Celebrity hairstylist and reality star
Elgin Charles has come out bisexual.
Charles, 58, discusses his sexuality in
his memoir, By the Way, and in an interview with LGBT glossy
Known as the “Emperor of Hair,”
Charles owns and operates Elgin Charles Salon in Beverly Hills, the
subject of VH1's Beverly Hills Fabulous reality series. The
network broadcast a 10-episode season in 2011.
In speaking with The Advocate,
Charles said that his father's death two years ago nudged him to
speak publicly about his sexuality.
“I've been living in fear – and
especially with my dad,” Charles said. “I [always] said that
when he passes, I'm just going to write a book and really just put
out there everything that I've done in my life. I think it can be
helpful for other people, and definitely helpful for me.”
Charles said that when he first arrived
in Los Angeles in 1980s from Texas, he dated men and women, but
returned to the closet in the early 90s.
“Things started changing. The AIDS
epidemic came out. People were dying. A lot of the hairdressers
that I've worked with all passed away. It became so devastating that
I hid, and I went back in. I said, I feel condemned as a Christian.
No one really knew what I was doing because I kept it hidden. I was
very much on the DL [down low],” Charles
Being bisexual is “nothing to be
ashamed of,” he added. “The bisexual man is out there, and he's
willing to hold his head up high and discuss it.”