Perhaps you suffer from American Idol burnout, and after watching America’s Got Talent, you’re starting to wonder if it really does. But So You Think You Can Dance is the one reality talent competition where shtick doesn’t cut it – and they really can dance!
One of its brightest stars was Sasha Mallory, who was first runner-up to season eight winner Melanie Moore. Now that the show has ended, and the top ten prepare for a 32-city tour, Mallory has officially come out as a lesbian.
She told AfterEllen.com that she didn’t come out during the show because “It’s not important for America to know that personal side of me. They just needed to know if I could dance and if I had a personality. They didn’t really need to know if I was gay or straight.”
But she’s now getting flack in the LGBT blogosphere for not coming out on the show. Advocate.com and other sites have opined that “some might insist that being lesbian — or straight or bisexual — is a part of that ‘personality’ Mallory says audiences want to know and that being out can have a positive impact on TV viewers.”
Mallory herself posted on Tumblr months ago, “I am who I am and I’m not going to change … I think I’m a really good role model for anyone struggling to be comfortable with themselves because I had to go through that same struggle. I’m proud to say I’m a lesbian and a good person.”
“My personal life shouldn’t affect the way people see my talent … and if it does I truly feel sorry for them because they shouldn’t worry about who I’m sleeping with … they should worry about if my dancing moves them.”
The issue once again begs the question of how much responsibility LGBT performers have to come out publicly, including those whose budding careers hang on the hopes that millions of viewers will vote for them.
Like former American Idol contestant and now out star Adam Lambert, Mallory chose to wait until the competition ended. Is that their prerogative – or is it everyone’s responsibility to come out on national television? Discuss.
Sasha Mallory’s So You Think You Can Dance bio is here.
Her AfterEllen.com interview is here.