Queer Reality Hunk Cheyenne Parker Finds Niche in Puerto Vallarta

Saturday March 20, 2021
Originally published on March 11, 2021

Cheyenne Parker is best known for participating in two reality shows — Logo's "Fire Island" in 2017 and the second season of MTV's "Ex on the Beach" in 2019, which featured by far the most sexually diverse cast on any reality dating show.

But being part of them wasn't something he pursued. "I didn't seek out reality TV, it found me!! Just like Fire Island, the phone rang, and I answered and at first said NO," he said in an interview in Instinct Magazine in 2019.

"My unabashed presence on social media was what sparked their interest and I think after witnessing me hold my own on 'Fire Island,' I was an easy pick for this show. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, but I knew I was going to have to be on guard and overcome a lot of emotional obstacles to come out on top exposure-wise form this show. Either way, the fact that I had the opportunity to be one of the first gays in MTV history as far as dating platforms like 'Ex on the Beach' goes, I had to take part in it. Just like Fire Island this was the first of its kind and I ultimately couldn't turn it down," he added.

Beach resorts are something of a destination for Parker, who has relocated to Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican queer resort that made the news when it became the location for New Year's circuit parties that were labeled super spreader events.

As it turns out, Parker hadn't planned on spending the last year in PV, but on the day he was scheduled to return to New York, he got a call from his roommate. "And he says, 'Don't get on that plane. I got Covid'," he told the website GayCities. His roommate had it for four weeks, so Parker concluded "for financial reasons it was smarter, to rent a condo for an entire month. So I asked the owner, 'If I brought you USD for two months, would you give me a better price?' He was actually the owner of Cafe De Artistes out there, which is an amazing restaurant. He's super chill. He's like, 'Yeah, everybody likes cash out there.'"

He had been to resort more than a dozen times and even lived in the country for some time when he was a teenager, so it wasn't surprising he would acclimate to the LGBTQ destination when he decided to stay on. "It's no wonder I wound up living here. I find the people of Puerto Vallarta, and all of Mexico, to be some of the kindest and warmest human beings I've ever encountered. Not only is the laughter and energy here extremely magnetic, but I find Puerto Vallarta itself to be extremely majestic," he told GAVPV Magazine last September.

Not being able to return to his LA marketing job, he started a luxury concierge service called Leisure in Life that offers a variety of in-home luxury services from highly trained and educated individuals. "Thanks in part to my perfectionistic behavior, I made it the company's mission to provide travelers with low-cost SAFE luxury services, all the while giving back to the local community and economy here." he told GAYPV. "When it comes to going out, you are advised to wear your mask at all times. While Mexico has begun to open up, we advise our clients to take every extra precaution they can, including pre-departure COVID-19 testing to ensure not only their safety but the safety of others."

But, he told GayCities, referring to the circuit parties that were considered superspreader events late last year, "I'm not out here slinging party tickets for circuit parties and all that. It's not right. It's just not what we do."

Parker also addressed the response to COVID-19 in the resort whose economy is nearly completely dependent on tourism. He noted that he was alarmed at first that some of the clubs were still open after the pandemic was declared. "I didn't expect it. But that was changed and shut down shortly after I arrived. Which made a lot more sense. I think they were catching on to everything and figuring it out. And we're talking about a place that is driven on tourism alone."

What surprised him was the level of precaution exhibited by the community. "You wouldn't think that a place with its economy and poverty would have electronic thermometers in every single little bodega and farmacia, and all have masks. They were taking it very seriously. And at that point, it was very early in all this."

He points out that giving back is an important part of the equation for him. "My mission here, and in any business, is to give back to the community it directly benefits from. With each group, we set aside a percentage of revenue, extra food, and donated goods to deliver to those less fortunate in Vallarta. We also only employ locals, most of which were out of a job or about to lose their business, guaranteeing them exclusive contracts to help get them back on their feet and keep their families fed," he told GAYPV.