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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



The 'Newlyweds' game with Jeff and Blair
TELEVISION Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

This article shared 5842 times since Tue Jun 4, 2013
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The Bravo Channel has a new show entitled Newlyweds: The First Year that features, among others, L.A. couple Jeff Pedersen and Blair Late. The docuseries captures all the trials and tribulations of being a newlywed.

Covering an entire year, the couple squabbles about money along with the challenges of married life—and there's a visit to a sex therapist.

Lauren Lazin, who is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary maker, follows the couples with an hour-long feature each week.

Pedersen and Late met at a pool party then after a year of dating were granted domestic partnership in Savannah, Ga.

Late was a former European pop star and now an entertainment reporter while Pedersen is a federal investigator. No matter what happens it is, until death do they part.

Windy City Times gave them a call to look behind the veil.

Windy City Times: Hey, guys. I'm calling you from Chicago.

Blair Late: We were just on The Today Show today and Jeff was very excited to talk to Chicago.

Jeff Pedersen: It is my favorite city in the United States.

WCT: When are you coming to visit?

Jeff Pedersen: That is a very good question.

Blair Late: Hopefully, before it gets cold again.

WCT: It is International Mr. Leather right now so that could be fun.

Jeff Pedersen: I would rather come for Market Days.

WCT: Wilson Phillips is coming for that and Lynda Carter will be here, too.

Blair Late: Wilson Phillips? I love them!

Jeff Pedersen: You can't get better than Wonder Woman.

WCT: Or gayer. [All laugh.] Blair, you probably meet celebrities all the time with your job.

Blair Late: Yes, absolutely—either interviewing or hanging out with them. It is a lot of fun. I love it.

WCT: How did the process of being on the Newlyweds show happen?

Blair Late: Jeff and I fell in love and got engaged after a year of dating. There was a producer friend of ours that thought we were very funny together with our banter. Without us knowing he contacted Bravo who was looking for couples for this show. This was in 2011 when they put us on camera and did an in dept interview process with us for a couple of months.

We decided to sign the contract the day before Thanksgiving in 2011. We shot until January 2013 so it covers a full year.

Jeff Pedersen: The first day of shooting was our domestic partnership.

WCT: So it was domestic partnership and not a gay marriage?

Blair Late: That was our only option in the state of California. I always try to stress to people that the rights that you receive under that title are the exact same rights that you receive in gay marriage in New York. You basically reap the benefits of tax rights.

You will see after the wedding, Jeff calls it the commitment ceremony, all of the things we have to do to get more legal rights. We don't get much. So on paper it is called domestic partnership.

Jeff Pedersen: Then you have to protect yourself like we did by making a living trust to be able to visit the person in the hospital if they happen to get hurt or sick.

WCT: Your relationship focuses on an age difference that is common in many gay relationships.

Blair Late: Yes, and it happens in many straight relationships, too. My mother's husband is 16 and a half years older than her, just as Jeff is with me. My dad is almost 10 years older than his wife.

It is interesting how I have been surrounded by age differences my whole life.

WCT: Did you feel pressure to be representative of the gay community on this show?

Jeff Pedersen: That was one of the biggest responsibilities taking on this job and showing the world who we both were and our relationship. I spoke to Blair about it today because it is a huge responsibility.

By no means are we the poster children for gay marriage. We have our own faults and challenges, just like any other relationship.

One of Lauren Lazin's first questions asked what were our concerns were. I didn't want a train wreck. I wanted a gay couple in a positive light because I don't feel our community has that.

Blair Late: I don't feel pressure. I am who I am. I have been accused in the last few weeks of being a drama queen but to be totally honest that is just who I am. This is who I have been my entire life since I was born.

Jeff, for his entire life, has been a little more soft-spoken and not so much drama-driven or opinionated. That is just who we are. Take it or leave it, we are not trying to be this couple that you see on television like these fictionalized shows like in The New Normal or Modern Family.

I have been getting tweets left and right comparing us to the couple in The New Normal, but that is complete accident.

WCT: Ryan Murphy based that on himself wanting to adopt a child and people he knew, so it will be similar to real life.

Blair Late: Exactly.

WCT: There is also the older gay vs. the younger gay, where sexuality was dealt with differently growing up. That is valuable to look at with this show.

Blair Late: I think it is amazing to look at. Look at the difference of Jeff's story coming out while I came out coming out of the womb! I really never let people's judgment affect me like it has Jeff. That is maybe why he is not into public displays of affection like I am. Even holding hands while walking down the street he is just not as comfortable with as I am. There is a difference.

We learn from each other. I will hold hands in any part of the country but Jeff warns me not to shove it in their faces in some places. We have to find that happy medium.

WCT: I had a similar story that Jeff went through with his family so I sympathize with him.

Jeff Pedersen: It is hard because I now it is nationally known how they reacted to and treated this issue. It has been a struggle for me but I am just being honest and telling my side of the story from my perspective.

I think when you have children you love them unconditionally unless they are a serial killer or a danger to society.

Blair Late: How ironic that Jodi Arias' parents still showed up to the court trial when she will probably get the death penalty but Jeff's parents didn't show up to our wedding!

WCT: It is their loss, though. You brought up the point of praying the gay away on the show. Many straight people do respect that someone tried to change and it didn't work.

Blair Late: I grew up in the church my whole life. It was one of those things even at prepubescent years I remember feeling I was different. I didn't know what to do about it but pray. It took until age fifteen to figure out that the prayers were not working! There was a good chunk of time that I was praying to not be gay. That proves that I was not only born this way but trying to change what society teaches me is wrong. If that didn't work through God, then I don't know what to tell you.

It was absolutely something I dealt with but I am happy the way it turned out—that is for sure.

WCT: People say being on a reality show can be hard on a relationship. Is everything going well with you two?

Blair Late: I think it has been fantastic for our relationship.

Jeff Pedersen: I think it forced us in the first year to deal with the cameras being around with real issues like finances and sex along with everyday things that happen in a relationship. It forced us to hit it head on right away and resolve these issues. I think a lot of relationships just push them under the rug. The honeymoon will be over then it is the grind. Maybe that is why fifty percent of relationships end in divorce that by the time they face these issues it is already too late.

Blair Late: On top of that, what a cool opportunity. Jeff explained why the filming helped us but now that it is on television the outpouring of affection and support is overwhelming. We get tweets everyday that people love us. It is an affirmation that even if you are annoyed at the other one then you can't deny that these people are right. I would hate to be one of those couples that don't get that reaction! [Laughs] Everything is just fantastic.

Newlyweds: The First Year airs Mondays on Bravo.

This article shared 5842 times since Tue Jun 4, 2013
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