27-Year Age Gap Is No Match for Love Say Chris Stanley & Bret LaBelle
Author: Christopher Wiggins
Spend ten minutes with 23-year-old Chris Stanley and 49-year-old Bret LaBelle, and it becomes evident that the two are in love. Despite (or perhaps because of) their 27-year age gap, the couple’s relationship is going strong, and they’re opening up about being a couple after having their relationship so public.
Because both of them are public figures — Stanley, a successful TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube influencer under the name Stanchris with more than one million followers, and LaBelle, a former contestant on the CBS juggernauts Survivor
Sometimes, that attention breeds misconceptions.
“If I were a millionaire, I might understand them calling me a sugar daddy,” LaBelle interjected. “But I have a working-class job. Plus, Chris does very well for himself.”
“I always feel like I don’t even look that young, but sometimes people just think I’m so young,” Stanley said. “A few weeks ago, this guy thought I wasn’t even 18 when I was like trying to buy a lottery ticket at the gas station.”
LaBelle added, “He just has this great way about him. He’s got a great personality, and he’s just really easygoing, and the best way I can put it is that he’s an old soul. I think that’s why we get along so well.”
LaBelle explained that while he would look at comments under some of Stanley’s videos and pick out the few negative ones, Stanley pointed out that there were 50 positive ones above them.
“I’ve been judged a lot over the last 10 years, whether it’s from reality television or what I do for work,” LaBelle said. “So I knew when we decided to announce that we’re together, there would be some backlash, but I have to say beyond that, there was so much outpouring of love.”
LaBelle lived in a familiar dichotomy for a while when in 2016, he came out to a fellow contestant on Survivor: Millenials vs. Gen X
As LaBelle is out doing law enforcement work Monday through Friday, Stanley keeps a full-time schedule developing, producing, shooting, and editing content. The Boston Police lieutenant thinks he might be the only gay SWAT commander in the country.
“My schedule is pretty flexible. I can do whatever I want,” he said. “The only constant is that I can always edit.”
On December 15 of last year, something Stanley hadn’t expected happened.
Stanley interjected to needle LaBelle about the lengths to which the TikToker went to get to post a video of the couple.
“Look at him!” LaBelle quipped. “Look at him smiling because he knows what he was doing!”
It’s that “just go for it” attitude that LaBelle wishes he had developed years earlier. Now, being in love, in a healthy relationship, and living fully, he said he would tell his younger self to embrace who he was earlier.
“Everyone’s different, and this is just my story,” he said. “But I would tell myself to come out sooner. That was such a weight lift off of my back that nobody realizes how your personality changes. Everything changes when you’re in the closet, and when you come out, it’s so uplifting, and you can be yourself, and your interactions with other people are better. The way you respect yourself is better, and how you feel is better. And that helps you to be open to finding someone. It changes your whole personality when you’re not hiding from something anymore. So that’s what I would tell myself.”
He added, ”I would tell myself to come out 10 years earlier.”
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins