Born This Way Haven’t you always wanted to have a twin brother? Imagine what it would be like to have a built-in friend who is identical to you in every single way, someone with whom you can share everything—no secrets, nothing to hide. Complete symmetry. Would it be like in the movies, where one twin is evil and one is good (think Bette Davis in Dead Ringer)? Would you play tricks on your friends, family, teachers, sex partners? Would he be like you in every way? Would he know your every thought and desire? Would his thoughts and desires be the same as yours?
Meet our cover boys, identical twins Tommy and Tanthalas (Tanis for short). We know—completely dreamy, aren’t they? Double your pleasure, double your fun, right? Not so fast! One of them likes girls and one likes boys. But can you tell which one is gay? Be careful, now. You can’t judge a book by its cover!
Tommy and Tanis Reinert were born September 1, 1990, in a small hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania. Tanis came first, followed seven minutes later by Tommy, who had Tanis’ umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. To this day, Tanis jokes that this is what made Tommy gay. There—we told you.
Upon meeting these guys, one of the first things you notice about them (aside from their amazing eyes and square jawlines) is just how funny they are, and how each teases the other about being the better-looking, the smarter, the more talented of the two. You can almost literally feel the strong bond between them.
“We have gone through life side by side. Every experience we had, we experienced together. I wouldn’t change a single second of it,” says Tommy. “But it hasn’t always been easy. We grew up in countless houses, our parents divorced, and our mother struggled with some drug-related issues.” At the age of 4, the boys moved in with their father and his second wife, who adopted them and raised them. “We owe a lot to our stepmom. She raised us as if we were her own,” says Tommy. “Our father had an alcohol problem and was quite distant. We had our hardships, but who hasn’t? Our parents did their best, and we love them unconditionally. In the end, everything has only made
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Tommy was “outed” at 16 when an instant message from another guy was found on the family’s home computer. “It was a pretty big thing back then, but now we all joke about it,” says Tommy. “I wasn’t surprised,” Tanis teases. “He always hated sports and always listened to girl singers. He is better off being gay, ’cause I’m so much better-looking!” Their stepmom recalls that her only indication that Tommy was gay was that all his best friends growing up were girls. “He seemed to relate to them better,” she says. The twins also have three brothers and three sisters (some from their biological mom, some from their stepmom). Their sister Jacqueline recalls, “Surprisingly enough, I had no idea Tommy was gay. The only thing I remember is that Tommy was—well, is—more sensitive than Tanis, and we used to shop more together!” Their father matter-of-factly states, “So Tanis has more testosterone than Tommy. Who cares? I love both of them—gay, straight or some mixture in between. It’s not a matter of sexual preference. We are family. No one messes with my kids.”
So how can it be that only one is gay if they are identical twins? Aren’t they supposed to be completely identical? Intriguing, isn’t it? Many people still think that having a distant father and an overbearing mother makes you gay. If this were true, wouldn’t every identical set of twins raised in the same household either both be gay or both be straight?
Read more about our cover boys in our August issue, out now!