Nyle DiMarco came out as sexually fluid after winning America’s Next Top Model back in 2015, but the 28-year-old says he’s not been welcomed into the LGBT community with open arms.
The model was just crowned Man of the Year by Attitude Magazine and spoke to the publication about the discrimination within the queer community.
“I’ve had so many LGBT+ people criticize me for my identity, and I think that’s not the point,” he said. “Why aren’t we working together for a larger goal? The bottom line is, what is our long-term goal for the LGBT+ community?”
DiMarco said that he feels that goal should be “ending oppression or stigma,” adding that “when we end stigma I think we’re going to be in a much better place.”
The Dancing With The Stars winner said that the deaf community does a much better job of making everyone feel accepted and included.
“I always say that I wish the world could look at the deaf community as a great example because they’re so accepting of their differences, because we’re too small a community to pull ourselves down,” he explained. “We have bigger issues to fight.”
In celebration of being crowned Attitude’s Man of the Year, DiMarco serves as the cover model for the magazine’s November issue and poses completely naked, wearing nothing but a giant python around his neck.
Check out a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot below and pick up the November issue of Attitude for more of his interview.