When Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles presented the idea of “Pink Carpet” for their summer concert event, Leslie Jordan instantly said “Yayus”– that’s Chattanooga for “Yes.”
Hailing from Tennessee, where he got his degree in “thee-eighter,” Leslie Jordan is an Emmy Award-winning actor, LGBTQ activist, past hippie and lover of grand weddings. These are just some of the many hats Leslie Jordan wears.
With a big year ahead, Jordan will be hosting “The Pink Carpet” on Saturday, June 23rd at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 24th at 2 p.m.
Along with landing on the GMCLA stage, Jordan is very excited about his upcoming show “The Cool Kids” or as Jordan refers to it, “Golden Girls on crack.” Having played popular characters such as Beverley Leslie on “Will and Grace,” Jordan is no stranger to the spotlight in the comedy world. He brings his own bright light and unabashed humor to everything he does. Jordan is thrilled about the release of “The Cool Kids” on Fox, produced by Charlie Day of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Of his character he plays on the show, Jordan laughingly said, “We have no moral compass,” and of himself he exclaimed, “I’m gonna be rich!”
All the way from Spain, Jordan shared about other projects he is currently working on there. In addition to starring in “The Cool Kids,” Jordan also will return to Sky TV’s “Living the Dream” for its second season. In “Living the Dream,” Jordan plays someone who sells a European family a trailer park, or the American Dream. After explaining how they had to ship trailers all the way from Florida for the shoot in Spain, Jordan continued in his naturally hilarious manner to answer a more personal question.
When asked what he wished he had know at eighteen, Jordan replied, “That there’s no shame in being effeminate.” In talking about how that was one of the most difficult things to accept for a certain generation, Jordan went on to joke about how you can tell this by answering machines. “Well, you know because you call somebody our age and their answering machine…would go like this, ‘Hey, it’s Robert (said in extremely deep voice)…I’m like, “gurl, who do you think you’re foolin’?”
Leslie is alive and vibrant and living the dream at 63. “I always say, I’m 60 plus tax and deposit. I’m 60 with a little shipping and handlin’. A lot of handlin’.”
Leslie called us from Spain. You can listen here.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I fell out of the womb and landed in my mother’s high-heels! I didn’t know what to call it, but the hardest person to tell was my mother, when I was 12. My dad had been killed in a plane crash the year before.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Lily Tomlin. The first day California got gay marriage was such a celebration but when I turned on the TV there was Lily at the Zoo trying to save Billy the elephant. She just has her priorities.
What’s Los Angeles’ best nightspot, past or present?
I have not been out in 20 years because of my sobriety and since my unfortunate incarceration. I’m 20 years sober. My nudge from the judge. My favorite place was The Rose Tattoo.
Describe your dream wedding.
I officiated a wedding in Puerto Vallarta that was in the most beautiful villa. We were greeted by boys in bikinis with lions and monkeys on leashes, an orchestra struck up a James Bond tune and the grooms arrived by jet ski. A million dollar wedding, I kid you not. It started raining during their 18 page vows — lord, never let a queen write her own vows — and at the end a rainbow came out.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Registration to vote for kids. I got sober at 42 and had never voted!
What historical outcome would you change?
The Presidential election of last year or was it this…how long has it been?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Throwing the pitch out for the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs on the weekend of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. I’m pretty athletic to be such a sissy. The pitcher came out and said “Dude!” I hurled that ball!
On what do you insist?
Manners, just “please” and “thank you.”
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
Announcing my new television series on Fox,“The Cool Kids,” starring myself, Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Martin Mull. It’s the “Golden Girls” on crack, no moral compass, really cute!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
Hustlers, Thieves and Other Lovers. I really tried to write that one.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I wouldn’t change one thing, not one thing.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I am a very enthusiastic agnostic who would love to be proven wrong.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Just a pat on the back.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Peace, just world peace. No more bombs.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That we’re all effeminate. When I got to Hollywood I had a mustache!
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Brokeback Mountain.” “I can’t quit you.” I love that.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Mother always made me stand when a woman approaches the table. Up down, up down, up down!
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That there’s no shame in being effeminate. #JustBe.
Why Los Angeles?
I graduated “thee-eighter”at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and decided if I was going to starve I would do it with a tan.