living in the age of the cyber-celebrity. People like Perez
Hilton, Jessica Lee Rose, and Markos Zu;niga have
circumvented the standard avenues to stardom in lieu
of the Information Superhighway. Tila Tequila (born
Tila Nguyen) is one of the latest self-made celebrities
poised on the brink of crossing over into mainstream
stardom. She is best known as the "most popular
person on MySpace," having more
"friends" in the online community than
anyone, save its president, the ubiquitous Tom Anderson.
new "reality" TV show, A Shot at Love
With Tila Tequila will premiere October 9 on MTV. In
it 16 straight men and 16 lesbians will live in
Tila's house and compete for her affection, the
twist being that the contestants will not be aware of her
bisexuality until later in the series.
Before her dating
romp hits the nation, Tequila took a break to sit down
and flirt with The Advocate.
So what's your new show all about?
My quest to find
someone I love, male [or] female.
Was the show's bisexual angle your idea?
a part of who I am. They saw I was interesting and wanted to
do something with me, and when they found out I'm
bisexual they were like, "Oh, let's do
A lot of straight women in entertainment, Madonna
for example, have portrayed themselves in erotic scenes
with other women. Some people may think your
bisexuality is more about shock value. How truly
gay are you?
Well, I guess
those are newbies asking that, because I've been
doing this for a long frickin' time. To anyone
who doubts that, I would say: Track back and look at
my history. I am definitely not a newbie.
Have you ever had a long-term relationship with a woman?
had a long-term relationship with anyone! [Laughs]
What's the difference between romance with a man
and a woman?
different, actually. With a guy -- they're very easy
to figure out. [Laughs] And sometimes with
women it's wa-a-ay too frickin'
emotional. I need that balance. Girls can be too
overdramatic, and then with guys it's like,
"Are you really that shallow?"
Your fame has been generated by your own,
grass-roots efforts. Do you encounter any snobbery from
celebrities who gained fame through more
Well, not really.
I see more snobs from new celebs like Perez Hilton.
They're like, "You're not a real
celebrity." People who've come from
backgrounds like me. Which sucks because it's like,
we're all in this together, y'know?
What's been the biggest thrill so far of your new
I sat front row
at Britney's performance at the VMA's. You see
my ass in the front row going, "Uh,
On your Web site and in interviews you often talk
about your difficult childhood and adolescence, whereas
many celebrities like to keep those kind of
details on the down low. Why is it important to
you that people know about your hard-knock life?
it's got me to where it got me today. What's
the point of hiding who I am?
What do your parents think about what you do?
Growing up they
were, of course, very strict -- y'know, wanted me to
be a dentist or a lawyer and I'm like, "Ha ha,
I'm gonna be a prostitute!" [Laughs]
No, but really, after a while they realized, we're
gonna support her or we're gonna lose her,
so...their support of me is awesome.
You spent some time, as a child, living in a
Buddhist community. Is that religion a part of your
belief system? Do you consider yourself a part of
don't. I like Buddhism, I like the Zen aspect of it.
Where I grew up -- that Buddhist community -- was more
like a cult.
A lot of your fame has been based on your good
looks. Have you asked yourself what you want to be doing
when you're too old to be a pinup model?
ironic, because I never wanted to model. That fell into my
lap. I hate modeling. I hate posing for pictures!
So what do you see yourself doing when modeling is
no longer an option?
that are kind of like therapy. Writing songs is like
therapy for me.
Any behind-the-scenes gossip from your show you can
tease us with?
Everyone had to eat a [artificial] penis and balls. It was
like, "Whoever deep-throats that wins a date
with me!" So you see these straight guys eating
a penis. [Laughs]