Who is Nyle DiMarco?
Nyle DiMarco, born Nyle Thomson, is an American model, actor, and a deaf activist. An alumnus of Gallaudet University, the liberal arts university for the deaf, he graduated with a degree in mathematics before he entered modelling. He was born into a multigenerational deaf family, and has since broken barriers by winning several competitions. He became famous when he participated in America’s Next Top Model and won the season; he soon received a contract under Wilhelmina Models. Later, he went on to win ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and has walked the ramp for Giorgio Armani at the Milan Fashion Week. He uses his popularity to increase awareness on language within the Deaf community. He founded the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and remains a spokesperson for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids. Aside from this, he is a producer, actor, and teacher. He has also appeared in several music videos. He currently enjoys a huge fan following on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. His confidence coupled with his talent has ensured success and made him stand apart from others.
He graduated from Gallaudet University with a degree in mathematics with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, he landed a guest-starring role as Garrett Banducci in ‘Switched at Birth’, a TV series. He also had a leading role in the film ‘In the Can’, which is an American Sign Language Films production. It was only after this that he decided to give acting and modelling a shot. He auditioned for ‘America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22’ when they contacted him in 2015. The network contacted him without realizing that he was deaf, and he went on to win the season after beating Mame Adjei in the finale. He was the only deaf contestant in the show’s history. Subsequently, after this win, he signed with Wilhelmina Models in New York.
In March 2016, it was announced that he would contest in season 22 of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. He was partnered with Peta Murgatroyd, a professional dancer. The duo was crowned the winners of the season in May 2016. Later in the same year, he appeared in the comedy series ‘Difficult People’, premiered on Hulu. He also was a part of the cast in Toc Tein’s music video for ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and Alex Newwell’s ‘Basically Over You (BOY)’. In one of the most important moments in his career, he walked for Giorgio Armani at the Milan Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2017. He went on to be featured in DIVERSEability magazine in its summer issue of 2017. In 2018, he featured in ‘Tequila’, the music video by Dan + Shay.
Many interviewers have questioned if he felt hesitant due to his deafness, and DiMarco has stated that he does not consider this a disability but instead sees it as an opportunity to increase awareness about deaf. His activism was cemented when he started The Nyle DiMarco Foundation, a not for profit organization that aims to provides more access to resources for the deaf. He even spoke against the Republican Donald Trump and supported Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign in 2016. He stated that he didn’t want a president who would marginalize his community. DiMarco is also the spokesperson for LEAD-K (Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids). His popularity also made him the first choice as a creative collaborator on the ASL app, which is an app that teaches American Sign Language.
Recently, he turned into a producer when he decided to produce ‘Children of a Lesser God’, a Broadway production, in New York. In 2018, he appeared in two episodes of the series ‘This Close’. DiMarco has expressed his interest in returning to academics. He wishes to get his master’s degree and return to teaching after his modelling career ends. He ultimately aims to go to a deaf school, work as an administrator, and give back to his community.
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Nyle Dimarco was born on May 8, 1989 in Queens, New York and is of Italian descent. His family has over 25 deaf members, and he is in the fourth generation of being deaf. The family changed its name from Thomson to DiMarco, which is his mother’s maiden name. He has a twin brother, Nico, who is also deaf, and an older brother Neal. They are very close to each other. The family grew up in Frederick, Maryland where DiMarco attended the Maryland School for the Deaf. His native language is American Sign Language. In October 2015, DiMarco came out as ‘sexually fluid’ and chose not to identify himself with any predefined sexuality.
He is extremely fascinated by cryptography as it is the study and practice of communicating through symbols. He loves traveling, and has sailed the entire East Coast of the U.S. and has travelled to over 30 countries. He has also launched a wine line.