Something about this season’s The Real World sucked me back into viewership. Because of this, I was able to witness something really strange. One of the roommates, Dustin Zito, had a secret that was finally revealed to the other roommates. Nothing strange there since that often happens on this show. It turns out that Dustin has a past in which he was a participant in gay porn. This isn’t what I found strange, however. The girl he’s been all hugged up with, Heather, was distraught by the news. I didn’t find that strange either. It’s the reactions he received from his other roommates that I found peculiar.
When a former roommate, Adam, called the house and spilled the beans to one of the roommates, she rushed to tell another roommate and the two of them wondered if they should say anything to Heather. What they didn’t know was that Heather’s mother sent her an email revealing Dustin’s past. Now this had me wondering if the producers had anything to do with two random people finding out this information. It just seemed like a set-up, but I digress.
Eventually, Heather and Dustin talk about what he used to do, and of course, she’s pissed off because she’s said that she couldn’t be with a man who has had sex with other men. So Dustin deserved her anger because she made it known and he decided to lie by omission. Now, while the lovebirds are hashing it out, the rest of the roommates are gossiping and for some reason, getting angry at Dustin. This is where they lost me. Why? Because he owed none of them, except for Heather, an explanation or disclosure.
They treated this guy like a leper and wanted him to leave the house for good. I watched this episode with a “WTH” look on my face. Dustin decides to call a house meeting to talk to everyone at once, so he doesn’t have to keep repeating his story. The roommates sat and listened to him talk about the circumstances surrounding his decision to be “gay for pay”, and even after hearing his side, they still acted as if he physically harmed someone. I listened to what Dustin said; what I heard was a young man who was in a desperate situation and someone came in and took advantage of that desperation.It was sad that the other roommates were unable to show a little understanding, some compassion. Sometimes people do things that they might not otherwise do because they don’t see another way out of whatever they’re trying to escape.
I fully believe if Dustin was a girl, the reaction would have been totally different. I thought that people got kicked off The Real World if they put their hands on a fellow cast member, not because they participated in sexual activities that one may be biased against. And I fully believe that their anger was simply due to that bigotry.
I also want to note that while Heather was justified in her anger, I had to give her a side-eye. In the episode, she and Dustin go to a restaurant to be alone and discuss where things stand between them. During this discussion, she asks him, “Do I need to get tested?”
For those who may be unaware of how it works, you do not ask your partner’s opinion on whether you should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. You just go get tested! Your partner has no idea what may be going on in your body…heck, they may have no idea of what’s going on in their own body, so you don’t put that decision in the hands of anyone else. If you are sexually active, you need to get tested regularly.
That said, I’m interested in seeing what happens on this week’s episode…
- MTV’S “The Real World” Most Watched Telecast In Three Years (tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com)
- The Real World’s Dustin Zito on His Gay Porn Past (thedailybeast.com)
- Dustin Zito explains why he lied about gay sex, Fratpad explains why images disappeared (realityblurred.com)