Debuting Sunday at 9pm, Season 3 of Bravo’s Newlyweds: The First Year includes new husbands Brandon Liberati and Craig Ramsay, who have been together four years but married for just one.
Liberati, a makeup artist and stylist who grew up in a strict Mormon family in Salt Lake City, says his religious background is “a huge part of my story—of our story.”
“Growing up in Utah has definitely made me who I am today,” he tells the Salt Lake City Tribune. “That has given me a thick skin. So I can actually handle anything Hollywood throws at me.”
But he admits he still grapples with acceptance from his family.
“Everyone knows that being gay in Utah is still quite a struggle, even though marriage is legal now. We really give people outside of Utah a look at the struggle that the gay community goes through inside the state.”
But Liberati says shining a light on the Mormon church’s issues with the LGBT community wasn’t his chief reason for doing Newlyweds.
“One of the main reasons we did this was for marriage equality—to actually show people who had fear about the [Supreme Court] decision that we’re actually no different than any other married couple.”
On a reality show, that means arguments and hardships—like trying to start a family.
“We have to create our families. And it’s done in such a loving way,” adds Ramsay, a personal trainer. “Hopefully, it’s going to resonate — especially with people in Salt Lake City — that we have really strong family values.”