Robert Selpuveda Jr., the titular star of Logo TV’s upcoming Bachelor knock-off Finding Prince Charming finally spoke about his past as a sex worker to The Huffington Post and Us Weekly, hinting that his past as a sex worker might actually come up during the show (which would be pretty revolutionary, if it happened). Here are his comments in full.
First, here’s what he told The Huffington Post:
“I mean the past is the past, y’know. I was young and it helped through college. Umm, but what I want people to focus on is who I am today as an entrepreneur, as an activist, umm, I started a non-profit and y’know, uh focusing on the show; that’s what I really want.
“I did a shoot with Rick Day a long time ago when I started modeling and those things started to come out. It’s not the first time that I’ve ever had a comment or this or that or whatever it is. So I think all those little things really prepared me I worked with a non-profit, I started it as a president, I started, I’ve done community activism, so I’ve been on television before.
So it’s not the first time I’ve dealt with that. As I was saying, I think those little things have prepared me for this. And again, on the show a lot of the guys deal with guilt and shame with things that have happened to them in the past. And the show allowed me as well to close a lot of chapters in my life that I felt a lot of guilt and a lot of shame around a lot of things I thought I couldn’t share and express.
“And the title of the show is Finding Prince Charming. I’m trying to find my Prince Charming and I think a Prince Charming is someone that is knowledgable about a lot of things; about their past, about being a conscious human being, about accepting other people for whatever circumstances. That to me is a Prince Charming. That’s what I want to find. That’s my Prince Charming.”
While we’re sad to hear Sepulveda suggest that he has “felt a lot of guilt around a lot of shame” around his past as a sex worker, it certainly makes sense considering the severe stigma against sex work that society instills in people. But all the same, it looks like he might have at least brought up his past in the show, at least, that’s what he hints at in his interview with US Weekly:
“It’s part of my past and these guys were open with me about their past, some talk about HIV, about whatever that’s happened in their past. They were honest and open with me about their past, so I felt like I couldn’t stand before them and not be open about my past.”
If he “couldn’t stand before them and not be open about [his] past”, it suggests that his sex work might actually come up during the show. And if that’s so, it’d make the show an excellent tool towards squashing negative preconceptions of sex work and sex workers.
Also, networks typically don’t take up stars like Sepulveda without a vetting process, meaning that they likely new about his sex worker past and hired him anyway. So how they handle it will be revealing: will they try to keep it in the past as a shameful thing that gay and bi men only do when they need to, or are they trying to normalize sex work in a way that acknowledges it as part of the larger queer social and sexual fabric?