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News about the LGBTQ+ community in the Charlotte area and beyond.

‘Our 2 Moms’ spotlights couple living in Statesville


STATESVILLE, N.C. — When Whitney Gilbert and Shadese (DeeDee) Griffith began dating more than a year ago, neither could have expected that they and their family would find themselves on reality television.

“So we all wore Pride shirts and then all of our kids were in a line behind us and it ended up going viral,” Gilbert said.

With that dance that showed off their blended, nine-person family — and more than 298,000 likes and thousands of comments later — they found themselves in talks with a production company that wanted to show their lives on television.

And with the special “Our 2 Moms” on TLC, they’ll tell their story to the world, with all its ups and downs.

The preview for “Our 2 Moms” on TLC is as follows: Newly engaged, Whitney and DeeDee juggle raising seven kids and planning their dream wedding. Between ex-husbands, opinionated families, and small-town attitudes about a same-sex, interracial couple, getting down the aisle might be harder than expected.

Gilbert said she was removed from her praise and worship team at a local church after she and Griffith began dating and that their large, interracial family sometimes catch glances in public. She was married for a decade to a man before dating and eventually becoming engaged to Griffith, part of why many were surprised when the two began dating.

“A lot of people were like, ‘whoa, Whitney just went from good, godly, Christian girl to with a female,’ so I felt like no one understands me,” Gilbert said.

And while there is drama in the couple and family’s lives, she said they hope to show the positives and the negatives of life in Statesville with their family.

“One thing that the show really wants to show is that you know it’s really hard to love who you love and be in a very conservative town. They want to show that it’s not as open here and it’s not as easy to live the lifestyle that we’re we’re living, but they’re also hoping that this will bring awareness and help people to understand that we are just like everyone else,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert, a teacher at Iredell-Statesville Schools, and Griffith, a mental health therapist, hope the show will help people understand them and other LBGTQ people. She said there are steps in the right direction, one of which was how Statesville has begun in the last two years to host Pride events.

“I feel like we’re finally, getting there, getting somewhere. Even in a year, it has changed tremendously,” Gilbert said.

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