, a native Georgian, enter the Real World: Denver
house as a newly out of the closet gay man, and has become a dynamic character on the MTV show. Davis took some time out of his schedule to speak with us recently about his time on The Real World
BuddyTV: How did you get started with the Real World? Did you go through the audition process?
Davis: Yeah, I was in college in Florida and I had always wanted to be on the Real World before and I was getting ready to graduate and my degree was pre-med and I really didn’t want to be a doctor immediately and it sounded like a fun idea. So I went online after one of my classes and saw that they were having open calls on campus and I went over and tried out and that’s how I got the ball rolling. It was just an open call.
So, you had seen the show before and knew you wanted to do it?
Yeah, the first season I ever really fell in love with was Real World: Chicago. There was a really cool gay guy on there, I don’t know, I thought he was really hot actually. I wanted to be on the show because of him, his name is Chris Beckman. And ever since then I’ve kind of just hoped to get on it. But ever since high school I was kind of too young to try out when the season aired so I kind of had to wait a couple years to give it a shot.
When you first arrived, what were your impressions of your housemates, right off the bat?
Immediately I thought Jenn was just so wild and I was just like, this is going to be a crazy summer. I thought Tyrie was so big that I was like, I hope I never get into a fight with him. I thought Stephen was really cool but I realized that they picked him because he was so religious and that he would likely have some problems with me. I was just like, “Wow, thanks guys.” I thought Brooke was really cute and I was glad there was another southerner. I thought Colie was really cool because we had a mutual friend. One of my friends from high school knows her boyfriend. And then Alex just seemed like a nice, down to earth, friendly guy that I was like, “Well, there’s not going to be big male to male competition going on right now, he’s just like a friendly guy.” So I thought that he’d be fun to live with.
Speaking of stereotypical members of the cast like Stephen, did you know that you were going to be cast as the “gay guy”?
Well, this is the thing, like when I tried out, I was very much surrounded by a heterosexual world. Like all my friends were straight guys and straight girls so they were like, “Dude, why are you trying out as the gay guy? Why don’t you just not tell that you’re gay and just go on the show?” They didn’t think it was cool to be the gay guy on the show. They were like, “You could probably get on as a straight guy.” I wanted to go on to sort of defy the stereotype of what a gay guy is all about, you know, or how he acts. So for me, I didn’t really feel like I was going to get trapped in that stereotype and I am very different from Tyler from the Key West season, from Karamo, Willie, there has been so many different gay guys but I don’t really think that I am a lot like them so I don’t think that I fit the mold of the stereotypical gay guy. And there are so many different black guys. Like, our season is the perfect example. There are two black guys on our show and a lot of times people are like, “Oh well you’re going to go on The Real World, well you’re going to be the token black guy.” But they’re not. I think the show is about showing that not everyone is the same.
Do you think that you would have been as open with your sexuality had you not been on the show?
I had just come out about a month before I tried out for The Real World, so it was all moving really fast for me. But I was open about my sexuality in college so I think yes, it wasn’t like my grand coming out experience was on the show but I think I would have maybe still had problems with it. I think that the show just kind of helped me accept it and start moving forward with my life.
There is a lot of stuff that we don’t see, that the cameras don’t show on TV. Is there anything they’ve left out so far that you would have liked them to show?
There’s been a couple times. One of the things I noticed about the show was when I initially moved into the house Tyrie and I got into a big fight and then Stephen and I had sort of like a butting of heads about the gay thing. Alex and Stephen clicked, like Alex and Stephen can talk a million miles a minute to each other and they became super best friends. So right then and there I started hanging out with the girls a lot more. They started to portray me and the girls and them and the guys. The day that I came back from Outward Bound and the only person on location of the camp was Tyrie in the tent, he and I had this long, great talk. He was like, “Do you not like the guys? Why don’t you hang out with us very much?” And I told him, I was like, “Well honestly, you and I had that fight and I’ve always felt tense around you and then Stephen and Alex are such a strong click that I just kind of felt like left out.” And then from that point onwards I tried spending more time with them. And when the show aired and they didn’t put that conversation on, I was a little bummed because I think that it was a change for me and after that week I think I rode down in the car back with the guys and then really tried to make a conscious effort to spend more time with everybody. So I think that was one of the things I didn’t like.