America’s Next Top Model runner-up Marvin Cortes has come out as bisexual in a heartfelt video on Instagram.
Cortes competed on cycle 20 on the reality TV competition in 2013 – the first season of ANTM to feature male contestants competing with female contestants.
At the beginning of the month, the New Yorker shared with fans on social media that he has “been in love with both men and women”.
“I’ve been proud to be a part of the gay community in my personal life, and I just want to share it now publicly online.”
Marvin Cortes said that he has “never been happier” and looked forward to “living more of an authentic life” which he can share with fans.
However, he said that his family don’t “accept [his] lifestyle or the way I am”, which is why he “delayed” his coming out.
“I just feel like my family, I respect them so much and their values, and whether they can come across as ignorant [in] their values I still love them very much and I respect their views. I’ve always felt like it’s not my business to change people’s minds,” he said.
He added: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the way they think even if that means they don’t accept my lifestyle or accept how I am.”
The model described how he had “tortured” himself “to try to change or fight my nature” and to fit “traditional Hispanic values” he was taught.
“It’s just something that I have to be authentic about, and I hope that my family is understanding,” Cortes explained.
He said he hoped that by coming out publicly he could help others feel “closer” and like “there’s a chance” for them to live a happy, fulfilling life.
“My family taught me to love everyone, and that includes men,” Cortes said. “And for me, I think if you’re going to be loving then you have to love everyone and not just the things that fit your view of what is right and what is wrong.”