LOS ANGELES -- Reza Farahan is one of the cast members of the successful reality television show "Shahs of Sunset." While many people tune in to see what mayhem the group of Persian American friends get up to each week, Farahan also hopes that his presence onscreen will give strength and encouragement to those not yet comfortable with their LGBTQ+ identities.
"Once you start living your true authentic life, once you accept who you are, that's the only way you can come out and ask for acceptance from other people," Farahan told Karl Schmid.
But, taking those first steps can be intimidating for any queer person who is fearful of the reaction they may get from those closest to them. Even Farahan, who is proudly gay and married to Adam Neely, struggled with coming out.
"I was a young kid. I knew I was different," Farahan shared. "I'm so proud that I have family members that some may say are as old as dirt, but they love me and they support me."
That message of support is what Farahan wants to get across to fans watching the show, especially those who come from similar cultural and religious backgrounds as him and identify as LGBTQ+.
"The only thing that I feel a responsibility for and to is the young, Middle Eastern youth, some of whom I grew up with and are no longer with me today because they took their own lives," Farahan said.
"If I can help someone, that makes my day," Farahan continued.
Openly gay 'Shahs of Sunset' cast member wants to make a difference for LGBTQ+ minorities
"Shahs of Sunset" star Reza Farahan is out and proud and wants to help other LGBTQ+ folks just like him.