equal4all

Ryan Kehoe: Reality Master

In Being Gay, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Relationships on January 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm

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We had a chance to interview Ryan Kehoe from Fresh Meat, and the Gauntlet III. He spills about his feelings on hooking-up with Tyler Duckworth (Real World: Key West), gay marriage, and tells us what he’s going to be up to in the near future. He’s a true reality master…

Equal4all: What was the deciding factor for you when coming out and being who you are today?

RK: I decided to come out at 16 actually. I had initially played the “bisexual” card to some of my closest high school friends at the time, but by the time I graduated in 1999, I was a full-fledged homosexual. For me, my sexuality was so innate that I couldn’t dream of staying closeted. I’ve always lived my life as an open book and luckily, I had great people around me that supported me for me.

Equal4all: Do you believe that your life as a homosexual man would be different if you hadn’t lived in the city that never sleeps?

RK: I think life as a gay man is a lot easier in any city, especially in NYC which is the “gay mecca” of the world. People don’t single you out for your differences, as New York is such a melting pot. For every straight girl in New York, there is always at least one gay guy on her side (and there are a lot of straight girls in NYC). But I do feel if I lived anywhere else, the scene is always smaller, everyone has dated everyone else, and people know way too much about your business. Some people like the comfort of the “small-town” scene, but for me it would get old real quick.

Equal4all: How do you feel about GLBT marriage?

RK: I’m all for GLBT marriage. I think our country has come far enough concerning human rights; this can only be the next step. As long as we succeed in getting these dangerous right-wingers out of office this next election, we can all work toward this. I do believe it should be up to the state, though. But I, like any other straight person, have dreamed of marriage since I was a little boy. And when I find “the one”, my mother will be there walking me down the aisle (and I won’t be wearing a dress – haha)

Equal4all: Since doing shows such as Fresh Meat and the Gauntlet III, have you done any philanthropy for the GLBT community?

RK: I need to be way more involved in the GLBT community actually. I’ve always left that to other people; but now, I’m 26 and am beginning to find my own voice and opinion on different gay issues. I plan on being more involved and pro-active in our community in the near future.

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Equal4all: Did you ever feel like the odd man out, being the gay man on those MTV shows?

RK: I wasn’t actually “the only” gay man on either shows. On Fresh Meat, I wasn’t just singled out for being the gay guy. I also happened to have dated one of the veterans a few months prior, which didn’t end well. On the Gauntlet, I wasn’t singled out right away because I always performed well, but when we started our losing streak, I’m sure all the guys on my team wanted me against them in the Gauntlet cause of my size, not my sexuality. Fresh Meat wasn’t a great experience, but in the Gauntlet, I felt extremely accepted and had a serious chance to prove myself.

Equal4all: So far on the Gauntlet III we’ve seen some hooking up and what not with Tyler Duckworth. Was there a real attraction there or was it more of a heat-of-the-moment type of deal and for fun?

RK: I made out with Tyler a couple times in the pool … all in the same night. I was drunk and he was the only other gay guy there. Everyone else was hooking up, and even though he’s not my type physically, it was fun to make out and scare the straight boys a little. He began to develop feelings for me, but I did not egg that on and was always up front with him that it was only a kiss. But Tyler is a very hysterical person and we had a blast making fun of people together while we were there. It’s always nice to have another gay guy with you in these insane circumstances.

Equal4all: Who was your closest fellow cast member from either of the shows?

RK: I really got along with everyone, but Paula and Robin were definitely the two people I chilled with the most. I’ve always had a little crush on Robin and as soon as we met, we became attached at the hip. She was going through a lot at home, and I became her shoulder to lean on. We would always sing, dance, cuddle, and make-out (when the cameras weren’t rolling) to keep ourselves entertained. Paula was the most amazing person I met through this entire experience. She is so cool and funny and is an example of someone who I thought was a train wreck on her Real World season. She’s one of the few people who watched themselves on TV and actually made a conscious decision to change and not be “that girl” anymore. I love her so much that I convinced her to move to NYC, and now she’s my roommate!

Equal4all: With the Presidential Election rapidly approaching in the US, who would you like to see win and why?

RK: I’d be happy if Clinton or Obama won; honestly, as long as the Republicans lost. I think Clinton has a lot more experience and having Bill behind her would help us a great deal! He was a great president, regardless of his scandals, and would love to see him as the “first man” in the white house again. Our country is ready for a serious change. My father is a disabled Vietnam veteran who also happens to be gay, so I’ve always grown up with sensitivity to war and its effect on families. We need to clean up this mess in Iraq. Plus, so many other countries have female leaders – why not America too?

Equal4all: Please give advice to those in the GLBT community struggling with who they truly are:

RK: I always say to live your life truly and be proud of who you are. Not everyone has the freedom that we do in America, and take advantage of this now. We may not be able to legally marry in this country yet, but we’ve come a long way in a short period of time. The more people that live their lives openly and comfortably, the less taboo being gay will become. I know it’s way harder in small towns and suburbs, but there is always a GLBT center or support group nearby and ready to listen. And take it from me- being gay is FABULOUS!

Equal4all: What can we expect from the handsome Ryan Kehoe in the future?

RK: I will certainly do more challenges in the future if asked, but reality TV is not my life. It is fun and silly, and has been a great experience altogether. I will take every opportunity that comes my way and hopefully have a voice to create my own show one day. In the meantime, it’s back to work at my restaurant in NYC and spending time with friends and family that keep me sane, happy, and grounded.

Interview conducted and written by J. Federico

( This article was originally published on Febreuary 15, 2008 )

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  1. […] click here for an interview with Ryan Kehoe – OR click here for an interview with Norm Korpi. ▶ […]

  2. It was really good to see people like Ryan being comfortable in their own skin, and not afraid to show their true personalities. Seeing them on television only gives you one dimension of them selves, but reading this gives you a whole new perspective. I also enjoy knowing that same of the gay community pay attention to politics and society(not exactly what I’m accustomed to).

  3. Great interview, its good to see someone that isn’t attached to starring in reality TV shows.

  4. […] get enough of the “Real World”? No problem! Check out Dan Renzi’s, Norman Korpi’s, or Ryan Kehoe’s […]

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