DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s first First Gentleman, Marlon Reis, admits being in the spotlight has been an adjustment.
“I’m shy by nature. I’m a bit of an introvert,” Reis told CBS4 in his first sit down interview since the election.
He recalled when Jared Polis told him he wanted to run for Governor.
“I was a nervous wreck.”
Polis, on the other hand, he says, oozed confidence.
“What is that line? There’s no try, there’s only do. A Yoda line from Star Wars, that’s his attitude.”
While not married, the couple has been together 16 years. They have a dog named Gia and two children — 6-year-old CJ and 4-year-old Cora — who Reis says can bring levity to even an inauguration ceremony.
“We sat down, and she said ‘I have to go potty,’ and I said ‘Oh boy Cora, how many times did I ask you in last hour if you needed to go and you said no?’ But you can actually get a kick out of process and how surreal it is.”
While a reluctant participant, Reis has now embraced his new role and has made animal welfare his cause.
“I grew up with five cats even though I have an allergy to cats, but love them same and for me this was a no-brainer. Too often animals don’t have someone speaking on their behalf.”
The LGBTQ community also has a friend in the First Gentleman. Reis says the significance of the election hit him at Pridefest.
“I remember people coming up during the parade, and they were emotional and saying how much this meant to them.”
But he says, he and Polis aren’t your stereotypical gay couple.
“People assume that we dress well, or we are good dancers or that we have designer clothes. This is so not true.”
He may not be a hipster, but Reis is a trailblazer. Now, he says, if only he could get more time with the governor.
“I think I need to go through your scheduler. Can I have a half hour with the governor?”
Despite their busy schedules, Reis says he and Polis have kept up a tradition of winding down each night with a video game. They’ve played the same game — Age of Mythology — for 16 years, on the same team.