Million Dollar Listing Miami, the newest spinoff of the Bravo series Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, is winding down its first season and out cast member Chris Leavitt spoke with GLAAD about what he hopes viewers take away from his story.
GLAAD: How did you get into real estate? What interested you about the field?
CHRIS LEAVITT: My parents invested in real estate so I learned the business from a very young age. I also grew to appreciate architecture and interior design so a career in real estate was the perfect fit for me. I was the one who found my parents their home when I was 15 and did the negotiating with the broker because my father couldn't stand him. I also interned for the top broker in Palm Beach at 17 years old during what was called our "senior project" in high school
GLAAD: What drew you to take part in the Million Dollar Listing Miami series when it was announced?
CL: One of the things I recognized about the show is the intrinsic promotional value. Real estate is a very competitive business and Million Dollar Listing Miami provides unmatched exposure. I am also passionate about helping others and the show provides a national platform for me to speak out about LGBT issues.
GLAAD: How old were you when you came out? How did your friends and family react?
CL: I was 17 when I came out. They were very supportive and said we love you regardless. Friends that loved me continued to love me and that's all that matters.
GLAAD: What was your childhood like? Did you have any LGBT role models growing up?
CL: Unfortunately there were no role models growing up. But my father used to take me to see Liberace a few times a year at radio city music hall and I would say if he can be that flamboyant and over the top and fill a room night after night being flamboyant must not be so bad!
GLAAD: What do you hope viewers take away from your story in the series?
CL: I hope viewers understand that anyone can achieve success through hard work and dedication. I love all things luxury but work hard to afford my lifestyle. Despite being bullied and wanting to give up many times, I persevered and succeeded in the end. I would like to say to our LGBT viewers that it does get better. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't fulfill your dreams or not be who you are. If you are flamboyant by nature embrace it, it will be what makes you different and probably what people will love about you. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it so reach for the stars because success is the best revenge!
Million Dollar Listing Miami airs on Bravo, Wednesdays at 9:00pm.