Say what you want about reality television shows, but they are ground-breaking in many ways. The longest-running reality show in TV history, The Real World, puts very different people under the same roof. Since it started in 1992, there have been many bisexuals under that roof.
Here is a comprehensive look at the bisexuals and their impact on all the various Real World shows. This doesn’t include incidental bisexual moments that cast members had, nor does it include bisexual members who dropped in from time to time, because according to one Real World fan we consulted for this article, that would add at least a few dozen more to the list!
Mike C. Manning, The Real World: D.C., Season 23, 2009
Perhaps the most popular bisexual ever to hit the series, Mike successfully broke into mainstream acting after appearing in the series and was in the Disney Channel film “Cloud 9.” He produced the documentary Kidnapped for Christ about teens removed from their homes and sent to a school to make them “ex-gay.” Mike was popular because the world got to watch this hunky star athlete football player explore his sexuality through the show.
Mike C. Manning talks about Bisexuality:
The 22-year-old eventually identified as bisexual, and dated men solely on the show. When Mike was asked how many of each gender he bedded, it was: Girls: 15. Guys: 5. But then he asked: “Not sex, we’re talking everything, right?” Then, he adjusted his ratio 25 to 35, whatever that means. It was the first Real World show to actually have two bisexuals. (the other was Emily Schomm ).
Aneesa Ferreira, Real World: Chicago, Season 11, 2014
Smart, sexy, interracial, Aneesa didn’t mind walking around naked, or jumping in the shower with a guy, even though she was in a relationship with a girl while on the show. Her mother didn’t accept her bisexual orientation, and that often caused moments of tension.
Dustin Zito, The Real Word: Las Vegas, Season 25, 2011
This boyish, charming Southern gentleman has a sexual relationship with housemate Heather. But then, the housemates discover his gay past. There’s amazingly frank discussion about the true sexuality of “gay for pay” porn actors as well as homophobic attitudes. Before moving into the Vegas TV show house, he lived in a house featured on “Fratpad” which was a live webcam site where he and other men engaged in sexual activities with each other. He claims he only did it for a living.
Emily Schromm, The Real World: D.C., Season 23, 2009
Emily and Mike C. Manning both appeared in this season. This was the first time the show had two out bisexuals, and it created a lot of sexual tension among the roomies. It was at a time that Washington D.C. just approved same-sex marriage and they had differing opinions about it. Emily was 21 on the show, from the Midwest and raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult. The show helped her become “more open-minded and experimental even when it comes to dating.”
Marlon Williams, The Real World: Portland, Season 28, 2013
A former Texas Tech linebacker, this hunky 24-year-old came from a super-religious family and said frequently he was more attracted to women, but had sex with men. He gave very lucid arguments that sexual orientation, saying who you have sex with or who you love just doesn’t matter anymore. He refused to embrace the B-word on the show, although he said he experimented with bisexuality in the Austin BLGT community. Later, when he hooked up with Derek Chavez from Real World: Cancun, Marlon dubbed himself bisexual.
Norman Korpi, The Real World, Season 1, 1992
He was the first BLGT person in the show, and he identified himself as a proud bisexual. The six others in the house found it compelling and asked him a lot of questions about the blurred lines of sexuality. A lot of people credit his character with the success of the show, and the edginess that set it apart from other reality shows.
Ruthie Alcaide, The Real World: Hawaii, Season 8, 1999
This Filipina student from Rutgers University turned 21 on the show and was an unabashed out bisexual from the beginning. She was one of a trio of adopted triplets, with a brother and sister. She provided some educational moments about alcohol. left to get help and returned feeling “stronger than ever.”
Who was your favorite? Tell us on the Facebook page of Bi Magazine!