Much ado has been made about The Real World D.C.’s Mike Manning for being one of the few visible bisexual men in the media. Meanwhile, it seems that the other bisexual cast member, Emily Schromm, has been relegated to the role of “the chick that has an ongoing frenemy-ish pseudo-relationship with Ty.”
Emily tells AfterEllen.com about coming out to her friends and family, her past relationships with women and what really went on during filming The Real World.
AfterEllen.com: In the second episode of this season, you came out to your sister Amy. She asked whether there was a bi girl in the house, and you said it was you. She seemed surprised. Was she the first person in your family that you told?
Emily Schromm: I absolutely hate labels. I think they are limiting, and until The Real World, I never had to put a label on my sexuality. I did the "Emily" as my friends said. My family is made up of all girls, minus my dad, and I told them before the show to be aware that I am very open about dating girls. Granted I should have just said "Hey, I’m bisexual," but labels scared me before the show.
You witnessed the first time I ever verbally said my label to my sister Amy. Bless her heart, I still feel bad about that. I will say it did take The Real World making me in some way have a label to be comfortable with it.
AE: Have you discussed your bisexuality with any of your other family members or friends at home? What were their reactions?
ES: I led a double life for a while, sneaking out every night with hot Starbucks-girl, who was conveniently my neighbor and then waking up early enough to eat breakfast with my "straight friends."
After a couple weeks, I hit the point where I knew liking girls and kissing girls wasn’t just a fling, and I sat them down one by one and was very open. I was SHOCKED at their reactions. I had a lot of "that makes so much sense" and "ahhhh, I get it now" and "Duh, Emily, I am not stupid."
My family and friends are all very supportive, and they want more than anything for me to be happy. I am very accepted by all parts of my support system, and that is the most liberating, amazing feeling one can ask for.
AE: Also in episode 2, you told Ty that you picked up a girl at Starbucks and that you dated her for a few weeks. Please tell us the secrets of picking up women in non-gay coffee chains.
ES: Starbucks baristas have an unfair advantage. Who would say no with one’s caffeine addiction at stake? [Laughs] Do you ever get that "oh-my-god-there-she-is-I-can’t-think-do-I-look-ok" feeling? I think my heart would have exploded if I didn’t talk to her that one amazing morning.
Emily and Ty