Nearly three years after meeting on Tinder, Mike Chalut and Tyler Freebairn finally got serious about their dating life. Officially together for just over a year, these two come from very different worlds but have found true love in our city of Edmonton and are proud to call it home.
Mike Chalut is a Canadian TV/Radio Personality who moved to Edmonton four years ago to host both City TV and 91.7 Kiss FM with his fabulous co-star at the time Helena Schaper. When their show was cancelled last May due to budget cuts, Mike wasn’t so quick to move back home to Toronto because his heart and home were here with his new co-star in life Tyler Freebairn. Tyler was born and raised in Edmonton and is part of the GO AUTO Family …. rumor has it Tyler has the ability to get you a new car for almost FREE … right Tyler? Calling Edmonton home, these two have started a marketing and event planning company called the MITY (Mi•Tee) GROUP helping start-ups and not-for-profits have a voice…. loud and proud in YEG!
What is it like being active members of the LGBTQ2S Community in our ever growing world class city? We sat down with Mike and Tyler for a real heart to heart…….
For Tyler, coming out was probably the most common way most people do today. He took the millennial route and ran straight to Facebook.
“I was basically so tired of living a lie, so I picked up my phone and was like why not make all 500 plus people aware. I changed my status to “in a relationship” with my then ex and it was history,” he says.
Tyler grew up at the time in a household were being gay was not in favor. His parents always gave him all the care and support he needed which was fantastic but being gay wasn’t really what they wanted for him. He became more open with his family after they saw him happy and in love and they slowly opened up more. Once they met Mike, it was a completed shift with his parents.
“Tell me so I can tell you … that I LOVE YOU.” These life changing words from Mike Chalut Sr about 20 years ago when Mike Jr. was struggling not only with his identity but also with drugs and alcohol to find his place in the world. Since that day, father and son have used his media platform to spread the message that EVERYBODY is A SOMEBODY! I am sure you have heard Mike’s dad on the airwaves or seen him on Mike’s Instagram stories.
Mike and Tyler have different memories on how they first met.
“I just got out of a bad relationship with my partner in Vegas and my friend told me to try Tinder,” recalls Tyler. “I was very hesitant at first, but he helped me set it up and I gave it a chance.”
After talking to a number of the not so “crème de la crème” of guys, he came across Mike. In his display picture Mike was in a metallic pink jacket and Tyler was thinking “oh boy he’s going to be EXTRA, EXTRA read all about it.” They chatted and shared a few messages back and forth before the Tinder trolls ruined it and Tyler deleted the app.
Fast forward two days later and Tyler went to Evolution Wonderlounge and by chance ran into Mike. The first thing he heard from him was “OMG you blocked me on Tinder.” After explaining the situation with the duds he had met and deleting the app, their night went well.
“He bought me my first tequila sunrise and I chugged it down before we exchanged numbers and I gave him a kiss and ran off…it was a true Cinderella moment,” says Tyler.
Mike and Tyler maintained a fabulous friendship for two years after that not jumping into a relationship because Tyler felt he was not ready to date. He needed to figure out his life before he could include someone else in the mix.
In December 2017, Tyler sent Mike a text wanting to explore a relationship and it was history after that. “We mesh so well, and I get to date my best friend! Who wouldn’t want that? I have finally found my Prince Charming. Now I know how Carrie Bradshaw felt in “Sex in the City”. He’s my Mr.Big.”
Mike remembers things similarly in terms of the timeline with the exception of one main thing.
“Oh boy did I chase him! I didn’t give up!” he says.
He remembers the first time he looked into Tyler’s eyes. He knew right then that Tyler was the one he was looking for. It was well worth the two-year chase as he found his best friend. His family loves him and whenever they walk into a room together, hand in hand, everything in the world makes sense.
“It took me until I was 39 to find the man of my dreams,” says Mike. “If you are looking for love … DONT EVER GIVE UP!”
From the moment Tyler met his “hunk of burning love” Mike has instilled in him the importance of fitness. Tyler was into staying in shape, but it was always on the back burner for him. He worked out weekly but was never a workout planner. Being with Mike pushed him to fall in love with fitness and to make it a priority. When they first started dating Mike bought Tyler a yoga membership and they began doing that together.
“Wow is yoga amazing for your mental state and to build your relationship as a couple,” says Tyler. “We love holding hands during the practice.
They work out at least four times a week at the gym and have so much fun in the gym together and love to motivate each other and push each other to get the results they want.
“The fitness community here is amazing,” says Mike. “Yoga helps to clear my mind and raise my soul, while Champs Boxing allows him to knock out any negativity. Orange Theory is his Church while he heads to GoodLife in the Brewery District to people watch, and Oxygen Fitness in Terwillegar to get his ass served on a platter! If you see me dragging Tyler by his lips don’t be alarmed, we are just late for a class!”
To some, cosmetic surgery carries with it negative connotations and the use of treatments to make oneself look better is just superficial nonsense. To others, these treatments help their mental health and if you can make yourself look and feel better through fitness, why not include injections to remove wrinkles and improve your confidence.
“Botox is honestly my bestie,” says Tyler. He has been the poster child of cosmetic fillers since he was 18. He has always had harsh lines on his forehead due to genetics and when he heard of Botox, he decided to give it a try.
The amount of confidence he gained from it is incredible and he will never live without it. He also credits lip fillers as an important factor to his overall appearance. Born with thinner lips, he feels that having that procedure done has sky rocketed his confidence.
“If your appearance is not how you want it and if fillers will help your mental state then get it done. At the end of the day, it’s your body and your choice. My rule to this is to not go overboard, less is always more when it comes to any fillers.”
For Mike, the feeling is the same. “Do what makes you feel good! Life is too short not to be happy so if you want lips like Angelina Jolie …. DO IT! DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!”
To those who call Edmonton home, we see it as a wonderful, breathtaking city, and the people here are kind and genuine. There is so much to do in this city and it’s not a nonstop hustle here like it is in Toronto or Vancouver.
“We lately have been on the lookout for great dinning hot spots in Edmonton because we are the biggest foodies,” says Tyler. “There are a lot of great little hidden gems in Edmonton”.
Mike too has taken to his adopted city. He loves the people and the fact that when you want to cross the street everyone stops their car, smiles and sends you on your way.
“This city is BOOMING and there is so much opportunity to try new things! I got my driver’s license at the age of 39 … God Bless you Edmonton! If you need a ride … call me!”
Case in point for the pair is the Edmonton Pride Festival. Both Mike and Tyler love a good party and love the fact that during Pride Week you get to celebrate equality. They love meeting new people and hearing their stories and have made a lot of good friends from it.
One of the most magical moments of Pride for them is seeing families, straight or gay, with their kids, teaching them that being gay is okay.
“My beyond favorite event during Pride Week is the brunch at Central Social Hall for their “Diva Brunch”. It’s the best brunch. I brought my mom and my sister last year and they loved it. Not to mention my hunk was hosting.”
Mike is thrilled that he and Tyler will be hosting the Annual PRIDE RUN taking place on JUNE 15th .. Register today .. EVERYONE with PRIDE in their hearts is welcome!
Mike has been fortunate to work in the TV and Radio world for 20 years. The stage is home for him and after their show was cancelled last year, he had a 6 month non-compete clause in his contract and now that this is up, he is looking for the next opportunity.
“What I have learned during this time off is that a new show has to best represent me and my morals and values. I am a very proud, happy member of the LGBTQ2S community, and I will always be loud and proud …. no network will change us … we as a community will rise together and always celebrate ONE LOVE!