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Nyle DiMarco discusses sexual diversity in the deaf community

By Will Stroude

This month’s Attitude magazine cover star is a man of many talents. Not content with becoming America’s Next Top Model in 2015, Nyle DiMarco went on to storm Dancing with the Stars, becoming the show’s first deaf contestant to snatch the crown.

In our new October issue – available to download now and in shops next Wednesday (September 14) – the sexually fluid model discusses diversity within the deaf community, and just how he dealt with dancing without the aid of music on DWTS.

“I’m fortunate, because [the deaf] community is so small, which means that there is more diversity,” he tells us. “One of my best friends growing up is now a drag queen… In the deaf community everybody accepts everybody else because that’s who you are, you’re part of that community and that’s our safe space.

For most people, the key to dancing is in the rhythm. But what happens when you can’t hear the beat of the song?

“Peta [Nyle’s dance partner] taught me the dance visually,” Nyle told us of his time on DTWS. “She didn’t explain it, she just moved”.

“As a deaf person, I rely on my eyes so I watched her footwork and was able to catch all the little details. She also showed me the speed and rates of what the dance was supposed to look like and I memories that.”

On paper, it doesn’t sound too tough. But the Nyle and Peta “rehearsed more than anyone else on the show just to make it work”.

Even though he turned out to be a superstar on the dancefloor, Nyle revealed the pressure he felt being one of only two deaf contestants to appear on Dancing With The Stars.

“I wasn’t sure if I was the right person to represent [the deaf community] because if I made a mistake, that would have been 15 million people thinking that deaf people can’t dance”, he explained.

Luckily, he didn’t put a foot wrong, and broke even more barriers when he became one half of the show’s first same-sex dance routine.

While the debate over same-sex dance partners on our very own Strictly Come Dancing continues to wage, Nyle reminded us that two men dancing together isn’t as revolutionary as the stuffy TV execs who won’t budge on the matter would have us believe: “Originally the tango was danced by two men. I don’t see why it would be wrong to go back and respect its origins.”

You tell ’em, Nyle!


You can read the full interview with Nyle and see his exclusive new shoot in Attitude’s October issue, available to download now from

It’s in shops next Wednesday (September 14), and print copies are available to order from

Also in Attitude’s October issue, alongside all your usual news, reviews, fitness & travel:

  • In a theatre special, we meet the young out and proud stars of the National Youth Theatre as the iconic drama group celebrates its 60th anniversary.
  • Former Game of Thrones star Gethin Anthony talks playing gay in Westeros and his new role as infamous – and sexually ambiguous – criminal Charles Manson.
  • Fear the Walking Dead‘s Colman Domingo tells us all about life playing one of the hit zombie series’ most electrifying gay characters.
  • We catch up with fabulous pop females AlunaGeorge and Rebecca Ferguson as they prepare to release new music.
  • Eurovision winner Jamala she reflects on life for Ukraine’s LGBT+ community as she looks ahead to next year’s competition.
  • Syrian refugee and LGBT+ activist Subhi Nahas shares his uplifting story of strength and strife in the fact of war and oppression.
  • As Black History Month gets underway, we examine the new generation of black LGBT+ role models inspiring today’s young people.
  • Iconic ’80s star and friend of Boy George Marilyn shares the lessons learnt from a life well-lived.
  • We chat to French actor Geoffrey Couët, one of the two stars of new romantic gay drama film Theo & Hugo.
  • Male model Oliver Cheshire talks us through his favourite trends for Autumn/Winter 2016.
  • We catch up with RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star Alyssa Edwards (and attempt to finally find out her secret) in new monthly feature ‘Big in a Wig’.

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