Alan Cumming: Interview

We have a lot of kids on the site that struggle with the whole label thing, and there's that whole 'pick a side' pressure, even within the community. Did you encounter that?

That you've got to pick something?

Whether they are not sure about bisexuality, or whether to choose a label in general...

I don't think it's necessarily between gay and straight, I just think I haven't closed myself off and I never close myself off to the possibility of experience and the possibility of attraction. So, even now that I have a husband, who's a man (laughs), I still find lots of people attractive. Some of them are women. I've just never understood ... well, I can understand, but I don't agree with gay men who are completely horrified by a woman, or the idea of sex with a woman, or the idea of a woman's genitals. That's just not been me. In a way, I think it's wrong to close your mind off.

To that degree, did you label yourself as bisexual, or did you just go with whatever happened without defining it?

No, I think I labeled myself bisexual.

Some people avoid labels entirely.

I think bisexual is fine. Then someone said I was pansexual, and I was like 'What the hell does that mean?' That became a whole thing, but I think bisexual is fine. I think we've all had ... even if a gay man suddenly sees a woman and goes 'Isn't she beautiful?' that's sort of like a bisexual moment. Labels are only as binding as we make them. And I just think that we should ... for me, bisexual is a good thing, because it's in the middle. Also, I think we need to stop being so obsessed with what people are. I think if we weren't so obsessed with it, people would be more willing to be more fluid about it. The fact that we've made it this rigid world where you're this or you're that, and if you're this it means you think this way, you wear these clothes, you have this haircut, you dance with this person.

We've had people on the site panic because it's like 'I'm a lesbian, but I'm finding a guy attractive.' And they're so attached to the notion of being lesbian...

Exactly. And you'll piss of your lesbo friends if you go out with a boy. That does happen. Gore Vidal told me that before the word gay came around, you could have any man you wanted. And when the word gay started to be used, everything changed because people didn't want to be labeled with that word. Before, it was just like a dabbling thing. And I think that's a really good point, not that you can have every man you wanted, but the overzealousness and the need to compartmentalize our sexuality can be detrimental.

Do you have any advice for kids who are just coming into their own and trying to sort all of this out?

Just to be yourself. Hold on to what you feel and try not to be boxed in. Being in a group and being amongst people who are like you is a great thing. Solidarity is really important, especially when you're vulnerable. But, at the same time, if you're not feeling that, don't stay in something just because it's comfortable if it's not really comfortable.

We also have a lot of people on the site interested in going into writing or theater.

Again, a similar thing: Be yourself. You are the most interesting thing about yourself. Your life experience, your thoughts, who you are as a person is the most interesting thing about you as a person and as an artist. Don't try and be something that you're not as an artist. Just live your life and imbue your art with your experience. I think that will be much more interesting.

And what is your involvement with "Rick and Steve?"

I'm a regular character in it. I'm Chuck, a 50-something-year-old. I've got HIV, and I'm in a wheelchair.

And you and Wilson Cruz...

He's my twinky boyfriend.

So you two got to work together?

We did sometimes. A few times we were in the studio together, and sometimes we did it down the line to each other from New York and L.A. I love Wilson, he's such a nice boy.

Comments

Orah's picture

Thank you for doing this

Thank you for doing this interview, I love Alan Cumming! What a great role model.

now what's picture

Alan Cumming is definitely a

Alan Cumming is definitely a good role model.
And he's so cute too!