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5 Things We Learned From Tyson Beckford

5 Things We Learned From Tyson Beckford


The supermodel is featured on the cover of HIV Plus magazine


Photo: Getty

We last saw Tyson Beckford -- the 43-year-old supermodel, activist, and TV personality (he was cohost of Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel, among other gigs) -- at the Alexander Wang X H&M launch at New York Fashion Week in October. And we loved him naked with trans model Ines Rau last year. But now he's about to turn more heads as an actor.

He's featured on the cover of this month's HIV Plus magazine, in which he talks about his dedication to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and other causes. It's a great interview, and here are a few of the highlights.

On what it was like getting his first HIV test:

I wouldn't say it was scary. You want to know, you know? [And after it was over] it was like, OK, that's it? ... So it's good to go and know. It was painless. I mean, besides the little prick. That was it.

On volunteering for Kiehl's LifeRide for amfAR:

It's not so much an event. It's more like hanging out with your family and riding a motorcycle. It's fun. And then the last day, it's so, so emotional. You know what I mean? It's more draining than the ride itself, because it's the day that you go and read the names, and that's the date you're getting ready to say goodbye to all of the other riders.

On his gay fans:

They've been very supportive of everything that I do, because they know that I support them. So they definitely supported me all the way through fashion. We brought in some gays and lesbians into the filming of Chocolate City because strip clubs have all different audiences. They don't separate. We allow everyone to come to strip clubs, so that was very important that we had a table full of guys, a table full of girls. We wanted to show equality when we were making that movie. If you go into these clubs, you see all different kinds of people. It's not just for women. It's not just for men.

Tyson Beckford in 'Chocolate City'

On his role in Chocolate City:

I play this aging stripper who's upset -- he's the head guy at that strip club, and he's been the breadwinner there for many years, and this new kid comes in, a younger guy [Robert Ri'chard from Coach Carter], and he starts to steal his shine. My character doesn't like it. He gets jealous, and he starts to become the mean asshole of the strip club, and everybody hates him.

On why he hates people calling it the 'black Magic Mike':

I hate when people use that reference, because it's totally about a different kind of experience. Black strip clubs and white strip clubs are totally different. There's more performance, more energy in a black strip club than there is a white one because the bodies are a little bit more ripped, and the girls have bigger, you know, it's more so about the butt in black strip clubs than it is about the top, for women. It's about how big they are down there: how they shake, how they move, how they gyrate. It's a different experience. I don't want to say it's more rhythm-driven, but it is a little bit more rhythm-driven. There's a lot more acrobatic stuff in a black strip club.... They allow you more to touch in black strip clubs.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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