RELATIONSHIPS :: Minaj “Peter” Tanweer and William Butts are the type of gay couple Oprah once quipped that are “connected on soul level.” They poke fun at their flaws, pass loving momentary glances, and without thought wipe crumbs out of each other’s facial hair every now and then.
What solidifies them is patience. Butts believes, “You needs lots of patience or it isn’t going to work. Guys want to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble; what they don’t realize is they’re throwing away the person.”
Before amassing over 7,000 Instagram followers who track their relationship online, their love story began as a typical boy-meets-boy tale. However their love was soon tested. Thus far William and Peter have triumphed over:
– William being kicked out by his father
– William in with Peter but keeping their relationship a secret
– Coming out to a traditional Muslim family
– A stint on social assistance
– Shift work
– Opening their relationship
– Both enrolling in Ryerson’s Hospitality Management program, and
– Choosing monogamy again
They are only in their mid-twenties. Sitting in matching outfits – their signature – this amazing social media couple joined me for coffee.
Max MacDonald: How did you meet?
William: Through an ad that I posted with a horrible picture on Craiglist
Peter: The first thing I fell in love with, as soon as I saw his post, was his blue eyes.
MM: When did you know you were going to be a couple?
William: It just clicked and I said “I love you” as we were on cam before we met the first time.
Peter: I worked at a gas station so I could bring my laptop and Skype with him. We chatted for three days.
William: We were not so in love when we first met. Now I can’t picture my life without him.
Peter: We’ve overcome many obstacles.
MM: Care to share?
Peter: [William’s] father threatened us. One day I walked into William’s house, as he was afraid of his father. His father said, “If you choose Peter over us leave everything I’ve given you.”
William: The only thing my dad gave me, that I was wearing, was a jacket. Peter gave me everything else. So I took it off and said, “Bye dad.”
Peter: He lived with my family. My father was fine with it but insisted he stay in my room. My father didn’t know about us or that I was gay at the time.
MM: Peter how did you tell your family?
Peter: I said to William it was time. I needed to have someone beside me when I told them. So I asked my close friend to come over.
William: I was hiding under a sheet in his bedroom when he told them.
MM: And William was still living with your family Peter?
Peter: Yes. And this was all happening in Urdu and William has no idea was going on.
William: Remember I’m still under the sheet.
Peter: There was all this yelling and I went into the next room and fake fainted.
William: [Laughs] That was the day he learned not to fall down with his contact lenses in.
MM: Do you mind sharing how you ended up on welfare?
Peter: There was a period of eight months where both didn’t have jobs so we were on welfare.
William: We used to go to the food bank together.
Peter: They would only give us good for two days. It was cookies, powdered milk and crap. I asked them for real food so I could cook. I was glad when William started working.
MM: You survived so much as a couple why did you decide to open your relationship?
Peter: William was working in security and he would have seven day shifts with four days off. For us to see each other every two weeks wouldn’t go by.
MM: Who started the whole conversation of about opening up the relationship?
Peter: I did.
MM: What within you had the courage to ask William to open things up?
William: He just asked me actually.
Peter: We trust each other completely. You have to trust the other person with communication and loyalty. We know are not going to leave each other for any reason.
William: [Laughs] You don’t have worry your partner is going to cheat on you. If you limit your partner he will be tempted to cheat.
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MM: So when did you flip back to monogamy?
Peter: Mutual understanding. I always check in with William.
MM: How did you decide to go on Instragram?
William: Peter started it. We had a YouTube.com channel that didn’t go well.
Peter: I want to share what we have with the world. We just capture moments and post natural content.
MM: Which one of you polices what goes on Instragram?
Peter: [Laughs] Before I post anything I ask William who is my executive editor. He has the final say over what goes up.
William: Peter is a total Instawhore and loves to Instragram everything.
Peter & William on Instagram: PeterandWilliam
Max MacDonald on Instragram: AndThenTheresMax
Max MacDonald is a media, PR, menswear and fashion law influencer who brings cool ideas to life. In November 2015 he spearheaded a history-making secret project which resulted in Toronto drag queen Michelle DuBarry receiving the Guinness World Record World’s Oldest Drag Queen. You can find him at: http://andthentheresmax.com