Gay Couple Flipping Homes in Detroit Also Works to Flip LGBTQ Stereotypes
A couple of construction workers in the Detroit area are working on more than just homes. They're working to make construction work an industry that's LGBTQ+ inclusive, and they've landed their own show on HGTV.
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Couple Migrates to Detroit to Start a Business
Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas are originally from Colorado. They've created a thriving construction business in the Motor City, flipping more than 40 homes so far.
But Bynum tells Detroit's WDIV-TV in the video below that the construction industry was anything but inclusive when he began his career about 10 years ago.
"I was not out and it was very clear that being gay in the construction industry was not acceptable," Bynum says. "I heard every slur you can possibly imagine."
After meeting his partner Evan Thomas, the couple started their own company, Nine Design and Homes.
Nearly Every Staff Member is Gay
Bynum says that it was his mission to start a company that is inclusive. He says most of the carpenters on their staff are gay and notes that the atmosphere of the company is one without judgment. He says he would like to see more of that in the construction industry.
"I would love to see more inclusiveness, less machismo, and toxic masculinity," he says. "Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I can't swing a hammer."
Now They Have a Show on HGTV
The pair have flipped dozens of homes in the Detroit area, concentrating on selling affordable homes to first-time buyers.
Their business has seen so much success that their story has been turned into a hit show on HGTV. 'Bargain Block' focuses on the rehabilitation of rundown homes in Detroit and is currently in its first season.
Click here for showtimes and to see a few clips from past episodes.