Danny Roberts became a public face for the LGBTQ rights movement 22 years ago, when he was one of seven Housewives to appear on MTV’s “The Real World: New Orleans.”
The Georgia native returned to reality television this spring on the Paramount+ spinoff series “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” — a decision he admitted he made somewhat reluctantly.
While he may no longer be one of the few outright gay people on TV, his appearance on the show has brought to light a number of challenges that members of the LGBTQ community are facing in 2022.
HuffPost got a sneak peek at this week’s episode of “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans,” in which Roberts has a tough conversation with housemate Matt Smith about her sexuality.
“God created each of us,” Smith, a devout Catholic, tells Roberts at one point. “As for me, I will never understand how God created you.”
Watch a clip from this week’s episode of “Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” below.
True to form, Roberts takes the awkward confrontation in stride.
“I call this the spiritual bypass—the idea of loving the sinner, hating the sin,” he explains. “That’s where a lot of the world stands right now. It’s where a lot of my family stands, and I call this my ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.”
It’s an apt analogy given Roberts’ real-life plight on the original “Real World: New Orleans.” At the time, she had an army officer boyfriend whose face had to be blurred in the air so that she wouldn’t lose her job under a “don’t ask, don’t” policy that prohibited LGBTQ people from serving openly. Military from 1994 to 2011.
Roberts, now 44, lives in Vermont with her 6-year-old daughter, Naya, and works as a tech recruiter. Despite his initial reservations, he stated that filming “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” proved to be a “redeeming” experience.
“None of us, as individuals, are people who thrive on drama or seek it out,” he told HuffPost in April. “Our goal was the opposite: just to come to New Orleans and reconnect with old friends. Most of us hadn’t seen each other in 20 years.”
The new episode of “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” premieres on Paramount+ on Wednesday.