Gay and transgender competitors fire up "America's Next Top Model: Guys & Girls"

Posted by JD Uy
August 3, 2013 1:43 PM |

Update Nov. 8, 2013
(Episode 16):

The final episode of America's Next Top Model began with an improptu elimination among the three remaining challengers -- Jourdan, Cory and Marvin. Unfortunately, Cory's chance at becoming the first gay, male Top Model came to a quick end. He responded by saying:

"I know that, now, I can just be myself out on the runway. There's no more pretending to be this 'masculine dude' that I'm not. And I did show people that, you can be a queen and you can be on America's Next Top Model. So, I did everything that I set out to do. Now it's just time to be me. And to be beautiful!"

Cory then joined all of the previously dismissed contestants in preparing for the final runway shoot. But first, the short film of Cory playing Jourdan's dark lover was shown. Then, he replayed his part live on the catwalk to be rebuffed and humiliated by Jourdan's character. She turned instead to Marvin, and kissed him, and together they walked off stage.

In the end, the four judges had to choose one winner -- Marvin the handsome, flirtatious, son of a Latin janitor? Or Jourdan, the 6'1" blonde who was traumatized by an abusive first marriage?

And the winner was ... Jourdan, with a score of 32 to Marvin's 27.50.

Update Nov. 8, 2013
(Episode 15):

"It would be interesting for someone like me to win the 'Guy vs. Girl Cycle' because I feel like I fall somewhere in between."

Cory was dogged again this week by expectations that he needed to be more "masculine." As America's Next Top Model entered its final phase of competition, Cory, Marvin and Jourdan were sent on a GUESS fashion shoot with photographer Yu Tsai. Former castmates returned to support the model of their choice. Cory was joined by mostly women, Marvin by mostly men, and Jourdan was left with the irascible Chris, whom she did not even like.

Tsai demanded masculinity from Cory during the shoot, and warned him not to lilt his head to the side. Meanwhile, Marvin was in the wings insinuating that Cory would be unable to convey a sense of "male attraction to female" because he was too androgynous and feminine, "No disrespect."

Next was a photo spread for Nylon Magazine where Cory tried to channel his "inner bro." Afterward, he wearily told Marvin and Jourdan that he had to "put on something" by "playing straight," whereas they were able to simply be themselves. Contrary to hopes that he would not appear feminine in the photos, Cory added, "I'm here to break boundaries in the fashion industry."

Finally, the trio were made to engage in a fantasy "love triangle." Cory played the part of Jourdan's dark, abusive boyfriend, and was made to kiss her repeatedly for the camera. Jourdan enjoyed the experience, but Cory said, "It's disgusting. Sorry, girl."

As they prepared to do a runway show in Bali, the three contestants were subject to a surprise elimination. Cory was given compliments on his GUESS photo for successfully appearing "like a straight guy." Judges had issues with all of the remaining models' photos, though. And ... cut. To be concluded next week:

Update Nov. 1, 2013
(Episode 14):

Cory is in the final three. In this week's episode, the "polarizing" gay male contestant had to compete in an uphill run against Chris and Marvin. He came in a close second, but said that he wanted America to know, "You can be a queen and still be athletic." Viewers also got a glimpse of Cory's boyfriend, Anthony.

This week's photo challenge involved hanging upside-down and posing with live bats. Cory was again called out for moving in a feminine manner and needing, as a male model, to "appeal to men."

At the final judgement, he fell into the bottom three behind Jourdan and Marvin. Cory was brought to tears after judge Rob Evans said he was too feminine and people at a photo shoot would misktake him for being the make-up artist instead of a male model. Cory defended his androgynous look as an emerging facet of the fashion industry. Tyra Banks asked if Cory was perhaps before his time. She wondered aloud, "Maybe the world's not ready."

Next week begins the two-part finale of Cycle 20, a first of it's kind because it includes both female and male models. A sneak peak included a scene of Cory kissing Jourdan, the show's favorite female contestant.

Cory from America's Next Top Model: Guys and Girls

Update Oct. 18, 2013 (Episode 13):

Cory is the only gay male model to maintain a place in this season's ANTM competition. However, his scores from judges and social media have consistently ranked him in the middle of the pack. There are now only five contestants remaining.

After living with the show's other flirtatious, young adults, Cory said at one point that he felt like he was in high school all over again, surrounded by macho aggression and hormonal drama.

Week after week, Cory has been challenged on his ability to appear "more masculine" by the show's professional advisers, some of whom are gay. However, he's not been the only male competitor whose masculinity has been questioned. Bearded Phil was admonished for looking soft and feminine in his photos; muscular Jeremy was called out for trying to pose like a female; and nearly all of the women and men have been reduced to tears by the stressful elimination process. In a turn of events, Cory was congratulated on this Friday's show for his "androgynous" look.

In Bali, host Tyra Banks had an intimate sit-down with the cast. She asked Cory what he was feeling as the only gay person in the group:

"I feel like the black sheep a lot of the time because this was a culture shock.... The same way that people passed judgement on me before actually giving me the chance to show them who I was. I just, sort of, got conditioned to do the same thing to other people. You have to understand how much of an influence you [Tyra] have been in my life. 'Thank you' doesn't come just from me, but from my entire community. You are amazing." 

See what his fans are saying at #teamcory.

Other than Cory saying he was in full drag when he met his boyfriend, there's not a lot of context that explains these cross-dressing commercial clips from Episode 6:

Original post (Episode 1 & 2).

On Friday's two-hour premiere of "America's Next Top Model," a mixture of male and female models flashed their flesh for the cameras. For the first time in its history, the long-running reality show featured a theme of "Guys & Girls." Several of the young contestants also came forward as out members of the LGBT community.

Right from the start, ANTM presented controversial gender issues when Jeremy, a 19-year-old Christian virgin, said at a group audition:

"There's a lot of guys here. None of them are like guy-guys. Like, all of them are feminine. Me, I'm like someone who watches football. Who lifts weights, has muscles. So, I think that makes me different." 

Catch the full episodes at the CW's website.

The show is scheduled to run Friday's at 9pm EST.


Virgg, another 19-year-old contestant, announced early on that she was a transgender woman who had recently begun transitioning. When looking through her choices of lingerie to model, Virgg made it clear to one of the show's assistants that she didn't want "anything exposed." In an interview, she added ethusiastically:

"I was born male, but I am going through the changes to become female. I'm going to own that transgender label because I'm proud of it. You know, if somebody on the street asks, 'Are you that transgender girl from Top Model.' Hell yes, I am!"

The show's first challenge was to have all of the men and women march out in sexy undergarments, and then to have them kiss someone of the opposite gender, on the mouth, in front of both an audience and the judges.

antm.jpgCory, a 22-year-old gay man, described himself as being "very androgynous -- a little more feminine, a little more edgy." When it came time for him to choose one of the female models, Cory hesitated, then surprised everyone by choosing one of the men instead. "It was my turn to choose a girl," he said. "I surveyed everyone. And in that moment I was just like -- aahhh. I gotta be me. So, I just spun around, I chose Rhyan."  Later, Cory told host Tyra Banks that he had been picked on for being gay in school. Classmates had taunted him with the nickname "Tyra."

Virgg picked furry Phil for their runway kiss. Phil said he figured that there "was a 37% chance I kissed a dude." Later he charmed the judges with his openness about that intimate moment. After saying he was "straight as can be," one judge suggested he might be bisexual. "Maybe I am," he replied. "Maybe, you know -- I liked it."

During her follow-up interview, Virgg revealed that Tyra had chosen her specifically from an Instagram contest to be on the show. Virgg told the judges that the earlier participation of Isis King, ANTM's first transgender contestant, had been of great help during her school years.

Unfortunately, by the end of the second hour, Virgg indicated that she was suffering from the effects of estrogen treatements, and she asked to be excused from the rest of the competition. Tyra Banks sympathized, and said she knew from Isis that transitioning felt like being "early pregnant. but even crazier."

Previews of the retooled show promise a season filled with more awkward anguish, sexual tension, fear and fiercness. One contestant, Alexandra, has already predicted that Cory won't be able to compete successfully:

"He's super fun. But I think his downfall in this competition is going to be that he needs to be masculine in these photos. And I think it's tough for him."

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