Jesse Brune: Interview

And I guess I'm judiciously trying to broach the topic...

Ooh, judiciously. I like that. Good for you...

I'm trying to bring up the debate that's in the first couple episodes this season without rehashing the entire thing?

The gay class structure debate?

It just seems like it's something that comes up on Oasis, when I post a YouTube of some guy who's slightly more effeminate, and people will post 'I hate that people like this reinforce these stereotypes,' which is actually why I post it on the site in the first place. I want to rile people's internalized homophobia up.

You're a trouble starter.

Well, I figure I have them when they're young, so if we can shake it out of them now... we'll all be better off later.

God, I don't even know what to say about it anymore. You have to admit that there is a certain stigma in the gay community, like it's almost better if people don't know you're gay? You can be gay, just don't let people know. Which is just bullshit. I just feel like... you look at gay pride parades and any big celebration for gay rights or whatever, and the feeling behind it is that it's 100 percent free expression of self.

When we fall into that whole 'you shouldn't act like that, because it's giving us a bad name, or feeding into a stereotype, or whatever bullshit people are pulling out of their asses all the time,' and that is the technical term, it feeds into discrimination. I feel like... coming out, for me, was not a big deal at all. Even though my family was conservative and Southern Baptist, we had such a strong family structure that anything short of being a mass murderer, I'd be accepted.

So, when I realized I was gay, I just came out and that was that. There's never been a huge debate or controversy in my family about it. But, it seems like in so many other places, coming out is such a huge deal, and people make it a huge deal because it's about being true to themselves, and wanting to share that with the people who matter most to them.

So when you see people just being themselves, and they are more effeminate than what society deems the norm, we chastise them for that, and I think we're missing the point, which is that you're free to be who you are, and I can say that without waving a big glitter, rainbow flag. But that's like the cool thing about being gay. I came out when I was like 15, in Seattle, and the gay community is really great up there.

It's really fun, but it's all about self-expression and not having to edit yourself or hide who you really are. So, when you develop this thing where people are all 'I'm not typically gay,' or 'I'm really into sports, so I'm not typically gay,' it's like, what the fuck is typically gay? Do you sleep with dudes? Then OK, that's typically gay.

It also seems to me where there's this thing where if you're not butch you're feminine, which is like ... really? There's no middle? Nothing between these two?

I know! What's weird is since this has come out, and one of the worst things in the world is having to watch yourself on television. I used to act and when you play a character that's one thing, but when you're just being yourself you're so hypercritical of yourself. Like, from watching this season, I realized some things about myself. One, I touch my face a lot when I talk, which is weird. I'm like, 'Why do I keep touching my face?'

And, what was the other one? Oh yeah, I waddle. (laughs) I have this weird walk and I walk sort of like a duck. It's pretty strange. People made fun of me in junior high for that, and I never knew what the hell they were talking about. So, I saw it and I was like, 'Look at that, I do waddle.' But I've had people come up to me and say, I would never be able to tell that you're gay, and I'm like, really? OK. But I don't consider myself a flaming queen either, and you're right they do try and make it butch or femme? And I find myself right in the middle, depending on the situation or how many martinis have been involved, I can be a little more on either scale.

Steering yourself to either one of those just seems to be missing the point.

It's completely missing the point. Whatever. People are too eager to fit into some category or group, just be you.