BET’s College Hill: Interns, a spin-off of its Real World-like reality show College Hill, follows 10 college students over the course of a summer internship in Chicago. Among those interns is 20-year-old Kathy Harris of Hazel Crest, Ill., a student at Illinois State University majoring in acting/theater.
In the second episode, Kathy came out to her castmates, telling them that she has always been gay. AfterEllen.com recently talked with her about her life and what her experience on the show has taught her.
AfterEllen.com: College Hill: Interns was shot in Chicago. You’re originally from there?
AE: Did you plan the event of coming out to your castmates on the show, or was it something that happened spontaneously?
AE: It seemed like people were trying to hook up in the first episodes. There was a real dynamic of the guys checking out the girls.
AE: How out are you in your personal life, aside from the show? Were you out to people before the show taped?
The show let me know that I’m certain in who I am, and that I know what I do and don’t want. So when I got home, I came out to the rest of my family.
AE: Were they surprised to hear it? And that they were going to see it on TV?
I’ve spoken back and forth with a few students and young people who are just, "I’m so happy that you came out and you were comfortable with who you are." That’s more the place I am now. The show really taught me not to live my life for other people and not to dim my light to make other people feel comfortable.
AE: Tell me about the business aspect of the show and what you learned. What are your aspirations in that area? I see that you want to be a model.
I’ve been doing theater for about seven years now, so I’m not just some nobody who wanted to be a star. Acting has been a big part of my life. Plays, theater, art, singing, acting, dancing, modeling — those are my dreams. The business aspect has just taught me that anything I want to do, I can do it. As long as I put my all into it.