Survivor Cook Islands contestant J.P. Calderon came out to fans and the media by becoming the latest hunky, gay cover boy for Instinct Magazine.
On the February swimsuit issue cover, Calderon is in a pair of Speedos, submerged under crystal clear water gazing at the camera with sultry brown eyes. The interior spread’s headline “Survival of the Fittest” is aptly coupled with the chiseled body (comparable to Greek athlete statues) of the volleyball coach/bartender. The Instinct interview, by Editor-in-Chief Mike Wood is the first time Calderon publicly discussed his sexuality.
California-native Calderon revealed on the Survivor Cook Islands season finale that he signed with the Janice Dickinson modeling agency, which landed him on yet another reality show. The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency airs on the Oxygen Network. In fact, the show’s camera crews followed him on his photo cover shoot.
Prior to that, the program showed Calderon making the decision whether or not he wanted to accept the offer to pose for the cover of Instinct. The ‘catch’ was that cover models must be gay. Calderon, 31 had still not come out. (Perhaps there was suspicion since he received the offer.)
Calderon told the magazine in his coming out interview: “I had decided when I was younger that I was never going to come out. I was planning to get married and have kids, be closeted about it and force myself to be something I knew I wasn’t.”
But the opportunity to land a coveted cover, something aspiring models only dream of, urged him to reveal his orientation.
“It’s not every day somebody gets slapped in the face with a major magazine like Instinct, Janice Dickinson, her TV show,” Calderon told Instinct. “I think I’m just supposed to do this!”
The coming out interview in Instinct is heartfelt. Calderon explains how he hid is real self and admired those openly gay men for being true to who they are. He tells Wood how he was a typical jock who was always with girls-an attempt to appear straight.
Calderon tells Wood that his friends are noticing him, “…getting gayer and gayer all the time.” However, Survivor fans, as shown in some message boards, are quite surprised that the hunky former castaway is really gay. Other Survivor castaways were much more open, like inaugural winner Richard Hatch.
Rumors are circulating that Calderon is involved with his also gay Survivor Cook Islands castmate, Brad Virata. Those rumors, however, are unconfirmed. On RealityBlurred.com, Virata notes that he was surprised that none of the Survivor episodes included information about his being gay, as he explains it was not hidden from his fellow castaways. Virata said that he came out to his tribemates in a ‘powwow’ around the campfire.
Virata’s sexuality not being made a big deal of is a testament to the commonplace of homosexuality in entertainment.