Metro Weekly

The Year in Quotes 2018: Highlights from Metro Weekly’s Interviews

Highlights from features and cover stories appearing in the pages of Metro Weekly throughout 2018

“Live music, period, is in danger. I’m such a fighter by spirit that once I sense that, I’m out for blood. I’m going to carry that damn banner as long as it takes, until they bury me in my piano.” –American Pops Orchestra Founder and Musical Director Luke Frazier (“Frazier’s Edge,” 1/04)

“Leather is a fetish, but there’s also a fashion side to it. It’s very expensive. And let me tell you, you have to stay a certain size once you get a piece of leather clothing made, because if not, there it goes.” –Centaur Patrick Grady (“The Secrets of MAL,” 1/11)

“We are seeing threats to democracy, the ascension of a racist white supremacist and religiously conservative point of view, and the use of institutions in the government to allow for religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.” –NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey (“Agent of Change,” 1/25)

“Anybody can stand there and say ‘Yeah, I love the LGBT community,’ but if your actions don’t actually support your words, then your words are just words. It does not make you a friend.” —Monique George (“Faces of Change,” 2/1)

“I tell people, ‘I’m Republican.’ I have no shame about that. And there’s this giant gasp. It’s like you’re a traitor to the gays.” —Sasha Baranov (“Faces of Change,” 2/1)

“In show business we can lose jobs for not playing along. Not just sexually, but laughing at a joke that a superior makes…. I hope what the #MeToo movement does after it clears out all the predators, is that it makes show business — and all of society — treat each other with respect, no matter what position you’re in. Then it can then really become about what the work is and not about power playing.” –Actor Michael Urie (“Boys in the Bard,” 2/8)

“I felt really strongly while I was making the film, and even more strongly about now that the film that’s out in the world, that there is no such thing as a perfect victim unless that victim happens to be black.” –Director Yance Ford (“Searching for Justice,” 2/15)

“My mother kept going ‘What’s wrong?’ And then she got my father on the phone. So finally, I said, ‘Well, mom and dad, I’m gay.’ And my dad said, ‘Well, I knew that, but what’s wrong?’ I was blown away.” –Atlas Executive Director Douglas Yeuell (“Guiding the Arts,” 2/22)

“Human connection, beauty, struggle, challenge…. If we, as a society, start to abandon that, that feels like such a tragic loss. It feels like a larger kind of cultural shift in our society that makes me question our humanity.” –Dance Place Artistic Director Christopher K. Morgan (“Perpetual Movement,” 3/1)

“All caps, please: WHO IN THE HELL NEEDS AN ASSAULT RIFLE? What private citizen in this country needs an assault rifle? No one.” –Country singer Suzy Bogguss (“Pure Country,” 3/1)

“They have perpetuated the idea that journalists — well-respected, Peabody, Pulitzer, award-winning journalists — are writing fake news. And that is an untenable situation. Never before in history of our great republic has there ever been such an attack on a free press.” –Icon Lynda Carter (“Wonderful Woman,” 3/15)

“When there is confusion and oppression, it affects all human beings regardless of nationality. It’s a human issue, it’s a global problem. It really extends past borders.” –Singer kd lang (“The Voice,” 3/22)

“We had a presidential candidate who claimed he was for the LGBTQ community, and then he started wanting to take away those rights, and give religious freedom. You already had religious freedom. Nobody’s stopping you from being religious.” –Actor John Barrowman (“Super Geek,” 3/29)

“There were other gay kids in my town, but there weren’t any other mediums, so when it came to being ridiculed, I was a target.” –Medium Tyler Henry (“Medium at Large,” 4/12)

“I think sometimes there is still the underestimating of gifted people of color and of members of the LGBTQIA community. I think there can still be a sense that we are somehow less than.” –Director Kent Gash (“Friends of Dorothy,” 4/19)

“You don’t understand the effect a song like ‘At Seventeen’ has on people until decades later. It’s astonishing to get an email from a 12-year-old who has no friends and says, ‘I couldn’t believe that somebody understands.’ It’s humbling. It’s a joy to sing that song. People say, ‘Aren’t you tired of it?’ And I go, ‘Fuck, no.’ I mean, what a privilege.” –Singer Janis Ian (“Folk Wisdom,” 4/26)

“When I hear about transgender people serving in the military, it feels like these are civil rights that we won. When I say we, I mean we as a human race. Then we’ve seen, in the past couple of months, that it can be rolled back. So I get to places where I start to feel like, ‘Oh God, is everything in jeopardy?'” –Actor Samira Wiley (“Samira’s Tale,” 5/3)

“Everybody has got to find a way to settle back in and still be able to be flirtatious in the right settings, because that’s the nature of life. That’s different from grabbing or groping somebody or, god forbid, raping them.” –Icon Sandra Bernhard (5/10)

“I remember seeing The Real World. Pedro [Zamora] was the gay representation, and he died. That was what it felt like to be gay in 1991 in Nebraska. If you were gay, you were going to die of AIDS.” –Playwright Todd Almond (“Sweet Romance,” 5/17)

“When I didn’t get chosen to go on in [the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 finale], yes, I was devastated in the moment. You can see it on my face. But I’m gonna remain a queen even without a crown, because that’s what I was when I came in the door.” –Drag Queen Shangela (“All Star,” 5/24)

“I don’t go around people that’s against folks because of their color or their sexual preference. The people I run with, we’re all-inclusive. I won’t waste my life being around people who aren’t like that.” –Singer Paul Thorn (“Gospel Joy,” 5/24)

“Even though we have federal gay marriage, we’re still fighting for the right to be treated equally. Now the issue is that we can get married, but do they have to make us a wedding cake? We’re always fighting that fight on some level.” –Actor Maulik Pancholy (“Romancing the Stage,” 5/31)

“People ask me how come I know gay sex so well. Well, it doesn’t take anything to figure it out, for God’s sakes.” —Call Me By Your Name author André Aciman, who is straight (“Novel Ideas,” 5/31)

“I was a queer kid and fighting for my own identity in the middle of AIDS. Every connection was charged. Every one night stand had weird poetry in it, of life and death.” –Actor/Director John Cameron Mitchell (5/31)

“When people accuse the show of being homonormative, I think that a lot of those people need to, lovingly, dislodge the stick in their ass, because there are bigger problems facing our community.” —Queer Eye personality Jonathan Van Ness (6/7)

“For years, we were fighting for corporations just to show up…to support their LGBT employees.” –Capital Pride Alliance Executive Director Ryan Bos (“An Elemental Pride,” 6/7)

“Activism showed up at my doorstep. I did not go looking for it. I just wanted to be a big ol’ famous rock star. In just making my choice to come out and be truthful, I became an activist.” –Rock star Melissa Etheridge (“Pot, Pops, and Politics,” 6/21)

“Traditionally, people have thought of nightclubs as being the problem of a neighborhood, a thing that brings a lot of negativity. But I don’t think people think of us that way. I do think it’s gonna be a different neighborhood without our energy here.” –Town Danceboutique co-owner Ed Bailey (“Our Town,” 6/28)

“I have been at Town since the beginning, and it has been more than just a job for me. The people I have worked with and met through my time there have become some of my best friends. I am sad to see it go — it’s probably the only way they could ever get rid of me.” —Kevin Rowe (“Town Forum,” 6/28)

“I’ve always been really careful about talking about my private life because I don’t like reading somebody else’s interpretation about my life from a phone interview where we don’t know each other. I’m not hiding anything. I’m just not announcing anything.” –Country singer Shelby Lynne (“Keeping It Semi-Private,” 7/19)

“At least in our time, in the ’40s, families were intact. I was five years old when we were taken away. The thought of being separated from my parents never occurred. We were all together as a family. And now, not only is that irrationality and cruelty being repeated, but it’s reaching a new low with children being torn away from their parents…. This is a new low, a new depth that we’ve gone to because of this fake president.” –Icon George Takei (“Timeless Takei,” 7/26)

“Conversion therapy is not only not able to actually change someone, it’s statistically proven that it ups the rates of suicide. It takes people and turns them into self-abusing people, and I think that speaks for itself.” –Actor Chloë Grace Moretz (“The Education of Chloë Grace Moretz,” 8/9)

“I feel fearful for our democracy, I feel fearful for our country. But I try very, very hard to navigate this world with an open heart and believe that mutual respect and the ability to talk to one another is paramount. I’m not willing to turn away from that creed.” –Singer Mary Chapin Carpenter (“Almost Home,” 8/9)

“You can be HIV-positive and serve in law enforcement, the foreign services, healthcare, food service. So if we’re saying discrimination is not allowed in any of those places, why are we allowing discrimination to continue in the military?” —Sgt. Nick Harrison (“Let Them Serve,” 8/16)

“The point of a bar is to meet friends and have a good time. You don’t have to go to a bar to get drunk. For me, people that go to a bar to get drunk have a problem. Go to a bar and have fun. There’s no reason for you to take that one extra drink. That $5 is not worth it to me as a bar owner. I’d rather lose $3 on a bottle of water than gain $5 by getting somebody drunk.” –Pitchers owner Dave Perruzza (“Dave Perruzza’s Home Run,” 8/23)

“I want to make sure we’re labeling ALOHO as a lesbian and queer bar. That’s why the first line on the sign at the staircase says, ‘This is a space for people who have not found their space anywhere else.'” — A League of Her Own Manager Jo McDaniel (“A New League,” 8/23)

“I think it’s really limiting to say, ‘You can only play who you are. That goes against what it means to be a creative artist. But one way that would help is to have directors and producers make a real effort to…have [more transgender actors audition], because you have to find the best person. And if the best person doesn’t happen to be transgender, that’s the nature of the business.” –Actor Glenn Close (“Wifely Devotion,” 8/23)

“It took us two years to get pregnant. We had an egg donor. We had a separate surrogate. I jacked off in a cup and they put it in a test tube with an egg and shook it around. It’s the romance of creation.” –Actor Claybourne Elder (“The Passions of Claybourne Elder,” 8/30)

“[Coming out to my mother] was similar to working up the nerve to say, ‘Hey I don’t want to be a doctor, I want to be an architect instead.’ I was more fearful of disappointing her that she wasn’t going to have a doctor son, than she wasn’t going to have a straight son.” —Trading Spaces’ Vern Yip (“Designing Life,” 9/20)

“I remember seeing an election night exit poll that said public trust in government was in the low double digits. That is a part of the reason why Trump won — if you don’t trust government, then what does it matter who’s leading it?” –Former Obama LGBTQ liaison Gautam Raghavan (“The West Winger,” 9/27)

“As a person who has friends who are straight or not a minority, it is difficult when I want to talk about things I face on a daily basis. Because of the privilege they’ve been allotted in their life, they don’t really understand where I’m coming from.” –Performer Todrick Hall (“In Todrick We Trust,” 10/4)

“You have to think in the worst possible scenario when people have a racist, misogynistic, anti-gay everything mindset. You just want to stop them now. There just comes a time when the human’s mindset has to change — it has to grow and change and do better for other people.” –Actor Lily Tomlin (“Life According to Lily,” 10/11)

“[Oscar Wilde] realized that he was going to be the martyr for the gay movement. He said at one point, ‘The road is going to be long and smeared with the blood of martyrs.’ It has been, and it still will be, but it’s remarkable how far we’ve come.” –Actor Rupert Everett (“Born to be Wilde,” 10/18)

“I used to be a big NFL fan, but I stopped watching after the whole Colin Kaepernick thing…. I’m with Colin, and when I see how a league can just try to silence somebody who is trying to speak out against police brutality, and they just silence this brother, and take away his job and all, then I can’t support that league.” –Icon Wanda Sykes (“Outspoken,” 10/25)

“He raped me, and then told me that he raped a 14-year old boy in his congregation. In doing so, he seemed to confirm the very bigoted stuff that I’d always heard growing up: all gay men are pedophiles or perverts.” —Boy Erased author Garrard Conley (“Unerasable,” 11/8)

“So many people that I meet say, ‘You’re the first trans person I’ve ever met.’ I’m also like, but am I? Maybe not. Who knows? Being upfront and vocal and very out is very important to me.” –Republic Restoratives Managing Partner Whit Kathner (“Social Spirits,” 11/15)

“HIV has always been perceived as a ‘death sentence.’ People don’t understand that the new treatments are less toxic, that they help to prolong life, and there are individuals living with HIV that are living longer than individuals without HIV.” –Us Helping Us Executive Director DeMarc Hickson (“The Politics of Prevention,” 11/29)

“People ask, ‘Do we need gay theater anymore? Do we need Jewish theater anymore?’ I think that’s like asking, ‘Why do we need stories?'” –Director Eric Rosen (“Rosen’s Turn,” 12/6)

“We have a traitor in the White House and it’s alarming. Even if I didn’t have children, I would be worried about what we’re leaving to the next generation.” –Country singer Chely Wright (“Chely Wright’s Second Act,” 12/13)

Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at rshulman@metroweekly.com.

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