Abrasive Yankee Comes To Town To Get Houston Gays Out Of The Closet

For those of you who think the Internets are just for porn and FaceTube, Houston's Zenfilm is bringing you an online show that will make you forget about updating your status, at least for a little while: Get Out of the Closet, a reality television parody about an obnoxious Bostonian who stages interventions to get dudes suspected of being gay to come out of the closet, launches April 2.

The aforementioned Bostonian doling out what the website calls "truth sticks -- sticks made out of THE TRUTH" is one Natalie O'Sullivan. Well, sort of. Both Zenfilm and The Artist Known as Natalie O'Sullivan are mum on the host's true identity, vowing not to pull back the curtain before the show's launch.

Besides O'Sullivan's pitch-perfect cluelessness, the evidence that this show will have strokes of genius can be found in the name of the show's ostensible producer, Barry Gordon-Lightfoot. C'mon -- that shit's up there with Sir Dennis Eaton-Hogg.

Hair Balls spoke with O'Sullivan, whose back story involves a high school expulsion for dropping trou in a senior production of Hair, then getting kicked out of cosmetology school after a tragic bleaching accident. She allegedly lives in Boston and flies in every three months to shoot three episodes at a time. Before getting into questions about the show, O'Sullivan explained that she was outside, standing in a snowfall, smoking a cigarette because she was nervous about the interview.

We started with a question about the show's premise -- friends or family nominating dudes they suspect are gay. We asked if it ever turned out that they were not, in fact, gay.

NO: Unfortunately, that seems to be the case more than not....I found evidence. I went, I looked at their spaces, you know, their personal spaces where they live, and I saw things that were clearly, you know, red flags to me. Gay red rainbow flags.

HB: Like what?

NO: Just lots of sort of phallic symbols in the room. Lots of like penis-like things. Some glittery objects that were just not right for a single man in his 20s. There were various toys -- he says it's because he's into Lord of the Rings, I think it's 'cause he's into other things....

How have they reacted generally?...Is there some hostility?

No hostility, thank God, because...I'll throw down, you know. Like, so far no hostility, nobody's tried to come at me, nobody's tried to fight me, because, you know, growing up in the South Shore in Massachusetts, you know, we don't play that game. I'll take off my rings, I'll take off my earrings, and we'll go.

So you're not a gay?

No, I am a lover of the gays. But I identify with that community more than...straight women, or straight people in general.

Why is that?

...I feel like I've been sort of shunned a little bit. I'm very abrasive to some people -- that's a word that's been thrown in my face a lot....There are people that once they get to know me, they think I am -- you know, that word "abrasive" has been thrown in my face. "Annoying" has been thrown in my face. Loud, obnoxious. All of which I think is part of my charm because I am who I am, you get what you get.

And a community that's had that same sort of shunning has been the gays. You know, you have Congress fighting over whether or not they can get married, you have the President saying it's not OK, you have...all of this crap going on in the world where people are just, like, pointing fingers. And what I say is, 'When you point a finger out, there's three more still pointing back at you. So don't throw glass stones from a rock house, you know what I'm saying?

What's your opinion of Houston?

Oh I like the city a lot -- I didn't think I would. You know, being a Yankee, I didn't think I'd like Texas at all -- I mean, you people still think the Confederacy's going to rise or something someday....It is like another country when you cross the Mason-Dixon line, so I was nervous, but I love the fact that there were these great little communities and pockets of normalcy within Texas as a whole. So I loved it, I want to go back lots of times.

Check out the website for details on the launch parties

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Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
Contact: Craig Malisow