“Project Runway” Designer Michael Costello Comes Clean About Those Rumors

Project Runway season eight finalist Michael Costello says he has no idea how the rumor started.

He’s not talking about the rumor that he dissed one of his fellow-designers to an audience invited to vote on their designs. (Not true, he says.) And not the one that he doesn’t know how to sew, either. (Also not true.)

No, what he can’t figure out is where anyone got the idea he’s straight.

Even though his official Lifetime website bio clearly says he’s gay, for some reason he wasn’t included in the “Team Gay” roster provided to AfterElton.com when the casting lineup for the show’s eighth season was announced. A quick Google search on “Is Michael Costello gay?” turns up a number of places where fans firmly identify him as straight – some based on this site’s exclusion of him from “Team Gay” – and others where they debate the issue based on things like his friendship with the show’s very out Mondo Guerra, or even his mannerisms.

“Maybe it’s because I’m kind of a ‘Michael Kors gay,’” Michael speculated to AfterElton.com, referring to the out designer and Project Runway judge. “You know, I wear t-shirts and jeans. But I make dresses. I use hand gestures. I’ve always liked boys. Look up ‘gay’ in the dictionary, and my picture’s right there. What more do they want?”

There’s also the fact that he used to be married to a woman and has two kids. “I come from a culture that believes in arranged marriages, so I was married when I was 18,” Michael, who is 27 years old, said. “We had two children, a boy and a girl, thirteen months apart.”

Michael with his son

His son lives with Michael and his partner of 7 years, Rich. His daughter lives in Texas with her mother, who, he said, has remarried into “a really difficult culture, and doesn’t even call to wish our son a happy birthday or merry Christmas. And they don’t want me to call my daughter, or let me know where they live. I send presents and get updates through her grandmother, but it’s really sad. It breaks my heart.”

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