The couple rocketed to fame as their Detroit-based home restoration show, “Bargain Block,” premiered in 2021. Since then, they’ve satiated fans’ and reporters’ curiosity about their wedding plans by saying they’ve been too busy to plan anything. But the truth, they told Instinct Magazine on October 25, 2023, is that they just don’t want to.
“That’s not what anybody wants to hear,” Bynum acknowledged, adding that he and Thomas have struggled with how to respond to “so many” questions about their non-existent wedding plans.
Keith Bynum & Evan Thomas Have Multiple Reasons for Not Wanting to Marry
Bynum and Thomas met via the online dating site Match.com in 2013 while both were living in Boulder, Colorado — a suburb of Denver. They got engaged in March 2018.
And though they still love building a life together, including renovating their “forever home” in Detroit and recently buying a northern Michigan vacation home, the couple cringed when Instinct Magazine reporter Denny Patterson asked about their engagement.
“The whole ‘engaged’ thing is weird,” Thomas said.
After stammering a bit, Bynum explained, “People ask about this wedding stuff all the time. And I don’t know how to tell them that we, like, have zero interest in a wedding. ‘Cause that’s not what anybody wants to hear. It’s like, we don’t care to be bound legally by the state.”
As Bynum began to say he’s “perfectly happy” with the way things are, Thomas agreed but added, “It’s not like I don’t want to be bound.”
“But there is something that is so … it seems to odd to have so many questions about it,” Bynum admitted, as he and Thomas laughed. “I love the questions but I don’t know what to say!”
“Also, I hate the idea of a bunch of people staring at me the entire time,” he continued. “I already live like that. The idea of that does not sound fun.”
Thomas, meanwhile, said his main reason for avoiding a wedding is financial.
“I’m just cheap, so the concept of a wedding sounds like a waste of money,” he admitted.
But he also said, “And we already feel like we are married, so it wouldn’t change anything in any meaningful way other than tax law, I guess.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples could marry nationwide, providing them with access to the same spousal benefits as opposite-sex couples, from employee health insurance to pension plans, according to online legal resource Justia. In December 2022, President Joe Biden signed gay marriage legislation into law, per the Associated Press.
“We probably should do more investigating as to the benefits ’cause we need to, like, understand it,” Bynum told Instinct. “We are very ignorant when it comes to that. I know that there’s a lot of people that find it very important. I find it important to have the option. I want the option! I just want my own option as to when to exercise that option. But, by damn, I’ll have the option.”
‘Bargain Block’ Stars Say They’ve Never Felt Any Pressure From HGTV to Highlight or Hide Their Relationship
HGTV’s biggest stars include multiple married couples with their own shows, from Ben and Erin Napier of “Home Town” to Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson of “Married to Real Estate.” But Bynum and Thomas are the network’s only same-sex couple with their own series, which also features their friend and real estate agent, Shea Hicks Whitfield.
When Instinct Magazine’s Patterson asked Bynum and Thomas about their status as role models for the LGTBQA+ community, they said they rarely think about it because HGTV executives and producers have not made it an issue.
“It’s never been brought up,” Thomas said. “I feel that they allow us to just be ourselves. Like, there’s no direction in that way. Like they’re not trying (to make) us less gay or more gay or anything. It’s just like, we are who we are and they’re filming us doing our business and that’s what I like about it the most, is that we can just totally be ourselves.”
Noting that the network has never tried to “exploit” or hide their relationship, Bynum quipped, “They’re not, like, elbowing us in the corner being like, ‘Y’all hug more so we can get (that).'”
“It’s just such a non-thing, which I am so grateful for,” he said. “Because a lot of people worked really fu**ing hard for that to happen, leading up to me to not even have to discuss it at work. I am so grateful.”
Bynum explained that they’re both well aware of “how much progress has been made in the gay world,” from marriage equality to representation in entertainment. In the past, he has talked about how star struck he was to meet other HGTV stars who are openly gay including Jonathan Knight of “Farmhouse Fixer” and David Bromstad of “My Lottery Dream House.”
In a 2022 HGTV Pride Month video, Bynum told Bromstad how much his roles on the network had inspired him.
“I’m from the South, so being gay isn’t the easiest thing a lot of times,” he told Bromstad. “So seeing that on HGTV… you know, I was like, ‘I can get this dream, we can. You know, I can be on HGTV just like David did!’ So, thank you for that because it really changed my life.”