Bradley + Trey

(c) Catalina Kulczar, 2014

If there were ever a case for the happiness that living as your true self can bring, it might just be Bradley and Trey.

For the first three years of their relationship, they navigated the pressures of conservative life in North Carolina with caution: a simple night out for dinner could mean running into a family friend, and could result in rumors and whispers and discomfort. And in fact, back in 2009, when Bradley was first outed--as opposed to coming out himself--he did indeed have to face an extremely difficult time and deal with the strain it put on his relationship with his mom.

But while it initially brought pain, it ended up being the best thing that could've happened. It turned out that his brother would be supportive and accepting right from the beginning. And as Bradley's relationships with his mom and his friends healed, they've come out stronger on the other side. As he explains, now that there's complete honesty in his relationships with friends and family, he finally hasn't had to hide or check or deny any part of himself.

For Trey, his friends all know and love Bradley, but when it comes to his family, he wants it to be a natural process; after all, to him, sitting his family down to "break" the news to them holds such a negative connotation, as if he were preparing them for bad news. But Bradley isn't bad news and is the exact opposite, as this is the happiest and most accepted Trey has ever felt.

The freedom they've found in moving to LA has brought even more happiness, as time and time again, the two speak effusively of the fulfilling and happy (there's that word again!) life they're building together. And one of the most exciting things is still yet to come--as Trey puts it, they're lucky to have the opportunity to take advantage of the fight that those who have come before have fought, and to make this, the happiest they've ever been, official.