From fighter planes to fighting words, the latest episode of the Real World: Go Big or Go Home was a jaw-dropper to say the least. In this skin-crawling episode, there were some tears, cheers,Â and a some major reveals. That’s right, it was none other thanÂ Chris who posted the leak about Jenna!Â
But before you go shaking your finger at him, you might want to hear what the ex-Mormon has to say.
Check out our exclusive Q&A with Chris Ammon as he spills about the site, how he feels about Jenna, his life before leaving the church, and much more!
Catch the next episode of Real World: Go Big or Go HomeÂ next Thursday at 10/9c on MTV.
The most important thing is that you have to keep talking about it until somebody listens and gets you help. The biggest mistake I made was feeling that someone older and “more important” than me knew better than I did. That they knew whether or not I was getting abused.
– Chris Ammon (Real World: Go Big or Go Home)
Celeb Secrets: Before we talk about tonight’s episode, I want to get to know you better. Why did you decide to audition for the show?
Chris: “It’s actually a really funny story. I had just left the Mormon church and moved to New York. A friend of mine who is part of the LGBTQ had invited me to stay on her couch while I tried to find a new apartment and soon we became very good friends. It started one night when we both had three bottles of wine – well not each, but between the two of us. After hearing my story, she submitted me to the Real World that night. Four months later, I heard from MTV having no memory of that so it was quite a surprise. I think it’s important for people to know that I grew up intensely Mormon. We weren’t even allowed to watch MTV growing up. I’ve never even seen an episode of MTV until I was in college. I remember hearing about the Real World and I asking my parents about it. They told me it was this disgusting show that talked about parties and homosexuality so to have ended up on the show myself is very ironic.”
Celeb Secrets: You’ve mentioned that you’re pan sexual. Can you explain what that means exactly?
Chris: “As I was exploring my sexuality post-Mormon, I guess I was just used to labels. I was known as Chris the Mormon my whole life. Being Mormon, they tell you what to wear, what to eat, what to do, who you can spend time with, etc. That label became a part of my identity and it became hard to see myself outside of it. I guess when I finally left the church, I decided that I was tired of being labelled and so I chose a “label” for my sexuality that essentially says I don’t have a one. I’m not going to limit myself with who I love, just because it’s easier for society to put me in a box.”
Celeb Secrets: Now in last night’s episode, you confessed that you were the one to leak the info about Jenna. I know you said you did it Â to “create conversations”, but can you elaborate on that?
Chris: “When I originally posted the leak on the internet I did so with the intention of bringing up issues that haven’t really been discussed in the house. As well as issues regarding someone’s race and sexuality which is obviously important to me. Seeing the way things have been edited in the past seasons led me to believe that those issues may not be included in the final cut. So while I regret the way the information came out, I can say with confidence that the leak ensured conversations about important issues.”
Celeb Secrets: Was everything on the site true or didÂ you over-exagerrate a bit?
Chris: “Oh yes, they are all quotes! Thing is now that we watch the episodes, every single thing in the leak ended up making it on to the show. As much as I was unsure if viewers would see what would be, every single one of those conversations were represented on the show. I don’t think people realize that we’ve been living in the house for a considerable amount of time and earlier on, Jenna and I we’re very close. That was primarily because we shared this Mormon upbringing. But as time went on, Kailah and I realized that it didn’t matter how good of friends we were with her. She was still okay to tell me that “gay sex disgusts her” and some really hurtful comments about AIDs. I come from a community where those kinds of conversations are the heaviest. It was at the month and a half mark that I realized that no changes were going to be made unless something drastic was done. That was when I put out the leak.”
Celeb Secrets: If the mission didn’t ask you to confess, were you planning on telling Jenna the truth or were you just going to let her find out on her own?
Chris: “On the show, I not only told Jenna, but I told all of the roommates. Of course that never made the show. It just
adds so much more drama when it’s like this backhanded confession in a dark alley.”
Celeb Secrets: Do you think that the post changed her at all or is she still the same person she was went she first entered the house?
Chris: “Unfortunately when we were in the house and even a few months after, there were no changes. That was really heartbreaking. There was a breaking point for all of us towards the end of the season and that’s something the viewers can look forward to. There is a very clear, defining moment when we realized there won’t be any changes. But I’m happy to say that since the show has aired, Jenna and I have mended our relationship. I was just talking to her right before this interview. It’s been an effort on both of our parts to understand each other better. It came as a result of a little honesty and passion from both of our parts. We both realize that nothing was going to change in either of our communities if we didn’t try to learn from each other. Jenna has been wonderful about doing that. It takes a lot of work!”
Celeb Secrets: During your interview with Kailah, you mentioned how things were before you left the church. How you were abused in multiple ways. Can you tell us more about that?
Chris: “Well first of all, it took a long time for me to process and understand the abuse I went through. I’m at a point in my life now that I’m very comfortable talking about it. I realized that telling my story helps heal so much more than holding it back. So growing up, I experienced a full spectrum of abuse. My father came from a very traditional, Irish upbringing and that led to some very angry outbursts that resulted in physical abuse. It took a lot for our family to heal from that and that was done when my dad realized that he came from a cycle of abuse that needed to end. The changes he’s made through therapy and the church have really helped to heal those wounds. With my mother, she’s a part of a family through which I could trace a direct lineage to Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet. I remember growing up, sitting at different dinner tables and having figures of the church just walk through my home. That’s how deeply involved they are in Mormonism. When my mom started seeing early signs of rebellion, it led to frustration and anger. As her mental health began to decline, it became incredibly intense. There was some verbal abuse as well as neglect. Being the oldest, I felt a lot of responsibility to take care of my siblings. My parents were separated and we were living with my mom.”
Celeb Secrets: And how did Mormonism come into play?
Chris: “The thing that’s hard about Mormonism, is that it’s an incredibly private religion. You’re encouraged to never talk about abuse. The first and only time I ever talked about it was when I went to a bishop. I was 15 or 16 years-old when I walked into his office and he asked me “Why are you here today?”. I was looking at my hands and I said,”I think I’m being abused,”. He said, “Excuse me?”. So I said it again and he grabbed the edge of the table, white-knuckled, and was shaking with anger. He then said to me, “Your only job is to honor your father and mother. I never want to hear about this again, get out of my office.” Around that time, we had a coalition of young men who had positions of leadership in the church. There was one young man who was 18. He was our council president at church and student body president at our school. He was one of the popular kids and I was a very insecure 15-year-old. As I was dealing with the abuse and my parents’ separation, he saw the opportunity to take advantage of somebody who was naive. Abuse started taking place there as well. I look back at it all and I think one of the reasons why I ended up going on the show was because I know that experiences like that are not limited to me. Mormonism is such a tight-knit community and it’s ruled by pride and expectations. As a result, there are many stories of abuse that are never shared. I made it my goal to make sure those stories are brought to life.”
Celeb Secrets: What advice would you give to people who may be going through a similar situation?
Chris: “The most important thing is that you have to keep talking about it until somebody listens and gets you help. The biggest mistake I made was feeling that someone older and “more important” than me knew better than I did. That they knew whether or not I was getting abused. If you’re being abused, you know. You have every right to speak up about it.”
Celeb Secrets: In next week’s episode, you attend a mass resignation for Mormons. Without giving too much away, can you tell us how that was like?
Chris: “I will say that it was the single most emotionally intense day of my life. But it gave me an opportunity to not only tell my story, but to share the stories of countless LGBT people who have undergone similar abuse and discrimination at the hand of the Mormon church. Telling those stories changed my life. It really changed my life.”
Celeb Secrets: Amazing, can’t wait for the episode! So let’s talk about your fashion. I personally love the way you dress, your clothes,Â everything! You remind me of an edgier version of Matty Healy, I’m not sure if you know him-
Chris: “Yes I do, from The 1975! I love the new album! I listened to everything and I was just weeping on my bed. It was just beautiful!
Celeb Secrets: YAAAS! You literally look like his older brother! So in 3 words, can you describe your fashion sense?
Chris: “Thank you, that’s so nice! Let’s see, wow…that’s the hardest question you’ve asked me yet! I would have to say eclectic, modern, and carefree.”
Celeb Secrets: Can you tell us any spoilers for the episodes to come?
Chris: “I think the only thing that I can say is that at the end of this season is going to be the biggest in Real World history! I’m confident about that! I feel that the drama and the explosions we’ve seen up to this point are nothing compared for what’s to come!”
Celeb Secrets: Every episode, you guys are required to do a mission and if you don’t, you’re sent home. Can you tell us what your favorite or least favorite mission was?
Celeb Secrets: How was that? I know that you, Dean and Kailah all passed out in the middle of it!
Chris: “They told us that if you’re fit and muscular, you’ll need your blood to pump through your body more. So people who are in shape typically pass out. Kailah was already dealing with an elevation change when we got there so her blood pressure was all over the place. She was a mess and passed out right away! I just have the sh**tiest blood pressure and I’m an asthmatic so I was toast.”
Celeb Secrets: Since we are Celeb Secrets, can you tell us about any of your hidden talents or a behind the scenes secret from the show?
Chris: “Yes, I really love music and acting! I was in a band during high school and I recorded an entire album! I was the singer and songwriter. So you will see a lot of Jenna and Sabrina playing their music, but there were a lot of times when I was just jamming. But I don’t know if any of that will make the show.”
Celeb Secrets: So will you be pursuing a career in the industry anytime soon?
Chris: “This is so funny, but one of my favorite teachers from high school had seen that I was on the show and she messaged me. She said, “You were my biggest disappointment and I always thought it because you lacked the drive to take your talent to the next level. But I realize now, that it was just the fact that you were Mormon”. I was under incredible amounts of pressure from my parents to stop acting and pursuing music because they thought it was thrusting me into a reckless lifestyle. She told me that now is the time for me to consider pursuing that again. Some of my dearest friends in New York are actors and musicians, so I think this next year will be exciting as I potentially start to pursue those projects again.”