The US version of Wife Swap will feature its first ever family with black gay dads on Thursday (25 April).
Atlanta-based Terrell and Jarius Joseph signed up to the reality television show that sees one family trade a spouse for a week with another family.
26-year-old Terrell works in human resources for a Fortune 500 company, while 26-year-old Jarius is a sales executive for a technology company.
The married gay couple tried to have a baby via surrogate three years ago, but lost it in a miscarriage. Then in October 2017, Terrell and Jarius welcomed twins Ashton and Aria.
‘It was not an easy journey but it was worth it all,’ they told Gay Star News. ‘Our kids literally grew our hearts and grew us up more than we could imagine.
‘Having not one but two children at the age of 24 seemed crazy to most but perfect for us,’ they said.
‘The most challenging moments being dads would have to be managing time,’ they said. ‘Our kids are the most important and we often find that we have to make more time for each other.’
The young gay couple decided to challenge themselves and sign up for Wife Swap.
Terrell goes to live with religious couple Nina and Matt, along with their eight children.
In the trailer for the episode, Jerrell meets his new family and there’s shock amongst the kids, as they ask one another: ‘He’s the new mom?’
Meanwhile at home, there’s immediate tension between Nina and Jarius, who likes to keep the house very clean and says he doesn’t want Nina to touch his kids.
‘The biggest challenge of the show was actually Terrell leaving the kids,’ they revealed. ‘This was his first time ever being away from them since they were born.
‘I don’t think we thought it all the way through from that aspect because it was rough for him when the time came for him to leave.
The married gay couple also revealed experiencing the show was totally different to watching it on TV.
‘If you watch the show, you know you will likely get swapped with someone polar opposite of what you are used to,’ they said. ‘So while it was expected, it still came as a shock as the experience went on.
‘However, we are so blessed to have done it and hopefully share some positive light on the LGBTI community with much needed representation,’ they said.
On what the show taught them, they said: ‘The show taught us just how important the little things are we take for granted everyday. Or how we may get caught up in our day and take each other for granted.
‘When that changes, you feel your day moves a little slower and is not as exciting.’
They then joked: ‘Nobody also can make spaghetti like your husband can.’
Hopes for the future
Jarius and Terrell said they hope to be positive representation for the gay community, as well as ‘visibility to two dad households’.
‘We wanted to break the stereotype that it is not possible for same sex couples to raise children,’ they said. ‘Our children are happy, healthy, and experiencing much more than we did at that age.
‘There is no perfect way to parent, but love is present in every corner of our home and we sleep well knowing that our kids will grow up surrounded by that,’ they said.
The married gay couple are incredibly excited about what the future holds. They currently manage a hugely successful YouTube channel, as well as social media platforms.
‘We love to have fun and make memories and that is what our channel is all about,’ they explained. ‘We hope to have our own platform one day to reach millions.
‘[We also want to] inspire them to keep moving forward in a positive way and set out to accomplish their dreams,’ they said.
Watch Wife Swap on Thursday (25 April) at 9/8c on the Paramount Network.
Jarius and Terrell aren’t the first gay couple to feature on Wife Swap.
Back in 2005, a gay couple appeared on the show that didn’t actually make it to air.
The husband in the straight relationship sued the show’s production company for damages. Jeffrey Bedford said he was expecting a woman in the swap and also claimed the producers ‘misled’ and ‘threatened’ him.