I've been craving for my dose of the disappearing diva Janet Jackson. While Madonna and Mariah Carey are in overdrive promoting their new albums, Janet has been almost invisible. So imagine my excitement when I came across an amazing interview given to Marc Malkin of E! Online.
Janet discusses her upcoming tour that kicks off on September 11, marriage, the gay community, HIV/AIDS, drag queens, and the gay rumors that refuse to go away. Read the entire article here.
Check out these highlights:
Who have been some of your favorite Janet Jackson drag queens?
It's awful because I can't remember their names, but one of them was at the Baton [Show Lounge] in Chicago. This was a few years ago. And she did a wonderful job. And another was not that long ago recently in Atlanta at the Jungle. She did a wonderful job as well.
Why do you think they do a good Janet? What's a good Janet drag queen?
They really study you. They truly study you. But you know, they pour it on more, which I absolutely love. They give more than I do and I love that. The first time I went to the Baton in Chicago and saw this show, I was with some of my [female] dancers. Afterward, I said to my dancers, "We've gotta pull up because these bitches are hitting it. They're giving so much femininity and we look like boys onstage." The next night we had a show and we were trying our hardest to ooze with that feminine touch.
Do you remember the first time someone told you there are rumors out there that you're gay?
I don't remember the first time, but it's been forever. Someone once said to me, "Doesn't that bother you?" And I was like, Why should it bother me?
What would you do if your boyfriend came home one day and said, "Honey, I've got something to tell you—I'm gay"?
I'd be upset because I want to be with him [Laughs.]. It's so funny because I joke with him that it drives me crazy to be a girl sometimes, so in my next life I'm going to come back as a guy and [he's] going to be my bitch. But if he liked guys, I would be crushed because I would want to be with him.
The AIDS epidemic started and then we were at the height of it when you started to hit the big time with albums like Rhythm Nation and Control. Do you remember when you first heard about the disease? Was it when you started losing friends?
I lost a lot of friends. Friends from the show Fame who I had danced with, some of the kids from Nasty, some of the kids who danced with my brothers who I knew. Makeup artists. I lost a lot of friends to AIDS and one who I absolutely adored so much. His name was Jose, and we worked a lot together in Europe. He would put these eyelashes on me that he would make from real hair. His sister would cut her hair so he could make these eyelashes. They were the most beautiful things. He was so much fun to be with. I had heard he was sick and he was passing, and it was just so sad. It's so sad.
Let's talk about gay marriage…
I think it should be legalized. I think it's about finding your soul mate. It's finding that person you connect with. But most people don't get it right. Look at me! The thing is, I don't know if I ever will or won't get married again. I'm very happy where I am. I just think I jinx marriages, but that's not going to stop me from loving.
You appeared in a PSA to combat hate crimes that was produced after 15-year-old Lawrence King was murdered in February because he was gay. Why was that so important to you?
That broke my heart. He was finally coming into his own and being himself and being OK with who he was. He was feeling good about that and not living in this shell and pretending to be someone else. He was letting all of that go and saying, "This is me." But being murdered for being who you are, for being real—we were crushed by that.