Atlanta’s Johnnell Terrell and Tyrone Wells have built up large followings on Instagram. They recently posed for their first commercial shoot together for underwear brand, Adonis by Kyhry. The brand unveiled the photos over the weekend.
Adonis founder Kyhry Taylor explained in a statement why he wanted to feature the couple.
‘Because I wanted to show two guys that are comfortable with embracing each other.
‘They’re also very popular amongst the gay community but they’ve never done a professional editorial photo shoot for any brand before. I wanted to be the first brand to hire them because I saw their potential.
This campaign is important because it shows that it’s OK for two gay guys to be comfortable in their own skin. Sadly, our community still deals with a lot of homophobia so it’s important to show a positive representation of gay men and gay love.’
The images were taken by photographer Elvis Piedra.
Johnnell Terrell, 37, said, being part of the campaign, ‘has been an amazing experience.
‘I feel there are not enough black men who are able to express their art in the underwear industry as white men are usually given the majority of opportunities.
‘I feel, as gay black men, we can really push limits on the freedom of expressing that art while using a platform to be recognized for. We believe in this new wave of social media, it creates more outlets of diversity.’
‘It’s always great working alongside my partner and doing the photo shoot together has opened our minds to be able to work creatively and feed off each other’s energy.’
Johnnell, 37, has been dating Tyrone , 32, for the past five years (‘It’s like a marriage but we haven’t gotten married yet!’)
He tells GSN that they met via social media and talked for a while before their first meet-up in Nashville.
‘Sharing our relationship so openly on social media definitely has its challenges’
What’s it like to be a high-profile gay couple on social media. Are people generally supportive or do they receive homophobic or racist messages?
‘Since we have built a brand as models and socialites people have generally been supportive but negativity comes with the territory.
‘People create their own perceptions of how they view you but only have a small piece of the puzzle. There are many elements to our relationship and we control what we choose to share.
‘Sharing our relationship so openly on social media definitely has its challenges but throughout this experience, we have seen how our relationship inspires so many other gay men to want the same companionship. So, overall, it’s a positive response.’
Both men took part in a number of Pride events this year.
‘One of our highlights this year was being apart of NY Pride! We also got to host and model at the Blatino Oasis this year. One of the best feelings is being able to meet supporters and fans of our relationship in person!’
He says that he and Tyrone are working on a calendar project for 2019. They’re also hoping roll out a YouTube channel, ‘so that people can see more of who we are as people and what we get up to every day.’