Jane Wiedlin: Go, Jane, Go!

Out on tour again with the Go-Go’s, Jane Wiedlin talks gay groupies, bandmate Belinda Carlisle’s memoir, and activist alter ego Reverend Sister Go-Go.



JANE WEIDLIN THE GOGOS 2 X390 | ADVOCATE.COMIf you could do it all over again, would you do it single?
I don’t know, because I really lived it up in so many other ways. Sometimes I think it would be fun to have the bragging rights — Oh, yeah, I had groupies in every town! — but I don’t really have any regrets.

Were you conscious of lesbian rumors about the band?
Oh, everybody in the public eye deals with rumors like that. But I’ve always been on record as considering myself bisexual, so for me, in my mind, it wasn’t really a rumor. If you’ve had sex with multiple women and multiple men, I’d say that makes you bisexual, right? So those rumors never bothered me.

You definitely put it all out there when you were on The Surreal Life in 2005 and made out with housemate Adrianne Curry.
I think it’s very helpful for people in the public eye to be honest about their sexuality. It helps everybody, especially in this age of bullying, because we know how hard it can be and how alone people can feel. I’m not really a fan of labels, but I determined for myself, Well, how would someone who disapproves of me label me? They would label me as a bisexual, so that’s why I’m fine with it. If people don’t approve of me, it’s their problem. I refuse to be ashamed of who I am, because there’s nothing wrong with me. I own it. I own my life, period. It’s better to own what you are and accept any consequences than it is to hide and live in fear.

When same-sex marriage briefly became legal in California, you became an ordained nondenominational minister and dubbed yourself Reverend Sister Go-Go. How’s that going?
Before Prop H8 happened, I became a minister to marry gay couples — not that I have anything against straight people, but I was inspired by gay marriage — and I’ll still marry gay people whether it’s legal or not. Everyone in the world should have the right to get married, and I’ll be here to help you with that if that’s what you want to do. But so far I’ve only been hired to do one wedding, and it was a guy and a gal.

You moved to San Francisco last year. Have you connected with the gay community there?
Oh, I know everybody now. I’m on Twitter a lot, and sometimes I’ll see these tweets, like, “Holy shit, I just saw @janewiedlin in the Castro!” It’s like, Yeah, duh, I live here. I really love the San Francisco drag scene. I’ve been to multiple Trannyshacks, drag queen pageants, drag king contests, and I also got to be a part of The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes, where legendary San Francisco drag queens play the Golden Girls live on stage. It’s been super-fun.

I hear you’ve also broken into San Francisco’s gay filmmaking scene.
Yes, I did a movie with Billy Clift called I Want to Get Married, which is about a young, shy gay man who desperately wants to get married during that little sliver of time when marriage became legal in California. I also did a movie in San Francisco called Doggie Boogie by gay writer-director Romanus Wolter, and that’s coming out soon too.

Another gay filmmaker, Steve Balderson, cast you in Firecracker and Stuck! with Karen Black.
Yeah, I’m one of Steve’s little stable of actors. We recently finished The Casserole Club, which will be hitting the film festival circuit soon. Wow, every director I’m working with is gay, and I didn’t even pick up on that until you said it. [Laughs] Acting really frightens me, but I’m drawn to things that frighten and challenge me, so I’m happy that I’ve gotten to do more of it lately.

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