took his own advice -- he left Britney alone. Months after
his delirious YouTube video launched and scored almost 18
million hits (and throngs of parodies), the
platinum-topped 20-year-old from Pentecostal Tennessee
speaks with The Advocate about his reality
show, Britney Spears, damage control, and the antigay
abuse he endures frequently, as detailed in our recent
article "Homophobosphere." In his latest
YouTube video, he discussed The Advocate and bemoaned
Internet homophobia and threats to the safety of video
bloggers. Yep, even that earned him a few scoops of
Has your reaction to antigay hate mail changed
since you launched into the public eye?
Well, you know,
I'm used to the threats online, and I always have
been. That's always been there, the gay
bashing. The gay bashers come out to play on my
comment threads. I never took them seriously because
I've never been threatened that way in person,
but it's just -- it's not OK, because
had I not gained a sense of self a long time ago or known
how to protect myself, then I might be a really scared
person right now. It just kind of concerns me for all
the 14-, 15-, and 16-year-old video bloggers out there
who are gay that might encounter this. I'm not so
scared, but it scares me for people who have to
encounter this who maybe don't have a sense of
self or, you know, know how to protect themselves.
Do you still operate from Tennessee?
I'm only in Tennessee in one week out of the month.
I'm mostly in L.A.
How has life in Tennessee changed for you?
You know what,
it's like -- well, obviously, when I fly back [to
Tennessee] it's like flying back to the future, but I
think, Oh, I'll have time to wind down and
catch up on my sleep. But it's really hard
to just go out at all, because now I'm getting, like,
middle-aged men at the mall making comments. The
harassment is real in real life, but it's never
as extreme as online.
What do those guys say when they spot you at the mall?
usually just sort of comments like "Oh,
there's that fag from online."
What's up with the status of your reality show?
I actually find
out this week about the status of that. We filmed for
three or four months, just doing the pilot. We turned that
in for review.
If the reality show works out, will you relocate to
At first I was
like, I don't want to film at all in Tennessee.
I'm done with that chapter of my life. I
have no unfinished business here. I'm ready
to move on. But now I think I really need to sort of
let people see what small-town gay-boy life is still
like in 2008. So I think I want to do more filming
here if it's picked up.
You used to say the only gay pride in your hometown
was in your own bedroom. Have you found any gay allies
I have friends
here, but when you're gay in a small town,
you're just friends with the other gay people,
but not because you have common interests, it's
more ... you're both gay, you're stuck
here, let's just be friends. But I have some
gay friends here.
By and large, how do gays respond to you?
mostly positive, at least. The people that don't like
me usually don't say anything, so I
wouldn't know. The people I talk to are usually
Since the Britney video that launched you to
stardom, is life better or worse? Easier or more difficult?
it's really taught me a lot about people, really. I
have to say, I hate the fact, first of all, that
that's the video that was launched into the
media, because I did videos before that were about
really important topics. A lot of people want to say my
priorities are in the wrong order, but, you know, I
did videos about AIDS, and I was trying to spread
awareness long before that. So the fact that that's
the only video the media picked up on tells me their
priorities, not mine. As far as my life goes,
I'm making good money now [laughs], so
that's a plus.
How are you making money?
Lots of things.
I'm getting lots of endorsements coming up soon and
events and stuff. I mean, it's annoying that
everywhere I go, I have to hear
"Britney!" but I haven't had to work
since that video came out.
Endorsements and events, eh? Care to elaborate?
A lot of them, I
can't say ... but some commercials, a couple
Do you regret anything you've done?
Yeah. In the
beginning, I sort of played up to that crazy character in
the media that everyone already thought I was. But you know,
it was a situation where everyone only wanted to hear
about Britney, so there wasn't much I could do.
I kind of wish I couldn't play up that character
so much, because now everyone thinks I'm crazy.
Like that Maury show appearance?
[laughs], I thought that was funny. It was for
You call yourself an "edu-tainer." What do
you feel capable of teaching?
of like when you write in your journal. You write about what
you've known. And what I've known and
encountered the most is probably homophobia, so I can
give people a good idea of what that's like. So
hopefully with the reality show I can let people know that
our work as gay people isn't done yet. That
homophobia is still out there.
Do you feel like you're forced to defend yourself
Yeah. I mean
... yeah. It doesn't matter what I'm
doing or saying, I'm just going to seen as an
asshole. And I've accepted that. It's just my
destiny to be seen as an asshole.
You speak with regret about the Britney video.
Should we not expect more videos in that vein?
like this, for instance, I feel like I can't cry
anymore. I feel like if I cry, they'll say
I'm doing it to get attention again. Everything
I do or have done from that moment on, I just have to think
twice about it. I don't know, as far as the content
goes when I post, I try to be as uninhibited as
possible, but it's harder now, you know? I have
to face that.
Do you release videos on a schedule? When is it
"time" for you to release a video?
My inspiration is
really inconsistent. It's not on anybody's
time but my own. Just whenever something is triggered,
an emotion or something. They're all very
Do you have any potential topics you've been
really just day by day, minute to minute, always. And
that's why they work.
In our article "Homophobosphere," you were
profiled along with other YouTube celebs. Have you
befriended any of them?
actually friends with William Sledd now. We just recently
started talking. He's nice. [Antigay comments]
are not really that big a part of our lives. I
don't really think about it much -- but it is a real
problem when you log on and you're bombarded
with this harassment.
Who do you still want to meet?
Um, no one really
does it for me in the Internet realm. But I really love
Courtney Love, and I'd still love to meet her.
She's someone I haven't met. I adore
Allegedly, Britney wasn't too pleased with your
video. Has that tainted your opinion of her?
really hard to listen to Britney's music now after
that. Because it's a really "he said," "she
said" thing. You know, there's no way I can
come to a conclusion whether she said that or not. So,
I mean, it's a sad thing when a person you've
idolized for so long possibly thinks negatively about
Are there any other celebrities in dire need of
defense? Might you come to their YouTube rescue?
I'm done defending people for the most part, except
myself. I'm just going to be defending myself
from now on.
When people want to talk to you -- what do they
most often ask?
want to know if I'm really after Britney and how I
feel about her statement. It's always
Britney-related. They fail to realize I'm much
more interesting than her.
What would you prefer people ask you?
like I feel like I deserve to have my story told yet. I
haven't done anything to really deserve any
So tell us -- this reality show -- what's the setup?
a "docu-soap." It's not what people
think it is; it's not silly or humorous.
It's really like the backstory, it's not like
my YouTube stuff at all. I have the first episode on
DVD. I'm really happy with it.
Is it difficult to date when you're Chris Crocker?
really easy to date. It's easy to get laid, though.
But I'm a better fuck than a boyfriend, I
suppose. I'm too much to handle for these
people. Say I do an event at a club or something, they're
all star-fuckers. Which is OK. I'm fine with
being used for a night.
Does this apply to Tennessee and L.A.?
That's the one great thing about it; because
there's so many star-fuckers out there. Before
it was really hard for a very androgynous person like
myself to get laid, but now it's not. It's
really broken a barrier for me.
Are you expanding your online presence to other websites?
We're building my website and doing stuff on other
websites. And I'm doing a runway show in March!
I'm doing Jared Gold's runway show;
they're also filming for America's Next Top
Model and all this bullshit. But they asked me to
walk, so that's cool. I'm so nervous,
though, because they told me to practice in six-inch heels.
I'm like a fashion anarchist, like I hate
fashion. I hate it -- well, it's just a
Southern part of me.
Aha, I bet that's why you're a Britney fan.
Right, you know?
I understand when she walks out and looks like that.
So you name-dropped The Advocate. Are you a subscriber?
I'm not a
subscriber, but I do read it, definitely when you have
people like Kathy Griffin on the cover. I love her.
Thumbs up for putting her on there, the crotch shot
was great. It was amazing! And I love her
After all the mania, what have you learned about
fame, Chris Crocker?
learned that gay people really want someone to represent
them, and they don't like me, and they feel I
represent a stereotype, which is fine. I learned that
I have to represent myself and myself only. I can't
represent Britney, I can't represent the gay
community. I can only represent myself at the end.