Rodiney Santiago: ‘The A-List’ Atlanta Interview
You lived in Atlanta for a while. How did the gay capital of the south compare to New York City?
Yes, I lived in Atlanta to study English for 6 months and for me the gay community was very similar. It is a big community with a lot of pool parties during the summer and big fun charity events during the winter.
I enjoyed meeting new people and love how you can travel to any city in the USA and meet so many unique individuals in the gay community. I have made many friends and learned a lot about myself, and look forward to traveling the country meeting more people.
What are some of your favorite places to go in NYC?
Since I have only been in NYC for a 4 months, I really don’t have a favorite place yet. Every time I go out in NYC, I find something new that I like just as much as the last. It is such a big city, and it is going to take me some time to pick my favorites.
Currently I use the gym in my apartment building to workout. Some weekend I go to Fire Island to stay with friends or The Hamptons. It is a nice getaway from the busy city, always a good brunch and fresh air.
What were some of your favorite places to go in Atlanta?
In Atlanta I like to go to my friend’s homes to make dinners together. With a big Brazilian population I was able to connect with other Brazilians and even make some of my favorite food from Brazil with them. In Marietta there is a lot of Brazilian places to eat and shop, and so I would sometimes go up there too.
During the summer I liked the pool parties and walking around Piedmont Park, sometimes stopping at Blake’s for a drink. I worked out at LA Fitness near the Georgia Tech Campus. Everything was very convenient for me since I lived in the Midtown area of Atlanta.
How does Brazil’s gay culture to differ from America’s?
Brazilians are not as open as Americans about homosexuality. I think it is because it has such a large Catholic population. This makes Brazilian gay people more closeted. However, I think with time it is slowly getting better. We are a fun people that like to celebrate our culture and life.
With time I am noticing that gay people are becoming a lot more accepted than they were in the past. While America also seems to be conservative, I believe gay people here are very lucky that they have the right to be as open as they want to be. It is a very wonderful thing to have that equality and freedom.
How did the other cast members handle your accent?
It didn’t seem to be a big deal, but sometimes it is hard for me to pronounce some words and production couldn’t figure them out. But, if I slow down and repeat it tends to help. I have learned to try to relax about this, because that is the only way I will truly be able to learn the language, without fear.
Some people compare your show to a gay version of the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ It even has the same producers.
Yes. It is similar, but with all guys it is a little different. But, yes… relationships are relationships, so it is very similar.
How did you meet Reichen?
We met in Miami when he was on a trip to Florida to visit his family, and the rest is history.
Reichen has been on reality TV before. Did he give you any tips or advice?
His original show was more of a competition, so I think we were both kind of learning from this style of program.
Do you ever visit Atlanta or plan to in the future?
With such good friends there I go as much as I can. I have a trip planned in October.
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