A self-proclaimed gay “daddy bear” will be competing in the next American series of Survivor, starting next month.
In a contestant profile on the Entertainment Weekly website, 48-year-old Mark-Anthony Caruso says: “I call myself Daddy Bear. I’m older, wiser, and cuter, I guess. No, I’m kidding. I’m not cuter.”
Caruso worked as a New York Police Department morgue detective for 20 years and retired with honours from the mayor and police commissioner.
“I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m old enough to know who I am. I am open. I am an openly gay man,” said Caruso in an interview video. “I have a family just like everybody else. I am a Christian just like everybody else.”
On the Survivor website he describes his hobbies as “gym and all that goes with it, spending as much time in the sun as I can and meeting new people/making new friends”.
He adds: “People tend to like me because I am an honest person even though I am sarcastic and an ‘in your face’ man. I am considered a real person heart, mind and soul.”
The very first season of Survivor was won by an openly gay man, Richard Hatch, back in 2000.
Survivor: South Pacific debuts in the US on 14 September and will also include a Nashville country music star and a former Miss Washington.