History was made this year when WifeSwap featured their first gay couple, Jarius and Terrell. Jarius and Terrell are best known for their Youtube channel "Terrell and Jarius". The two sat down with Gaye Magazine and spilled the tea about the show, their intentions and their life after swapping spouses for a week with Joseph and Nina Gross.
MAKING THEIR MARK
When speaking with Terrell & Jarius I asked them the fundamental question -- Why would you agree to a show like this? Of course the neat and successful millennial couple of two didn't know they would be switching places with a traditional, deeply religious couple of eight. They explained that they actually got a DM from a casting producer. The two talked over the opportunity and agreed.
"We thought it would be an amazing opportunity to amplify what we already do - just like, on a national level," Terrell said.
The Youtube channel 'Terrell & Jarius' is meant to show the life of gay, married parents as a norm in today's world. Getting on TV would put their mission front and center.
"We tried to be as authentic as possible," Terrell said with his husband nodding in agreement.
WHAT YOU SEE ISN'T WHAT YOU GET
If you haven't watched the show yet, understand that Terrell and Jarius were switched to an opposing home for a full week, whereas the show itself is only 40 minutes. Meaning - editing. Lots, and lots of editing. And for those who weren't big fans of the episode well....neither was Jarius.
"We don't want to blame everything on the edits," Terrell said, "but it was definitely heavily edited." I asked them to talk about the things we didn't see.
"It was definitely pieced together. For instance, my day three was actually day one to you guys for seeing it. The way that it starts to the viewers is like 'oh my god why is he like that?' and it's like yeah because we've been around each other and we've gotten to know what's going on, but to them it's like I come out the gate and 'oh my god he's this way', and I'm like yeah you're not seeing it right - correctly as it went," said Jarius.
Jarius further explained that one thing that didn't make the edits was that there was a full day of his rules as opposed to the Nina's, the visiting spouse. The two spent the day doing what the household normally does and even went out to do yoga which he said was "really hilarious ..but that was one of the moments that we really had a breakthrough because in that moment she really became vulnerable and one of the things that I kept hearing was 'I'm a mom, I'm a wife and I'm a nurse'. When he asked her what she wanted to do she broke down and said she would go bring that back with her."
During the final sit down, Terrell described that Nina actually confronted her husband about wanting him to be more helpful and involved, but it was replaced with the scene of Matt wanting to bash Jarius' head in.
Both Terrell and Jarius explained that the whole point of the show was to learn and have the experience of walking in one another's shoes. They felt it was unacceptable to have a relationship with the child without first having a relationship with one another.
Terrell on the other hand bonded more with the children than Matt. he expressed his surprise of the father's withdrawn ways from housework at the dictatorship that the house lived by.
Though the most controversial scene was picking up dog poop, Jarius explained that the incident came from Nina constantly cleaning up after her five dogs and needing something, and the rest is TV history.
He continued to explain that he and Nina eventually did get along and had fun together. They had a breakthrough that was never shown.
The LGBT community condemned a lot of the actions and claimed that the couple was a "poor representation of the community." Others accused the couple of being rude, defensive and close minded. But haters are always going to hate.
Terrell and Jarius explained that overall the response wasn't too negative and their sponsors are still supportive and responsive. They said it was especially difficult because as black, gay, men they had to make sure they did not feed into any stereotypes. Now the two have settled back into their lives and are continuing to be examples in today's modern world.
At the end of the interview I wrapped things up by asking what was to come next. Their two young children Ashton and Aria are now toy ambassadors for Walmart! The dads themselves will also be working with Healthy Lifestyle in Candle Park Atlanta, Georgia October 5 & 6 to help promote healthy living. But before we signed off Terrell and Jarius had a message for you:
Terrell: Go after you're goals - don't limit yourself. Anything is possible as long as you put in the time.
Jarius: "Always fill your cup before you do anything else. You cannot compete with yourself if you yourself are not complete. Don't compromise in your values.
Be sure follow this power couple on Instagram at @terrell.and.jarius!
Watch them speak about their experience below: