Friday, February 18, 2011

"Amazing Race" contestant Luke Adams discusses his place as a gay man in the Deaf community

From AfterElton:

AE: It looks like a very interesting season. Which teams are you most concerned about?
Luke Adams: Ronald and Christina. First of all, I adore Ron and Christina. I love them on their original season. Ronald and Christina are definitely pretty savvy and smart racers. They made it to the Final Three like Mom and I did. They and we both won three legs on original seasons. Christina and I had the exact same breakdown at the final roadblock challenge. Their team and my team have a pretty similar racing style, so I definitely view Ronald and Christina as a big threat on the Race. I have to make sure that we watch out for them — they can be pretty sneaky!

AE: Which teams would you most like to team up with?
LA: That’s the easy question. Jaime and Cara. No question about it. They are the only team Mom and I trust 100% completely on the Race. We were together through thick and thin from the very beginning to the very end on our original season. No doubt that we want to form an alliance with them again. It’s really exciting that we get to work together again.

AE: Given that you U-Turned Kris and Amanda, how worried are you about their wanting revenge?
LA: I am not worried at all. Amanda and I have become good friends over the years — there is no animosity between us. They understood completely that the U-Turn was a strictly strategic move for my team. But again, anything could happen on the Race.

AE: In your season, the fact that you were gay never really came up. Do you think it will be different this season? Did you say anything to the producers?
LA: There were no secrets among the racers on my original season — everybody knew I’m gay. I actually stated I’m gay several times during the race, it just didn’t make it into the show … not that I wanted to be in the closet or something like that. I’m out and proud of it. I have no problem with it.

AE: Facebook says you are still single. What are you looking for in a guy?
LA: I met someone last year who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. In the end, he just broke my heart to the pieces and I am still picking it up. So, I just want to enjoy my life for a bit before meeting someone. I’m looking for someone who’s an athletic like me and has a passion for traveling. Really, I’m more of open to anything. I think it’s pretty important to have a chemistry and connection with someone. So, hopefully, one day I’ll meet someone special.

AE: Would you eventually like to settle down? If so, what does that mean for you? Kids? Does Margie want you to make her a grandmother?
LA: That’s a pretty bold question to ask! I’m not even thinking about having kids. Not even right now. One day I would love to settle down with someone and have kids though. But, it’s not going to happen very soon. I need to enjoy my 20s while it lasts. Actually, my mom is going to be grandmother for second time this summer. I’m pretty excited about being an uncle again.

AE: Do you think your appearing on the Race helped the hearing gay community understand the deaf gay community better?
LA: Well, there were no cute gay guys for me to interact with on the Race...

AE: What are you doing professionally these days?
LA: I’m a motivational speaker. For the past couple years, I have been traveling across the United States to give the speeches about my life as a Deaf person and what it was like being on The Amazing Race. It’s an awesome feeling to know that I have actually made a difference in people’s lives. As of right now, I am at the crossroad of where I am trying to figure it out what to do with my life next. Soon as I graduated from college, I just literally went straight from college to The Amazing Race then for couple past years, it has been a big Amazing Race whirlwind. So, I’m ready to make a new chapter of my life once this season wraps up.

AE: I know you've said before you very nearly didn't even try out the first time, but finally mailed in your application. What got you to do that?
LA: This may be pretty surprising... My family and I applied for The Family Edition on Season 8. We made it through few rounds then we got cut. No offense to Season 8 but I am forever grateful that we never made it on that season. Soon as I turned 21, I applied several times with my mom. We never got a callback or anything like that, so filling out applications again and again got pretty tiring. It was getting tired of hoping to hear something from CBS. But I told myself that I should just mail it in as a last chance and move on. A month later, we got a callback and the rest is history. Persistence paid off.

AE: You've had a very interesting life thus far. What's your approach to how you live your life?
LA: Live to the life to fullest everyday! I would recommend everybody to do some international travel and try something new and try new food. And, do something extreme like bungee jumping.

AE: Our readers are very big fans of yours. Anything else you want to tell them?
LA: I want to say thank you so much to the fans for their support and love for my mother and me over the years.