Bringing Down the House
BY Scott McPherson
September 20 2010 7:45 PM ET
Did you have a lot of fans come up to you at the bar?
Yeah, they announced over the loudspeaker that “Ragan and Matt from Big Brother 12 are here” and a number of people came up and they were awesome. The response I’ve had in West Hollywood has been very kind and generous, and quite frankly very humbling.
Speaking of Matt, I read in another interview that you plan on attending his Halloween party in Chicago next month. Are you two going to dress up as Rachel again? You both looked great in red hair extensions (pictured at right).
[Laughs] I think that we’ll be different segments of the human centipede. I think that’s what our costume is going to be. Then it will be perfect because we’ll get to be mouth to butt — our goal all season long.
Wow! That sounds ... good. [Laughs] I wish I had a segue for that, but I’m having a hard time coming up with one. So, jumping to the next question. You’ve officially established “gaylebrity” status,while being a communications professor at Cal State Long Beach, and you begin teaching classes this week. Do you think competing on this show will affect your curriculum? Any chance of Big Brother 101?
I don’t know that it will necessarily affect my curriculum. In every class that I teach I’ve always included a section on gay and lesbian history and queer theory. That’s been something that I’ve done ever since I started teaching. If anything, I think it will be strange for my students. I think this generation of current undergraduates have a different experience than my own, just with how open-minded they are. There are still people who can't deal with the fact that their professor is gay, but when they see them on TV talking about being gay or other people talking about them being gay, suddenly it becomes a different kind of issue. And even some of the response that I’ve heard is people saying that I talk about having sex all the time. That is very surprising to me. I haven’t had sex since February. So it’s interesting to me how someone who is gay can talk about not having sex and that can become very sexualized. But hearing straight people talk about sex all the time, in graphic detail, is never this big issue. So I think it will be interesting to see how these dynamics play out at school.
I’m curious, and I know many other viewers are too — what does that tattoo on your forearm say?
It says in French, “Sometimes a dream is what makes you a slave.”
You have a podcast called Fox and the City that I’m sure you’re excited to get back to. You talked a lot about pop culture and would even joke about celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. How did you react to everything that went on with them this summer while you were locked in the house?
[Laughs] She was arrested, right?
You have missed out! Yes, she went to jail and rehab and recently tested positive for drugs in a random drug test.
And I heard Hilton was caught with cocaine and she claimed it was gum? These are the moments that make my life worth living. I have a pile of poo I have to dig myself out from under before I can sit down and do a new show, so we’ll see what happens. I imagine, because people are probably curious about the Big Brother experience, I probably won’t go back to the regular format immediately. The first couple episodes I might have people from my season, and you can expect to hear from Matt. When I get my bearings I’ll go back to doing the regular show.
Earlier you seemed very caught up on your Big Brother knowledge. So lastly, because you’re a professor I wanted to end this interview with a Big Brother Gay History Pop Quiz. You are the 11th openly gay houseguest. Which two seasons did not have a gay or lesbian houseguest?
I’m gonna say 2 and 4.
Close! The answer is 1 and 4. Two had Bunky Miller.
Bunky! That’s right! The guy with the hair on his back.
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