Former MTV VJ Dave Holmes: What It Was Like to Be Gay at MTV


In in between talking to Britney Spears and evaluating Spring Break damp T-shirt contests, previous VJ Dave Holmes had a problem with being freely gay on-air. Now he’s dishing about everything.


Justin Timberlake and Limp Bizkits Fred Durst remain in a booth at Los Angeles club. Verne Troyer , the two-foot, eight-inches tall star of Austin Powers, is with them, basing on a table. The not likely trio is not the start of a walk into a bar joke, though that is exactly the sight that welcomed previous MTV VJ Dave Holmes when he strolled into that bar after a network occasion 15 years back.

Holmes worked at exactly what was when Music Television throughout the last fantastic minute of the networks music- and artist-driven popular culture reign, hosting programs like TRL, Say What Karaoke, and, throughout the starts of its descent into crass stunt insanity, umpteen versions of Spring Break shows.

It was a time in turn-of-the-millennium popular song when the similarity Britney Spears, blink-182, Destinys Child, Kid Rock, DMX, Eminem, Backstreet Boys, and Korn all co-existedand it was completely appropriate to be fans of them allmaking the halls of MTV prime realty to be a celebrity-gawking fly on the wall. Which is exactly what Holmes got to be.

I was simply believing this is the weirdest thing thats ever occurred, Holmes informs The Daily Beast at a caf in the Chelsea community of Manhattan, a day after marching in New York Citys yearly LGBT Pride Parade. Hes still shaking his head, all these years later on, in shock while keeping in mind the stellar mnage odd.

You aim to be cool and imitate you belong, however everyones insecure and everybodies odd, he continues. I was too insecure to make anything occur in that minute if I were to see Britney Spears and Fred Durst pass each other.

He containers himself from the absurdity of that hypothetical star encounter, stopping briefly reflectively: It took me like 3 years to stop seeming like a sweepstakes winner. Or loser, in my case. It took me a while to recognize I work here. I have this task. I do not need to keep requesting it.

That sweepstakes that Holmes wonwell, really lostwas the networks very first Wan na Be a VJ contest in 1998. He can be found in 2nd location to living Edward Scissorhands efficiency art piece Jesse Campthe spacey six-foot, four-inches tall punk flamingo who continues to bewilder the country .

I get asked them about Jesse Camp all the time, Holmes chuckles, reciting his well-practiced script: Yes, he was constantly like that. No, I have no idea exactly what hes doing now. Yes, I understand that Ill run into him once again at some time.


His efficiency in the VJ competitors, although he lost, got him a gig as an author for the network and, rapidly after that, an agreement to be on-camera skill. Now a writer-at-large at Esquireheres his essay about coming out of the storage room after fulfilling the Indigo Girls at an Applebees in 1992Holmes blogs about the VJ experience in Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs, launched today.

The book is composed from the point of view of a closeted Catholic teenager in St. Louis for whom MTV in the 80s was a sanctuary. It revealed me a world I wished to reside in one day, he states. I turned on my TELEVISION and understood there was something out there that got me when I looked around me and I didnt feel like I fit in.

Adding a layer to the province is that Holmes in fact worked at MTV and, in possibly the ins 2014 it might claim it, observed its cultural effect first-hand. I do not disagree, he sighs when I ask how he feels when previous fans garbage whats end up being of MTV. Is Scream the series going to culturally reward young people? I do not know.

Still, the devoted fly, he gamely reports from his days on the wall, passing on a couple of juicy celebrity stories in Party of One. He was the very first individual to speak with Britney Spears, and she was an overall pro.

Theres a wild one about Tara Reid showing up for a Spring Break shoot of Say What Karaoke pulling a continually intoxicated, problem queen of a pal behind her nicknamed Hard Thirty, due to the fact that of the unclear age the team thought her to be. A month later on checking out a Page Six chatter product, he found out who Hard Thirty was: a 16-year-old Paris Hilton.

And then theres the time, throughout that exact same 1999 Spring Break shoot, that Kid Rock crashed the hotel jacuzzi where Holmes was relaxing and consistently croaked, All right, Holmes. Wheres the titty bars at? Releases get some pusssaaaay!.?.!! Holmess reaction: Yeah, no, Kid, Im gay.

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That punchline, truly, encapsulates exactly what Party of One is in fact about. More than a tell-all about his days socializing with 2000s most absurd celebs, its a sharp-witted and sharp reflection on exactly what it was like to mature gay and sensation like you never ever belong.

Tracing his experience concerning terms with his sexuality at a Catholic high school to coming to terms with revealing it at his Catholic university to coming to terms with really delighting in it when he lastly relocated to New York City and ultimately ended up being a celeb, Holmes faces his sensations of never ever fitting in at the partybut having an inkling that the celebration would be quite enjoyable if he ever found out ways to belong.

Theres the web now, Holmes states. When youre gay and young or questioning, you can discover your neighborhood. I didnt have that. I keep in mind there was a tape-recorded hotline for gay occasions, it was 36-PRIDE. It was simply a recording of a person stating at such and such recreation center theres this conference or whatever. I would call it and pay attention to it simply to hear the men voice. Simply to understand there was someone else out there.

Serving as the background to his journey is MTV. Well, media and popular culture at big, reallyboth when he was a customer of it as a kid roller-skating to the Xanadu soundtrack when he was sharing it live from Times Square each afternoon.

Holmes was out at MTV, however not on MTV.

Sure, hed playfully make an offhand remark about hot Justin Timberlake was, however he never ever overtly came out, so to speak, on air. And the reality is that I wished to be out, since I required somebody prefer to me to have actually been out when I was fourteen, he composes in Party of One. , if [ previous 80s VJ] Kevin Seal had actually been gay and stated something about it, that minute would have been a seismic occasion in my life.

He informed an MTV skill executive, who was likewise gay, that he wished to come out openly. I believe the executive started, I believe you ought to be simply precisely like you are.

He lastly came out as gay in a 2002 Out publication piece, which, without any connection, wound up being ideal around the time he let his agreement with MTV end. It felt great to be an out tv character, he states. There were very few of them, and still arent.

The news didnt break the internetthat wasnt a thing back thenbut it did impact his profession, and not constantly in the very best method. Since they were household programs, there were hosting gigs he lost out on post-MTV.

Sometimes there would be a panel chat reveal planning to cast a gay member, and hed be passed over for not being truly gay. Translation: a stereotype. Theyd be searching for a fountain of pizazz, somebody who speaks in zingers, utilizes the word intense, likes style talk, talks in consistent sexual innuendo, and, a lot of cripplingly, has chemistry with Tori Spelling.

I ask him if, now 45, he wants that he had actually been more determined about being a honestly gay VJ from the outset.

I want I had actually been out, he states. I do want that I had powerfully stated it, due to the fact that a more youthful generation couldve taken advantage of that.

I was 11 when I began enjoying him on TRL, I state. I cant think of the result it would have had on me then for the man hosting the program I was hurrying house from school to enjoy had actually been openly out.

Well, he starts, at the very same time Im grateful that I didnt due to the fact that I likewise wasnt truly put together. I still had that shitty sensation: Im out, however Im not like that man. I do not do those examples. I was still specifying myself adversely.

Its a dumb phase in my gay life that lasted longer than it needs to have, he continues, where you need to show to the world that youre not like the rest of gay men. I was affected with that for much too long. And I believe I was still quite captured up because when I was at MTV, so perhaps I wouldnt have actually been the very best design.

Laughing about having actually lost out on his gay 20s and offseting it now in his 40s, he jokes that he and his good friends are going through a 2nd teenage years today.

Having simply marched in the pride parade, exactly what does he think about the environment now for young gays? The ones who are, more than any generation prior to them, freer to reveal and be comfy with their sexuality at earlier ages than ever?

Im pleased for them? he states, practically as if a concern. Im a little envious, certainly. Likewise actually delighted. He believes for a bit prior to ruling that hes eventually pleased he needed to strive to obtain to the location of self-acceptance hes now reached. It made him more powerful. I hope we do not up with a generation of uninteresting gay individuals, he chuckles, taking a beat to reassess exactly what he simply stated: Its a high-end to be dull.

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