Below Deck Mediterranean's Lloyd Spencer is speaking his truth.
Bravo fans watched as the first-year deckhand opened up about his sexuality during an extremely emotional moment on tonight's Aug. 9 episode. Lloyd publicly revealed for the first time on camera that he is sexually fluid while recounting his past experiences with homophobia in the yachting industry.
"I was treated like a piece of s--t by my captain," Lloyd told his Below Deck Med co-stars in tears, adding that he was repeatedly called "f----t." "I'm 90 percent straight," the Bravo star admitted.
Without hesitation, Lloyd's Below Deck family rallied around him to offer support, love and encouragement to live his truth.
Now, Lloyd is opening up to E! News about the emotional coming out moment, the support he's received and how Below Deck Med has changed his entire perspective on the yachting industry following past verbal abuse. Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Lloyd.
E! NEWS: Coming on for your first season, were you planning on opening up about your sexuality?
LS: I was absolutely not planning on opening up about that whatsoever. It was purely an in-the-moment thing, the level of comfort and security I felt around [my team], and the topics of conversation that had previously been discussed that evening was certainly a big factor in that.
E! NEWS: How did it feel to have the cast immediately rally around you in support?
LS: The word inspiring comes to mind. It was unexpected but incredibly inspiring. The initial response from Katie [Flood] was just so, so, so supportive, and then to have pretty much the rest of the crew all just come over at that moment and give me that level of support.
But I think the greatest thing was when I woke up in the morning and I was exceptionally worried about it. You wake up, you're a little hungover, and you realize you said that on television and it's going to be aired, and every single one of them came up to me throughout the next day and offered their support again. Absolutely nothing changed onboard and they all continued then and they're continuing now to offer me the same level of support.
E! NEWS: Tell me about your previous charter experience and the homophobia you faced.
LS: I worked on a small boat where I was very, very close-knit with the people I was working with onboard, so it wasn't a case of being able to avoid that person and that person was the person in charge. It was pretty full-on from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed.
It wasn't a very nice person, not in normal terms: wouldn't say good morning, was exceptionally rude. But when it came to comments he made about other people that we saw walking past the dock and then also comments about myself were very hard to deal with.
E! NEWS: In the episode you say you're "90 percent straight," but how do you identify?
LS: Yeah the 90 percent straight thing was my realization that I said it on television and kind of trying to stop it from spiraling to a full confessional of my entire life, but if I were to put it in a statement of such, I completely believe in like a fluid spectrum and as any part of my life, I might move on that spectrum up or down. It just depends on the time in my life. It depends on where I am. I personally feel like everyone is on that spectrum. People may be a bit more than others and I certainly have my experiences where I've been up and down on that.
E! NEWS: Were you nervous about the moment to air on TV or is it liberating?
LS: It's liberating that I've seen it play out. Obviously I've got my own memory of it, I've got the memory of the others that were there, but it was especially daunting leading up to this episode. It's the episode that I was most worried about airing. It's certainly relieving. I'm relieved that I watched it…It was nail-biting for me to watch the episode, but I have had nothing but support from just the colleagues on the boat but also from people on social media as well.
E! NEWS: Tell me about the messages of support you've gotten on social media.
LS: I've gotten so many, I actually haven't read them all so far, but maybe the 50 or so messages that I've received have been ranging from people just saying so proud of what you did, we support you no matter what, to even someone saying that they watched that episode and then later that day someone was actually…it was the first time that they've ever stood up to it. And then one other person said that they've taken inspiration from what I said to try and deal with their struggles, which was really, really heartwarming to hear.
E! NEWS: Would you want to come back for another season on Below Deck Med?
LS: Absolutely. The way I was feeling about yachting before I went onto the show was quite negative, but coming out of this season, I felt nothing but positivity for my time on the show and that time on the boat.
E! NEWS: So the show changed your perspective on the yachting industry?
LS: One hundred percent, yeah. It didn't just equal it out, it completely smashed my previous experiences out from my memory almost. They're still there, but I don't know the right words to say it. I came out of it with such a confidence boost and such a positive view on possibly going forward into the yachting industry.
Below Deck Mediterranean airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Watch episodes one week early on Mondays on Peacock.
(E!, Bravo and Peacock are all part of the NBCUniversal family)