Thicke and Juicy

Neo-soul singer-songwriter Robin Thicke explains why he’ll happily ruin dinner to defend his gay friends — even those hip-hop chest-thumpers still in the closet.

BY Brandon Voss

March 19 2010 12:40 PM ET

ROBIN THICKE 2 X390 (PUBLICITY) | ADVOCATE.COM

You’re married to black actress Paula Patton, which would’ve also been illegal in many states not all that long ago. What are your thoughts on gay marriage?
When I was growing up and had my first apartment, my very next-door neighbors were a gay couple named Stan and Wayne. They were two of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life, and they’re still friends of mine to this day. I think of them not being able to get married because of some law — and they’ve been together for 25-plus years — and there’s just nothing right about that. Why can’t they profess their love to the world? Why can’t they have the same legal tax credits and all those other things that everybody else gets to have? There’s a lot about all that that doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s hard to reason with people who get all caught up in their Bibles.

Thanks to her role as lesbian teacher Ms. Rain in Precious — not to mention her next film, Just Wright, with Queen Latifah and Pam Grier — Paula is quickly becoming an icon in the lesbian community. Are you loving it?
Oh, yes, and we’re both so grateful. My wife has been my teacher of open-mindedness since I met her. If I hadn’t met her, I would probably be more of a cocky jerk, but she’s always reminded me of the struggles that other people are going through, which has made me a better person. She’s got an enormous heart.

Your current single, “Sex Therapy,” samples “It’s My Party” by out lesbian Lesley Gore. Are you trying to cultivate more lesbian fans yourself?
She’s a lesbian? Oh, I had no idea! How cool is that? Well, there you go. See, subliminally I’m tapping into my lesbian side. I was born a lesbian, so all that makes sense.

With which openly gay artist would you most like to collaborate?
I love Adam Lambert — he’s great, man, and really exciting. But I don’t really reach out for too many collaborations except with producers, rappers, or soul singers like Faith Evans or Mary J. Blige.

You made an exception, of course, when you collaborated with Leighton Meester on her debut single, “Somebody to Love.” Are you a Gossip Girl fan?
I enjoyed the show once I checked it out, but I actually liked her from the Entourage episodes she was on a few years ago. I thought she was very fiery, sexy, and cool.

Your dad was on the cover of Playgirl in 1987. Would you ever consider a beefcake photo shoot?
Oh, well, I’m going to have to hit the gym a little more before I get back to my beefcake days. I was more cakey when I was younger. Besides, my dad didn’t do the layout; he just did the interview.

Maybe it’s time to one-up him.
Right? No, I’m not ready for all that. A little mystery is a good thing.

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