MONDO EXTRAS

You're no Tammy Lynn Michaels!

by Gustave July 11, 2001
The Tammy Lynn Michaels Interview

And I just say, poor thing! It's so hard to go through stuff in public. I totally have compassion for that. Especially now.

And Melissa isn't just famous, she's a famous lesbian. I mean, before her, there were no other out lesbians who sold records on such a massive scale. She was one of the first. She had to invent that role. And now, you're not just out, you're in this high-profile relationship, although it must be comforting to be in a relationship with someone who has weathered this before.

There's definitely an advantage to that. I've never been with anyone before who was so comfortable with her sexuality, and I didn't realize that until all this started happening and I started thinking that all my previous relationships were with people who'd be like, "Don't tell anybody, I won't go to any parties with you, just tell me about them when you get home and okay, what's our story, why are we such good friends?" It got to a point where I realized I had only been with all these closeted homophobic lesbians.

So it wasn't just that you had to keep your relationships a secret, you had a bunch of very willing accomplices?

Exactly. Not only did I have an agent who was up my ass, trying to get me to acquire a beard and so forth, I'd also have girlfriends who would be like, "You can't tell anybody!" I mean, what am I going to do? Out them? So everybody in my life was encouraging me to lie and it drove me crazy.

It's strange, because I've never had a job where my personal life mattered. And I'm not just talking about gay stuff, either. You have a job where who you date is part of your figurative résumé.

Yeah.

And it's strange that you were working for the "other gay show" and you were presenting GLAAD awards and so forth, and yet you were being actively discouraged from coming out.

Well, Popular was a gay show but when you get right down to it, we were working for the WB.

So these past couple of months have been a huge change for you.

Yeah, the last five months have been crazy. I mean, this was weighing heavily on me for the past two and a half years, I was always worried about it, but now I don't give a shit.

But you know, I had a lot of support from a lot of other people. My mother was great. I came out to her when I was about nineteen and she was like, "You know what? If you think that this is who you are, this is who you are. And if you turn out to be straight or bisexual, I love you anyway. You are always welcome in my home and so is anyone you are with." And most of my friends from childhood were so cool with it. I mean, I lost a couple of friends but most of the important people in my life just accepted it.

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