Photography: Tyler Tyndell for ANON Magazine issue 1
Clothes: Doodles Homme
Stylist/MUA: Becky Bacsik
First off I want to thank ANON for practically jump starting my career! It was in May 2012 when I was asked to be a part of a photo shoot for ANON Magazine and the images from that day are what Tyra Banks liked and got me on America’s Next Top Model. So thank you ANON from the bottom of my heart for giving me something I can never repay you for.
My life has been a whirlwind of emotions. Growing up gay, being a dancer, and being raised Catholic are three things that don’t provide for a stable emotional well being. I struggled so much with knowing who I was and what I wanted out of life that I continually let others define who I was. It wasn’t until college that I had the courage to stand up for myself and who I was all along. It’s a terrifying feeling to be completely vulnerable to all those around you. I am blessed to have had so many people in my life that support me regardless as I came out to everyone. I wouldn’t change a thing about when I came out. Even though I was 21, it was when I needed it to happen on my terms. I hope that through my voice on America’s Next Top Model I can give those who are struggling with being themselves the confidence to believe that they can be whoever they want to be. I know that I wish I had those role models in my life growing up and I want to be that for others.
It took me a while, but after I realized what I wanted and that no one else would define me anymore, I realized that the arts are my passion. I began teaching dance in College Station at a local studio as well as choreographing for various dance teams. I fell in love with it and never want to stop. You can find all sorts of videos of my dancing on social media. Dancing is so much better than just walking!
Another passion that developed from me taking time to learn about who I am was modeling. The photo shoot with ANON sparked that interest and pushed me to see what else I was capable of. Flash forward a few months and boom, I got a phone call to be a part of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21. The experience of America’s Next Top Model was undeniably life changing. Having watched every episode of every cycle multiple times, it was a surreal experience to be standing in front of Tyra Banks on a daily basis. The show in itself was a whirlwind of emotions from stress, to joy, to relief – you never knew what was coming next. I’m blessed that the cast of Cycle 21 was so close knit that we were able to bond and rely on each other for emotional support during filming. Reality television is a monster in and of itself, but when you want something so bad you just roll with the punches and make the most out of every situation. I have to say that having cameras follow you around 24/7 is not something I want everyday, but at the time it was pretty neat. I’m a real goofy guy and that’s exactly what you see on the show. Just a genuine Texas boy who loves life and everyone around him. If you’re watching that is. I can honestly say that Top Model was the greatest experience of my life.
Now that the show is in full swing on the CW and we wrapped filming around six months ago, my life has already changed so much. I packed up all my things and moved out of the Lone Star State to California! When you know what you want, you have to follow your passions and make them happen. One thing I can’t stand in this world is wasted talent. For me to hear Tyra Banks say I have talent – how can I pass that up? I have no other option but to use it and make the world proud. Right now I am pursuing modeling as well as dancing so it is incredibly exciting. To be able to do two things that you love is rare and I am so blessed and thankful for all the opportunities that I have been given!
Never change who you are to fit the mold of what others want you to be! You are unique and beautiful just the way you are. Live your life for yourself and embrace everything inside of you. Find your passions and make them realities. Anything is possible if you get off the couch and do it.
Thank you ANON for everything!
Photography: Grace Hill