News | Reality TV | Spencer Duhm | Todd Herzog

Survivor's Spencer Duhm Explains Strategic Need for the Closet

Last night on Survivor: Tocantins, gay contestant Spencer Duhm was asked if he's interested in any of the women on the show, a question he deflected, and later explained:

 Spencer"My tribemates are not aware that I'm gay. I haven't told them. Only because in the culture that we live in, there's nothing really to gain, or not much to gain from people finding out that you are gay. I don't like hiding it though. I would like to be able to have those conversations when we're talking about girls. I wouldn't mind, you know, makin' like 'Spencer, well what type of guy do you like' or something, but I know that that's not the best option for me in the game at this point, so..."

Survivor: China winner Todd Herzog revealed earlier this week that he and Duhm are dating.

UPDATE: Reality Blurred reports that Spencer apologized to Charlie Herschel for remarks he made earlier in the season about sounding gay: "I had completely forgotten about that interview entirely, so when I read it I was mortified, my jaw just dropped. I was yelling at the computer screen, I was like, ‘Shut up, Spencer, shut up. Stop talking.’ And when I read the stuff about Charlie I was so upset with myself, and so I immediately contacted him saying, ‘I sincerely apologize, I was a complete ass, I don’t know why I said any of that, it was completely out of line, I don’t even know you.’"

No SPOILERS (but warning, comments MAY contain spoilers). Watch it (starts at about 4:29), AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. What a pu$$y.

    Posted by: Blair | Mar 13, 2009 10:40:51 AM

  2. Isn't this the same guy who was "so glad" he didn't "sound gay"?

    Posted by: Wes | Mar 13, 2009 10:54:18 AM

  3. I know he says he's straight-acting, but his teammates have to be idiots not to suspect anything.

    Posted by: scar2 | Mar 13, 2009 10:55:34 AM

  4. Having watched the show I can see what his motivations are... personal information is a weapon in Survivor and you can never tell how people will react... plus he's a 19 year old kid talking about issues with others' homophobia on national television, I think that's pretty out of the closet, eh?

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 13, 2009 11:00:13 AM

  5. What? Like they're gonna play smear the queer after you've just said you like cock? WTFE. Grow a pair, Duhm-ass. And NO, he does NOT get a free pass for being 20 years old.

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 13, 2009 11:00:43 AM

  6. This guy is an asshole. I don't care that he's 20. In fact, I think he is doing a huge amount of damage to other 20 yr olds with his self hating (evidently learned from his mother-see earlier post) homophobic ways.

    I truly can't stand this guy and wish he would just shut up.

    What exactly does he know about "the culture we live in"? I am a light skinned Black who looks like I'm anything but Black. I could easily have "passed" because "there's not much to gain" by people knowing that I'm Black. I didn't and don't. Why? Because I am Black. And Gay.

    If I thought like this jerk I would be just another self hating Black Fag who wants desperately to be someone or something that I'm not.

    Please do not turn him into a Gay celebrity by continuing to pst about him. As it is he will be sought out by the MSM when this is over and be treated as a "Gay spokesman".

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Mar 13, 2009 11:13:03 AM

  7. Oh boo! "Grow a pair?" he's on and island, covered in dirt, climbin trees and all that other bullsh!t. How big does his balls need to be?
    If he's 20, and not out cause it's gonna help him win, then make that money and win.

    Posted by: Mamma Rice | Mar 13, 2009 11:15:05 AM

  8. Ok so now that Spencer has been eliminated from "Survivor" lets get the real scoop on both he and Todd Herzog (a previous winner! I find this all too interesting that a previous winner (the last seasons winner no less) and a current contestant (who happens to be the youngest in the history of survivor no less) are Dating!! I want the bottom line scoop on this whole thing!!! When did they meet, how did they meet, how did spencer get on the show so quickly following last seasons win, etc... Any info out there?????? Will we see Towleroad or another site pick up the exclusive interview with them both>????

    Posted by: alex in boston | Mar 13, 2009 11:22:11 AM

  9. So what's the deal w/ Survivor (or other reality "tv") and gay (/L/B[no T, AFAIK]) winners?

    How many winners has our family had, and how does that seem to compare w/ the quantity of contestants?

    Posted by: tjc | Mar 13, 2009 11:23:45 AM

  10. Um...yeah, it's fucking SURVIVOR. The comments about him not being a good representative are well-taken, but this dude is on a (lame) reality show to win money. He's not a gay activist. It is not his responsibility to 'represent gays' any more than it is any other gay person's responsibility once they get a little bit of media coverage. If one is a self-avowed activist, that is one thing, but there is always constant bitching here every time anyone on TV says anything about the gays, about being gay, about knowing gay people, etc. For being so picky, I don't see any of your lazy asses running out to "represent us." So, yeah...get the fuck over it. Some 19-year-old isn't doing your work for you. Boo-hoo.

    Posted by: Ugh | Mar 13, 2009 11:26:37 AM

  11. Just like real life. We've all been in that situation - to tell or not to tell? Not all of us can be 100% brave all the time when faced with possible unpleasant consequences. Sometimes you have to evade, not just with sexuality but with other things too. Who can't understand that?

    Posted by: Des | Mar 13, 2009 11:31:59 AM

  12. Thank you, Derek. Couldn't agree with you more. I'm old enough to be this pathetic little douchenozzle's father so I've been out longer than he's been alive and I sure as hell don't need this kind of celebutard representing me in public.

    It is precisely this kind of amoral behavior, Mamma Rice, that perpetuates the belief that gay people should just stay in the closet and that nobody should have to know about it. Yeah, it's a stupid gameshow for fucksake, but twatzilla's gayness is being USED by the show's producers for buzz appeal and that pisses me off.

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 13, 2009 11:32:19 AM

  13. He's out of the closet on national television, for goodness sakes. And you call him a coward??

    Posted by: Des | Mar 13, 2009 11:34:45 AM

  14. He's a douchebag who clearly has been indoctrinated with some issues regarding being gay. Two previous winners of Survivor were out gay men. Didn't hurt them at all in the contest. That he's chosen to remain in the closet and insult effeminate queens (despite it being pretty obvious for himself) speaks a lot.

    Posted by: Joseph | Mar 13, 2009 11:39:13 AM

  15. hey all! Spencer will be chatting live with fans on Fancast today at 12:30 PT/ 3:30 ET. Ask him anything about life on Survivor! Hope you'll be able to make it.

    Posted by: meg4fancast | Mar 13, 2009 11:43:37 AM

  16. Why is this even being discussed?

    Posted by: Everett | Mar 13, 2009 11:44:17 AM

  17. "Why is this even being discussed?"

    Even more pertinent, EVERETT, why are you and I reading it? I should be cleaning up this raggedy's unfittin' for a queen. We're supposed to be neat and prissy.

    Let the boy come out when he wants to. Y'all already said that his mother is a effemophobic Joan Crawford (and I loved Crawford--sitll do). Leave the confused lad alone...the blond bitch'll "come out" to the other idiots on that show when he's ready.

    Anything else in the news? What about the sexy Treasury Secretary?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 13, 2009 12:03:32 PM

  18. I don't get how announcing you are gay on one of the top rated shows in the US could be "in the closet"... Has logic completely disappeared from Towleroad reader's minds?

    Ok, he didn't come out to 6 other people in the game, but came out nationally to over 20 million at the same time. With a million at stake (the purpose of the game) I'd do exactly the same thing.

    Survivor isn't exactly the podium for gay activism. Being gay does not automatically come with activist responsibilities. Anyone who thinks those people would have been OK about it is ignoring the fact that they figured his sexuality out pretty quickly after the girl questioned him and immediately made him the one to vote out - over and above the woman who barely tried on the challenge or the geek who stood there and did absolutely nothing. It's a reality show which shows EXACTLY the reality that putting out that kind of information in a sparsely populated "winner takes all" situation may lead to. With previous gay winners, the contestant figured out whether or not it was a safe place to come out and did so. Spencer decided it wasn't safe for his game plan. Some of us have to do this daily, with much more at stake than money.

    Posted by: johnny | Mar 13, 2009 12:09:38 PM

  19. Here we go with the "your primary identity should be gay and you must must put that above all else". Uh, no, It really does depend on the situation and circumstance. What is to be gained by telling his teammates? Sure, they could all suspect, but until he confirms it, it's just speculation. In this game, all info is a weapon to be used against them (just like in real life, I might add). Like someone else said, you can't expect a 19 year old to carry the banner for the community. The point for many young gays is not to have their identity worn like some scarlett letter but to make it just like any other part of themeselves, no more, no less.

    And the whole "light-skinned black passing thing", uh, were you able to pass as white? "cause that's the point of passing. Looking non-black is not the same as passing for white (which is what passing is about).

    Posted by: Stan | Mar 13, 2009 12:18:56 PM

    This guy did not say there is nothing to gain in life by being out, he said that HE had nothing to gain by being out IN SURVIVOR at that time. Given that it's a game, with a winner, personal gain is the only thing that matters at that point.... or are y'all thinking Survivor's motto is "Outwit. Outplay. Out Role Model".

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 13, 2009 12:20:42 PM

  21. "And the whole "light-skinned black passing thing", uh, were you able to pass as white? "cause that's the point of passing. Looking non-black is not the same as passing for white (which is what passing is about)."

    How do you know? Many black people who couldn't pass as German could pass as Portuguese. If you're going to pass for European--atleast try to look like the pretty Mediterranean ones.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 13, 2009 12:39:28 PM

  22. He's lame.

    The very first winner of Survivor, Richard Hatch, was a naked, in-your-face, gay guy. He was openly gay and didn't even try to suck up to people and he won.

    The guy this turd is supposedly dating, Todd, is very openly gay and extremely effeminate...and he won also.

    Being gay obviously isn't a hindrance on Survivor. He was the real bigot on the show -- stereotyping straight guys and southerners as some kind of moronic hate machines.

    At least Spencer can go home and rest assured that his big fat fucking loss had nothing to do with being gay, and everything to do with his own personal shortcomings. It's just you that sucks, Spencer. Not gay people.

    Posted by: paul c | Mar 13, 2009 12:40:25 PM

  23. People get so pissy about how out someone else is, jeeze calm down. Like when you were 19 you told everyone you met, especially people like your boss who controlled your paycheck (which is exactly what the other contestants are in this situation)

    Just because someone doesn't do it exactly the way you would, doesnt mean they're wrong. Calm down... and encourage him to take his shirt off

    Posted by: schmee | Mar 13, 2009 12:47:08 PM

  24. Spencer was an alternate on the show, and did not meet Todd Herzog until well after filming. As Jeff Probst explained in his EW blog, Spencer auditioned and was an alternate with hopes of making it next season. At the last minute one of the male contestants failed his final physical and Spencer was called up to participate.

    Posted by: DR | Mar 13, 2009 12:50:38 PM

  25. "amoral behavior"!? Eric,'s a game show, a "reality" game show set on an island? How does his decision to "play the game" equal "amoral".

    "...I know that that's not the best option for me in the game at this point.."--he's not "hiding" for ratings or because he's afraid his parents will beat him or something, he's not addressing his homosexuality because

    A) Who you wanna hump doesn't matter on a reality tv game show island.
    B) He's trying to make some quick cash-on a game show.

    I understand that we as homo's don't have the luxury, due to the political climate, to stay in the closet just to suit our personal needs.

    However, this is a 20-year reality television personality trying to play a game. Seriously, it just ain't that deep.

    Posted by: Mamma Rice | Mar 13, 2009 12:53:40 PM

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