The Amazing Race Australia star Rod on coming out as gay

“My family were in shock!”

By Thomas Mitchell
He's one half of The Newlyweds team stealing the show on The Amazing Race Australia, but Rod Jones hasn't always been the confident man we see on air.
The 28-year-old recalls how confused he felt as a teenager, a situation that became even murkier when he came out to his parents when he was 17.
"For as long as I could remember, I struggled with my sexuality," Rod says.
"Once I got into my teenage years, I realised I was more attracted to guys.
"I told my parents at 17, but it didn't go so well. I think I confused them, because I was struggling to accept it myself."
While Rod is now happily married to Tim, back then, he was unable to come to terms with how he felt.
"I told my parents I liked guys, but I also liked girls," he explains. "They didn't take it well to start with. They were confused – and, I think, worried on my behalf.
"They're from a generation where being gay was being an outcast, so they were scared for me."
Rod and Tim tied the knot in March. Image: 10
To complicate matters, Rod grew up in a religious household.
"I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school, went to youth group. So I had my own struggle, because I'd go to church and get told my life was a sin."
Rod's parents pushed him to speak to a psychiatrist, but he ended up going back in the closet.
"I freaked out and took it back," he says. "I told them [his parents] I was confused. I went back in the closet until I turned 21. But I knew in my heart how I was feeling."
The boys compete on The Amazing Race. Image: Instagram
It wasn't until Rod's parents met the man who would become his husband that they began to understand his life.
"I told my family I'd met someone who had swept me off my feet and I wanted to be with him forever," Rod enthuses.
"They wanted to meet him. Tim cooked them dinner and they saw us together, and finally they understood."
Rod was thrilled that both his parents were involved in his wedding in March this year.
"My parents walked me down the aisle, which is the proudest moment of my life," he says.
Rod said yes! Image: Instagram
The Amazing Race Australia airs Monday and Tuesday, 7:30pm, on Network 10.

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