A Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, a former Captain in the Air Force after nine years of military service, a flight instructor, a published author, a motivational and public speaker, commercial model, reality television icon, and an actor of television, stage, and film; it’s quickly apparent that once Reichen sets a goal, it is only a matter of time before he reaches it.
Since winning CBS’ Emmy-award winning reality series, “The Amazing Race”, Reichen has caught the eyes of many producers and casting directors, to appear on “Frasier” (NBC), “The Drew Carey Show” (ABC), “Days of Our Lives” (NBC), and “The Young and The Restless” (CBS). Reichen has performed in three movies including “Partners”, “The Scorned”, and “The Most Un-fabulous Social Life of Ethan Greene”.
Reichen has found himself to be an integral part of the budding world of Reality Television, which has now become the fastest growing genre of television in entertainment history. Reichen has starred in many reality television series including “The Amazing Race” (CBS, 2003), “Fear Factor” (NBC, 2004), “Kill Reality” (E!, 2005), “The A-List: New York” (MTV/Logo, 2010-2011), and the latest was released in April of 2012, “Celebrity Couples Therapy” (MTV/Vh1, 2012).
Making his professional theater acting debut, Reichen played the lead of “Andrew” in an off-Broadway play, “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” in the summer of 2010.
As host to hundreds of public and televised social, fundraising, and charity events, Reichen continues to be present and motivated, raising awareness and funds to help the causes for which he cares so deeply, including SLDN, GLAAD, HRC, The Trevor Project, and AmFAR.
Reichen is no stranger to the world of mixing benevolence with branding and entertainment merchandising, launching a jewelry line in 2007 (“Fly Naked”), and a fragrance bearing his name (“Reichen”) in 2011. The fragrance sells online at www.ReichenTheFragrance.com as well as in several brick-and-mortar locations across the United States, including Fred Segal/RonRobinson in Los Angeles, and Delphinium Home in New York City. Reichen donates a sizable percentage of the gross income of his merchandising sales to not-for-profit organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Center of Los Angeles, The Center in NYC, and AmFAR.
Prior to Reichen’s concentrating on a professional entertainment career, he was playing the role of his own life while in the U.S. Air Force. Not wanting to face a court martial for being gay while serving under the Department of Defense’s now defeated “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, Reichen had to live in two different worlds; one world where he had to watch everything he did and said for fear of being outed, and the other world where he was able to be himself. Although he was open with his family and close friends, he faced a very real possibility of UCMJ punishment for his sexual orientation. Reichen explains, “The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was contradictory to that which the Air Force and our U.S. Armed Forces represent: Honor and Integrity. The policy forced young men and women to lie about their lives, and kept alive a terrible and fear and misunderstanding of gay people. All of this was a detriment to military morale and the ability for LGBT servicemembers to carry out their duties. It was a policy of clear workplace discrimination.”
The contradictions of the policy are what led Reichen to opt out of the Air Force in 2001 at the end of his fulfilled active-duty service commitment. Once out of the Air Force, Reichen took action on his feelings about the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and wrote and published a book called “Here’s What We’ll Say” (Carroll and Graf, 2006), an autobiography that tells his story of a gay cadet living in secret and fear at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The book serves as an expose of what really happens to LGBT military servicemembers behind the closed doors of thousands of training and mission-critical institutions.
In an effort to combat any mind-set that allows people to believe that some deserve fewer rights than others, Reichen continues to speak about his experiences to thousands at colleges, universities, and companies around the world.
With a new book in the works, “(But) It’ll Be Great Exposure: From the U.S. Air Force to Reality TV”, Reichen is gearing up for its release and yet another book tour.