COMM: You can’t help who you fall in love with. This is 24-year-old Julia. COMM: She fell in love with 61-year-old Eileen. JULIA ZELG: I used to think that most older women wouldn’t be that interested in a sex life. But I guess I was wrong. COMM: But in a society that’s quick to judge, not everyone has been accepting of their 37-year age gap. EILEEN DE FREEST: People can leave nasty messages.
JULIA ZELG: Yeah. COMM: But what matters the most is the support of the ones we love. So, now the couple are travelling across the world to seek the acceptance of Julia’s mother. JULIA ZELG: My mum is a few years younger than Eileen. JULIA ZELG: My name is Julia Zelg, I’m 24. I was born in Sao Paulo Brazil, but I live in London and I’m a YouTuber. JULIA ZELG: I post a lot of different things about my life or even about fashion. Literally, everything I’m interested in. COMM: When 24-year-old Julia met 61-year-old Eileen, it wasn’t long before sparks flew. EILEEN DE FREEST: My name is Eileen De Freest, I’m 61. I work in social media and for politics. COMM: But with such a large age gap, the couple’s relationship has been met with harsh judgement. EILEEN DE FREEST: People can leave nasty messages.
JULIA ZELG: Yeah. COMM: Rather than let the trolls get the better of them, Julia and Eileen are standing strong in the face of their unconventional relationship. EILEEN DE FREEST: I’m not her mother. I’m her lover, I’m her girlfriend, I’m her partner. COMM: Julia and Eileen are now preparing to fly to Brazil to meet Julia’s mother for the very first time. JULIA ZELG: My mom is 53. I guess some people think it’s a bit weird that my mum is a few years younger than Eileen. COMM: After a whirlwind romance, the couple decided to take their relationship to the next level and Julia moved in with Eileen. JULIA ZELG: This is the bedroom, pretty much similar to how it was before I moved here. Apart from the shelves because we needed more space, because it’s quite a small flat. EILEEN DE FREEST: Yeah.
JULIA ZELG: And I happen to have a lot of shoes. JULIA ZELG: We have so many things in common. The only things that are different are our ages and our, probably, fashion styles. JULIA ZELG: I think we get hate comments mostly because of our age difference but also because we are gay and there are unfortunately still a lot of homophobic people out there. EILEEN DE FREEST: And misogyny. EILEEN DE FREEST: We do get that thing a lot about mommy and grandmother. You know and we get Grams. Oh yeah, we get that, well you know, we get that a lot. I kind of, understand that this person’s frame of reference is very narrow and I feel sorry for them. But it does make me upset a little bit. JULIA ZELG: There are people who think all age gap relationships are for money and that really annoys me a little bit because we pay everything equally. JULIA ZELG: We’ll not let any haters stop us because..
EILEEN DE FREEST: Yeah. JULIA ZELG: We just love each other.
EILEEN DE FREEST: Yeah. EILEEN DE FREEST: Julie doesn’t make me feel insecure but I make myself feel insecure. You know, I wonder sometimes, “Do people wonder you know, why she’s with me? And you know, and they can’t possibly know the answer to that because they don’t know. I gained weight over the years and Julia is quite a beautiful woman. But you know, I delight in her beauty, I just feel slightly self-conscious if that makes more sense. EILEEN DE FREEST: One thing I know for sure is that you guys are beach loving people and the women wear ‘barely-there’ bathing suits. I know that for a fact because I have to, you know, deal with it because I won’t be wearing a barely-there bathing suit; I’ll be wearing a one-piece. EILEEN DE FREEST: But that’s ok.
JULIA ZELG: You’re going to look wonderful. EILEEN DE FREEST: Oh, thank you darling, you’re so cute. I’m so excited about going to Brazil. I’m really, really thrilled, and I was a little afraid to be honest. I don’t know if I told you that, but I was a little. JULIA ZELG: No, you didn’t.
EILEEN DE FREEST: Yeah, I was a little afraid. EILEEN DE FREEST: I’m sure I’ll have some moments, you know, where I’ll be a little nervous. COMM: With their suitcases packed, it’s finally time for the couple to make their 12-hour journey to face their most important judge to date. COMM: Julia’s mother. JULIA ZELG: Now we’re just going to get our cases and then we’re going to meet my mum. JULIA ZELG: My mom just met her, and she absolutely adores her. Everybody’s very supportive and they know that Eileen makes me so happy so that’s all that matters. And that’s what they want, they just want my happiness. JULIA ZELG: I used to think that most older women wouldn’t be very sexually active or wouldn’t be that interested in a sex life, but I guess I was wrong. We don’t have any problems with that. EILEEN DE FREEST: Julie and I have an extraordinarily good sex life. I mean, I have never been with anybody as exciting as her and fun as hell. JULIA ZELG: I know things have moved quite fast with us, but you know, sometimes that is just the way it is. EILEEN DE FREEST: This just feels right. We’re together because we love each other. As Julia very beautifully said once, “We couldn’t not be together” you know. JULIA ZELG: Sometimes we do worry about the future but Eileen, most likely, won’t live as long as me. Sorry, and it just, sorry, it just really breaks my heart to think that we can’t grow old together, but I love you so much and I want to be with you for as long as we can. EILEEN DE FREEST: That’s beautiful, that’s the first time Julia’s ever been able to really say it. JULIA ZELG: Sorry. EILEEN DE FREEST: I mean, we’ve talked about it of course but it’s a very hard thing to talk about. You know, I mean I thought long and hard, ‘Should I not get in this relationship?’ Should I, do I have a responsibility to turn around, and say no? Because there is such a big age difference or does one just grab love? JULIA ZELG: It really doesn’t matter to me, even in the future when you get older, if we cannot be the couple that is always like, going out and travelling, I don’t care. As long as I’m with you, I really love you. EILEEN DE FREEST: Oh, and I love you too, I love you so much.