Big Gay Following: Pete Wentz
BY Brandon Voss
April 09 2007 12:00 AM ET
If Fall Out Boy is the toast of the emo-rock scene, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz is the butter and the jam. Riding the success of its latest chart-topping CD, Infinity on High, and its lead single, āThis Aināt a Scene, Itās an Arms Race,ā the 27-year-old exhibitionist told us about his gay posse and the one little thing keeping him from sealing the deal with a dude.
The Advocate: Were you aware of your big gay following?
Pete Wentz: Someone told me that one of our songs got played in gay clubs a lot, but I didnāt realize that we had that big of a gay following. I have a lot of gay friends, though. Like my friend Nate, heās pretty rad. I go a lot of events where I have to go on the red carpet, and pretty much the only things I wear are hoodies and jeans, so heās my stylist. I didnāt feel comfortable with a female stylist because I was getting a lot of weird stuff pulled out for me, and heās got this awesome style. Since heās been styling me I donāt end up on as many āworstā lists. [Laughs] But weāre also tight buddies, and I have a couple friends from New York and Chicago that are gay. Itās weird because ā and Iām sure everybody says it all the time ā I donāt really categorize my friends, because itās not like my friends are continually trying to sleep with me, gay or straight.
Gay bloggers seem smitten with you, especially Perez Hilton. Do you read those blogs?
Iāll read āem when Iām in āem. Itās always like a bummer when youāre in āem, but everyone wants to read āem when other people are in āem. I like Perez and everybody over at Pink is the New Blog. Those are the only guys I really know, and theyāre always nice to me.
You made a lot of gay fans happy when you admitted that youād kissed boys because āanything above the waist is fair game.ā
[Laughs] I actually mean it. Thatās just kind of how I am. Iām a little bit of a makeout king. I donāt discriminate too much.
Do make-out opportunities present themselves often?
Not really, because the traits that I find attractive in people are so bizarre. Like, you have to be really pretty, but you also have to have a brain. Those two often donāt go hand in hand.
Whatās the closest youāve ever come to taking the boy-on-boy action to the next level?
I havenāt really ever gotten that close, ācause honestly, Iām not a real big fan of penises. Like my own, whenever I look at it, I just donāt find anything attractive about it. I canāt believe girls are into it. It blows my mind a little bit. So thatās the biggest problem. Iād love to share clothes with a dude and have all those benefits, but I just canāt get past that thing. Itās just weird-lookinā.
Penises aside, any dude crushes?
I donāt have an issue finding guys attractive. I was with my friend last night watching The Prestige and sheās like, āChristian Bale is so hot.ā And Iām like, āYeah, thatās a good-looking dude.ā Thereās nobody specific, but if you just named off dudes I could tell you if I thought they were hot or not.
Iāll spare you. Youāve also said that people who arenāt a fan of yours will sometimes call you an antigay slur. Why is that?
I donāt know. I think itās a real cheap, easy word. In high school it bothered me a lot when it got yelled at me and stuff, but itās completely unoffensive to me now ā it doesnāt hurt. But when I think about my friends who are gay and that it does bother them, thatās when it bums me out. There are so many good words to call people that to resort to sexual preference is kind of boring and stupid. I think part of it is ācause at some point when we were doing this band I was like, āYou know what? Iām going to be the most androgynous person that I can possibly be. Iām going to wear girl pants and makeup.ā I looked to David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and people like that, and I was like, āThatās whatās missing in all the bands that weāre playing with right now! You need this effeminate edge.ā Did Mick Jagger and David Bowie make out? Probably. Who knows? And thatās kind of what I was going for, but people took that to the next level. We have a song called āGay Isnāt a Synonym for the Word āShittyāā [on import versions of Infinity on High], and people take it in a weird way, like no one could ever be pro-gay rights who isnāt gay ā which Iām fine with, because it puts the issue in peoplesā heads and forces them to confront it, like, āCan I be into this guy whoās on the cover of Tiger Beat and who I think is gay?ā But I think sexuality is a lot more ambiguous and more of a blurred line than people make it out to be. People are always like, āItās black or white,ā but I donāt really feel like it is. I feel like people come across all parts of that spectrum. I think there are a lot of people who arenāt necessarily gay or straight or even bi; itās just whatever moment or mood youāre in, you find different things attractive or cool.
Which insults would you prefer to be called?
Iām pretty short, so call me āgremlinā or a hobbit, I donāt know. There are just so many different things you can say about me that are way funnier and that would actually bother me, because I canāt really do anything about being short. And Iāve got a big mouth ā not just in the press, I literally have a big mouth.
Can you fit your whole fist in there?
I probably could. I kind of have big hands too, though. The main problem with it is that I have a big mouth but I have a lot of teeth. I have a weirdly proportioned body.
As popular as your band is, especially with young females, would you come out if you were gay?
This is hard to say because I donāt know what it would be like to have grown up gay and how it wouldāve changed my character if Iād been hiding it for all these years, but as of who I am right now, I think I would come out for sure. Because Iām pretty much a loudmouth person. Like, dude, Iām on the cover of Rolling Stone with my shirt off, not because I look great with a shirt off but because I know that itās going to piss people off. It continues to divide people and set off the lovers and the detractors. And if I was truly gay, coming out of the closet would do the same thing, probably. And, like most of the things I do, hopefully it would empower younger people who are in similar situations. We get a lot of e-mails from people who are like, āOh, my God, after you said this onstage I felt comfortable coming out of the closet.ā I donāt necessarily think thatās our end goal in general, but if we reach people in that way, thatās cool.
For the record, my people donāt mind when you take off your shirt.
[Laughs] Right on, right on.
Some questioned your sexuality when those nude pictures that you took of yourself in front of a Morrissey poster leaked onto the Internet.
[Laughs] Yeah, everyone was like, āThereās no way heās straight!ā
Didnāt you know those pics would surface? Has Paris Hilton taught us nothing?
The weird thing is that it was taken a year before it was released, so my band and who I was was a very different situation. If it got out when it was taken, it wouldāve been this little thing because nobody knew or cared who we were. I actually just got an e-mail from Morrissey for the first time today. He didnāt mention that at all, but the e-mail is fuckinā glorious, dude. Itās Morrissey, man!
Do you still wear those Fruit of the Loom underwear? Because youāre too rich and cute to be rocking FTLs.
[Laughs] No, and thatās what Iām telling everybody all the time! Honestly, if I took these pictures now, Iād probably take better, more flattering pictures, but you know, whatever.
Do you manscape?
I do! And I hadnāt in those pictures at all. And I totally wouldāve... I dunno, itās out of control.
Many of your peers, some with whom youāve been seen partying, are winding up in rehab. Should we be concerned about you, Pete?
My partyingās a lot more low-key than that. Mostly Iāll bring my friends out and weāll laugh about everything. And then the other aspect is that I only get photographed when I go in and out of clubs, and only if Iām with a girl or something. For the most part, I hang out in my backyard with my dog, but thereās no paparazzi trying to check that out. Or me going to Barnes & Noble. So I donāt think anyone has too much to worry about. The warning signs havenāt gone up yet.
OK, but whoād you rather be in rehab with: Lindsay or Britney?
Well, I donāt know Britney, so Iād have to say Lindsay because we could hang out and talk because we know each other. But I hope to not be in rehab with any of them because I hope none of us have to be in rehab.
Iām not a beautiful young starlet, so how can a regular gay guy like me break into your posse?
Yo, gay guys have the easiest time breaking into my posse! For example, we go out the other night to Les Deux [CafĆ© in Hollywood] and weāre sitting there stuck behind a car because the people are taking forever to get into their car. Iām freaking out because I just want to leave, so Nate leans out the window and heās like, āMove your car! Youāre fucking tacky!ā And coming out of that dude it sounded amazing, perfect, witty, and they got in the car and left, but if I had leaned out the window and said that I wouldāve gotten punched in the face. I love characters and people with style who are fun to hang out with. Like my [gay] friend Carlos. He rages all the time and heās always saying funny stuff. The other night I was like, āYeah, I hate it how places here close at 2 a.m.ā And heās like, āNo, itās perfect, everybody gets boring at 1:45.ā Saying shit like that is awesome.
If you were a paparazzo, who would you stalk?
Iād probably stalk somebodyās pet. Finding out what people do with their animals is a lot more fun than what they do with themselves. Or, actually, I really want to meet Michael Jackson so badly. Iām Michael Jacksonāobsessed. All I watch is Moonwalker ā itās my favorite movie of all time.
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