Nyle DiMarco was born on May 8, 1989 in Queens, New York, and is an American model, actor, Deaf activist and the winner of Cycle 22 of America's Next Top Model.
Background[edit | edit source]
DiMarco was born Nyle Thompson, explaining in 2016 that at some unspecified point, "We changed our last name from Thompson to DiMarco (our mother's maiden name)." DiMarco grew up in Queens, New York where he attended the Maryland School for the Deaf, and went on to graduate from Gallaudet University in 2013, with a degree in mathematics. American Sign Language (ASL) is his native language and he also gets by with lip reading and nonverbal communication. He has a fraternal twin brother, Nico, and an older brother, Neal. His entire family is deaf.
Career[edit | edit source]
In 2013, DiMarco had a leading role in the independent film In the Can, which was told in American Sign Language with English subtitles. In 2014 and 2015, he played the recurring role of Garrett Banducci in Switched at Birth on the Freeform network (then ABC).
DiMarco was doing freelance modeling for about a year before he was contacted by America's Next Top Model producers in 2015. They scouted the then 25-year-old via his Instagram account without realizing he was deaf. He was named the winner of the season after beating out Mamé Adjei in the season finale. He is the only deaf contestant in the show's history, and the second male to ever win.
Shortly after winning the competition, DiMarco signed with Wilhelmina Models in New York City.
On March 8, 2016, DiMarco was announced as one of the celebrities who will compete on season 22 of Dancing with the stars where he was partnered with Peta Murgatroyd. The pair went on the win the season. DiMarco is the first deaf winner and the second deaf contestant of Dancing with the Stars.
Activism[edit | edit source]
DiMarco doesn't consider himself to be "disabled" by his deafness and sees his high profile as an opportunity to create awareness to the hearing world. He views deafness as an advantage in modeling because he is accustomed to conveying messages without speaking. He also feels that deaf roles should be played by deaf actors.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
During an episode of ANTM, DiMarco stated that he has a fraternal twin brother named Nico, who has red hair and that they do not look alike. In Oct, midway through the season of ANTM, DiMarco was asked about his sexuality. He responded that he views himself as sexually "fluid".