powerful couples in the black gay community, providing an excellent reputation for gay couples of color. But sadly a few of those families have since been divided, and rumor has it the alleged reason behind those couples were possible affairs and social media inappropriate behavior.
Do you think social media eventually ruins relationships? And how do you guys keep a healthy relationship, while remaining active on social media?
Yes, social media can ruin a relationship when other gay men get involved. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of temptation on social media, a lot of good looking guys who want what you have. People will try anything to disrupt what you have and, sadly, we cannot just be happy for each other and support one another. But, honestly, it’s our responsibility, to be honest with each other and if someone is tempting you talk about the situation and not hide behind it. Keeping it honest keeps each other in the loop and avoids problems that could arise later. To keep a healthy relationship while being active on social media, we limit our consumption. As mentioned earlier, we’ve gone through our share of problems when it comes to social media, therefore, we learn from mistakes and try our best to not do them again.
I often speak about long-distance relationships on the blog, and I support the idea of long-distance couples coming together, no matter how far apart they may be. Do you think the two of you would have been able to do a long-distance relationship? And if so, why?
When we first met, possibly because we would have been new to each other and had no expectations. We would have started as friends, but there’s no guarantee we would have ended up together. Long-distance relationships are hard to predict because it doesn’t allow you to see each other and many things can happen when you’re apart from a person. However, we believe that love has no boundaries and anything is possible if two people are willing to make it work.
Marriage equality has impacted the entire gay community in a hugely significant way. How do the two of you feel about marriage, and do you think a lot of gay men genuinely are marriage material or together for all the wrong reasons?
Marriage is a wonderful thing and gives you the opportunity of companionship with the person you
love and that loves you. There’s nothing better than having a person to spend your life with each and every day. When it comes to couples being marriage material and together for on the wrong reasons it’s a combination of both. Some genuine people want to marry, have a person they can trust their life too, and love forever, but others marry for all the wrong reasons, which may be related to status or hype.
Are you guys living together? And if so, has to live under one roof made you guys closer, or has it caused some challenges at certain times?
We currently live together and have done so for almost nine years. When we first got together we lived with each other after about eight months of being together and it was a difficult time because we were competing over space and what’s yours or mine. But, overall looking back on today we can honestly say that the experience has brought us closer. Now we don’t recommend everyone just shacking up just to get the experience, but it’s not a bad idea to see how it is to live with someone in advance although our situation was a bit different.
I feel very strongly about being in a relationship but still having your own identity. How important it is for you guys to still have your own identity while maintaining the relationship? Also, what keeps the relationship between the two of you from going haywire?
What keeps us from going haywire is that we are like a yin and yang and it’s like two opposites attract. More importantly, what keeps us from going haywire is that we truly spend much of our time apart from each other due to work and school and when we do have the opportunity to see each other at night it makes it all worthwhile. Therefore, I guess you can say we have our solo time and our time where we are together. Having your own identity in a relationship is essential because it’s important to be yourself and remain who you are because that’s how the person you’re with met you and fell in love with you.
In your own opinion, what would you guys consider being the hardest part of actually building, improving, and maintaining a successful black gay relationship?
The hardest part of actually building, improving, and succeeding at having a successful relationship is not listening or involving outside parties into your relationship. When you involve other people into your relationship you give them the power to influence what’s happening and what you think. But, when you keep your relationship between the two of you it allows you the ability to work through those problems with each other which will result in a better outcome.
A lot of gay couples like to experiment sexually together. For the two of you, Have either of you requested to bring other guys into the bedroom? And why do you think some gay couples often resort to feeling the need to have more than one sexual partner, even when being in a committed relationship?
We have not requested to bring in other people into the bedroom, but we have conversed about the idea because we believe in open and honest communication. Some people may resort to feeling the need for more than one sexual partner because of their experience and fun. The ability to experiment with each other and you’re not cheating and you’re fulfilling the fantasy together.
Tell the readers 5 things you both love about each other, and five things you both feel could help improve the relationship?
5 things we love about each other:
- We’re both characters
- Dedicated to Fitness
2 things that could help improve our relationship:
Some gays believe in having heteronormative roles in gay relationships, do both of you play a particular role? Or would you define your relationship based on just working together as a team collectively, without the roles and labels being placed on the relationship?
We believe in working together as a team collectively without roles and labels placed on our relationship. I guess you can say we go with the flow and do whatever we are feeling.
How do you both deal with times when one of you may not want to have sex, and the other one is craving for it? I have spoken to couples who admitted to cheating due to their partner having a lack of a sex drive or lack of sexual relations, period.
The solution to dealing with moments where one person wants to have sex and the other person does not is simply communicating this to your partner. When one person feels that they do not want it it’s not the end of the world. But, this also allows us to try and have sex more with each other, especially if one person is craving it more than the other person. Nobody wants to see their mate unhappy therefore it’s more of a give and take relationship.
When it comes to sex in our relationship it is important, but not enough to dismantle it. If one person is better at sex than the other person then this is a teaching moment where one person can teach the other person how to please them and the same with the other.
In-laws and family: How did your guy’s families accept this relationship?
Dre – at first my family did not accept the relationship between my husband and I because they were not comfortable with my status and therefore were not happy about him.
Will – my family loved our relationship and openly accepted it. Today, our families love our relationship and each other. They interact outside of us and acknowledge each other when in public.
Kordale and Kaleb started out being one of the first influential and inspirational black gay couples in the mainstream media and on social media. They also share a family. Do you guys want to have kids? And how do you feel about gay couples with children in society today?
We’ve talked about having kids and are currently still considering. We feel that gay couples with children are great. We enjoy seeing what we can potentially have and these couples serve as motivation for us.
Gay couples often experience hatred and negativity within society whenever presenting their love openly in public, etc. Have you guys experienced any form of homophobia while out in public together?
No, as a couple we have not experienced homophobia or negativity.
Do you think once people build these relationships, that they tend to forget to keep things fresh in their relationship? And do you think that could ultimately affect gay relationships?
Yes, we think that when people get together they get comfortable and forget all the work they had to do to get that person. We believe the same amount of work you put into getting a person it should be put into keeping them.
Right now there are many blooming successful same-sex couples channels on YouTube, and as they are becoming popular and trendy, but a majority of them aren’t lasting long. Why do you feel like these couples with so much influence are breaking up on social media left to right?
Because their relationship is based on social media and these couples stay together to maintain fame. However, eventually, people get tired of pretending to be happy and it all comes out.
In 20 years, where do you see the relationship going? And how do you feel about the lack of representation of black gay love on television, film, on social media?
In 20 years, we see the two of us together and happy as ever. Throughout the years we see us evolving and going through challenges but being able to be happy with each other and maintaining what we have. We don’t think it’s the responsibility of the black gay community to set an example of what same-sex love should look like. Each relationship is different for each couple and nobody should assume that they will be similar.