Less than two minutes into an episode of MTV Canada’s 1 Girl 5 Gays, the cast has already discussed their penis size and masturbating to rape and, um, Canada’s Wonderland. Considerably tame topics in comparison to previous episodes which have covered everything from glory holes and HIV to the taste of semen. With its uncensored, no-holds-bar look into the gay community, the show has gained an enormous cult following in its 3 short seasons on air.

In honour of Pride Week, I sat down with Dean McArthur and Mike Yerxa, two of the show’s breakout cast members, to discuss love, Toronto’s gay community, and the infamous Rob Ford.


Q: Dean, you’re currently in a relationship that began after the show started airing. Were you worried people were after you for your fame?
Dean: No, I think probably the opposite is true. In that the kind of guy that I would normally be dating doesn’t think it’s that cool to be on television – or especially on this show.

Q: You started dating your current boyfriend before the show started. What kind of affect has the show’s popularity had on your relationship Yerxa?
Yerxa: We have a very honest relationship and we’re not really jealous of each other. We started dating before the show even started. I think the thing with my relationship is that all of those really early relationship kinks were worked out before I started doing this show and before it developed popularity. The only way it has is that sometimes I have to be careful not to talk about his perspective too much because he’s not there to represent himself.

Q: So what happens when you say things you shouldn’t?
Yerxa: You talk about hundreds of things in one night and you can’t remember what you said about some of the things. Plus, we’re always having a little bit of booze in the green room downstairs. So sometimes you can’t really remember what you say and you answer very honestly in that moment.


Q: The show has done wonders for promoting gay culture and community in Toronto. Similarly, Pride has done the same for years. What has the event done for you? 
Dean: Growing up in Ajax, I didn’t know any gay people. I knew gay people existed but I knew nothing about them. Once a year this Pride supplement would come in the Toronto Star and I would be like ‘Oh my God’, I would be so fascinated by this world that I knew I wanted. The fact that this existed out there meant everything.

Yerxa: The parade to me was actually life changing. I’ve always watched the parade but to walk in it is like being in the middle of a tornado of love and acceptance. It’s the most amazing energy I’ve ever experienced in my life. To go from not being able to tell anyone you’re gay to being able to walk in a parade of a million people sending you that energy – there really was nothing like that.

Q: Gaining marriage rights have been an ongoing struggle for the gay community. If marriage laws are passed across all states the U.S., what do you think is the next step?
Yerxa: I definitely think it’s is the biggest battle right now but there are a lot of people that don’t want to assimilate. But it comes down to rights at the end of the day. There’s a lot of transphobia and that’s a huge issue. I think that’s sort of the next step after dealing with homophobia.

Prep for this year’s Pride Parade with Dean’s and Yerxa’s must-have checklist:


Q: Dean, I know you have a very strong opinion about Mayor Ford and his decision to once again miss Pride celebrations. What are your current thoughts?
Dean: My thoughts are the same: that he’s a homophobe. That he’s a giant, disgusting homophobe and what’s on the inside of him is so much uglier than what’s on the outside – and that’s saying something. I don’t care what Rob Ford thinks in his personal life. But what really upset me last year was I thought I lived in a city where the mayor wouldn’t be able to get away with that. Where he would’ve been held accountable by his citizens to have to show up something.

Yerxa: Our community would love for him to be there so much, which we shouldn’t, but we’re nice and we don’t want to put out negative energy. So if he came, we would welcome him with open arms and I hope he does realize that.

Photography: Justin Astra

Catch new episodes of 1 Girl 5 Gays Fridays at 11PM EST on MTV Canada.

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