Bravo’s hit series Below Deck Mediterranean is never short on drama, but the show at times can deliver viewers a heartwarming moment.
The latest episode, which aired Aug. 9, featured one of the most touching scenes in the series’ history when deckhand Lloyd Spencer tearfully opened up about his personal life and came out as sexually fluid to his crewmates.
In an exclusive interview with E! News, Spencer says he had no plans to come out on the show, until the moment it happened.
“I was absolutely not planning on opening up about that whatsoever,” he said. “It was purely an in-the-moment thing, the level of comfort and security I felt around [my team], and the topics of conversation that had previously been discussed that evening was certainly a big factor in that.”
The disclosure came following a painful conversation where Spencer says he dealt with homophobic abuse from his previous captain.
“I was treated like a piece of shit by my captain,” he shared with his crewmates, explaining that he was repeatedly called a faggot by the highest ranking crew member on his previous boat.
“It wasn’t a very nice person, not in normal terms,” Spencer told E! “Wouldn’t say good morning, was exceptionally rude. But when it came to comments he made about other people that we saw walking past the dock and then also comments about myself were very hard to deal with.”
Spencer also said in the episode that he is 90 percent straight.
“The 90 percent straight thing was my realization that I said it on television and kind of trying to stop it from spiraling to a full confessional of my entire life, but if I were to put it in a statement of such, I completely believe in like a fluid spectrum and as any part of my life, I might move on that spectrum up or down. It just depends on the time in my life. It depends on where I am. I personally feel like everyone is on that spectrum. People may be a bit more than others and I certainly have my experiences where I’ve been up and down on that.”
Fortunately, Spencer’s experience with his Below Deck family has been the polar opposite. Without hesitation, they rallied around him to offer support, love, and encouragement to live his truth.
You’re like the best human being any of us has ever met,” Spencer’s crewmate David Pascoe told him. He continued to reassure Spencer by saying “we need more people like you in the world” and “everyone here accepts you for everything you are.”
Spencer says he was “inspired” by everyone’s response.
“I think the greatest thing was when I woke up in the morning, I was exceptionally worried about it,” he said. “You wake up, you’re a little hungover, and you realize you said that on television and it’s going to be aired, and every single one of them came up to me throughout the next day and offered their support again. Absolutely nothing changed on board and they all continued then and they’re continuing now to offer me the same level of support.”
Additionally, Spencer has received an overwhelming amount of positive social media responses.
“I’ve gotten so many,” he said. “I actually haven’t read them all so far, but maybe the 50 or so messages that I’ve received have been ranging from people just saying so proud of what you did, we support you no matter what, to even someone saying that they watched that episode and then later that day someone was actually…it was the first time that they’ve ever stood up to it. And then one other person said that they’ve taken inspiration from what I said to try and deal with their struggles, which was really, really heartwarming to hear.”
Below Deck Mediterranean airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Watch episodes one week early on Mondays on Peacock.