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Just booted from America's Next Top Model on UPN, sexy tomboy Kim Stolz talks about Bre's freak-out, Miss J.'s hypocrisy, and whether Cover Girl is ready for a Sapphic spokesmodel

Kim Stolz's sexy androgyny might not be the kind of look that fans of UPN's America's Next Top Model would expect to go far on the fiercely competitive reality show, but the brainy beauty managed to make it all the way to the top five. While her elimination might seem questionable to some--why she got cut before the irritating Jayla is a riddle for the ages--Stolz established herself early as one of the show's most engaging personalities, especially after memorably crowing, "One down, 11 to go" (after kissing fellow competitor Sarah) and winning one of the show's best prizes--a guest shot on Veronica Mars.

In an exclusive interview with, Stolz talks about what really went down with Sarah, and dishes a little dirt about bratty Bre and the infamous "granola bar incident."

I always like to ask reality folks--do you think the show's editing was fair to you and to what you experienced? I think that for the most part the editing was fair. The only part that was a little bit exaggerated were the parts that involved Sarah and me. That was exaggerated to a pretty ridiculous point. With Sarah, there were conversations that we had that were left out that made the whole experience with her obviously much less serious than it was portrayed.

Are you still with the same girlfriend you had when you started the show?Yes.

And did you have to explain to her what wasn't being shown? Yeah, we had a few of those conversations. [Laughs] In the episode, it was clear that I was interested in my girlfriend, and my girlfriend only. There might have been some instances where someone questioned it--not my interest in my girlfriend, but questioned what was going on with Sarah--but in the end I think it was very clear that there was nothing meaningful going on between Sarah and me and that my heart belongs to my girlfriend. And my girlfriend understood--I was on a reality show, which is sort of an out-of-life experience and very out of the ordinary. We worked through it, and obviously it wasn't her favorite thing to watch [laughs] but she knows that I love her and that I'm not interested in anyone else romantically.

I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist on this one, so talk me down if I'm wrong. I felt that no matter how well you did on the show, they were going to have to cut you at some point because Cover Girl isn't ready for an out lesbian spokesmodel. I have the same conspiracy theory as you, and I certainly am not in a position to say, "Oh yeah, I know, Cover Girl's not ready for me, so forget them!" I think the person who wins deserves it more than I do; I think a lot of people took better pictures than I did. At the same time, had I been completely successful with every picture that I took and perfect in every challenge, I'm still not sure that Cover Girl, being the reflector of a relatively conservative U.S. society, was ready for someone who thinks that gender is a socially constructed term or someone who's really out and open with her sexuality. I'm not sure that Cover Girl would have been so keen on that.

Do you think that maybe by not winning, you dodged a bullet? Because judging from those "My Life as a Cover Girl" spots, it doesn't seem like last year's winner, Naima, is keeping all that busy.I think that, of course, winning the competition would have been a huge opportunity for me and opened a lot of doors, but at the same time, I think a lot of doors are open just from being on the show itself. I think that "My Life as a Cover Girl" maybe doesn't necessarily fit the Kim Stolz image. [Laughs] I'm not sure I could be a Cover Girl for my life. I think maybe there will be a lot of other opportunities that might arise that wouldn't have, had I won.

I thought it was very cool that you guys got to meet butch icon Jenny Shimizu, because she's definitely a pioneer when it comes to challenging traditional concepts of gender and beauty. Was there more from that visit that we didn't see as far as direct advice or anything else you took out of that meeting?I definitely think I might have talked more extensively with her about her gender expression, especially on the runway, because obviously that was a huge challenge for me. But for the most part, she did exactly what the show portrayed--she came in and talked about her life as an out model, and about how being a tomboy really played to her advantage and her individualistic talents. I think that those really came out there, and that's really exciting.

In your last episode, Bre--with whom you'd had a pretty amicable relationship, apart from that whole limo throw-down--went a little batty. Was that something that caught you by surprise, or had they just edited her to look nicer in previous episodes?It caught me by surprise, for sure. After the limo thing, things were pretty sour. But before the limo, Bre was one of my best friends--she was one of my first friends on the show. We really enjoyed each other's company, we made each other laugh--and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, in the limo, she burst out with all these insults to my character. And that came as a surprise to me, because not only was I very clearly scapegoated--I mean, everyone talked about everyone, and when Bre said, "I love Jayla, because she never talks about anyone else," clearly [Bre] had no idea what was going on.

Just look at Jayla in the earlier weeks, talking about Bre's friend Nik in a really harsh and negative way. We all talked about people. And I was insulted because, with all of my talking behind girls' backs, I never talked about my friends negatively. I never talked about Bre or Kyle or Sarah or Coryn, none of those girls. So to be told that my character is ugly, and that "God don't like ugly," and whatever. [Laughs] God don't like gay, either, Bre, if that's what you're trying to tell me, so obviously I'm pretty screwed when I get to my final day of judgment.

And then Bre started stealing things from Nicole, and I just looked at her as a sort of lunatic, and I became relatively fearful of her actions, especially after she tackled me. That was scarier than it looked.

Yeah, that whole wrestling thing, I couldn't tell if it was friendly or not or... I just sort of laughed it off, because I was really uncomfortable and kind of scared of her. And I'm not one to be scared easily. I mean, the girl got kicked out of college for fistfighting and she wasn't the kind of person I wanted to mess with, especially since we both live in New York. So she tackled me and threw me on the ground and said, [hissing] "Just go back to your room!" And she called me "Inspector Gadget," I believe, at one point? So I'm thinking, Jesus, who is this? I thought I knew her. But apparently not. Sometimes people surprise you, and not for the better. And I guess that's just what happened.

Now who ate the granola bar? Because that's what we're all dying to know.This is definitely something I would like to know. I wish I'd eaten the granola bar, I really do, because that would be so hilarious! I didn't, unfortunately, and I don't think that any of the other girls did either. I know that sounds crazy, but I don't think anyone wanted to mess with Bre at that point. She had scared us all enough that I don't think anyone really wanted to eat her granola bars. Also, I hate granola. [Alonso laughs] Maybe one of Bre's other personalities ate it.

Did you ever get the impression, being in this bubble where it was female-only most of the time, that the other girls in the house started seeking your approval as a sort of surrogate man, or at least someone who could provide a masculine gaze?I didn't feel it that much. I definitely felt at times that people were treating me like the boyfriend of the house. People were looking at me as the masculine one who they could sort of flirt with innocently, and I wouldn't be freaked out by it. It was clear that I played some sort of boyish role in the house.

While the show was running, did you go to Web sites like Television Without Pity to see what people were saying about you? Yeah, I went to Television Without Pity; I went to a few sites to check out the reactions. You know, they could be hurtful at times, but if you go on a show like that, you have to be able to take things with a grain of salt and to realize that the guy writing from Oklahoma about how he thinks you have a chubby face--when the show hasn't even started yet and all he's seen is the introductory picture--if you're going to get broken down over that, then you shouldn't even walk outside.

Most people I know who are fans of the show love Miss J. Alexander and can't stand Mr. J. Manuel. How did you respond to them?Before I went on the show, I liked Miss J. a bit and Mr. J. annoyed me at times. But when I got there, I had some really good times with Mr. J. and I grew to like him a lot as a person. When he's off-camera and talking to you, he can be an excellent role model and a really funny guy, very down-to-earth. I really enjoyed my time with Mr. J. As far as Miss J., I like him, but he was the first and the harshest to criticize my gender-identity expression. And that really confused me. Because of all people, I think he should be the one to understand. I thought perhaps he felt like, "It's so easy for me to be feminine, why can't she be?" I guess I could see where he was coming from, but that was really offensive to me, that he would constantly harp on my gender. After a while, it was like, enough is enough. At one point, you're telling me to be myself, then you're telling me to be someone else. If I did that to you, Miss J., you'd have a hard time with that.

So what's next for you?Well, I was working at a law firm for a while, but I quit that because I really do want to try modeling and acting. My appearance on Veronica Mars was really exciting for me, and it showed me that acting could be an interesting and exciting field for me to compete in. I'll go to some acting agencies and see what I can do there, and go to some modeling agencies--who knows, maybe both of them will work out. We'll see. At some point in my life, I'll probably get back to my academic side. I majored in international politics and I wrote my thesis on foreign policy; I want to get back to that at some point, but right now I want to try modeling and acting.

Are you ready to become a queer icon?Yeah! I hope I made the queer community proud. I've gotten some letters saying that I've made some people proud, which makes me very happy. Anything that I can do for the queer community, I will.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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