Newlyweds and newbie YouTubers, Marquis and Joseph Reed, started their own YouTube channel “QuisNJoe Reed” just a few months ago. At first glance, their videos are light and fun. They have one explaining how they met, some where they attempt popular YouTube challenges for couples, and videos of them cooking together. But before you write them off as just another “YouTube Couple”, they have bigger ambitions and want to make a difference. Although they’re having fun creating content and living in newlywed-bliss, the Reeds are hoping to give their viewers a different take on gay marriages and relationships, something they didn’t have when they were growing up.
The inspiration to begin their YouTube channel came from a need for the content. They both believe there’s a lack of positive representation of the LGBT community in the media especially when it comes to marriage. Marquis says, “I wanted to inspire young adults and teens who come from unaccepting families to show them you can be who you are and be proud. If I had this outlet back in middle school or high School, I would have came out a lot earlier.” Though the decision to start vlogging and opening up about their lives came more naturally for Marquis, Joe says, “At first, I was really hesitant about it because I really don’t like to showcase my business on social media. After more thought and some time, I thought it would be great hobby and finally agreed to it. It took a lot of convincing!”
Although there are more gay characters on TV, in movies and on social media today than just a few years ago, there isn’t enough diversity, Marquis says, “I don’t see a mixture of an accurate representation. Majority of the content out there that showcases the LGBT community perpetuates stereotypes as opposed to breaking them. I just want to show that monogamy in the LGBT community is attainable when you find someone that is on the same page. I also want to showcase that not every gay male is flamboyant or sees themselves as more feminine than masculine.” Marquis and Joe both agree that gay males are misrepresented online and in the media. They hope to tackle this issue especially since a huge part of that misrepresentation relates to gay relationships and marriages. Joe explains, “The idea of two men being in a committed relationship is almost a parody.”
The Reeds live in Atlanta and believe that promiscuity and infidelity are normalized in their community and the other side is often not celebrated or showcased, which is where their YouTube channel comes in. Their videos are meant to show that another world exists other than what’s shown or believed to be popular amongst gay men. Not all gay relationships are toxic or fleeting. And both Marquis and Joe take marriage seriously. It’s so important that there’s representation of various gay relationships instead of just one. And they felt that a relationship like theirs wasn’t represented enough. Representation is so important especially among the LGBT community. And according to an article on The Washington Post, representation is even more important on social media because some people don’t have access to cable or TV and, “LGBTQ identifying youth who don’t have access either or who can’t openly watch shows with queer characters out of fear of being outed or harassed at home. Tweens and teens take to YouTube, TikTok, Tumblr, Instagram and other platforms to find friends and community. They are looking for advice and encouragement in judgment-free zones.”
Marquis and Joe are being themselves in their videos—happily married and living their lives on their terms. Joe hopes by making these videos their viewers will “…gain the view of what a genuine relationship is like for two men in Atlanta. We are just ourselves and perfectly imperfect.”