Q: You're performing at the Phoenix Pride Festival. Do you feel a strong connection with the gay community?Well we went and sought out this Gay Stanford Law Student (GSLS), and had the opportunity to interview him via g-chat since we are both slowly dying in the basements of our respective libraries.
A: Oh yes, they are so special to me. I appreciate them so much. I've always had fans in the gay community, even before Idol. I used to sing at the gay clubs in D.C., and the boys would come up onstage and give me tips. They still do! There was a gay Stanford law student who started a Save Frenchie Web site and Save Frenchie T-shirts. All the important men in my life have been gay. Even though I'm not gay, I've always been a member of the gay community.
FW: OMG. How did it feel to get a shout-out from Frenchie?
GSLS: OMG. Special.
FW: What inspired you to start the Save Frenchie campaign? Did you feel a connection to Frenchie as a gay? Or was it just that you have no problems with porn?
GSLS: As a SLS, I feel particularly attuned to issues of injustice, especially when those issues involve members of minority classes. As a GSLS, that feeling is especially acute in the case of members of the G community. When it came to Frenchie, I felt that she was being unfairly dismissed from the show under false pretenses. She appeared in a lacy teddy on some website years earlier, and it was not search-able. Someone dug it up. Many of us who were AI and Frenchie devotees that season felt certain she was in reality being persecuted because she was the frontrunner in the competition, and that Fox (aka Nigel) did not want her to be the new face of AI. Since, as she points out herself, she is a member of the G community, I felt I needed to act to save one of my own.
FW: Do you still wear your t-shirt out to the gay bars? Does it work? Are there any left for our interested reader(s)?
GSLS: I wear my shirt, but not usually to gay bars. It doesn't fit as well as it used to, for no apparent reason. I am more concerned with fit than content when it comes to gay bar attire. There may be a few left. I must check with my co-founder. (who, I may add, was sadly not included in Frenchie's shout-out, but was nonetheless an indispensable part of the Save Frenchie Shirt effort).
GSLS: (at some point in this interview I would like to be able to point out that I was a Jennifer Hudson fan from day one and have carried the JHUD mantle right alongside her right up until the moment she mounted the stage at the Kodak).
FW: (Ok, we will get to that).
FW: Did you happen to catch Frenchie in Rent? How did she sound? Did you jump up on stage and give her "tips" after the show?
GSLS: I did not, but I would have loved to. I doubt I would have given her tips if I had.
However, I did catch Frenchie playing none other than Ms. Effie White in San Jose during the West coast tour of Dreamgirls in 2004. I spoke with her afterwards. She was pleased to see me. She wore a beret. She told me to call her.
FW: Speaking of Ms. Effie White, are there any other former or current idols you feel as passionately about?
GSLS: Funny you should ask. During Season 3, I fell in love with Jennifer Hudson, and when she was untimely ripped from the show, it was the first time in a long time that I found myself crying over reality television. Since then, I have carried her torch, sang the JHUD gospel to all who would listen, and awaited her return. The day I heard she had landed the role of Effie in Dreamgirls, I said, Oh my G*d, she's going to win an Oscar. The fact is, whoever gets to play Effie wins an Oscar. Not to mention that Jennifer was incredible and Oprah and I both found God during her performance. Which is only to say that I have an uncanny ability to spot talent, particularly when they're pre-selected by the AI judges for me to spot.
FW: Anything else you would like to let our readers know, about Frenchie or the gays in general?
GSLS: Although I am not in touch with Frenchie anymore, it was heartwarming to see her mention me in her interview with the Arizona Republic, and heartwarming to see Andy Towle pay both her, and, in effect, me, homage by reprinting it on his blog. I wish Frenchie, Arizona, Andy Towle, and the gays in general all the best in the future.
FW: Well thanks so much GSLS, we wish you the best on finals, and in life.
GSLS: For the record, I would also like to say that I am staunchly AGAINST the adoption of Knut by Angelina Jolie. Bye.