What It’s Like for Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
November 18 2011 3:00 AM ET
The first season of Sundance
Channel original gay reality series, Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, was so popular that critics and viewers — including more than
230,000 Facebook fans — hosted viewing in-house parties each week to toast the
New York City-based shenanigans. Now season two is set to premiere today in
back-to-back new episodes at 9 p.m. ET/PT, featuring a whole new cast and a new
location, this time in not-so-liberal Nashville, Tennessee.
Girls Who Like Boys Who
Like Boys, which is produced by World
of Wonder (the folks behind Becoming Chaz and RuPaul’s Drag Race)
looks at the special relationship between gay men and straight women, featuring
several duos who are real-life friends, making it an immensely watchable
reality show where the bonds are authentic rather than made-for-the-camera
moments ala Bachelor and, well,
most other reality shows where strangers are housed together and cameras
intensify false perceptions of connection.
This season of Girls features a hit songwriter, a former child star, a
stand-up comic, a socialite, and a shrink in a city known for its patriotism,
country music, and religious fervor. We chatted with besties Tenisha Jackson
and Jared Allman. Allman grew up a Mormon on a 500-acre farm in East Tennessee,
while Jackson grew up in the heart of Memphis. She’s since authored a series of
books, including a novel of urban romantic intrigue, Immaculate Deception, which was released on November 11. (“That was one of
the best days of my life,” says Jackson. “And that wouldn't have been possible
if it weren't for Jared.”) Allman is an actor whose largest film to date is an
upcoming role in Scenes from a Gay Marriage.
The two have been best
friends since they met, though Jackson admits she gets flack from others in the
African-American community — not because Allman is gay, but because he’s white.
The Advocate: Did you have a friend like Tenisha when you were
growing up in Tennessee?
Jared: I did. Her name was Laura Parker — an amazing friend.
People used to say to us all the time, “You two are going to get out of this
town and do great things.” Well
not sure about me [Laughs], but Laura works for the United Nations and just
left back out for her latest assignment in the Congo. She is so special and
beautiful in every single way. She says she always knew about me being gay but
was kind enough to let me come to terms when I was ready, and I will always
love her for that.
I read that Tenisha’s
college years were spent hanging with celebs and pro-athletes. Tell me your
craziest experience during that time.
Tenisha: Probably one of the craziest experiences during that
time was when me and my girls went to the Superbowl in New Orleans one weekend,
the next weekend we flew to Philadelphia for the All-Star game, then we
vacationed in Hawaii — three weeks in a row — all while in one month during
college and I still managed to maintain a 3.5 GPA.
Jared, your childhood must
have been very different than Tenisha’s. Being gay and Mormon is not easy. What
was that like?
Jared: It was almost life and death for me. I felt very
isolated, alone, and empty. Like anyone who feels those feelings you start
thinking the unthinkable. Being gay and Mormon is one of the worst sins — basically,
I will burn in “spirit prison.” When I finally came to terms with myself, I
came home and told my parents. My dad drove me out into a hayfield on our farm
because he said we couldn’t talk about such things inside the house. I was 22.
He said I was sick, he would send me to Utah to get help. I told him I didn’t
need any help. I was born this way, like Lady Gaga — but I really said it. I
never wanted to be that man that lived a lie, had a family, cheated his whole
life, and hurt all those people along the way. My dad was so stupid, he even
said to me. “Are you going to start wearing dresses now?” I told him he was an
idiot. He has a masters degree! Also all of this will be in the book I am
writing titled, Kinda Good at Everything: Growing up Southern, Mormon, and