derek I guess that was 10th grade, so I was maybe 17, 16? But, obviously, I feel like it was well known before that. I mean, I have baby pictures where I was all dressed up with like crayons and stuff, just smiling…
amy rose Dominick, you said your mom found something…?
dominick Yeah. I came out to my parents one night sophomore year. I just told them, like, “Listen, I’m gay.”
anaheed What made you do it? Had you been thinking about it?
dominick Yeah, I was thinking about it, and I’m kind of a malicious…not malicious, but we got into an argument the day before…
anaheed So you were like, “Take that!”
amy rose “Guess what!”
dominick [Laughs] I hate to admit it, but that’s kind of what it was. I was like, “You know that I’m gay, admit it.” Because I was just so fed up with it. Then they texted me like, “What’s your Facebook password?”
amy rose Ohhhhh no.
anaheed Like you’re gonna fall for that?
dominick But I’m such an upfront person, I just gave it to them. I didn’t care. I felt like I didn’t have anything to hide. And then I remember in English class I got like a fucking paragraph from my mom.
amy rose What did you think was gonna happen?
anaheed Wait, go back! What did she find?
dominick I didn’t think! I feel stupid, because I didn’t think anything of it. I was like, “Oh yeah, here’s my password.”
anaheed What did she find.
dominick First of all they found out…ugh…so, my parents are very conservative. And I was drinking in high school.
derek Not me! I waited till senior week!
dominick Good for you!
dominick I was drinking sophomore year. I wasn’t drunk, but I had a beer, and my parents saw that. And they saw a message from the guy I was seeing at that point. And they were like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you hid this from us for so long.”
derek [Snort-laughs] So dramatic!
dominick It was a very dramatic turnout. My grandparents drove down that night from Michigan. To Virginia. Because we had moved to Virginia.
amy rose Whoa.
dominick So that’s my dramatic story. They came, we had a very big talk…
derek That sounds stressful.
dominick It was very stressful. And we’re on two different pages: Southern Baptist, and me. I’ve [since] had boyfriends, but we don’t talk about it. But of course they know. It’s just something they’re not fully comfortable with. They have to work on it.
anaheed What kind of high school did you go to, John?
john I went to an art school too. I went for music. I was a vocal major.
anaheed Are you still a singer?
john We sing for fun or whatever, but I haven’t done any amazing amount of voice.
anaheed What were your favorite songs to sing?
john “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” That’s my favorite song.
anaheed I don’t even know that song.
derek Oh my god. There’s a great version by Whitney Houston.
amy rose It’s a beautiful song.
derek It’s a gorgeous song. I feel like you need to really feel things. You need to understand and, like, soak in your emotions.
anaheed Sometimes you need to just listen to some song and cry.
dominick I agree!
anaheed When’s the last time you cried?
dominick Yesterday. I was just crying over school and stuff.
derek I almost cried during Scandal last night.
dominick Me too!
derek I cried the other day because I was sick, and I feel like, with a lot of people who come to New York, you end up becoming very independent. And the one time you can’t be as independent as you need to be is when you’re sick—and there’s nothing you can do about it. So I cried because I wanted my mom to be here to take care of me.
anaheed Awww! John, do you remember the last time you cried?
john It was probably like four months ago. I don’t cry a lot. I was crying because I was happy.
anaheed What were you happy about?
john I don’t know. Life. I’m a happy person, so I get excited about life.
amy rose Was there a moment that brought it out of you?
john Probably getting paid for what I do.
dominick Because you’re doing something that you’re passionate about.
john Yeah. It made me happy, so I just had a moment. I’m like, Thank you.
amy rose When did you move to New York?
john I moved to New York three years ago. I moved here from Atlanta because I wanted to go into fashion.
amy rose What was the biggest difference between the two places?
john Well, Atlanta was much slower than New York. New York is way faster.
amy rose New York, where people accost you in booths to talk about pancakes and your lives.
john Yeah! I just like the randomness about everything about New York. Things like this—this would never happen in Atlanta. Where you could just leave your apartment and get interviewed. This is like amazing to me. ♦