Coming out is a personal journey that we all try to make happen on our own terms. Unfortunately, for some people, it is unavoidable, others may try to out you, and then even more people never come out. We all have our own idea of how it should unfold, who you should tell first.
Instinct Magazine was recently approached by a former male contestant from the 11th season of The Bachelorette. Josh Seiter (@josh_seiter_official). He wanted to share his story and his personal growth and truth about his sexuality. After a brief chat, I said let’s do an interview where we’ll ask some of “those” questions, bring up a little bit of his recent past, and see where he is currently. Here are the results of our time with Josh.
Instinct – Hello Josh. Thanks for taking the time to talk to Instinct. You actually wanted to talk to us about something very personal. I guess now we can say Happy Pride and mean it very personally as you are wanting to tell people that you are a member of the LGBTQ+ Community. You’re bisexual?
Josh Seiter – I guess the timing of me coming out as bisexual is pretty providential, since I’m making this announcement during Pride Month.
Instinct – How long have you known that you are bisexual? It’s different for everyone, some realize their sexuality later on in life, some their sexuality is fluid, others, they’ve always known but just have not chosen to acknowledge it personally or socially. How would you paint a picture of your coming to terms that you are bisexual?
Josh – The universe seems to always work out in wonderful little ways. Unlike some people, my awareness of my bisexuality manifested later in life. I think there are a number of reasons for this. I was homeschooled from preschool until college by parents who were born again Christians. We belonged to a sort of Christian cult of other homeschooled children, where we had to follow pretty draconian rules about what we could and couldn’t do, say, and think. We were fed a pretty heavy stream of Focus on the Family and Christian music and cartoons. I believe my upbringing, in the homeschooled Christian niche that we were brought up in, stayed with me, both consciously and unconsciously, for years after leaving home for college. I always knew as an early teen I was different sexually, I just don’t think I had the vocabulary to articulate what that difference was. I don’t think the vocabulary ITSELF even existed. Now, with hindsight, I can see clearly that I’ve been starkly aware of my bisexuality and attraction to men and women since at least college. I strongly believe a large part of me was suppressed for my childhood. Erasure, not suppression, may be a more accurate word. So the short answer to your question is, I think I’ve always known since I was 17 or 18 in my heart and soul I was bisexual, but my brain had a sort of learning curve—along with the culture—due to my religious and psychological brainwashing and conditioning.
Instinct – What was the catalyst for you coming out?
Josh – The catalyst for my desire to come out involved a few different factors. As I’ve grown older (I’m 35, yikes, I know), I’ve become almost desensitized to what people think of me. After being in the public eye for so many years, so much has been said about me (both true and false, but mostly false) that I kind of just hit a point, with therapy, where I stopped caring what anyone thought about me anymore. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. And that’s been rather liberating. I think another factor affecting my decision to come out is seeing the way in which mental illness—I suffer with depression, GAD, and OCD—has been de-stigmatized through the years. But this only occurred after prominent figures began speaking out about their struggles. I believe stigma can only be eradicated once the people carrying the stigma start speaking out and shattering that glass ceiling (or glass albatross, however you want to look at it). I think when my desire to speak out combined with the thick skin I’ve grown over the years coincided with a romantic relationship I’ve developed with a close male friend, that triumvirate resulted in me really wanting to be open to the world about who I am and how I identify. And that’s what brought me here.
Instinct – In another conversation we had before, you mentioned that you have a therapist. First of all, BRAVO! I think we all can learn something from going to a therapist, from knowing that a therapist is not for you to realizing that it is amazing to have someone to help you figure out what is going on in that head of yours. June is Men’s Health Awareness Month (surrounding Father’s Day) and part of that full body health is mental health, too. Can you describe how much your therapist has helped you from this topic of your sexuality to others?
Josh – I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t found therapy. My therapists are amazing. As I mentioned before, I am an individual living with mental illness, and I have been battling GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), depression, and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) since the age of 15. I’ve been seeing two different therapists pretty consistently for the last 20 years. They have taught me how to restructure my negative and self-defeating thoughts through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and I owe my life to them. In addition, they’ve taught me the power of turning “I must” to “I would prefer,” and that alone was such a big breakthrough for me. So often we upset ourselves by thinking “I must be liked by everyone. I must succeed. I must do well. Things must go right.” When, inevitably, we aren’t liked by everyone, we don’t succeed, we don’t do well, or things don’t go right, then we tend to awfulize. “I must be liked by everyone. Since I’m not this is awful and terrible, it’s the end of the world.” My therapists have taught me to stop “musturbating” and instead restructure my thoughts. An example: “I would prefer to be liked by everyone, but if I’m not that’s ok. It’s neither awful nor terrible, but merely inconvenient and annoying. The world will go on.” This slight twist in thinking and processing of events has been a game changer. As the Stoics say “no event can disturb us, only our interpretation of it can.” So where once my anxiety was crippling, it is now mostly just background noise.
Instinct – It’s also very good to have that support staff that is behind you. The therapist is a great one to have, but have you as well mentioned your bisexuality to others?
Josh – It has helped that I’ve kept a close contingent of people around me who I can confide in, both about my bisexuality and my mental health struggles. This cadre of people includes my best friend, my uncle, and his partner. And my two cats.
Instinct – Within society and even in the Queer Community, there are those that say, oh, bisexuals, they are just greedy and want it all … or … They cannot like both … or … they’ll eventually just come out as gay. I mean, us gays get it the statement, “you just haven’t found the right girl yet.” Has some of that negativity kept you “in the closet” about your bisexuality?
Josh – In the distant past, what people might think of my attraction to men and women definitely played an operative role in keeping me silenced about my identity, but those concerns don’t bother me now. Or if they do I don’t actively cogitate on them.
Instinct – Now, with you coming out as bisexual, people are going to say, “Who?” , it’s the keyboard owls of the internet, and they are going to dig past just the Bachelorette show, dig to see that you’ve been dating a handful of different women from reality television ranging from 90 Day Fiance Yolanda Leak who was, yes, your true fiancé at one point, 90 Day Fiance alum Karine Staehle, Love After Lockup alum Lizzie Kommes, and just in March Love After Lockup alum Glorietta Besos, and they’ll dig further to find that you went by the name Andrew Dean when dancing at Bevy Night Club in Chicago years ago. They’ll past Men of the Strip and see you were also on an escort site Cowboys4Angels using the same Andrew Dean name. There are two ways people will take this and come for you after all of that digging. One is a little scandalous and the other is just pervy, but they will be asked by many.
– Thought 1: Are you coming out as bisexual to just gain more attention and to continue that 15, 16, 17 minutes of fame? Is he really bisexual or is it all just a publicity thing?
– Thought 2: Was he bisexual during those dancing and escort days and how much happened with men? Did he dance for and did he escort for men? What experiences has he had with men?
Josh – I have extremely thick skin. I’ve been called every name in the book, almost all of them false. I’ve been called a prostitute, a clout chaser, a fame whore, wanna-be, reality TV whore, you name it. I can’t stress how little people’s opinion of me matters. Losing my father taught me that unless something affects my ability to see or communicate with my family members and loved ones, it simply doesn’t matter. My therapy has taught me the same thing. I might prefer to be liked, but if I’m not, that’s neither awful nor terrible, and life will go on. People’s opinions of me exist in space (mainly internet space) and are absolutely inconsequential to my every day life. I think it’s precisely because I’ve been dragged and trashed so much in the past that I can hold this sort of enlightened perspective. If people think I’m coming out now for fame, let them think that. I have no desire to change their mind. All I can speak is my truth.
Instinct – And the follow up question from us thirsty men and women out there, “Is he more into men or women?” or does it not work that way? Is there a different type of attraction you have when it comes to men and women?
Josh – I’m attracted to men and women, and honestly, someone’s gender, their appearance, and what they do for work is the last thing I’m actively thinking about. I think more people would be attracted to both men and women if society didn’t condition us from childhood to only think a certain (heterosexual way). I think there are amazing things about women and amazing things about men. I don’t want to pick one; that’s why I choose both 🙂 despite the gossip, though I was a male companion for women with the escorting site Cowboys4Angels, I have never been one for men.
Instinct – You also did mention to us that your father past away 18 months ago, sorry to hear. What kind of influence did his passing have on your life? Did it put things in a different perspective?
Josh – As you mention, it is Men’s Health Awareness month surrounding Father’s Day. I lost my father unexpectedly in August of 2021. Therapy has not only taught me how to deal with the loss of my father at a relatively young age, but it’s also taught me how to actually find gratitude and gratefulness for the years I was blessed to have with him. Being able to find gratitude in my father’s death is such a great example of the power therapy can have. It can quite literally change your perspective on life and death. It can take you from hopelessness to happiness in an instant, all with a simple twist of thinking and restructuring of one’s thoughts. It takes a lot of work, years of work and cognitive behavioral therapy, to get to that point, but once you’ve really internalized what you’ve learned in therapy, implementing it becomes second-nature. I would encourage anyone, whether they are struggling with mental illness or not, to stay in frequent contact with a trusted therapist or psychologist. It can only enrich your life.
Underwear: I love boxer briefs and I love going commando in the house.
Celebrity Crush: Timothée Chalamet. I mean, look at the guy.
Best Vacation Spot: St. George, Utah.I have a second home there.
Favorite Cheat Meal or Snack: Thin crust (slightly burnt) pizza with sausage and pepperoni.
If you were stuck on an island for eternity, what music album would you want to have with you?: I’m listening to the soothing sounds of Jacob Collier. Check him out. He’s brilliant.
What is your proudest moment so far in your life?: Graduating law school in front of my parents and grandmother.
What do you think is the most attractive part of your body?: My ass
What, to you, defines sexy?: The definition of sexy is confidence. Confidence is another word for sexy. Sexy is a sub-part of the umbrella term, confident.
Instinct – Josh, thank you for your time. All of our personal journeys are different, valid, and sharing yours, it may click with someone else and help them on their individual experience.
Josh – Thank you for allowing me to come out via Instinct. I feel at peace. Truly at peace. It’s very rare to find that in life, especially when one struggles with MH issues and identity issues. Many thanks for making that possible.