Mikel Simmons From Southern Hospitality Talks Coming Out On TV And Looking For Love - Exclusive

Mikel Simmons has made a name for himself as the outgoing VIP host of Republic, the Charleston bar and restaurant featured in the "Southern Charm" spin-off series "Southern Hospitality." In the show's first-ever season, he returned to his job at Republic after a short suspension ready to impress Leva Bonaparte, Republic's manager, while avoiding judgmental coworkers and trying his best to stay out of their drama


Simmons has found a safe space through his work in Charleston nightlife, and he has been open about being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In Episode 5, he even had his eye on a special someone on the group's trip to Charlotte, but he soon realized it wasn't a match. In his exclusive interview with The List, Mikel Simmons shared how he handled coming out on TV, how his home community has supported his journey, and what he's looking for in a potential partner. 

Coming out came with surprises

Since "Southern Hospitality" premiered, adjusting to life as a reality TV star has been its own challenge for Mikel Simmons. He told The List, "I sat down the very first day, and all my emotions hit. It was like, 'You're on TV now. You came out to the whole world as gay. Your brother knows you're gay.'"


Though he was able to share the truth about his sexuality, it didn't come without struggle, and Simmons explained his transformation from Michael to Mikel. "I'm having to grieve an old person and having to learn a new person," he shared. "That's the part that I want all the viewers and even my family listening now to know — that I respect them grieving the old person they used to know. That comes with a lot of emotions, comes with a lot of talks and questions, so it's been interesting. I've been figuring it out."

Fortunately, Simmons has been met with support from his home community. "I've been getting a lot of good support from the church, which has been crazy," he said. He also reflected on the greater significance behind his role on the show. "My story, my journey, is breaking this stigma of the LGBTQ+ community within the South," he shared.


Simmons is living his most authentic life and promoting LGBTQ+ acceptance through his appearances on "Southern Hospitality." However, the star is still waiting for a special someone to share his success with.

Mikel Simmons is navigating the Charleston dating scene

Mikel Simmons is ready for love, and he's calling out to the universe for the right person. "I'm manifesting love," he shared with The List, though he also admitted, "I'm looking for love in all the wrong places." 


Simmons has some specific ideas in mind for his future boo, though his qualifications may be flexible. "I need a six-figure person," he said. "Six figures is all I need. Six figures, a nice body and ass, a little melanin in his body — oh Jesus, give him to me."

The star has love on the brain and doesn't care who knows it. However, he still has some reservations about his parents watching some of the raunchier episodes of "Southern Hospitality." He told The List, "I am super nervous about my parents seeing me make out with a man, but I'm hoping it brings out other men to my doorway so I can make out with them as well." He added, "The lips are here for perking and kissing."

Catch "Southern Hospitality" Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET on Bravo and streaming the next day on Peacock.