Can't a guy love gay rights and working out, and still want to date ladies? Some gay people don't think so — fitness trainer and Real World alum Scott Herman recently took some flak on the blogosphere over his involvement in the No H8 marriage equality campaign. Herman responded to accusations that he's using gay activism to further his career in a video on wickedgayblog.com, and he elaborated on his reasons for making the video, as well as his growing sex symbol status, with The Advocate.
The Advocate: Why did you make the video?
Herman: I do a google search on my name every day and I started to read people saying, “He only did the No H8 campaign because he wanted the attention or the limelight — he doesn’t care about us.” So, I made the video; I really wanted to express that I’m putting myself out there to help [the gay] community. Also, for the people who are my fans, it solidified that I really care about them and I fight for what’s right.
So gay people have questioned your motives, have your straight friends asked the same thing?
None of my friends have said anything like that to me—it just was on the blogs. There may have been straight people saying it, but I didn’t see it.
How did you get involved with the No H8 campaign?
Some of my celebrity friends did it and that’s how I heard about it. Then I found out they were doing a shoot in New York. I was doing an appearance at a gay club in Long Island, so I was in the area and wanted to be involved.
You’re not based in New York anymore?
Since December, I’ve
been in Massachusetts — that’s where I film my fitness videos. My gym
is in North Attleboro, Mass., and I live in Salem.
On blogs, gay commenters have made it clear that they like how you look. How does that feel?
have a lot of gay friends and they’re so picky when it comes to what
they want in a man. So, to get good compliments from them is very
flattering. If you can attract a gay man, you can attract any woman.
Why do you think some straight guys are uncomfortable with gay guys appreciating their appearance?
are obviously people who are going to hate everything. But I noticed
with my [straight] friends they’re more open to being exposed to the
gay community — they see how involved I am. So, it’s easier for them
now. I just think [being around gay people] is something new to a lot
of people, especially in small town areas.
So, where will your gay advocacy bring you next?
I want to do — it’s something I hoped to do last year but couldn’t
because of scheduling conflicts — is Braking the Cycle; it’s a bike
ride from Boston to New York [in September] to raise money for AIDS. I
really want to do it — it’s a great cause.