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Conservative joins San Francisco gay life for reality show

OK. This reality TV stuff is just getting out of control, but I’d almost tune into this one.

It may have been awkward enough for Ryan Hickmott of Oxford Township, Mich., to spend a month out of his comfort zone, but it was made more so as his experiences were chronicled for the FX network reality show 30 Days. The television show by Morgan Spurlock, creator of the Oscar-nominated 2004 documentary Super Size Me, pairs polar opposites, forcing them to view life from a different perspective.

Hickmott is a 24-year-old straight conservative devout Christian in the Army Reserves who spent 30 days living with a gay man in a predominantly gay San Francisco neighborhood. “I go out there and everybody’s looking at me like I’m the oddball,” Hickmott told The Oakland Press.

Hickmott said he went into the show believing homosexuality is a sin and that gays do not belong in the military. While in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, Hickmott attended a gay church, worked at a neighborhood wine and cheese shop, met with about 40 gay military veterans, and played on an all-gay softball team. After the experience he said he still holds his religious beliefs but has become more open-minded. “The thing I realized out there is gay people and straight people are the same,” Hickmott said. “There are no differences.”

… In some of the show’s other episodes Spurlock and his wife attempt to survive for 30 days working minimum-wage jobs, a concerned mother of a college student goes on a 30-day drinking binge, and a devout Christian man lives with a Muslim family in Wayne County’s Canton Township. The show airs Wednesdays. As for Hickmott, he said he’s not looking to be on television again. “I’m not looking to do anything,” he said. “I’m just back living in Michigan doing what I do.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding