GAY & LESBIAN
ALLIANCE AGAINST DEFAMATION
WWW.GLAAD.ORG
RESIDENTIAL  COMMERICAL
Licensed Across Florida   CGC060449
dructorbuilds.com      305-401-8914
Gay American Heroes
Foundation
Honoring LGBT persons who
died because of their sexual
orientation and gender identity
www.gayamericanheroes.com
Web resource for LGBTQ youth
www.matthewsplace.com
An online forum on sexual health
education for gay and bisexual men
www.lifelube.org
www.familiasporladiversidad.org
.Fresh-Squeezed Paradise
MIAMI RIVER INN
miamiriverinn.com
.





70's Inspired Purses & accessories
GLOSSgear.com
www.ambiente.us  OCTOBER | OCTUBRE 2008

LESLIE JORDAN: On the Pink Carpet
By Herb Sosa

When Leslie Jordan stepped off a Greyhound
bus from the hills of Tennessee headed to
Hollywood, he never looked back. That was
1982, and with hundreds of television shows,
films and commercials to his credit, he has
become a familiar face on the entertainment
scene.

Many will remember Leslie for his 2006 Emmy
Award Winning portrayal of Beverley Leslie
Karen’s nemesis on Will and Grace and is
currently on LOGO as Brother Boy in Sordid
Lives, but don’t just assume his life is one
continuous laugh or that he is always ready to
deliver a punch-line at a party… Jordan’s
journey of self-exploration, discovery and
healing has made him more authentic to
himself and his craft, and yes, he smiles and
laughs a lot more now too.

I recently chatted with Leslie while he took
some time off between tours and went back
to Tennessee for some R & R..

Leslie’s book My trip down the Pink Carpet was
extremely funny, candid and honest.  Comedy
has always come naturally to him.

 “I have always been funny, or used comedy to get me through
  things – like bullies picking on this little sissy – as a self- defense
  mechanism.”  

As an adult he found myself falling back to comedy as a comfort zone, especially in social situations were he
was expected to always be on or a character… How is it to work with this one or what was it like to… “I used
comedy as an escape and often found myself holding court at parties and bars, before my sobriety.”

Getting Sober
                                                                                    At age 53, Leslie has been sober for over a
                                                                                   decade, but shares it is never easy.  “I just can’t
                                                                                   stand when they tell you ‘You’ll be able to go
                                                                                   bars, parties be around alcohol & drugs – no
                                                                                   problem’ well it is just not that easy.  It takes
                                                                                   work.”   After several visits to jail, an alcohol and
                                                                                   Crystal Meth addiction, Leslie can look back at
                                                                                   it all and laughs.  “I could do a bump of Crystal,
                                                                                   or
Tina at they call it now, and stay home by
                                                                                   myself and clean the house – it was like giving
                                                                                   
Ritalin to a kid – it made me feel skewed and
                                                                                   centered.”   

                                                                                   It took most of his early adult life to come to
                                                                                   terms with his addictions.  While working on a TV
                                                                                   show (Pacific Blue) for longtime friend Del Shore,
                                                                                   Leslie was arrested several times.  “For silly little
                                                                                   things… But it wasn't until the last time I called Del to bail me
out that he said ‘Your gonna end up dead in a ditch’ and left me there and then I realized it was time to grow
up.”  At 42 his self proclaimed
Journey of Sobriety and Queendom began.

A quote in a play by Del Shore -about being Gay, Southern & Baptist-and walking into a church and saying
“This is where we learned to hate ourselves”, hit home.    Leslie had to overcome a lot of self-loathing and
hate along with getting sober.  For the first time he had to learn to not hate who he was, and to change that
pattern without drugs or alcohol.

“Drugs are unfortunately a huge issue in our community. When I was growing up I thought I was the only
sissy in the planet.  Drugs helped me to escape that.  Today there is the Internet, TV – many community
resources for young kids to find themselves – find their tribe… Participate in your own recovery.”

Recently as part of his nationwide tour to promote My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, Leslie rented a house in
Provincetown and invited his mom and family to stay with him for a few days.  Up until this point he had kept
his family life separate from his professional and even personal life, though his mom and others -raised
Baptist and not exposed to much gayness- have been very loving & supportive for years. “I respected &
accepted her life and she respected & accepted mine.  My mom was so thrilled to see how my love people
had for me on the streets- this made me very happy for me and her.”   

When discussing Discrimination and the world around us, Leslie sees it as “A lack of enlightenment, of
empathy.  A lot of Baptist like the ones I was raised with I don’t really think hate gays, they think they have love
for everyone and everything, they just are ignorant.  The great thing is that the next generation- their kids- are
growing up in a different and more accepting world.”         

About a Biographical Movie
“I would have to play myself if there was ever a movie about my
life.  Can’t think of anyone else who could do it!”

Reoccurring Dreams
1- I am given an acting job, but no one gives me a script or tells me what it’s all about.
2- Forgot to feed my pets…I don’t have any now, but I had a pony once…
3- I am standing there naked, trying desperately to put on my
Brother Boy eyelashes!


                                                                           WORD ASSOCIATION
                                                                                                           Tennessee - Home

                                                                                                          
 Theatre - Also Home

                                                                                                           
TV/Movies – Where to make money

                                                                                                     
Men - I LOVE men!

                                                                                              
Hollywood – Sucks to play the game

                                                                                      
Success -  Icing on the cake… Gravy

                                                          
Favorite thing to wear – Cologne

                                                       
I want to be remembered as – A little white, gay Rosa Parks


                                    Tour Schedule
                                                       8/7-8/9 - Provincetown 8 PM Crown & Anchor
                                                       9/4-9/5 - Atlanta, GA (14th St Playhouse)
                                                       9/6-9/7 - Birmingham, AL (Terrific New Theatre)
                                                       9/8 -  Nashville, TN (Belcourt Theater)
                                                       9/11-9/12 - Rehoboth Beach (Rehoboth Beach Theater)
                                                       9/13 - Norfolk, VA TCC Roper Performing Arts Theater
                                                       9/29-9/30 - Charlotte, NC (Theatre Charlotte)
                                                       10/23 - San Antonio, TX (Cameo Theater)
                                                       10/24-10/25 Dallas, TX (TBA)
                                                       10/26 - New Orleans, LA ( Special Appearance)
                                                       10/27 - Austin, TX (TBA)
                                                       10/28-10/29 - Houston, TX (Country Playhouse)
                                                       10/30 - Tulsa, OK (John H. Williams Theater at PAC Center)
                                                       11/2 - Palm Springs, CA (Annenberg Theater)
                                                       11/10-11/11 - Miami Beach, FL (Colony Theatre)
                                                       11/13-11/15 - Key West, FL (The Chrystal Room Cabaret)
                                                       11/21 - Fort Lauderdale, FL (Amaturo Theater)
                                                       11/19-11/20 - Orlando, FL (Footlight Theater, Parliament House)

For more info, visit
www.thelesliejordan.com

A special thank you to Leslie Jordan & Lindsley Lowell for making this interview possible-


Copyright © AMBIENTE MAGAZINE.   Do not reproduce without citing this source.