Afterelton: – On criticism about him sending out “vapid or superficial” gay image – “I’m not totally surprised by it, because I’m a member of the gay community and we take a lot of things personally. We’re a very insecure community about the way that we are portrayed or the way we’re thought about by straight people. We’ve sort of been beholden to the way straight people think about us, and we let that control our community a lot of the time. I just did a video for my Facebook saying look, it’s a television show made for the purpose of entertainment and we’re not here to represent the whole gay community — we can only represent seven people in the gay community, and watch it for that. Watch it as a TV show. If you think we’re a bad representation of the gay community, it’s like, every gay person knows … we all know the way these seven guys, including myself, act on the show are an accurate representation of the way a lot of gay people act.
For you, as a gay person, to deny that this is a fair representation of the gay community, you’re fooling yourself. What you’re really trying to say is, you’re worried about how we look to straight people. In my video I say this is what we have to stop doing as a community — stop worrying about how we’re portrayed to straight people. No matter how we’re portrayed, it’s how we are. If every gay guy in America wants to walk around in a dress all day long and sing show tunes and be as stereotypically gay as possible, we still deserve our rights. We still should demand our rights, and we shouldn’t be worried that we don’t have credibility to demand our rights because straight people look at us differently. We still deserve our rights. When we start cutting each other down from the inside and say “He’s the wrong kind of gay and he’s the right kind of gay”… We should start saying “Okay. As a gay person, I accept all people and the way they act in the gay community, even the way they’re acting on the A-List because that is a fair representation of the way a lot of gay people act.” [If we do this], then we’re going to get strong as a community because we’re going to say despite how we are, for real, we still deserve our rights anyway.” (Interview: “A-List: New York”‘s Reichen Lehmkuhl Hates Austin and Cooks Breakfast in the Nude).
Reichen Lehmkuhl (born Richard Allen Lehmkuhl on December 26, 1973), is an American former reality show winner, male model, and occasional actor. A former Air Force officer, he is best known for winning season four of the reality game show The Amazing Race with his then-partner Chip Arndt, and for his much publicized 2006 relationship with pop singer Lance Bass. Bass and Lehmkuhl split in January 2007 and subsequently, Lehmkuhl dropped his lawsuit against Perez and removed the post from his MySpace. Hilton and Lehmkuhl remain rivals, with Hilton once posting on his website that he will take a picture with anyone, “except for Lance Bass’s boyfriend or Fidel Castro…and they’re both practically dead to [me] anyways!” Hilton also posted naked pictures of Lehmkuhl on unratedperez.com on April 6th 2011 (Wikipedia).
RELATED READING: Official Web-site: Reichen Lehmkuhl
Reichen Lehmkuhl: ‘The A-List: New York’ Atlanta Interview
Interview: Reichen Lehmkuhl
Reichen Lehmkuhl’s memoir ‘Here’s What We’ll Say’ being adapted as feature on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’