Navigating high school as a closeted gay teen can be tough. And when you’re one half of a closeted set of almost identical-looking twins, there can be even more complications – as models Michael and Zach Zakar – aka The Zakar Twins – know only too well.
The 24-year-old Iraqi-American siblings, whose modelling work and LGBT advocacy has garnered them a large following on social media, have opened up about their adolescent experiences in their latest YouTube video, revealing the surprising circumstances by which they came out to each other.
Despite sharing everything together, Micahel and Zach didn’t know the other was gay until their junior year of high school, back in 2011.
“We both didn’t know that each other were gay. Zach was a jock who played rugby and I, Michael, was the artsy, loner kid,” Michael explains.
Thanks a confused classmate who was secretly hooking up with Zach during junior year however, that was all about to change.
When Zach fell ill and had to stay home, the guy he was secretly hooking up with – who apparently bore an uncanny resemblance to Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz – approached Michael in the school corridor and, mistaking him for his brother, asked him to follow him to the bathroom to make out.
A closeted Michael happily obliged, but after he and ‘Pete Wentz’ were caught with their pants down (as it were) in the bathroom stall, rumours quickly round the school that Michael was gay.
When word reached finally reached brother Zach, he could only assume that someone had secretly caught him with ‘Pete Wentz’ and mistaken him for Michael.
Zach recalls: “[Michael] told me ‘the whole school thinks I’m gay’, and my only thought was ‘Huh, I thought no one caught me in the bathroom with ‘Pete Wentz’?’
“Three days prior I fooled around with ‘Pete Wentz’ in the same bathroom. Michael did the same thing but got caught – like a dumb-ass!”
He continues: “A switch just clocked, and I go ‘Are you gay?’
“Michael goes ‘yeah I think [so]’. And I was like ‘Me too!'”
Watch the video in full below: