I Had The Best MTV Challenge Pride Month Ever
The month of June is Pride Month. Pride Month is simultaneously one of my favorite and least favorite times of the year. I love seeing my LGBTQ+ friends have a time where there’s a spotlight on them with more representation and visibility. It’s a time to feel celebrated in a world that can be cruel and dark. I’m conflicted about Pride Months sometimes due to the way it’s become commercialized. You have companies doing the least where all they do is change their default logos to a rainbow color or cashing in by selling the most basic merch imaginable. There’s also a lot of fake activism where the moment it’s not Pride Month — they no longer give a shit about championing any Queer culture. Despite it all, Pride Month is still a beneficial thing and a fun time to be alive, and boy, did I have a lot of fun on Twitter this month.
Starting June 1st, I began tweeting out daily pictures or videos of MTV Challenge/Real World moments with a variation of the caption “Pride Month” or “Pride Month, Baby.” The subject in the photos and videos varied to great degrees. Sometimes it was an implied joke, some were obvious jokes, other times they were serious moments of triumph, and then there were just some hot fucking hookups.
I’ll be honest and upfront in saying that when I initially started putting out the Pride Month tweets, I thought it would be a 3–4 day thing where people would get tired of it, and maybe some would feel offended. There were only good intentions, but sometimes you never know. Instead, I had people in my DMs saying that checking for the new Pride Day tweet was a highlight of their day, and I had so many people submitting the most random pictures, videos, and moments they would love to see included.
I’m not a special or talented person by any means. However, if I can put a smile on my Twitter followers’ faces through laughter, attraction (not to me, well, I mean, if I can, that’s cool too), or feelings of representation by simply searching and compiling LGBTQ+ moments from MTV’s The Challenge, I’ll do it in a fucking heartbeat. Dating back to Pedro Zamora on the Real World San Francisco, LGBTQ+ representation has been a core part of Real World & Challenge history.
Edit: Forgot to mention the OG Real World Legend, Norman Korpi.
Some of its history and even the present aren’t great. Queer men on the Challenge have a big hill to overcome due to biased preconceived views of weakness. In seasons where Gay/Bi men are on the cast, close to if not more than 50% of the time, one usually gets thrown into the first elimination they are eligible. Not to mention, we went through a stretch from Seasons 33–36, where there was only one Gay man cast (Sean Lineker), and he lasted 1 episode total. Through all the faults, at least we’ve seen players like Frank Sweeney and Shane Landrum be able to shake the table by taking control of the political and strategic game while also being great physical competitors. Tyler Duckworth pulled off back-to-back wins with Cutthroat and Rivals and took down legends in Derrick & Bananas in elimination. Some have shined through the obstacles put in front of them. Shout-out to Dan Renzi and Marlon Williams among others, and there’s a whole lot more who deserve mentioning.
Meanwhile, you look at the female side, and many of the show’s best and most important competitors identify as LGBTQ+. The three strongest women in Challenge History to most are Evelyn Smith (Lesbian), Laurel Stucky (Bisexual), and Emily Schromm (Bisexual). You don’t have to look much further on the all-time ranking list for strong Queer women: Rachel Robinson, Kaycee Clark, Cara Maria Sorbello, Veronica Portillo, Coral Smith, Sarah Rice, Ruthie Alcaide, and then a whole lot more I could rattle off, definitely some I’m forgetting, and a few whose status I’m not 100% on and don’t want to spread misinformation. Women are the backbone of the Challenge, and many of the best identify as LGTBQ+. Legitimately, add as many names as you want in the comments because it’s a month and a lifetime where we should celebrate these people.
Celebrate Pride. I certainly had a fun month doing so; here were all the Tweets:
June 1st: The Perfect Couple (Shane & Nelson)
I’ve said it since Final Reckoning. From their cast photos to their confessionals, I’ve never seen two people look like a better on-screen couple than Shane & Nelson. They look like they want to adopt my future child.
June 2nd: Let Me Get a Lick
Theo chirps at Paulie. Paulie threatens that he’s gonna fuck Theo’s girlfriend back home (while in front of Cara), then decides, fuck the girlfriend, let me get a taste of Theo from the source.
Sidenote: this is the episode where Turbo ends up getting DQ’d, you should go back and watch it.
June 3rd: Truth or Dare (Nany & Melissa)
A hot make-out between Melissa & Nany got shown during the Total Madness Reunion/Shit They Should Have Shown. There was a make-out between Jenny & Aneesa as well.
June 4th: You Wanna Get Street, Biotch?
Frank & Dustin’s epic fight from Battle of the Seasons (2012). I have to say; there’s a lot of Dustin Zito love out there based on the DMs I was getting this month. MTV needs to bring Dustin back for All-Stars 4. Frank is a legend — one of the best villains in Challenge history and an all-around beast.
June 5th: Smile For the Cameras
Pansexual Challenge competitor Natalie Negrotti going on a fake date in New York City with Johnny Bananas for the paparazzi.
June 6th: Truth or Dare Part 2: Rivals Edition
Mandi Moyer always had beef with Laurel, dating back to Fresh Meat 2. On Rivals 1, the two went at it when vying for the attention of CT. However, in a game of Truth or Dare, Mandi picks Laurel as the person she wants to kiss. The two have a pretty solid make-out.
June 7th: Ken Doll
Leroy gets it.
June 8th: Forgotten Smooches
Everyone remembers Nicole Z wooing Cara on Invasion. It’s forgotten Nicole was able to finally live out her dream of making out with Cara during a night out at the club on Vendettas. Nicole actually ended up kissing Kyle the same night, and Cara had a make-out with Britni Thornton.
June 9th: A BOTTOM?
Just an all-time encounter/fight between Shane and Jozea from Final Reckoning.
June 10th: What does that mouth do?
You either get it or you don’t.
June 11th: A Whole Lot of Passion
A wild fight between CT & Frank from Rivals 2 in which CT’s shirt gets ripped, and my DMs got lit up after posting this asking if I had a full clip.
June 12th: Hot Tub Threesome
Maybe the most iconic hookup in Challenge History. Veronica and Rachel reward Abram with a hot tub threesome after getting eliminated from the Gauntlet 1. Potentially the greatest consolation prize ever.
June 13th: Vegas, Baby
A slow-gif close-up of Nany & Heather Marter’s hot make-out from Real World Las Vegas before things escalate.
June 14th: Left for the Trailers
Bisexual competitor Amber Martinez had a showmance with Mechie Harris on Double Agents but also made out with veteran Aneesa during a club night. Both did not get shown in the season’s edit despite getting featured in the trailers — heart hands for Amber M.
June 15th: All Star Pride
Veronica video calling her lovely girlfriend Alexis during Challenge All Stars 3.
June 16th: CT loves to flaunt
CT double cheeked up on a Thursday afternoon, hella ass, and the sun is still out.
June 17th: Team San Diego
June 18th: Melissa is the Gift Who Keeps on Giving
Melissa transitioned from a skinny dip with Nicole to a full-on bathroom hook-up on Vendettas. She helped put the UK players on the map; Melissa was throwing a 101 MPH fastball from Day 1.
June 19th: Let Me Fix My Gloves
Preston consistently got picked last in player drafts throughout Free Agents due to preconceived weakness. He then went out and performed well in the dailies all season. Maybe his most impressive feat was during this daily challenge where players had to traverse a bridge of ropes mainly using upper body and core strength. After strong players like Johnny Bananas and Jordan had slipped, Preston looked like he was on the verge of falling. Turns out, Preston had more than enough strength; it was his gloves that were just an inconvenience. What a badass moment for Preston.
June 20th: Veronica Designed This T-Shirt
Self-explanatory. One of the many T-Shirts that Veronica and Rachel designed from their College Dropout line back in the day.
June 21st: Polidicking
CT trying to Polidick his way into Jozea’s heart on Final Reckoning.
June 22nd: Exes on the Peak
The Laurel/Nicole relationship was not great to watch as they weren’t meant to be together; Laurel deserved someone who treated her better. I did love watching Laurel open herself up and be a bit vulnerable when entering the waters of dating women.
Then you have the Nicole Z/Jemmye showmance from Vendettas that didn’t make the season’s edit yet went on for quite a bit once Melissa left.
June 23rd: What happens in Cancun
Jonna Mannion, the face of the Challenge All-Stars franchise, partaking in a threesome with her RW Cancun roommate Ayiiia Elizaras and her male suitor at the time.
June 24th: Where’s Veronica? Where’s Rachel?
The OG IT Couple: Veronica and Rachel. I got these photos from a Myspace Stan account for their relationship.
June 25th: Rivals 2 CT
I had so many pictures and videos of CT sent to me via DMs that I had enough for a Pride Year.
June 26th: Cara & Laurel Forever
A little too much projection going on here.
June 27th: Vegas in Full Motion
After posting the Heather/Nany make-out GIF, I got many DMs asking to post the whole clip of their hook-up, and boy, is it magical.
June 28th: Fuck You. Fuck Your Alliance.
Evelyn Smith dropping the most iconic speech in Challenge History on the Island. Pride Icon.
June 29th: Hot Tub Fun
Emily and Paula’s steamy make-out from Cutthroat. Future Rivals 2 partners.
June 29th (Part 2): Marlon’s Post Game
Marlon Williams and Derek Chavez reveal their hook-up on Rivals 2, and Marlon openly acknowledges his bisexual identity. Just a dope moment in Challenge History.
June 30th Part 1: 2 For 1 Special
Two same sex make-outs happening on screen in less than a minute with Evelyn & Brooke and Ryan & Tyler on the Gauntlet 3.
June 30th: The Current Challenge Power Couple
As someone who loves drama, Kaycee and Nany did not give us any on Spies, Lies & Allies, yet, I can’t help but adore them together because when these two people look at each other, you see real sparks. While Nany had hooked up with women in the past, we have never seen as her comfortable with a partner of any gender as she is with Kaycee. It’s beautiful to watch.
It was a hell of a Pride Month, thank you for letting me be a part of your lives.