Zach Rance is ready to share his truth. After coming out as bisexual, the Big Brother alum opened up about his hookup with season 16 costar Frankie Grande and how the fame that followed his reality TV stint sent him into a downward spiral.
The life coach, 30, revealed in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly that the Broadway star, 37, went to third base with him on October 31, 2014, just over one month after they left the Big Brother house.
“It was Ariana Grande’s Halloween party. Kind of hard to forget,” he recalled. “It was me, Ariana Grande, Frankie, Big Sean — she was dating Big Sean at the time. Very low-key party. All of her dancers were there. The party went really well.”
Later that evening, the reality stars went to Frankie’s bedroom and started hooking up in a closet. Rance cut it short, and it was not until later down the road that he accepted his sexuality after fooling around with another guy, a photographer during an underwear shoot.
“Now I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I’m f–king bisexual,’” he told Us. “I prefer women, but this is where I’m at. I’m, like, 85 percent straight.”
The University of Florida graduate came out as bi during a virtual event on Tuesday, December 8, with The Mental Health Collection, which he founded. He said during the conversation that he and Frankie “got super, super close” on the CBS reality show and that he “fell in love with who [Frankie] was as a person.”
Rance told Us that he “wasn’t really planning on coming out on that event, but it was kind of the right place at the right time and the stars were just kind of aligned the right way and it just happened.” Since then, he has gotten countless messages from fans on Instagram.
“At the end of the day, it was something that not only helps me but helps a lot of other people,” he said. “My DMs right now are flooded with people just like, ‘Oh, my God, thank you so much. You’re so inspiring. Yada yada.’ And then I have, like, a bunch of people being like, ‘Oh, my God, so there is a chance for us!’”
Scroll down for more revelations from Us’ exclusive interview!
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Why He Came Out Now
“As a 23-year-old frat star from the U.S., if any of my friends knew I hooked up with a guy, it would be blasphemy. But now, at 30 years old, as someone who has seen a little bit more of life, I don’t really care what my college friends think of me and if my colleagues and my employees and my business partners are gonna not want to do business with me because of my sexual orientation. That’s something I want to know now instead of later,” Rance told Us, noting that he also came out to his “super liberal and Jewish” parents who are “all about LGBT rights.”
Credit: Courtesy of Zach Rance/Instagram
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He Was Confused After His Hookup With Frankie
The Palm Beach, Florida, native told Us that he “went through a lot of mental health struggles and challenges” in the wake of his rendezvous with the actor-singer. “I woke up the next day with, like, a heavy heart. I was like, ‘What the f--k did I just do?’ And then I was like, ‘Wait a second, no, like, maybe I’m gay,’” he remembered. “[Now] I’m out and super open-minded. I've explored new crevices of the Earth — no pun intended — and I’m comfortable with it. And it is what it is.”
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He Struggled With Adjusting to Life After Reality TV
Rance admitted that he “became a narcissistic, pretentious douchebag” after getting hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers after Big Brother. “Everything came crashing down, especially because of my addiction to coke and drugs. I was just going to LIV in Miami every single night, getting tables and just drinking and doing blow until 5 a.m.,” he told Us. “And I did that for, like, six months. And this was right after the Frankie thing.”
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He Is Single — and Looking
The certified nutritionist confirmed that he is not dating anyone at the moment. “I’m on every f--king app. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge. I got ‘em all,” he added.
Credit: Courtesy of Zach Rance/Instagram
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He and Frankie Are Friends Again
Rance told Us that he and his former costar “are still in contact,” but they have not talked about him coming out yet. (Us Weekly has reached out to Frankie for comment.)
Credit: Adam Nemser/startraksphoto.com
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He Hopes to Be a Role Model to Others Who Are Struggling
“There are so many reality stars that go on TV and think that they’re now famous, and they’re, like, really crashing hard. Reality went to my head … I was that guy,” the “Life Coach Zach” podcast host told Us. “I learned from it though. Now I’m super humble and mindful and spiritual and healthy and helping other people through mental health and coaching. It was a lot going on that year.”
He noted that he came out to “help people be open-minded [and] be more receptive to other people that might be dealing with gender identity issues.”
For more on The Mental Health Collection, follow @mentalhealthcollection on Instagram.