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Don't Call Him The Next RuPaul


At first glance, it's easy to see why some consider celebrity blogger and YouTube sensation B. Scott (a.k.a. Brandon Scott Sessoms) "the next RuPaul." Both have cheekbones that would make Grace Jones blush, eyelashes that would make Jennifer Lopez jealous, and hair that would make Beyonce blow her wig.

The difference between the two, according to the out Scott: "I don't do drag. I don't have to paint on my high cheek bones. I don't have to put on long eyelashes. I wake up in the morning looking fabulous!"

Although the former model, real estate agent, and interior designer isn't the biggest fan of the comparison -- "To me, it slights RuPaul and all he's accomplished" -- he understands where it comes from.

"[RuPaul is] all most people know" when it comes to gender-nonconforming celebrities, he says.

"People can compare me to whoever they want to compare me to, but I see myself as more of an Ellen-meets-Tyra, with a little bit of Oprah. And maybe a pinch of Conan O'Brien too -- because my humor can be a little weird."

It's hard to argue with that self-assessment after seeing a few episodes of the multifaceted and multiracial diva's latest multimedia endeavor, The B. Scott Show.

Since the show launched last month, a number of engrossing guests have joined Scott, who has a degree in psychology, on the white couch that serves as its centerpiece, including The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kandi Burruss, Nene Leakes, and Kim Zolciak. (An interview with Scott's main muse, Mariah Carey, will air in early November.)

As he does on his popular website, Scott sticks to the positive while chatting with his guests -- though he's hardly a pushover.

"The way I think about it is, you are coming onto my couch and you are going to answer these questions," he says. "I mean, how are my interviews going to be different from anyone else's if you come here and give me the same politically correct answers that you've given to everyone else? I want the truth." Why did you start doing YouTube videos in the first place?
B. Scott: Honestly, I got so excited seeing naked pictures of Shemar Moore that I ran over to my computer and said to myself, I have to make a video! I was so excited. I mean, I had been wondering my whole life what Shemar Moore looked like naked -- and, baby, what I saw answered my question and then some! So I guess you could say all of this came out of seeing Shemar Moore's ding-ding.

What prompted you to take things to the next level, so to speak, with The B. Scott Show?
For starters, there are a lot of people on YouTube who have seen my old videos and who are now mimicking me. Also, I've been in talks with various TV production companies for some time -- we've been going back and forth and back and forth -- and I've just gotten to the point where I'm like, "I have the audience, I have my 'love muffins' [fans], why don't I just go ahead and do it now?"

So you've been considering making the leap to television for a while?
I could have been on TV two years ago -- if I had agreed to be the next Tila Tequila. That was presented to me and I said no, because I have respect for myself. Of course, there was a part of me that wondered, Am I making the right decision? I would have been on TV, after all, and I knew I might not get another opportunity. But I know that if I had said yes it would have ended my career. I don't think anyone would have been able to take me seriously again after something like that.

One thing I like about you is that you're always so positive. Is that just who you are, or is it a calculated way of differentiating yourself from other celebrity commentators and interviewers?

Well, there's so much negativity out there, especially amongst the gays. We're so often put in the position of critiquing other people -- that's what a lot of people expect from our community -- and I want to represent something else. I want to be a breath of fresh air. I also feel like the negativity card isn't one that I have to play. I think a lot of people play that card because they have to -- they don't have anything else to offer, they don't have any other talent than the talent for breaking someone down.

Do you think your positive attitude helps people get over any unease they might normally feel toward someone who is gender non-conforming?
I'm sure a lot of people don't know what to think when they first see me. Some probably think I'm transgender, some probably wonder if I'm gay or straight. Some probably wonder, What race is he? I've always been up-front about who I am and I've always been proud of who I am, though, and I think a lot of people respond to that and respect that. Although most of my fans are females and gay guys, a lot of straight guys like me too. They come up to me all the time and say, "My girlfriend showed me one of your videos. At first I was like ... but you're funny. I like your stuff!"

Has it been a specific goal of yours to change people's perceptions of the gay community, or is that just a positive side effect?
It is a goal of mine to expand people's perceptions of the gay community -- and to expand people's perceptions of what it means to be gender-nonconforming. I think I'm doing that, in part, by being proud of who I am and by carrying myself with respect. I'm not over-the-top when it comes to being sexual, especially -- I don't oversexualize myself. The heterosexual community already tends to think that all gay men want to do is have sex, and I don't want to feed into that stereotype.

I'm guessing you're also trying to expand gay people's perspectives of what it means to be gender-nonconforming?
I know that some gay people think that because I'm flamboyant I'm hurting the [LGBT] community instead of helping it. The way I see it, though, is that I'm out on the battle lines every day. I have to hold my head up high as I walk down the street and someone calls me a faggot. If I can do that and if I can get people to accept and love me as a result of it, imagine the acceptance and love it will bring to everyone else [in the LGBT community].

Do you think you'll be able to stay true to who you are if you transition to TV?

A lot of people have tried to change me already -- people who have told me, "People might be a little more accepting if you do a little less of this or that." No. Uh-uh. My self-expression is responsible for the success I've had until now, so I'm going to remain true to that no matter where all of this takes me.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Bryan Ochalla