How long did they last?
My last one was about a year. It’s like the one that will never end. The one before that was a little under nine months.
Why did you decide to come out now?
It was a really hard decision because I also feel like, through talking with my family and my friends, people do not believe in bisexual. They don’t believe it. And you know what, until I started dating women I might not have either. I might have looked at every girl who sometimes dated boys and sometimes dated girls and said, “They don’t know what they want, they’re toying with people’s emotions and they don’t exist.” And I want people to know that they do. I feel like it’s important because I feel like we call ourselves an LGBT community and there’s a “B” there for a reason. But yet we don’t appreciate it, we don’t accept it. I’ve had a harder time with lesbians and with gay men coming out than I’ve had with my straight friends and, to me, that breaks my heart. That is so much harder to take.
It’s harder for you to come out to lesbians and gay men than it is to your straight friends?
Because of them judging you?
Yeah, and to me that’s a huge deal. I wasn’t going to come out because there’s so many reality stars…I hate to even call us stars because we’re not, we’re just people that took a chance. That’s all we are. We got a little TV exposure so people look up to us. I think that’s important for them to know that we’re no different from them. All we did was we took a chance. That’s it. We took a chance on a stupid TV show and decided, “Hey, I want to do something different.” So we got a little notoriety.
I feel like we call ourselves an LGBT community and there’s a “B” there for a reason. But yet we don’t appreciate it, we don’t accept it. I’ve had a harder time with lesbians and with gay men coming out than I’ve had with my straight friends and, to me, that breaks my heart.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of us that don’t do great things with it and then there’s some of us who just want to make a difference and that’s where I’m at. I want to get more involved in LGBT stuff, whether it’s GLAAD or GLSEN or the It Gets Better project, and do the NOH8 Campaign and go out and talk. And I said,”Well, it’s great if I’m just this girl from The Bachelor that talks about it, but if they know that this actually affects me. If I’m in a relationship with a woman and I can’t get married because the government tells me I can’t, I think they might listen a little longer.”
I didn’t ever want it to be misconstrued as a publicity stunt. Like people thinking, “Oh, she just wants to get more camera time.” I actually had a tabloid say that to me. They were doing an interview and when they overheard what I was saying they literally stated the fact that I was just trying to get more press. And while, unfortunately, I understand that people do that, you also shouldn’t doubt someone without knowing who they are and where they come from. So I guess that’s what made me come out. I did not go to that GLSEN event saying “Oh my god! I’m coming out tonight.” That’s totally not how it happened. There was one guy who wanted to interview me and he was from Life and Style. And he was like, “I have to ask you, you were on The Bachelor looking for a husband… why do you always talk about LGBT rights?” And I was like, “You are the first person who’s ever asked me that and I will tell you the truth.”
He literally had tears in his eyes. He’s like, “I can’t believe you are sharing this with me on the red carpet.” Honestly, I could have sold the story. I could have made some quick money, but that’s not what it’s about for me. For me it’s just about…we can’t ask, as a community, for respect if we can’t respect each other. And for somebody to come out…like if you go read the comments on that thread, 90% of them are lesbians saying that I’m desperate, that I’m looking for press, that bisexuals doesn’t exist, and that’s was so sad to me. And that’s why I tweeted Riese directly and said, “Hey, why don’t you talk to me directly.”
Would you marry and potentially have kids, spend the rest of your life with a woman?
100% without a doubt. My last girlfriend, I 100% thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I told my family.
And what happened?
She became very sticky is the only really way to say it. I am very independent. I will not be controlled by anyone. I think the one thing that I learned about dating is that someone in the lesbian community is that they tend… women are a little bit more controlling than men and girls get more jealous. I can’t really…with what I do…I can’t really do jealous. I think that was the only stickiness that there was. I still love her to death. She’s awesome, great person. I just don’t think that we were meant to be in a relationship and, unfortunately, that happened a lot later in the relationship. I didn’t see it in the beginning. But she’s a great person.
I like going to events and talking about things that are important to me. Not because I want my picture taken. I have enough pictures of myself. I don’t need to see what I look like. But it is very important for me to get out and say “Hey, listen I want to marry whoever I want. Why don’t you want me to?” Because I feel like the more people you talk to, the more people you can reach and that’s what we are all trying to do.
Can you elaborate a little bit more about what it’s been like since you’ve come out?
You know, my friends and my family, they all knew. I’m very open with my family. They know everything. If I have a foot ache, they know. I told my mom first and, of course, she said, “You live in West Hollywood. It’s just a phase. You’ll grow out of it.” And then she started to realize it wasn’t a phase. I came home that first Christmas and explained from my aunt to my grandmother to my 18 year-old little cousin…I sat down with everyone and said, “Hey, listen this is me.”
And I know that from the family that I have that I am really really lucky. I have a couple of little cousins that still have a hard time with it, but I’m lucky. With my family, they’ve all been great. My dad, I don’t really know because I don’t really talk to him, but my family’s been great. My friends have been great. Actually the thing that I’m most shocked at is The Bachelor fans have been AMAZING. Because that’s my group. Those are the people that follow me. Those are the people that want to know where I’m going or what I’m doing. And those are the people that I was the most afraid of. I never, in a million years, thought that I would get more hate from an LGBT website than I would from The Bachelor website. I never thought that and that’s how it’s been. It’s crazy.
So when you were on The Bachelor you had no idea?
Oh god, no. Oh god, no.
I want to talk a little bit about The Bachelor. Well, I don’t watch the show so I obviously wasn’t aware of who you were before you came out. [laughs]
[laughs] Don’t feel bad. Don’t worry. God, I feel bad for the people that watch it sometimes because we act crazy.
But here’s the thing. I am fascinated, however, by reality TV. You know we cover a lot of The Real L Word, I watch Jersey Shore, so I’m very clued in to reality TV in general. What I do want to know from you is…talk to me a little bit about what it’s like being on a reality…not specifically being on The Bachelor, but just about the reality show experience. I know a lot of things are manipulated. I know that The Bachelor, by and large, is pretty much bullshit. Can you tell me to what extent it was reality and what extent of it was manipulation by producers?
Well, okay, here’s my thing with reality television. Everything is different. Right. I’m friends with the girls on The Real L Word. And I’ve known those girls for a long time and…
Who are your friends from The Real L Word?
Rose is a good friend of mine. Romi is a great friend of mine. Those are the two girls that I’m definitely the closest with. I see Whitney out at events and clubs. Romi and Rose and Sara and I live on the same street so I see them all the time. We talk all the time. We went to see Twilight together. They’re great girls.
How did you become friends?
I went on a date with one of their friends [laughs]… not on the show. By the way, Rose is like the Godfather of lesbians. If I can say that term. She really is. If you want something to happen you just call Rose. It’s freaking hysterical. You know, I had a really bad taste in my mouth about the show. I can’t lie. I love, I love, I love, I love Romi and Rose. I don’t think the show does great things for lesbians, but people watch it. That’s all I’m gonna say about that show.
How would you compare your experience on The Bachelor to their experience on The Real L Word?
They have more control than we did. We were put in a bubble. So imagine being taken outside of your home, your family, your group, everything. No phone, no internet, no family, no email, no magazines and you’re put in a house that’s filled with cameras and a bunch of girls. And now you’re fighting over one guy. And they’re taking you on all these amazing dates with this one guy and expecting you not to fall in love, but you can’t talk to anybody, but the people that you are with. And there’s a house full of alcohol.
So I have to honestly say that in my perception of what I did, yeah, there’s manipulation, but in the way that they get you drunk. You don’t have anything else to do but drink. So we all know that we’ve all done stupid stuff drinking. I don’t drink for my own life, but everybody does stupid stuff when you get drunk. So they give you alcohol, they put you in a house and they start filming you and you have nothing else to do but literally fight with the people that you live with.
So you were not drinking during the show, but everybody else was?
Right. I never drank on the show. You know its funny, because people would beg to differ because my first season I was The Bitch. I was the monster. I was the one that caused all the problems. I was the one that was always fighting with all the girls. But I did that of my own accord. That’s me. I will call you out on your bullshit. That’s just kind of my style. I don’t have patience for people that say their favorite color is blue cause they’re with you but their favorite color is green when they are with Bobby. You kind of just have to be who you are and own it. I mean, that’s just me. I was the trouble maker the first time around. The second time around, at 32, I’m a little older and had no patience for the drama and just wanted to go home.
Why did you go on The Bachelor in the first place?
The first place? Because I lived in Rhode Island. I had just gotten out of a really bad relationship. I had caught my ex cheating on me. The funny part about how I wound up on The Bachelor is that they did a casting at a bar where I used to work, about a year and a half before I went on the show. I did not go to the casting because I wanted to be on the show. I was the bartender. All these girls were coming in and doing their interviews so I heard all their answers and their questions and I would make fun of them. Not because I was being mean, like “Oh, they’re dressed bad.” But their answers were just such bullshit. They weren’t giving the answers that they wanted to give. They were giving answers that they thought the producers wanted to hear and I was just laughing. I was like, “Oh my god, can any of them actually use what they actually think.” And I just kind of poked fun at them. And then they would have me make fun of them because they thought it was funny. I was like, “Sure, why not?” And then they called me every month for a year and I said “no.” Then they called me three days after I caught my ex cheating on me and I said “sign me up.”
See they knew…they knew I was going to be the trouble maker. You know what I mean. They knew I was going to call people out. And they think, they were like “she’s perfect.”
Can you make a living as a former Bachelor contestant? How can you afford to live?
[laughs] I am a retail assistant by day. I’ve done retail for about three years and I’m also television hosting. I’ve been in L.A. for five years and I’m still looking for an agent and all that. But I worked for the Boston Red Sox for a season and a half on the east coast and I have a six season show about Harley Davidson on the east coast as well for NESN, which is the New England Sports Network. So that’s what I love and I’m really good at. Well, I think I’m good at it [laughs] That’s what I’m trying to do, but full time I work as a retail assistant…
What’s your type physically and personality-wise aside from Kate Moennig?
[laughs] I tend to like girls who maybe played on their high school or college basketball team. Not super boyish, but I like tomboys. I’m not super attracted to girls that wear dresses. So I guess my style is definitely tomboys. I like that they still have a male energy, but they are feminine. I really like that. I think that’s the perfect balance.
And what about personality-wise?
You know, I guess I want somebody who has their shit together. Can that be a personality type? [laughs]
It can! Somebody who’s reliable and dependable. That’s my type as well.
Yes! The thing that I found…it’s funny because…and I’m going to say this and I’m going to get so much shit for saying this but the thing I’ve found in West Hollywood is that there’s not many girls who have careers. And I understand that cause I don’t either and I feel like I can’t really say…it’s like pot calling kettle…like I can’t say “Oh, you don’t have a career. It’s unattractive,” cause I don’t really either. But at the same time I need stability in my life and I want stability in my life. I want, whether it be a man or a woman, I want them to have their shit together. I want them to have a career or going toward their career. I don’t want the jealous nonsense because we’re in our thirties and we don’t have time for that anymore. I want somebody who compliments me, not fights me.
What’s your favorite book?
Eat, Pray, Love. It changed my life. [laughs]
How did it change your life?
I was just at a really low point. I think it kind of…that book is what showed me that I had more to do. That I had to keep talking and that I had to share my story because…I’m working on a book. That’s my passion right now. I’m writing a book because I feel like I’ve had some pretty amazing things and pretty horrible things happen in my life that I’ve never shared with anyone. I feel like people look at me and they see a “pageant girl” or a “Bachelor girl” and they have no freaking idea what my life has been like. And I feel like…I know that we all have stories and I think that we all need to share them. I want to start a website where people can just go and literally share their stories because people need to hear other people’s stories to know what they are going through. So that if they have this stuff going on and they’re not alone. And that it’s scary but you’re going to get through it and you’re going to be successful and that book proved that to me.
What kind of music are you into?
My favorite singer is Matt Nathanson. I’m obsessed. That was the best thing that came out of my ex-girlfriend. That was the best thing that came out of my ex-girlfriend. She introduced me to Matt Nathanson and for a while I couldn’t listen to him cause it kind of made me sick, but, as much as I love him now, that’s the best thing that came out of our relationship. Matt Nathanson.
Is there anything else that people don’t know about you that you would like to share?
I think that the most important thing for me was that I felt so judged by all the comments on that article and I don’t mind being judged because I think when you put yourself out there you have to expect that, but what I do care about is that we, as an LGBT community, are constantly talking about how we want to be treated equally and how we don’t want to be judged and how dare you. How dare someone that’s been judged on their sexuality their whole life tell me that my sexuality doesn’t exist. For me that’s the most important message that I can get out because the people that read your website aren’t the people that read mine. The people that go to my website are middle America Bachelor fans and I do what I can with them to teach them the tolerance or the acceptance that we need as a community. But what was hard for me was finding a website that is so LGBT related and so amazing, I mean you guys have so many people on that website, to see that article go up in flames and to see people say such negative things. That hurt more. Because some straight people may say things like “Oh, she’s desperate, she just couldn’t find a guy. She’s gonna go try girls.” That’s not the case and I don’t care because that just shows me that they are simple minded and I understand because they just don’t know any better. But when lesbians dare tell me that I can’t be bisexual, then I want to tell them “you can’t be gay.”