Kayla Ferell From ANTM Talks Tyra and Being Gay

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Jane wasn’t the only one eliminated on this week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model. Kayla Ferell also got the axe. Known on the show for her openness about being a lesbian, we got a chance to chat with her about working with Tyra, being one of only two lesbians in the history of ANTM, and coming out. Read on!

Teen.com: Do you think you deserved to go home this week?
Kayla Ferell: No. Ann broke Top Model history, but America’s Next Top Model needs to be able to have the whole package. I feel like all Ann can do is take good pictures. When speaking to people, she’s socially awkward and shy. It should have been myself and Chelsey or myself and Jane. Ann should have gone home.

Teen.com: What have you been up to since you left?
Kayla Ferell: Since the show, I’ve returned to my old job. I still work at Hooters. I can’t really do much modeling until the show is over and everything is said and done. I’ve kind of been waiting low and waiting for that last episode to air so I can start working and doing what I really want to do, which is modeling.

Teen.com: What made you pursue ANTM in the first place?
Kayla Ferell: I had tried before for the short season not knowing it was the short season when I went to the audition. Pretty much got eliminated right then and there. I’ve always wanted to model I’ve always wanted to just be in the fashion industry so when I found out Top Model was back and it wasn’t for short models my friend convinced me to do it.

Teen.com: Are you pursuing acting now?
Kayla Ferell: I thought about it, but if the opportunity came into my lap, I’d go with it but it’s not I’d like to something pursue 100%. I’d really want to get modeling under my belt before I try to do other things.

Teen.com: Aside from Kim from Cycle 5, you were the only other Lesbian on ANTM. Was that cool for you?
Kayla Ferell: I feel honored. When I came back home, the first thing that I did was go to Boystown, Chicago [first recognized gay village in the United States]. It felt like everybody knew who I was. It felt really awesome to be so welcomed by my community. Now that I was on a reality show, I’ve been asked to speak at local community centers and at a high school graduation. That was my sole purpose on being so open and out on the show. I just wanted to raise awareness and have people look at me like I’m a human being and not a sexual orientation.

Teen.com: Can you tell us about when you first came out of the closet?
Kayla Ferell: Sure, my story is a little crazy. There’s never really a right time to come out to the world. I was in high school and I was dating a girl. I started dating my girlfriend when I was a freshman or sophomore, but then I would go to school and I’d be straight. I didn’t want my friends to know. I was afraid of how they would react to me. And eventually my girlfriend starred picking me up from school. Rumors started flying around that I was gay and I would never say yes or no, so people just started giving me names that they shouldn’t have. I got to a point in my senior year where I just didn’t care what anybody thought because my mom already knew.

Teen.com: Awesome! What was it like having Tyra direct your motion editorial?
Kayla Ferell: First off, Italy was freakishly hot. I’ve never been so hot in my life. Otherwise, shooting the motion editorial was the most fun I have ever had. You know, if I’m going to get eliminated off of something, at least I went out on something that was a great experience.

Teen.com: Who do you hope will win this season?
Kayla Ferell: I hope Chelsey will win. I really connected with her. She and I were really close and we constantly stayed up and talked about what we wanted and what we dreamed of. I hope Chelsey wins because I think she deserves it. She’s been working at this for so long and I think this would be her big break.

Check out our Q&A with last week’s eliminated contestant, Chris!