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This season's 'gay guy' on 'The Real World'

I haven’t watched the MTV reality show since the San Francisco version, but apparently this year’s edition, set in Denver, features a religious gay man in its cast,  Davis, who hails from Marietta, Georgia. (Advocate):

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Some of the guys had issues with it, homophobic issues. I mean, that¹s probably why they were chosen. I’m from a really strong Christian family, so we had a lot of talks about, like, “Is this a choice?” And, what are my views about, you know, if you condemn drinking in the Bible, how is that any different from condemning being gay in the Bible, when my Christian friends are drinking, you know? So it was things like that. One of my favorite persons in the house is one of the guys, and we have become really good friends because of it. So I don’t feel like it was a typical “gay guy that only is friends with girls” scenario.

… I’m from a really strong Baptist family. My grandfather is a pastor. My dad and my mom met as youth group leaders. And my parents are both Sunday school teachers on the weekends. I used to work at a Christian bookstore in high school, as well as I went on choir tours and mission tours for spring break.The whole shebang. I was at church most of the days of the week. I was a really, really, really, really, really strong Christian in high school. ButI knew I was gay from about the time I hit puberty, and it was always a struggle for me because I felt like, This is so wrong. I’m going to hell. Like, Am I even a Christian? I was always dealing with that. You remember that movie with Mandy Moore about Christianity?

Interestingly, on the show Davis rooms with Stephen Nichols, a Howard University student, who’s also religious — and not exactly homo-friendly.

Nichols’ exposure to Davis, an actual gay person (not a homo boogeyman), had a positive impact on him.

Nichols is a conservative black male who was raised in a Baptist household, and the show previews portray a highly opinionated Nichols with specific views regarding homosexual Christians.

“A lot of my views have changed, and I think I’ve grown as a person. And if anything, I’m a little bit more accepting now. Actually, I’m a whole lot more accepting now of certain things that I wasn’t when I first got in there,” he said.

How refreshing, and not a novel concept, as we’ve discussed before. When people come out, and destroy the preconceived notions of what g-a-y looks and acts like, hearts and minds can be changed, even overcoming hard core anti-gay religious upbringing.

And that’s what has the fundies scared sh*tless.

Timothy Kincaid at Ex-Gay Watch had this to say:

In the first episode Davis tells us that when he first told his mother that he thought he was gay as an early teenager, her response was to send him to Christian counseling. After years of ex-gay therapy, Davis felt the need to become sexually involved with women in College. But he never found women to be attractive.

When he finally decided to come out, he became reacquainted with a boy he knew from high school and it is this first boyfriend that he dates during he season and (apparently) is still dating.

I will watch this season with interest to see if Davis further discusses his ex-gay counseling and to see if yet again the Real World’s token gay guy is far less promiscuous than his hyper-sexualized heterosexual roommates.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding