Mondo Guerra, the lederhosen-wearing, pompadour-rocking 32-year-old breakout star from the eighth season of Project Runway, turned tear ducts to geysers during last week’s episode, wherein he revealed his HIV-positive status — a secret he’d been hiding from his deeply religious family for ten years. Once the sobbing subsided, and Mondo laid claim to his much-deserved third win in a row (the first turkey in Project Runway history!), a bigger question loomed in the minds of viewers: How did said deeply religious family take the news when they saw it? And did they watch the Big Reveal live with the rest of America, or were they prepped beforehand?
In an interview with Stylelist, Mondo said he told his family just five days before the episode aired.
“There was a lot of crying. They were sad and they were very, very proud. It was the most support I’ve gotten from my family in the last couple of years. It was hard for me to see that they do love me unconditionally. And more than anything they are frightened about how other people will react and treat me out in the world because of what I’ve shared.”
So, whew. That’s a relief. We were ready to pop some caps if his fam wasn’t cool with it. Even more awesomely, some 400 supporters (including fellow contestant Michael C.) turned out to a silent-auction fund-raiser and live screening of the episode at Denver’s Beauty Bar, helping to raise more than $8,000 for the Colorado AIDS Project and Rainbow Alley.
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: Mondo FTW! [Stylelist]