Many of you already know Brand g’s resident photographer and trip host, Troy Bermel, aka co-owner Jeff’s husband. He is an indispensable part of Brand g trips, capturing the magic and the merriment, much of which he starts as his alter ego, Squeeky.
- What’s your favorite part of working with Brand g?
Getting to meet all our guests. They’re this whole rainbow of types, and Jeff and I have become friends with so many of them. Operating tours and cruises is nonstop activity, but within that, we get to have these little moments with people that are really endearing and bonding. And since I’m the staff photographer, I just yell something like, “Say Cheers to Queers!” and people throw themselves in front of my lens. The power is intoxicating.
- What’s your favorite Brand g memory?
Several years ago, on board a river cruise on France’s Rhone river, our guest Deb surprised her partner Tobi with a proposal during an Ann Hampton Callaway show. Everyone was crying and cheering. It was SO sweet. Sadly, I didn’t wear waterproof mascara.
- What was your most embarrassing Brand g moment?
Passing out in full drag. (The things I do for this company.) Having to explain to housekeeping why there’s Jungle Red lipstick all over the pillowcase and top sheet is not a moment I cherish.
- What is your favorite travel destination?
I agree with Eric Poole. It’s Africa. The company has done safaris in both South Africa and Tanzania, and the experience is mind-blowing. There’s just nothing else like it on earth. I actually love camping, but I have to admit, it’s pretty nice to get to stay in these 5-star tented villas. I feel like Meryl Streep in Out of Africa, but without all the big hats and cheating husbands.
- Where in the world would you like to go that is unavailable (i.e. unsafe, politically unstable, too hard to reach, whatever)?
Russia. There are so many amazing sights, but it’s not exactly welcoming to gay folk. Or for that matter, straight folk. (Just the visa process alone is onerous and expensive.) Hopefully, one day that will change, unless Putin lives forever as he clearly plans to.
- What is the stupidest/most embarrassing job you ever had?
My first job as a teenager – pulling cockleburs from sheep’s wool. The best thing about that job was that there was nowhere to go but up.
- What would you be if you could be anything?
A professional fly fisherman. Waders are high fashion to me.
- What is your greatest extravagance?
Purchasing heels for my Brand g alter ego, Squeeky. (She’s a bit of a shoe ho.) Thank God for online shopping – it’s not exactly something I’d wanna do in a DSW.