Former 'The Real World' star Coral Smith comes out of the closet
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/19/2007
Coral Smith first appeared on MTV's The Real World: Back to New York in 2001 and has since competed in five editions of Real World/Road Rules Challenge -- winning her first, making it to the end of four of the five and having to excuse herself due to injury the other time. However the battles and challenges she overcame while appearing on the MTV reality competition series apparently pale in comparison to the internal struggles she's faced.
"I'm definitely venturing toward my lesbian qualities. It's been a long time coming," Smith said during a recent interview with Outlook Magazine, news that could be considered as somewhat of a surprise to Real World viewers who might recollect the 28-year-old San Francisco, CA-native dating men on the reality show. "At that time, I was really unsure. That was not the proper venue, the proper platform. To come out to your parents on a fucking reality show, I think that's just mean, so I didn't."
Smith referred to her sexuality as "very cloudy at this point in time," and added her decision to come-out makes her feel "a little nervous."
"Just saying it is a little... It's a little surreal," she told Outlook. "I'm not scared. I walk around holding hands. It's not a problem for me, but I do fear backlash to some degree. Everyone has something negative to say, and I don't really want to deal with it. Other than that, I don't care. Hell, I'm old. I'm 28!"
Smith, who recently appeared at "Gay Day" for San Francisco's Great America amusement park, says she's "always been really supportive" of the gay and lesbian community.
"I just felt it was something I belonged to and had to show up for. I love doing this kind of thing," she told Outlook. "It's really positive and shows we're capable and can run shit. Gay men run shit in L.A., honey. If you want to go out with somebody in L.A., they have businesses and money and depth. Gay men are coming up and are very under-estimated."
Smith added her decision to explore her "lesbian qualities" was made because "it was all about the timing for me."
"I can't live my life like that anymore. I felt I was shorting myself," she told Outlook. "At the time I came out, I was dating someone really special. I wanted to introduce them. That was my thing: If I'm dating someone really, really, really special, that was the time to come out. I wanted to introduce them to the woman I love."
While she may be a veteran of MTV reality shows, Smith -- who also participated in Bravo's Battle of the Network Reality Stars competition in 2005 -- described them as "very stressful" and added she declined the last two offers to appear on another installment of Real World/Road Rules Challenge in order to work on other projects. She's currently working at a rape crisis center and added she's "contemplating" returning to the reality realm to compete in an upcoming installment of Real World/Road Rules Challenge.
"I have a record of never being voted off. I'm trying to keep that record," she told Outlook.
Despite her celebrity status as a reality star, Smith described herself as a "regular person" but is still excited at the chance to show those from her past how far she's come.
"I'm not that famous. I can still walk around. People just want pictures. I love it! I think it's hot," she told Outlook. "I was a big dork in high school, so now it's payback. My 10 year reunion is coming, and I'm going... and bringing a date! I'm actually really happy right now. I'm really happy!"