While the number of gay/bisexual characters on scripted
television has, at best, held steady over the past decade (and doesn’t exactly
represent the diversity of gay men in the real world), it’s a different story
when it comes to the depiction of gay men on reality television. Indeed, along
with the explosion of reality programming has come a dramatic increase in the
numbers and types of gay and bisexual men appearing on our television screens.
From the groundbreaking appearance of Pedro Zamora on The
Real World: San Francisco to the
current seasons of The Amazing Race, Survivor: Tocantins, and Make Me a Supermodel, there is a breadth
of gay men that is quite frankly astounding.
In fact, there have now been so many gay and bisexual men
on reality television that we decided to let AfterElton.com readers choose
their favorites of all time. Here are the top fifteen who run the gamut of
ages, ethnicities and types reflecting the range of gay men that exist in
And as a bonus, we took this chance to catch up with most of the
guys to find out what they are up to now as well as their thoughts about making
the list. Enjoy!
#1 Danny Roberts
Appeared on: The Real World: New Orleans
Photo credit: Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
When Roberts first appeared on MTV’s flagship reality show, he was hardly
the first gay man to have done so. But when the Georgia native not only revealed he
was dating Paul Dill, a U.S. Army captain, but had Dill appear on the show with
him, viewers were riveted. Due to the military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy it
was necessary for Dill’s face to be obscured, which served to highlight the
policy’s blatant discrimination and the stress it placed on the relationships.
After leaving the military, Dill made a second appearance along with Roberts in
2004 to discuss the effects of the policy on gay service members.
Unfortunately, Roberts announced that he and Dill split in 2006.
After The Real World, Roberts used
his newfound fame to speak out on gay issues and, traveling around on the
country, to lecture about sexual diversity, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and coming
out. The way Roberts handled himself on the show and his work for gay
visibility afterward no doubt account for his placing number one on this list.
Actor Neil Patrick Harris nicely summed up Robert’s legacy when he told Out Magazine:
The first face that empowered me was Danny Roberts from The Real World: New Orleans. I think
before him I’d never seen anyone wear [homosexuality] so comfortably. He was
around my age. I could look to him as a role model – if you could say that,
even though he was on a reality show. He represented a way that I could behave
and stand tall comfortably without being an overt advocate and without being
someone hiding in the shadows. I liked that.
And so do AfterElton.com readers!
What was the best part of your
experience? That’s a tough one to say but I think overall, this entire
experience has let me grow as a person in so many ways that I probably wouldn’t
otherwise. Having yourself put into the public’s eye exposes you as the raw,
true self you are and that includes the bad and the good. In our egocentric
world, most people avoid facing their faults and spend all of their energy
glossing over them. This experience pretty much throws your faults in your face
and makes you examine yourself from the inside out. In the same sense, it helps
you see what is valuable about yourself and what qualities you possess that
should be cultivated to become a better person. It has been a very long and
difficult process but I think I’m now so much more the better person for taking
on the person in the mirror that was presented to me years ago through the TV.
How did it change you? I am much
more certain about myself now than I was ever before. I was very young and
mostly closeted when that experience happened. After the show and the
subsequent self-evaluation, I’ve grown into an adult who knows what I want from
life and what I want to avoid at all cost. Privacy is more valuable to me now
than ever before. It’s something we all take for granted but when it’s gone,
life can be a nightmare.
What are you doing now? I recently
moved back to Atlanta for a job at a NYC
publishing company and to be closer to my family after 10 years of living in Seattle and New
York. I love being close to family again but being
back in the South is a jolting awakening after being away for so long! It’s
like going back to dial-up after being on high-speed Internet for years. There
are so many social problems and I’m currently getting involved in different
causes to work towards a more sustainable future here. Atlanta, the capital of the new south, is a
very shortsighted city and there’s plenty of work to be done. I’m also settling
into a new life with a new love now after a long road of healing from my past
break-up. Learning to love again is a very difficult but amazing part of life
that I am very grateful for.
Your reaction to being named our
reader’s #1 favorite gay reality star? It’s the most flattering honor I’ve
ever received and I’m still in a bit of denial. I know most younger people
today don’t remember Pedro, but what he did was revolutionary and selfless so I
have to share the honor with him. He was making an effort to make a difference
and I was just being filmed. There’s a huge difference there. But thank you all
# 2 Pedro Zamora
Appeared on: The Real World: San Francisco
It’s hard to overstate the impact Pedro Zamora had on the American cultural
landscape when he first appeared on television. It was 1994 and the AIDS
epidemic still ravaged the gay community in America
and Europe while fueling homophobia across the
world. Then this twenty-two-year-old Cuban-American put a face to the disease
as he spoke out eloquently about being a gay man and living with HIV. As if
being openly gay and an AIDS educator wasn’t groundbreaking enough, Zamora also
allowed the world to watch as he fell in love with Sean Sasser and the two were
even married on air.
President Bill Clinton spoke with Zamora
in the weeks before his death on November 11th, 1994, the day after
the final episode of The Real World: San
Francisco aired. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say his death was a
devastating blow for the gay community.
In fact, Zamora’s short life was so inspiring
that on April 1st MTV is releasing Pedro,
a movie written by Dustin Lance Black, about Zamora’s too short life.
#3 Ronnie Kroell
Appeared on: Make Me a Supermodel (2008)
Photo credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images
When one thinks of Ronnie Kroell, the runner-up in the first season of
Bravo’s MMAS, it’s almost impossible
to not also think of fellow contestant Ben DiChiara. Together Ronnie and Ben
became better known as Bronnie, one of the most popular gay/straight bromances
in television history. Kroell, twenty-five, and DiChiara, twenty-three, had an
undeniable chemistry together even though DeChiara was straight but definitely
Ronnie charmed viewers with his All-American good looks, his outgoing
personality, not to mention his intelligence, including his political activism
as a supporter for Hillary Clinton. In fact, his popularity carried him all the
way to the finale where he came in second place.
was the best part of the experience? The best part was being able to
step outside of my comfort zone, move to a new city, and be challenged to grow as a
model and as a person. That experience was followed only by meeting Tyson and
Niki, who are beautiful inside and out.
did it change you? The change is not easy to put into words because it
is so personal, but mainly I walked away proud to have taken a risk that has
opened the door to many rewards. A vivid dream, a little naiveté, a lot of hard
work, and a family to keep you grounded can move mountains. The hard lesson
though was that of sacrifice, for everything you get in life it seems that something
is taken away. In direct opposition to the theme song of MMASM, the reality is — you can’t have it all.
are you doing now? I am living in NYC pursuing my dream of being a
supermodel, acting, and establishing my music career – you have to be a triple
threat in today’s economy. I’m most excited to go back to school to finish my
degree in Political Science. Perhaps one day we will be throwing some amazing
Gay-las at the White House?
reaction to making the list? There have been so many inspiring gay role
models on reality television to date. Each one has truly contributed in their
own way – breaking down stereotypes, speaking their mind, and fearlessly
sharing personal experiences openly regardless of what consequences they may
face. I’m deeply honored to be considered for this list. We are living in a NEW
Yes we can!
#4 Christian Siriano
Appeared on: Project Runway (2007)
Photo credit: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images for Payless ShoeSource
What the diminutive winner of the fourth season of Project Runway lacked in actual physical stature, he more than made
up with personality – not to mention talent. Siriano was the show’s youngest
winner when he took the crown and he became almost as well known for his catchy
sayings, including “Fierce!” and “hot tranny mess” as his designs. However,
many folks didn’t appreciate his use of the word “tranny” and Siriano later
issued an apology through GLAAD saying, "I mean no disrespect to the
transgender community and I never will.”
That controversy aside, Siriano’s talent was undeniable and he so dominated
the fourth season that by the finale his win was almost a foregone conclusion.
Siriano has since gone on to make a cameo on Ugly Betty and has signed a deal to design a low-cost line of shoes
and handbags for Payless ShoeSource. The twenty-three-year-old designer currently
lives in Brooklyn, New York and is dating photographer Brad
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG
recently did a poll of our readers for their favorite reality show contestant,
and you ranked very high.
Christian Siriano: Oh I love it! Who won?
AE: Well I can’t tell
you that, but you did very well. Do you have anything to say to your
CS: I’m very excited! It’s very
flattering, obviously. Being very young, I’m glad to have my young fanbase who
are inspiring artists and designers and I’m gonna keep ’em, forever. I love
’em, I’m gonna support ’em!
AE: Did the experience change
you at all as a designer?
CS: Oh definitely. That was so much in
the past, now I’ve had two seasons, a collection showed at Fashion Week, I have
so many projects now. So for me of course, it made my career and was amazing,
but now I’m on a whole different level and going on a whole different path. So
yeah, it was a great launchpad.
#5 J.P. Calderon
Appeared on: Survivor: Cook Islands (2006) and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (2007, 2008)
came out on one, that being the second season of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. When Calderon, thirty-three
and a professional volleyball player, earlier appeared on Survivor, viewers thought the only gay man on the show that season
was Brad Virata. But when
Calderon joined the cast of JDMA, he quickly found himself facing a
choice: stay closeted and lose the cover of Instinct
Magazine or come out and give his modeling career a big boost. J.P. chose
to come out and gay and bisexual men everywhere applauded.
Calderon got the cover and in the accompanying interview discussed the
impact coming out had had on his life:
All of my fears, everything that I was scared of … it was the complete the
opposite," he said. "It’s been great. All of my friends, the
volleyball world, absolutely everybody has been supportive. No one has shut me
What was the best part of your
experience? The best part of my experience with both Survivor and the Janice
Dickinson Modeling Agency was that I got to experience places and do things
that I never thought possible. It was surreal and an opportunity of a
How did it change you? When I was
on Survivor the show’s creator and
producer, Mark Burnett, told us there would only be one winner, but we would
all win in different ways. As cheesy as that sounded, throughout the experience
I realized how much of life I had wasted trying to portray an image to live up
to the expectations of others. On the JDMA,
that show was the breaking point and reassurance I needed to feel confident and
accept myself for who I am. Janice Dickinson herself made me realize that a
true man wasn’t one that was defined by playing sports or working out, but one
who was able to be true to himself and happy in his own convictions.
What are you doing now? Since
appearing on both shows and with the help of Instinct Magazine, life has been wonderful! I am represented by
FORD Models. I have done numerous appearances throughout the country and have
done speaking engagements in the GLBT community! Throughout this whirlwind, the
thing that has kept me grounded is I still coach Girls Junior Volleyball and
have stayed closer than ever with my friends and family.
Your reaction to making the list?
No way! This is awesome! It’s a total honor! It’s really nice to be voted one
of the Top Favorite Reality Stars! It’s nice to know that we are all in support
of each other and I am truly thankful to everyone who has supported me. Thank
#6 Charlie Herschel
Appeared on: Survivor: Gabon
When it comes to reality shows, the second most well-known gay/straight
bromance just might be the one known as “Charm.” That would be Charlie Herschel
and Marcus Lehman from Survivor: Gabon. When the two
found themselves on the same tribe, they quickly formed a bond and became fast
friends. Viewers – especially gay men – responded very favorably to both men
for showing there was no reason gay and straight guys couldn’t be great
friends. This despite the fact CBS often edited footage to make it appear that
Charlie had a crush on Marcus, something Charlie emphatically said he did not.
In fact, after being eliminated, Charlie told RealityBlurred.com:
Literally, every interview I had with a producer — every interview, even
ones when he was gone, they would ask me, ‘Do you have a crush on Marcus?’ And
in every interview, I would say, ‘I do not have a crush on Marcus.’ … I’m used
to building a wall in my mind between me and people I cannot date; Marcus is a
straight man, and it never even crossed my mind. I just don’t go there when
it’s not a possibility.
What was the best part of your
experience? I survived 27 days with one outfit, barely any food and no
comfort . . . and I still managed to be patient and pleasant – I didn’t think I
had that in me. It was an exciting surprise to learn how I handle
stress. Every day in Africa was
an adrenaline rush, out of body, surreal dream that I still can’t
believe happened to me!
How did it change you? I
think I am exactly the same, but my friends say I am more comfortable
with myself and less inhibited.
What are you doing now? I am
a lawyer at the same corporate law firm I worked at before Survivor. And I’m running the Atlanta Half Marathon with
Marcus on March 29!
Your reaction to making the list?
#7 Reichen Lehmkuhl and #8 Chip Arndt
Appeared on: The Amazing Race (2003)
When Reichen Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt won the fourth season of The Amazing Race, they arguably became the most famous gay couple in America. For
thirteen weeks, millions of Americans watched as the two men, who specifically
requested the program describe themselves as married, showed that gay couples
are pretty much like straight couples – usually loving, sometimes exasperating,
but almost always supportive of each other. When the two crossed the final
finish line in first place, they had an 83% approval rating among fans of the
Unfortunately, Lehmkuhl and Arndt ended their relationship shortly after
winning, but both have since gone on to have a great impact on the gay
community. Arndt, a successful investment banker, is now a powerful force in
the gay community, using his name and organizational skills to work and raise
money for various groups.
Lehmkuhl is notable for his work in speaking out against the military’s
Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy, which affected him for the five years he served in
the U.S. Air Force where he attained the rank of Captain. Besides serving as a
spokesman for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Lehmkuhl also wrote about
Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell in Here’s What We’ll
Say. Additionally, Lehmkuhl is well known for his acting career, including
roles on Frasier and Dante’s Cove, as well as his relationship with Lance Bass. The two have
since split and Lehmkuhl is now with model Ryan Barry.
Photo credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
What was the best part of your
experience? The best part about it was winning the $1M over some really
competitive people, for whom I still have so much respect.
How did it change you? Doing The Amazing Race changed my life
completely from one of anonymity to having not much of a private life at all. I
know what it’s like to search for privacy as much as possible now . . .
something I never thought about before. I can’t imagine how real stars do it
since I do it on my own small scale and I don’t consider myself famous at all.
What are you doing now? Now I’m
running a private company as well as writing another book. I’m touring the
country speaking out against the ban on the open service of gays in our U.S.
Armed Forces, as well as the way gay people are treated within the ranks when
they’re rarely allowed to stay. I’m also continuing a modeling career (at 35,
who knew?!) and playing "Trevor" on Dante’s Cove of the here! Network. I have a jewelry line called
"Fly Naked: with Reichen" at LoveandPride.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Fred Segal of
which I give 10% of the gross proceeds to SLDN.org (Servicemembers Legal
Your reaction to making the list? I’m
surprised I made the list because I did The
Amazing Race five years ago. But I’m humbled and appreciative, just the
Photo credit: Dale Stine
What was the best part of
your experience? The most challenging experience for me, and
probably most memorable for the audience had to be swimming under two feet of
ice for 50 yards 10 miles south of the de-militarized zone between North and
South Korea. The most memorable experience was allowed quiet time during a
“challenge” – a very rare opportunity on The
Amazing Race – in the Indonesian rainforest feeding the orangutans and
realizing how special our world really is.
How did it change you? It cleared away a lot of
"noise" in my life that had started drowning out what I’d been taught
long before: advantages bring responsibility. When you hear from kids in Hong Kong, England,
Australia, and South Africa and, thanks to syndication, just
that simply seeing you on TV helped them accept themselves being gay, you
realize you gotta keep doing whatever you can.
What are you doing now? Trying
to find enough time to maintain my professional life — technology
startups/e-commerce/green incubator-think-tank — and to make a difference:
multiple AIDS events, fighting hate crimes through the www.GayAmericanHeroes.com
Foundation, Obama campaign/delegate to Convention/first out gay male member of
the Electoral College from Florida; finance director for first [yes] gay
pride festival in Miami Beach. I just turned down an invitation to join the
board of a national group because I simply wouldn’t have the time to contribute
reaction to making the list? Surprised and touched. It’s been
six years since TAR. That’s 50 gay
years and 50 reality TV years. Thanks to everyone who remembered!
#9 Todd Herzog
Appeared on: Survivor: China
Fourteen seasons after Richard Hatch became the first gay man to win Survivor, twenty-two-year-old Todd
Herzog finally followed in his gay footsteps in 2007 by snagging the million-dollar
prize on Survivor: China. While
Hatch’s physical opposite in most respects – the bearish Hatch stands 6’4’’
while the slight Herzog measures 5’8” – the two men actually played a similarly
strategic game involving deception and the occasional backstabbing. But knowing
that is part of the game, the jury ultimately awarded the former Sky West
flight attendant the win and gay men had a new reality star to celebrate.
What was the best part of your experience? The best part of the experience was just
the fact that I was living out my childhood dream. Being on, and playing the
game of Survivor was
the one thing I wanted to do since I was 15. The fact that I won the game was
icing on the cake!
How did it change you? The only thing
Survivor has really changed about me
is the fact that
I’m financially stable, independent and out of debt. It’s been a huge blessing
allowing me to buy a house, car, and see the world. You do learn quickly who
truly loves you for the person you are, not the amount in your bank!
What are you doing now? I’m currently
living in Pleasant Grove, Utah going to Utah Valley
University. I took a lot of time to travel the world, but decided to jump back
into school and continue with a career. I’m planning on moving to Orlando to
continue studying this fall. I’ve also been seeing a fellow Survivor contestant, Spencer Duhm from the new
season in Tocantins.
Your reaction to making the list? My
reaction to making the list is me being super stoked! It’s great to know that
me living my dream earned me the excitement of making the Favorite Gay Reality
Stars list! I mean, “Hey!” If people like the way you represent yourself, then
awesome! Thank you. It means a ton!!
#10 Daniel Vosovic
Appeared on: Project Runway (2006)
While the biggest personality from the second season of Bravo’s smash design
competition Project Runway was
Santino Rice, it was second place finisher Vosovic whom AfterElton.com readers
remember most fondly. And why not? It was Daniel who racked up five challenge
wins before losing (unfairly, thought many) to Chloe Dao in the season finale.
And it was Daniel who endeared himself to viewers with his sweet nature and
gentle personality, which contrasted sharply with Santino.
What was the best part of your
experience? Being able to do what I love to do in such a condensed,
concentrated environment, but to do it on camera for millions to witness
brought the stakes to a whole new level. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an
Aries or what, but I thrive on competition and really did love everything about
the entire experience . . . even the 10 lbs I lost due to sleep deprivation and
How did it change you? I don’t feel
that it really changed me per se. I feel that it just helped to solidify what I
already was internally feeling. To receive immediate feedback on my work from
industry professionals I’ve looked up to for years was an amazing opportunity,
and to feel that I was doing a somewhat good job really helped to boost my
confidence at the beginning stages of my career.
What are you doing now? After
assisting for a few years, and working on other projects like my new book, I’m
excited to tell you that I finally have a launch date for my own label!
Currently, my daily life consists of, what I’m calling, my
"hunting/gathering phase", which includes all of the really boring
stuff that sucks to talk about in interviews: costing production and sampling,
meeting with mills and PR agencies, looking at larger studio spaces here in
NYC, beginning to interview for my new team, and much more. We’re aiming to
launch February 2010 with something fabulous for you all to enjoy and ogle!
Your reaction to making the list?
Is there a plaque or trophy involved?
#11 Clay Aiken
Appeared on: American Idol
Clay Aiken wouldn’t even have been eligible for this list six months ago as
it was September of last year that the pop singer finally came out as a gay
man. Speculation about his sexuality ran rampant almost from the moment he made
it to the final twelve of the second season of American Idol where he quickly became a fan favorite. But Aiken
consistently denied he was gay until he finally appeared on the cover of People Magazine in 2008. Despite topping
the results of fan voting for most of the show, Aiken lost the American Idol crown to Ruben Studdard in
a very tight competition.
But that second place finish didn’t slow Aiken down at all. He has gone on to
sell millions of records, authored a book that made The New York Times Bestseller List, and starred in Spamalot on Broadway. And this is far
from Aiken’s first appearance on a list of favorite reality stars. TV Guide readers named him “Favorite
Reality Star of 2003” and a 2006 People
poll named him “Favorite American Idol” star.
AfterElton: We recently
did a poll of favorite gay reality stars…
Clay Aiken: And I came in what?
AE: You ranked very
CA: What’s that mean, 15? 17 out of
AE: Higher than that.
CA: Well that’s good!
AE: Do you have any
words for your fans who voted for you?
CA: Well, thank you for spamming the
website, those of you who voted!
#12 Davis Mallory
Appeared on: The Real World:
Twenty-five-year-old Davis Mallory of Marietta, is one of three Real World participants to make
our poll. Mallory starred in the Denver edition of
the stalwart MTV reality program, a season frequently marred by drinking and
fighting as well as accusations of racism and homophobia. And Mallory was
frequently at the center of the storm.
Part of what made Mallory fascinating to watch – and was no doubt part of
the reason the show chose him – was that he came from a conservative Christian
background and was still in the process of coming out. Viewers saw him deal
with his less-than-accepting parents, debate religion with housemate Stephen,
and flirt with some of his female housemates. That last behavior didn’t go over
well with some gay viewers, nor did Mallory’s use of the “N” word during a
fight with housemate Tyrie Ballard.
But by coming in at number twelve in our poll, our readers clearly indicated
they were willing to forgive Mallory’s less mature actions and were won over by
his struggle to grow into a mature gay man trying to serve as a role model for
even younger gay men struggling with the same issues.
What was the best part of your
experience? My favorite part of doing The
Real World: Denver was our vacation to Thailand. I had just watched the
movie The Beach a few months prior to
leaving for Denver and had set a goal to go relive Leonardo DiCaprio’s experience
from that film in Bangkok and the islands of Thailand. I was able to do just
that on my experience with the show as a vacation we were awarded upon
completion of our job as Outward Bound Wilderness Instructors. I had an amazing
time and still to this day wear a bracelet I got on that trip at a
Buddhist monastery for good luck.
How did it change you? Before
going on The Real World, I had
basically no gay friends. I surrounded myself with women and I wasn’t very
comfortable with my sexuality. After everything aired, there was no more
denying that I was gay. I have, through this experience, come to terms with
being gay and have grown very comfortable with myself. I now have many gay
friends and am actively involved in the gay community. I guess you could say I
was once a homophobe and now I’m homo-centric. The experience of being on The Real World was very therapeutic and
empowering for me, and I’m very glad I did it.
What are you doing now? Presently
I live in NYC. I bartend at The Eldridge and I just finished taping a Real World/Road Rules Challenge called
the Dual II in Queenstown, New Zealand. I am pursuing a career in the music
business, something I have wanted to do since I was young. I actually
auditioned for The Real World in
hopes of making connections with MTV, a network I had loved since I was in
middle school. I am pursuing artist management, while working on some of my own
music. I speak often at universities about the biblical basis of condemning
homosexuality and its fallacies. I find it very fulfilling to help
younger gay and lesbian people learn to undo the damage that many Christians have
done by telling them their natural feelings are sinful.
Your reaction to making the list?
I am very honored and flattered to be considered one of the Favorite Gay
Reality Stars. When I was given the opportunity to go and film for The Real World: Denver, I made a pro/con list to make up my mind if I even would go
through with it. A lot of my family members pleaded with me to not go on the
show. I wrote down that I wanted to make a positive image for gay people and
show that they are normal like everyone else. I tried to change a stereotype
that I saw all the time on TV of gay men that I did not feel I related to. I
was a young college kid and I felt like there wasn’t anyone I could really look
up to on TV who was gay. I hope that my experience on television talking about
the hardships I was going through has helped others in similar situations. I
hope that more people will come out on national television to help bolster
equality for all gays and lesbians and improve the gay stereotype that was once
#13 Richard Hatch
Appeared on: Survivor: Borneo
If there is a godfather of gay reality contestants, it has to be Richard
Hatch who took U.S. television by storm in 2000 when he connived and schemed –
while frequently naked – his way to being named the first winner of Survivor. Americans couldn’t get enough
of this outspoken and out gay man who felt no embarrassment about being gay, or
little else for that matter.
Post-Survivor, Hatch made numerous reality show
appearances including on The Weakest Link,
Battle of the Network Reality Stars,
the Australian version of Who Wants to Be
a Millionaire? as well as Survivor:
All-Stars. Hatch also
guested on an episode of Ted Danson’s Becker
and appeared as himself in the 2006 film Another
Unfortunately for Hatch, he was convicted in 2006 of tax evasion for not
paying taxes on his Survivor
winnings. He is currently serving his sentence in the Federal Correctional
Institution in Morgantown, West Virginia. Hatch is scheduled to be released in
October of this year.
#14 Dale Levitski
Appeared on: Top Chef: Miami
Dale Levitski wasn’t the first gay man to make it to the final three of
Bravo’s Top Chef (that honor went to
Dave Martin in Season One), but he was the first to do it sporting a faux-hawk.
Dale finished second and many thought he should’ve won outright. But the
Chicago native finished first in the hearts of much of the gay community,
especially since he busted many stereotypes, such as the idea that all gay me
are fashionable, stylish and obsessed with appearance. In our first interview
he told us, “You should see my apartment. Disaster! I can’t dress myself, I
have a gay birth defect for style and fashion . . . I think that belching and
farting are the funniest things on the planet. My gay card has been suspended
How could you not love that?
Levitski didn’t respond to our
requests for comment on making this list.
#15 Marcellas Reynolds
Appeared on: Big Brother
In the world of cutthroat reality competition shows, there aren’t many much
more ruthless than Big Brother. And
that makes it all the more extraordinary that Marcellas Reynolds not only made
it to week 9 of Big Brother 3, but
that he was evicted only after giving up the Power of Veto (the only House
Guest to ever do so until Season 8) in order to spare a housemate from having
to make a difficult decision. But Marcellas remained popular with viewers,
returning to host a Big Brother call-in
show and to be invited back to participate in Big Brother: All Stars.
Marcellas is more than just a reality star, however, and has earned a
reputation as a model, fashion stylist, art director and journalist, having
appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, The
Style Network’s How Do I Look and
MTV’s From G’s to Gents.
What was the best part of your
experience? The best part of this journey is all the people I’ve met and
all the positive feedback I get from fans of Big Brother and all the
other shows I’ve done.
How did it change you?
change is knowing exactly what I want to do with my life. Before Big Brother
I was a little lost. After I got really focused.
What are you doing now? I’ve done a
lot of things. Been actor/model/whatever, but doing Big Brother led me
to this. I’m a writer and TV host. That’s what I want to do.
Your reaction to making the list? I’m
thrilled to make the list. It’s nice to know I’m still relevant!