MTV’s “The Real World: Denver” star Davis Mallory was afraid to discuss his homosexuality in public until his senior year in college, but on Monday he came to Marvin Center as part of Allied in Pride’s “Coming Out Week.”
The 24-year old recently began touring college campuses sharing his struggles with growing up gay in Marietta, Ga., and on his continued faith in Christianity.
“I grew up in a very religious home, and it was a sort of constant internal struggle with understanding my faith and my sexuality,” Mallory said.
He said he was raised in a very strict, Southern Baptist family, which had trouble accepting homosexuality because of its faith.
“Many of the negative beliefs about homosexuality stem from the Bible, specifically the story of Sodom and Gomorrah,” Mallory said. “What people don’t seem to realize is that there was also a time when interracial marriages were not allowed due to the Bible. Much of what it contains is outdated when applied to our society.”
Mallory said his grandfather is a psychiatrist who claims homosexuality is a psychological disorder, grouped with other conditions like schizophrenia.
“When I was younger, whenever I thought a guy was cute, I would think about Bible verses to try and get rid of those thoughts,” he said. “I now believe that I can still live a Christian life, which is one of love and not sin, regardless if that person is of the same sex.”
Mallory briefly talked about his experience on “The Real World.” The reality show star said he grew up in a household where watching MTV was not allowed.
“It was hard to be back home once the show aired,” he said. “I don’t think my mom ever even watched it. I think she was very embarrassed . we didn’t speak for five months after it aired.”
Although he did not publicly acknowledge his homosexuality until the end of college, Mallory said he always knew he was different.
“When I was younger, during recess, all the boys would play kickball and I would go play four-square with the girls,” Mallory said.
Neha Shah, president of Allied in Pride, said Mallory’s discussion was a success that did not cause any backlash on campus.
“Overall, the audience in the Marvin Center was receptive and could relate to what Davis had to say,” she said. “In other schools people have protested his events, simply because he was openly gay.”
In addition to hosting Mallory on Monday, Allied in Pride had events though out last week, including a discussion on how to come out to your parents, “Speed Dating,” clubbing at Apex and a trip to the LGBT Film Festival on Saturday.
Shah said the other events were also successful – no matter how many people turned out.
“Different events draw different amounts of people,” she said. “At the end of the day all that matters to the executive board is whether or not people got something out of the event. If one of our events can inspire just one person to come out or we teach just one person something new about LGBTQ issues thaen Coming Out Week has been a success.”
Allied in Pride’s Coming Out Week is held annually in accordance with the national event.