Meet “The Other Couple” (aka. Chris and Aaron), a real-life New York-based couple who started a YouTube channel they describe as “a safe space for those you feel like the ‘Others’ in society.” Their past videos have included fun reviews of fabulous makeup products and insightful relationship tips.
Now they’ve teamed up with Hornet to spread their messages of authentic living all around the globe. Their collaborative multi-part video series will tackle issues on beauty, fashion, dating, sex and politics, but in a way that gets us to rethink how social standards affect us all.
In their first collaborative video, The Other Couple talks about the three things any relationship needs to be successful. It’s really great seeing them play so affectionately off one another.
We wanted to know them even better, so we asked them a few questions about their lives together, why more men should consider wearing makeup and how gay black men like them are helping change perceptions about black masculinity.
Where are you guys from, what do you do for your day jobs?
Chris was raised in New York City where he was born and raised. He works as a full-time makeup artist. Aaron is from Brooklyn, New York. He’s a law student and works as a full-time supervisor for Starbucks Reserve.
How did the two of you meet?
To make it short, we met in 2016 while we were both employed at Sephora. But if you’d like to know the full story, we have a video on our YouTube channel about how we met.
In many places it’s still considered uncommon for men to wear makeup. How do you reply to those who say guys shouldn’t wear makeup?
We sometimes like to remind people that some of their favorite male musicians, actors and athletes wear makeup. Nine times out of 10, men are usually wearing makeup when they’re on TV or displayed on magazines. Just because it isn’t spoken about as openly as it is with women doesn’t mean men aren’t allowed to wear it. Everyone should feel comfortable to wear it if they’d like to.
Media often depicts black men as hyper-masculine, so when black men do things that dismantle masculinity, it seems innately political. How do you personally confront issues of gender norms and race?
Black men experience things that the world has yet to acknowledge. We don’t have a space to be gentle, soft and loving. If we are any of those things, we are condemned for it. Now, just imagine being gay and black. Our whole lives, we confront issues of gender norms and race and the best way we do so is by living in our truth unapologetically. We educate on a daily basis, whether it be family, friends or someone we meet on the street. We show them it’s okay to break the norms that society has created.
How do we get more gay men of color to talk openly about things such as beauty and cosmetics?
In order for gay men of color to be more comfortable talking about beauty and cosmetics we think that they need to see more representation of themselves in the beauty and cosmetics world, which is a part of the reason why we started our YouTube channel.
If you could share one quick beauty tip what would it be?
Cleanse and moisturize your skin! Morning and night. No matter how tired or lazy you are, those five minutes will make a difference!
What’s your ideal date night?
Being that we both have hectic schedules but are big movie lovers, a simple dinner and movie is ideal for us because we can unwind and just enjoy each other’s company.
Do you have other black gay men asking for relationship advice? What do you tell them?
We usually like to tell them always communicate and be 100% honest while having respect for one another.