By Imani Williams
DETROIT – Rose petals lovingly dropped throughout the house leading to a rose filled bath tub; a surprise hot air balloon ride in upper Michigan. These are just two of the memories shared between Jermaine and Larry.
Together almost six years, Detroiters Larry Purdy, 33, and his partner Jermaine Moore, 25, are dispelling the myth that young gay couples can’t and don’t make it when it comes to long-term commitments.
The couple enjoys winding down from their jobs at Comcast and Caramagno Foods by exercising together. Working out provides stress relief as well as some together quality time. They also enjoy music, walks, park outings and just chilling with friends.
The couple dwells in downtown Detroit and they enjoy a circle of friends where they find support and love. This pair seems to be beating the odds of not only finding and keeping love in a community that often frowns on same-gender couplings; but finding it and keeping it even though both men were raised as Jehovah Witnesses. “Jehovah Witnesses view homosexuality as the ultimate sin,” Purdy says of the religious beliefs that both their families share.
Purdy recently came out to his grandfather prior to attending a family reunion. His only request was that he not be treated any different than the rest of the grandchildren.
“There are some obvious differences, like my uncles girlfriends being welcome, they have intimate relationships with their mates and they aren’t married,” he says. “I feel that if behaviors are going to be categorized and judged as a sin then we are all wrong and not just me. I feel tolerated and not necessarily accepted.” However, Purdy says, the rest of his family accepts him and his relationship.
Moore says, “His nieces and nephews call me uncle; and his aunts call me nephew, we’re family.”
Moore’s family is warming up, but he feels his mom still grapples with fully accepting him. He says it has been a long road but he both notices and appreciates the small changes he sees his mom making. Both Moore and Purdy acknowledge that the religion is very strict and very clear on its position.
The couple has created their own recipe for keeping a relationship healthy. They interject simultaneously that you have to “have honesty, trust, consideration for your mate’s feelings, acceptance and you have to be real about who you are.”
They also feel very strongly about not taking on the madness of the community. “We don’t allow people to bring us mess, we don’t deal with that at all,” Moore says.
The couple has plans to expand their family. They want kids but plan to start with a dog and a cat and work their way up to adopting children.
They both feel that it is important to have same-sex marriages recognized. Purdy says, “It is an equality thing and should be recognized. We should have the same benefits that everyone else enjoys.”
In a culture that is not always of accepting, it is nice to see a young couple who is simply living life according to love and making it work.