20 Queer Q's With Million Dollar Listing Star Tyler Whitman
20 Queer Q's With 'Million Dollar Listing' Star Tyler Whitman
Get to know the NYC real estate broker in with our 20 queer questions series!
The 20 Queer Qs series seeks to capture LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies) in a moment of authenticity. We get to know the subjects, what makes them who they are, and what they value.
These intimate conversations aim to leave you, the reader, feeling like you just gained a new friend or a new perspective, and that you learned something new or saw a different side of someone, maybe one that you don’t see online, but one that might be like you.
This week, get to know NYC-based Real Estate Broker and star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York, Tyler Whitman. Learn about what pride means to him, the values he looks for in an ideal partner, the best piece of advice he’s ever received, and more.
Name: Tyler Whitman
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Identifies As: Gay
What do you love about the LGBTQ+ community?
First, that it is a community and it took me a while - because I was so worried about who I was to actually come out, be part of that community and enjoy it. I was scared to participate in the community and so afraid of it for so long. I thought gay men were going to be so mean to me. But now that I’m on the other side of it, I realize that I didn’t give it a fair chance.
There are a lot of people and many stories and we are all products of our environment. So getting out there and experiencing that and seeing how much has changed and evolved and how people can see a pathway to being more and more themselves is so exciting. I’m young, but I have seen so much change happen in the last 20 years. I’ve seen my own version of a gay evolution and to listen to gays in their 60s and 70s share their stories. We are truly a queer movement.
Talk about your first queer kiss?
So I came out of the closet when I was 14, and a girl in one of my classes in high school was a good dancer, and one of the boys in her dance company was gay. So I came to her recital and she introduced me to the boy, and to me, you’re seeing that gay person for the first time and think, “I’m not the only one?” So I met him and he told me to come back tomorrow so he can give me a tour of the backstage and so we kissed. I was so scared and excited and so I released into it. Looking back on it, not being ready for this made me realize that this person was someone that I didn’t want to kiss, but it was a boy so it was exciting.
How did you feel attending your first pride?
My first pride was late in life because of my insecurities as a gay man and thinking that I would be shunned from the community. I did do a couple of the parades when I was heavier, but I didn't go out to experience it. It was Pride 2017 in New York, I went to all the events and parties, and that was the first time seeing people coming in from all over the world and it was spectacular and it made me love being gay, what a treat!
What does pride mean to you?
Really loving who you are and who you get to be. I’m so lucky that I get to wake up as a gay man. I want to shout it from the rooftops and I hope it inspires people to be who they want to be.
Who is someone you consider to be an LGBTQ+ icon?
The one that popped into my head was Cody Rigsby. He’s the definition of loving yourself for exactly who you are, take no prisoners, and doing the best thing.
What’s a song you consider to be an LGBTQ+ anthem?
“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.
What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ youth?
Just relax. The hardest things I went through are the stories I look back at with most fondness. I had a very blessed childhood, my parents loved me, but the biggest fights that I got into with my family are the ones that deepen our ability to change. People change.
Do you believe in love?
Yeah, I definitely believe in love. I’ve never been in love but I have faith that it’s out there.
What are values that you look for in an ideal partner?
Humor is at the top of my list. They would have to be a good person, be funny, and they don’t have to have financial success, but I do want them to be ambitious and go after something they care about that drives and motivates them.
Is there an LGBTQ+ TV show or movie that has had a great impact on you?
Will & Grace. The fact that that TV show made it cool to be gay, people in school would ask me to be their Jack or Will and back then that was somebody’s way of saying, “I love you exactly who you are!”
What is something you want to change about yourself in the next six months?
To stop caring so much about what other people think.
What’s your earliest memory that you felt you were different?
It was as a little boy, having crushes on all my brother's friends. We used to play hide and seek and I would hide pretty well but never come out because I wanted them to find me eventually.
Have you found your chosen family? How do they make you feel?
Yeah, I’ve really found my chosen family through sobriety. I’ve always had a good circle of friends and they’re amazing, but sobriety is when I found other people who are amazing. Sobriety is an enlightening journey and you share that journey with people and there are people I’ve met in the past six months that make me think “Oh I had to get sober to meet you?!”
What is the title of the current chapter of your life?
Fill in the blank: When I find someone I’m interested in I ______
Fill in the blank: In five years I want to _________
Have my own daytime talk show.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Did you have a bad day or did you have a bad five minutes that you milked all day?
If you could shadow anybody for a day, who would it be?
The only person that comes to mind is Ryan Serhant. He gets so much done in a day.
Are you the person you thought you’d grow up to be? Do you think younger you would be proud of older you?
No, if you told me I’d be a TV real estate reality star, I wouldn’t believe you. I think younger me would’ve never believed it and he would be screaming from the rooftops.
What value/quality has being queer given you? What have you gained?
I think coming out at a young age, I was so scared of what everyone would think of me. I learned that if you’re confident behind anything that other people’s opinions don’t matter and you’ll be surprised by them, and I learned that through my queerness. It’s been a powerful thing that has served me in other areas in my life.