TRUE BRIT

“This is Our Year” Video Star Talks About Being Part Of England’s Cutest Gay Couple

Over the past week, “This is Our Year”—an impossibly adorable video showing highlights from the life of  gay British couple Joe and Will—became a viral sensation.

Then it was taken down off Vimeo.

Then it went back up. One of the lovebirds, Joe (the taller, dark-haired lad) chatted with Queerty about how this little chronicle of their 18-month relationship came about. “I called it “This is Our Year, not because it’s a montage of clips from the past year, but more so because it’s our first proper full year together.”

What inspired you to make “This is Our Year”?

We took a video camera with us earlier this year when we went to Pride, and decided it’d be a good idea to make a record of it. We didn’t get the chance this year to go on a holiday anywhere, so Pride was a bit like our “summer break” and so most of the clips in the video came from that weekend.

I decided to make the “This is Our Year” video for Will, as something a little different for part of his Christmas present. Last year I bought Will a diary and wrote inside notes on different memorable dates – anything from “first date” to “meeting the parents” etc. – he loved it, so felt like I needed to do something to better that.

How do you think it went viral? How many views has it gotten so far?

Last time I checked, the originally video was coming up to 25,000 views but obviously when we took it down for some time (we panicked!). Then duplicates appeared elsewhere online, which meant it spread even further and was viewed by more people. It’s all been a bit of a surprise really because when I originally uploaded the video, it was only meant to be seen by Will, but being a bit naive and not having much experience with Vimeo, I submitted the video with the completely wrong privacy settings meaning it was picked up by everyone else too!

We only realised the extent of how viral it had gone when we came back from a night at a Christmas market and I saw comments on the video in my emails. The first thing I said to Will was: “Don’t be mad at me but…” and we looked through the statistics on Vimeo and realised what had happened and how it had been picked up by blogs and websites around the world.

So this was meant to be only between you and Will?

It was, yeah. We’re massively surprised by the reaction. I felt so nervous when I realised what had happened, I immediately thought we were going to be reading some nasty comments from people, because I know not everyone is as comfortable with public displays of affection between two men as we are!

Were you inspired at all by the Australian “It’s Time” ad? A lot of people see your video as a real-life version of it.

We loved the “It’s Time” video, I remember posting it on Will’s Facebook wall and he told me on the phone how good he thought it was. It didn’t come in to my mind when I was editing the video, and the footage for the video was filmed before we discovered the “It’s Time” video, but it’s lovely that people feel as positive about what started out as just a small memento of our year, as they do about “It’s Time.”

We definitely don’t feel like a role-model couple but are really encouraged by comments from people online and although it was never our intention to make other people happy with the video, it’s lovely to see such a positive response. Someone mentioned to us that it’s the best unintentional “It Gets Better” video they have seen. If it’s true that people watching are getting something out of it, then it’s a great bonus.

Joe and Will, who both work in the UK television industry, are hoping to move in together in the new year.