The LGBTQ community is a wonderfully diverse space full of individuals all across the queer spectrum but sometimes reality TV has a way of taking the “gay thing” and making it someone’s storyline, until, you know, they start their own record label or open a boutique or something the following season. As a proud gay man, I implore the reality-TV-making-Gods to please stop using the “gay thing” as a surprise or as a phase.
From conveniently placed bisexual revelations for shock value, and the inevitable season two backpedal, to production tricks to keep the gender of the new “boo” a secret, we’ve collected seven times that someone’s queer sexuality was used to raise eyebrows (but mostly for, like, a season).
At the start of Basketball Wives LA Draya was labeled a “groupie” but a lot of season two was centered around how Draya, because she was so sexual, was…surprise, bisexual. The designer even made claims in the media to be the “proudest bisexual on TV.” That season of the reality soap saw Draya kiss Bambi, accompany Jackie to get a gay pride tattoo, and take Brooke Bailey to a lesbian bar in Hollywood. Since season two not much has been said about Draya’s bisexuality. The new mom was even rumored to leave a hosting gig in 2014 because she claimed the crowd was “too gay” and when she defended herself saying she was quick to say she loves her gay fans, but didn’t own being part of the LGBTQ fam. Career makeover or what?
Erica Mena and Cyn Santana
Erica Mena blew into the Love & Hip Hop franchise like a tornado. Her volatile relationship with Rich Dollaz put her on the map but it was the reveal that she had a…surprise, girlfriend, Cyn Santana, that kept her around. The eerily similar looking couple quickly became fan favorites but when they broke up, they broke up, and Erica said some pretty harsh things about Cyn. Both Erica and Cyn moved on from the relationship with men, though Erica and her fiancé Bow Wow very publicly called it quits in fall 2015. However, Erica seems to embrace the bisexual label and has said her relationship with Cyn “will always be classic.” We definitely wouldn’t be opposed to those two reuniting.
Miles joined Love & Hip Hop Hollywood in its second season but what viewers didn’t know at the start was that the rapper’s complicated relationship with his ex-girlfriend Amber Laura was different because he wasn’t interested in her anymore because he had a…surprise, boyfriend Milan. Miles’ beefs with Amber, and then Milan, have been anything but easy-breezy but Miles has made it clear he is bisexual and reportedly dating former Basketball Wives LA star Sundy Carter.
Niko London’s estranged wife popped up on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta after the blogs brought her into it. Ultimately, after drama with Mimi and Joseline, the artist left the show and decided to part ways with her husband because she had already moved on with…surprise, a woman, Merika. Margeaux and her boo seem to be going strong, and after season four wrapped up, she was quick to call to task all her cast mates that thought calling Niko gay at the reunion was an insult. Kudos to you, Margeaux.
The Puerto Rican Princess has always been sexually open but in season four of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta the shocking details of her bisexuality were constantly used as a plot point. From being forthcoming about paying Jessica Dime to eat her a– and p—y to coming clean about a threesome she had with Stevie and Mimi, the baddest boosh was definitely owning her bisexuality. Now Joseline is alleging she took a lie detector test revealing intimate details of her sex life with Stevie and his particular, and possibly homosexual, tastes. We have to wonder why a bisexual woman would use being gay as an insult? C’mon Joseline!
Mimi shocked all her friends when she introduced her new boo Chris, a self-identified “male in a female vessel” at the start of season five. Ariane Davis told VH1.com that her best friend doesn’t need to own any type of label for her sexuality, saying, “She likes who she likes and she says it over and over again. I don’t think that she should put a label on herself. If she’s loving women right now, let her be the free spirit and love women. She wants to go back to a man, that’s her prerogative.” Only time will tell if Mimi continues to embrace fluidity in her sex life or not.
Don’t blame, Ashley! Kirk Frost’s client kinda got a raw deal when it came to her sexuality playing out on television. The aspiring singer never tried to pretend like she was straight, and never said she was straight but her strange relationship with her manager seemed to be, at times, sexual. Of course, it was all a moot point when the person Ashley was allegedly “sneaking around with” ended up being her… surprise, long-term girlfriend Jamie. Sigh, sorry, Ashley and Jamie.
Are we missing any other moments when someone was gay for a hot second? Or when someone’s sexuality was used for pure shock value?
Let us know in the comments and happy pride, y’all! 🌈