You’ve likely seen James Doyle’s latest photo buzzing around the Facebooks and Interwebs. If not, then you can after the jump. But he seems to be on the cusp of a reinvention after gay America saw him unravel on the first (and last) season of Logo’s A-List: Dallas. We saw him go from socialite to hot mess over the course of the season as friends tried to tell him it gets better.
Perhaps it has.
In an email to us (and other outlets like Queerty), he says this latest photo is his statement on his stance for equality and if he needs to be bold, then so be it.
“I am just trying to get my name out there after the show for the causes and the things I believe in, whether that means being bold, doing it on my own, or being risky,” he wrote.
Doyle spoke with me this morning about his latest intentions and that really, his work from here on out is going to be an uphill battle. Call it a reinvention, but for him, it’s more like damage control after his personal life started taking a nosedive right before filming and then played out through the season.
“It was a lot of damage because everyone thinks you’re this person when no one really knows who you are. So I couldn’t go out and meet all these great people in the community. They just saw the TV persona,” he says.
As a result of disastrous school years, he went on to speak passionately about bullying and equality. “I got picked the fuck on throughout school,” he recalled. “And now I think it’s sad that people have to attack me for this picture, but not the picture.”
Doyle isn’t naive in any way. He knew there would be some reaction to his A-List work, but never felt prepared for the amount of criticism he (and the show) received.
“I’m not playing the victim because I knew what I was getting into, but I forgot about the vicious side of people and to the degree it came. During filming, my life was in huge turmoil and I talked with my parents about it that it was probably not best time to do it. And yet, it became my biggest form of self-reflection and it helped me to change a lot,” he said.
He also admitted to being nervous about this shoot — or rather to release the photo sensing that the Human Rights Campaign is fairly conservative in their image. Would a pic of him getting cupped get a big no-no from the organization? Doyle is really hoping it doesn’t.
“I love the HRC and what they do so it would break my heart of they didn’t like it. I just think that people are numb to most messages unless nudity or alcohol is invovled. So I copied that Adam Levine pic (for prostate cancer awareness) and hoped this might get people talking,” he said.
That’s not to say there wasn’t some vanity involved.
“I also worked out a lot. And I N’aired myself,” he laughed. “Yeah, I wanted the attention and people will say I’m an attention whore, but maybe it’ll work for a cause.”
As for his relationship with fellow cast members, Doyle says it’s different now. He doesn’t hang out with some, and he’s still remained friends with others. Several people knew the show was gone before the cast did and Doyle said the network made them wait for a long time to announce it. But despite missing being around the gang all the time, he mostly has kept in touch with the others, save for one.
“We don’t hang out really, but I still talk to everyone. Taylor actually wrote me a nice message this morning saying he supports me in this. That shocked the hell out of me, but he’s really changed too after the show. We’re all back to normal now. But I don’t talk to Levi. He’s in his own world.”
But Doyle’s focus is on the future and the good he can make out of it. The TV show, the drama is all in the past and though he knows he has to battle that televised persona, he’s right where he wants to be. Even the unraveling of his personal life on the air is in a better place.
“I’m actually doing really well right now. Life after A-List is ten thousand times better than it was before. I just hope people start to see me not as that person, you know?” he said, “Everyone has a past and then move on. I’m still involved with entertainment because I love that, but I want to help out our organizations and hoping my outreach can help. I’m just trying.”