- Influencer Mark Bryan told a cast member of “Queer Eye: Germany” that he was not “fighting with” the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Bryan has made a name for himself by posting gender-non-conforming outfits online.
- Bryan asserted that the LGBTQIA+ community actually made it “worse” for him. He’s since apologized.
Sixty-two-year-old influencer Mark Bryan has made a name for himself by posting gender non-conforming outfits — typically outfitted in heels and skirts — but he said in a recent viral clip that he isn’t “fighting with” the LGBTQIA+ community, instead saying they actually made it “worse” for him as a cis, heterosexual male.
In the short exchange lifted from the German docu-series “Beyond Fashion,” Bryan distanced himself from the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I try to separate myself from the LGB community because of the gay community that wore skirts and high heels before I did,” he told “Queer Eye: Germany” beauty expert Avi Jakobs. “I feel like actually, they made it worse for me, being straight, because now I’m assumed to be gay … I want to wear a skirt and high heels without being classified as sexual.”
Jakobs told Bryan that she saw him in an article and thought “that person is fighting with us,” but Bryan clarified: “I don’t really think that I’m fighting with you, but I’m not fighting against you, either.”
The model, who identifies himself as a “straight, cis male” who “loves wearing heels and skirts daily,” has been featured in photoshoots in Interview Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar, racked up more than 647,000 followers on Instagram, and recently walked in Paris Fashion Week. He’s also a father, robotics engineer, and football coach, and in an October 2020 interview with Paper Magazine, he credited his move to Germany, where he said people are more tolerant about this “kind of stuff, as part of why he’s felt comfortable showing off his “hybrid style” in public.
“I think they’ve made it difficult for themselves,” Bryan told Jakobs, referring to the LGBTQ+ community. When asked how, he explained: “Just being more flamboyant. I think they’re too outrageous and too flamboyant.”
“I am very sorry that we made it worse for you,” Jakobs replied.
—TEVIN (@diornowhere) November 4, 2022
On November 7, Bryan posted an apology to his Instagram stories after the interview caused an uproar online.
“My message is what I wear does not define my sexuality or gender. I understand what I said is misleading and really may not have been the best choice of words,” he said, in part, adding “and for that, I’m really sorry that it came out wrong.”
“I mentioned that I want to be seen separately from the LGBTQ+ community. Not because I’m homophobic, or because I have a problem with the community. I just have a different … with what I wear and that was what I wanted to express, but did poorly by the words that were chosen — the same applies to what I meant when I said that they made it harder for me. I was simply referring to the fact that sometimes I feel it’s harder to make my point with my message that fashion should not define your sexuality.”
“I’m not homophobic… Why would someone homophobic wear a skirt and high heels?” he said. Representatives for Bryan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Avi Jakobs posted to her Instagram stories on November 7 in response.
“I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt…” she said, according to a translation by Pink News: “However you can’t detach your desire to be a cis straight man who wears skirts and heels from the fact that queer people fought for that to be acceptable in the first place.”
“Blaming queer people for homophobia – while reaping the benefits of their fight – is a very good illustration of why knowing your history is important,” Jakobs said.