Most of us have come to expect reality television stars to be anything but real. Yet Lauren Speed, 34, and Cameron Hamilton, 29, Atlanta-based newlyweds who became breakout stars on the hit Netflix dating show, “Love Is Blind,” have proven to be the real deal. Since their TV debut earlier this year, where they got engaged sight unseen, the couple have become YouTubers, producing content for their show, Hanging with the Hamiltons, which has more than 600,000 subscribers. In recent weeks, Ms. Speed, a digital content creator and former model, and Mr. Hamilton, a fireman turned artificial intelligence professional, have had to tackle tough conversations about racism, while also navigating the obstacles that come with being an interracial couple.
Getting Comfortable With the Uncomfortable
The days following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, and the preceding deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Aubrey, led to protests around the world, including in their hometown Atlanta. None of this makes for a sexy conversation with a spouse, but the Hamiltons are figuring out how to discuss these important events.
“They’re just real conversations we have to have,” Ms. Speed said. “This is nothing new for black people. This whole grief, this sadness, this frustration has been going on since we’ve been in this country. Right now it’s so important for him to just listen. That is what black people want. We want to be heard. We want you to hear how we feel.”
Mr. Hamilton is listening, and together they use their platform to share resources, donate to relevant organizations, and contact politicians to demand policy reform. “I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be black and go through this,” Mr. Hamilton said. “I ask myself, ‘What is it that I can do to be of service?’ I’m constantly reminded that listening is one thing I always need to practice. Listening and understanding what I can do to help.”
Preparing for ‘The Talk’
While the Hamiltons are smitten with their dog, Sparx, they intend to expand their family in the near future. They know that doing so will come with challenges beyond late-night feedings and diaper changes. “Parents begin having conversations with their children about interaction with law enforcement in black households at 6 years old,” said Ms. Speed. “Of course it’s a hard conversation to have, especially as a white dad and a black mom.” Mr. Hamilton added, “Unfortunately I will be treated differently by society than they will. That’s not right, but we have to work toward a better future. I will remind them that they are always loved and we will do our best to protect them.»
Clashing Over Chores
All couples have pet peeves and some would argue that differences are actually healthy for a romantic partnership. However, those differences can seem more annoying after months in quarantine. Mr. Hamilton leaving dishes in their kitchen sink sends Ms. Speed into a mini-panic. “Even when he does wash the dishes, he’ll leave the wet dishrag there to mildew and mold,” she said. “Another thing Cam does that drives me crazy is taking the last piece of paper towel or toilet tissue and leaving the empty roll there.” Mr. Hamilton swiftly added, “There’s no rhyme or reason to the way she loads the dishwasher. About 60 percent of it is still empty.” Ms. Speed responds with a chuckle, “As long as they get clean.”
Cheesy Games For the Win
The Hamiltons have found fun ways to entertain each other while staying indoors. “It gets mundane if you have the same pattern, so it’s cool to do something new together like learn a new game,” Ms. Speed said.
“We’re obsessed with Cheez-Its.” The couple came up with a silly yet sort of sexy game to incorporate their favorite snack. “Basically one person throws a Cheez-It and the other person opens their mouth and tries to catch it.” They even found a way to incorporate this new pastime into their “Quarantine Diaries” series on their YouTube channel.
Taco Tuesday, Any Day of the Week
“We definitely eat a lot of tacos,” Ms. Speed said. “Sometimes we’ll have a margarita night where we eat tacos and watch our favorite movies and shows.” The couple is also putting one of their kitchen gadgets to good use. “We have an air fryer and it’s heaven sent,” she said. “We literally use it every day.”
Creating Bathroom Bliss
“Lauren likes to take long baths,” Mr. Hamilton said. “So I just sort of get that set up in the bathroom for her — maybe put rose petals in the bath and add some bath salts. It’s kind of funny and maybe T.M.I., but our water tank is really small so I have to heat up a ton of water on the stove and run it upstairs. It is a lot of effort but worth it.” Ms. Speed appreciates the effort: “It is super sweet.”