Tuesday, May 19, 2015


In 1994, reality TV, for better or worst, was making its initial headway.The Real World, still airing today, is a reality show that premiered on MTV in 1992. Back then, the show initially focused on the real subject matters, such as sexuality, politics, and drug abuse, that young adults had to deal with. A central figure was Pedro Zamora, who appeared on the show in 1994 and was openly gay and an educator of HIV/AIDS. That season featured his commitment ceremony with his boyfriend, Sean Sasser. Sadly, the show that year also chronicalled his dealing with his own affliction with AIDS until his passing. Pedro become a mentor not only for those dealing with a deadly disease but also for being open about his sexuality. Please remember, this is still the early nineties.
Well, let's flash forward about 20 years years. Gay rights and gay activism have come a long way, one has to admit. But an overlooked figure in this movement is the star of the reality show, Shahs of Sunset, Reza Farahan. Yes, the show has it's critics and haters. But one can not deny the courage that Reza has endured in being openly gay on the show. I know that it's 2015, but one must understand that the Reza is opening up in front of a community that has had a long history of being closed in this matter and many would say in a community that has shunned this issue.
Besides his sexuality, Reza Farahan also transcends the religious divide between the Muslims and Jewish Iranians in Los Angeles. For one thing, he is both a Jew and an Muslim and not afraid to assimilate with either identity. He is naturally a uniting figure. I can see this man soon breaking out from Shah's and having his own reality or talk show.

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