In Summer 2014, Big Brother fans were captivated by Zankie, also known as Zach Rance and Frankie Grande, Ariana Grande’s older half-brother. The two contestants worked together throughout the game and became close friends throughout the season. At the time, Frankie was out and proud as a gay man and Zach identified as straight. Months after their season, Zach spoke to Out about the “impact” of Zankie, remarking, “I’m obviously straight, I’ve made that clear millions of times, and the fact that I was cuddling with a gay guy, giving him a massage… you know, let’s be real — guys give other guys massages. It’s not a big deal.”
Zach continued, “I don’t care that he was gay. I was never afraid that he would try to kiss me. If he tried to kiss me, I would have said, ‘no, it’s not like that,’ and I would have continued to be friends with him.” Zach considered himself to be “kind of a role model” to viewers who might think “wow, Zach’s a really cool guy and he’s best friends with a gay guy, so why can’t I be best friends with a gay guy?”
Zach said fans had asked, “Oh, are you gay? Oh, have you come out? Were you bisexual?” He said, “That’s never a topic of discussion.” That interview was published on Oct. 7, 2014, but Zach’s life changed forever just weeks later at a Halloween party, where he and Frankie had their first kiss.
Zach Rance hooked up with Frankie Grande after Big Brother
In December 2020, Zach Rance opened up to Us Weekly about what happened with Frankie Grande and how it set him on a journey toward identifying as bisexual. “I’ve been straight my entire life, I’ve only liked women. But on Big Brother, Frankie and I got super, super close. I fell in love with who he was as a person,” Zach said. “As time went on, we got so close that I wasn’t really sure if I had feelings for him or not.” Their bond became “a relationship that was more than just friends” after filming. Zach said, “He was the first guy that I ever hooked up with. After that night, I was very unsure about the direction of my sexuality because I like women.”
At the time, Zach thought to himself, “Wait a second. Is it just because Frankie is someone who I’m really close with?'” However, Zach hooked up with another guy after a photoshoot, which gave him even more to ponder. He shared, “The more I thought about being with a guy… you know, making out is one thing. But doing more than making out with a guy is something that I just don’t want to do and I’d never tried it.” Even so, he said, “I just want to come out and say that I enjoyed hooking up with Frankie and the other guy I hooked up with, clearly I enjoyed it.”
Zach hopes being honest about his sexuality will be a positive example to people with similar experiences.
Zach Rance says he's '85 percent straight'
Zach Rance told Us Weekly he went to “third base” with his Big Brother co-star Frankie Grande on Oct. 31, 2014. Zach recounted, “It was Ariana Grande’s Halloween party. Kind of hard to forget. It was me, Ariana Grande, Frankie, Big Sean — she was dating Big Sean at the time.” It may have been a “very low-key party,” but the night became a major turning point in Zach’s life when he and Frankie ended up together in a closet.
After their Halloween hookup, Zach “went through a lot of mental health struggles.” He admitted, “I woke up the next day with, like, a heavy heart. I was like, ‘What the f–k did I just do?’ And then I was like, ‘Wait a second, no, like, maybe I’m gay.'” After years of contemplation, Zach owns his sexuality, declaring, “Now I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I’m f–king bisexual. I prefer women, but this is where I’m at. I’m, like, 85 percent straight.” Zach added, “[Now] I’m out and super open-minded. I’ve explored new crevices of the Earth — no pun intended — and I’m comfortable with it. And it is what it is.”
Reflecting on his time in the BB house, Zach said, “As a 23-year-old frat star from the U.S., if any of my friends knew I hooked up with a guy, it would be blasphemy.” However, it’s been years since then and he doesn’t “really care what [his] college friends think.” He even revealed that he’s “on every f–king app. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge. I got ’em all.”
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