David Murray gets ready for a toga party in the first episode of Bravo's… (Bravo )
David Murray isn't skin deep –- even if he at least initially seemed that way on television.
The 29-year-old engineer created a real buzz after confessing to numerous plastic surgeries including a hair transplant and a nose job in the first episode of the new Bravo reality series "Start-ups: Silicon Valley." (The second episode airs Monday night).
But he also packs some serious high-tech punch. Murray has a triple degree from Carnegie Mellon and a master's degree in computer science from Stanford and he started out his career as an associate product manager at Google.
"Some people say, 'Why sign up to be on a reality TV show?' Reality TV is a huge opportunity to change the world. Yes, it's entertainment. Yes, we're here to show something compelling to the world. But it's also a vehicle for us to push causes we believe in," Murray said.
For Murray, one of those causes was to shake up the stereotype of a Silicon Valley engineer. He's thrilled to play the role of gay programmer.
"There are no gay programmers on TV," Murray said.
Murray has cast himself as an ambassador for Silicon Valley's gay community. He plays board games and poker, jogs and line dances with his friends. He also convinced his reluctant partner of seven years, a video programmer, to appear on the show from time to time. The pair met playing volleyball.
"I want to show America that being in a relationship if you are gay is no different than a straight relationship and that gay people are just as deserving of marriage equality as straight people," Murray said.
While on the show, Murray works on a mobile app that matches people with a buddy to help them meet personal goals such as losing weight. It's a deeply personal project for Murray, who says he lost 50 pounds and now wants everyone to feel as good as he does.
Murray has also overcome other challenges that life has thrown his way.
He bought a house in 2006 with no money down and soon found himself underwater. He put all of his savings into the house to keep it, but says he now lives mortgage payment to mortgage payment. "The show says I am one mortgage payment away from losing everything and that's true," Murray said.
He started his company GoalSponsors in his Mountain View, Calif., home and earns some extra money as a freelance programmer on the side.
"You will definitely see tears on the show. You will definitely see struggle and heartbreak," Murray said. "It takes a lot to make me cry. I definitely cried."
Before having plastic surgery, Murray said he created a bucket list. On it: Get cast on a reality TV show.
"Never in a million years did I think I would get on reality TV and never in a million years did I think it would be Bravo," he said. "I feel like I can die happy."
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