One of the first things that comes out of Sandy Young’s mouth as she stands before the judges on TV Land’s She’s Got the Look is “I’m a lesbian.” It’s said in succession with a few other descriptors of herself (mother, musician, etc.) The judges then ask if she is able to walk in a pair of heels, and if she’s comfortable in a dress.
Of course she is. This is a modeling competition, isn’t it?
Sandy Young is a 5-foot-9 raven-haired rock beauty that stands apart from her competitors on the 35+ modeling show — and not just because she’s a lesbian. It’s obvious from the first few episodes that Sandy is one of the most authentic contestants, wanting to stay true to herself while also getting the modeling job done.
Sandy talked with us about her positive experience on She’s Got the Look, how the other contestants felt about her sexuality and why she believes straight women will learn the most from her being on the show.
AfterEllen.com: So far from the interviews I’ve read with you, it seems like you’ve had a really positive experience on the show. Did you get everything you wanted out of it?
Sandy Young: Yeah, I pretty much did. It was a great experience. It felt like I wasn’t really put into a different realm, like a different city because I actually wasn’t far — I was one stop subway away from where I was living. All the other girls — a lot of them are from L.A. — and they’d be like “Wow, this is New York” and I’d be like “Yup!” So I didn’t have to be outside my city or anything like that. It was actually comforting.
AE: Were there ever any issues with the other women regarding your sexuality? Was there ever any tension about that?
SY: Actually it was pretty good. One of the contestants was asking me a lot of questions about it. She actually confided in me that she had thought about it before when she was younger. Also auditioning a few of the girls standing in line were like “Oh my gosh, you’re a lesbian!” It really opened the door for them to be curious about it.
I was concerned about the women in the house, and how they would deal with it. Actually they were really, really good with it.
AE: Are there any future episodes dealing with your sexuality as an issue? From what we’ve seen so far, it seems the judges assume you might have boyish tendencies and might not be comfortable in heels. Is there anything else that will come up like that?
SY: There was one situation that kind of irked me a little bit. It was really weird with [the woman]. I didn’t think she was gay, but she would say things to me like “I want to room in the same room as you” or “your girlfriend’s gonna have a problem with that.” And I’m like “Oh honey, you’re not my type.” She basically didn’t have any respect as far as me being in a relationship.
AE: So I wanted to ask you about [contestant] Laurie [who ripped off her shirt to get kicked off the show]. How did you feel about her tirade?
SY: Oh, that there! I was really shocked and I was like “What the hell is this girl doing?” I try to have a positive outlook on everything, especially coming from a background where a lot of bad stuff has happened to me, I try to make a positive out of it. A lot of the time she just had a really bad attitude. I know her intentions were good, she was just a little off the wall. She wanted to take care of us.
Sandy and two other contestants react to Laurie’s freak-out at judging
AE: How did you feel about her saying that she wanted to “take care of you?”
SY: I pretty much stayed away from her but toward the end, I know she was trying to figure me out and talk to me and I was kind of stand-offish with her. I just didn’t like her attitude at all.
AE: Do you think it was like some stunt casting at all? Do you think they picked her because she’d make good television?
SY: I do know that Laurie takes good pictures. She definitely takes great pictures. I think they might have known she was a little crazy.
AE: Were you ever worried you might be picked just because you were a lesbian or you were in a band or anything like that?
SY: I definitely think that being different — a lot of people say I’m alternative and have my own style, I definitely feel like that was part of the reason I was picked. For instance, the whole first episode where we had to do a runway show, all the girls were putting on make-up, Rachel’s ripping up her clothes, I didn’t do anything. I just put my hood on my jacket and didn’t put any make-up on. I just went out there.
AE: You didn’t want to put a bunch of glitter on [like several other contestants]?
SY: [Laughs] Yeah, I know! Glitter. I’m sorry, I’m from New York!