Another Shot at Love
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Were there people who you think played a little bit differently on TV than they did in real life?
No. Everything that you saw was the way it was. I mean people were as crazy as it looks.
What was your hope going on this show? Initially, what were you thinking?
Initially, I was thinking, “All right, I’m just going to go there and have a great time,” like it was going to be a big party. You know, I’m living in a house with a bunch of women, so whoo-hoo. And then it ended up being more than that. I actually liked the girl.
Tell me about being inside the house, was there more camaraderie or conflict between you and the other contestants. What was the environment like for you girls?
When we first got there, we were all discussing, “OK will we all get bunks, how will we sleep?” and we are thinking we would get our own bed, or maybe even two to a bed. And then we get up there and we see this huge bed and we are like, “Oh, my God.” So that was an obstacle. It wasn’t bad for me, I mean I don’t care that much. To be in a bed with all those people, that didn’t bother me. I kind of paired up with the girls. The girls would kind of sleep together to keep the guys away from us. We all shared bathrooms and showers, but we all got along fairly well, considering.
That’s interesting, because viewers see scenarios on the screen, like Ashley having a tantrum after he got sent packing, and we wonder how much of that happened off screen as well.
Yeah, these were the high moments, the height of all the drama. That makes good TV. But for the most part we all really got along. We were just there and drinking and having a blast in the pool. The only thing—the Brandi and Vanessa thing—they were always bickering away. That was just a continuous animosity between those two.
Now that you’re famous, do you still have time to date? Do you have a new girlfriend? Or a girl in every port?
My schedule is super crazy these days, from the fire station, my clothing line, Futch Apparel, my tubby dog Titan, my house, my family, my friends, my appearances all around the country, my college tours, interviews, but after all that, believe it or not, I still have time to date. Not a girl in every port, but one at home.
How are you going to parlay your 15 minutes of fame? What are you doing with this experience?
I am trying to become more involved in community efforts, through HRC and our fight for equality and rights. It seems like I have a huge 11- to 18-year-old following and they just have a lot of questions. So if I could do some mentoring, that would be great—just to talk to kids and help them with all of their troubles and coming out. And also, educating our community that we need to vote more and we need to become more involved politically to get the rights that we deserve, that we should have been born with. I don’t need the fame to be involved in something like that, that’s just something I’ll be doing now. But also, I’m launching a new clothing line, Futch Apparel [myspace.com/12nerd], and this is always something I’ve wanted to do because I have such a horrible time finding clothes. So, I’m trying to make my own clothing line with a whole completely new set of sizes, like for people in between, not femme, not butch, but “futch.” And I don’t want to corner myself just marketing to women either. It’s for women and men—it’s a different size, a more unisex size.
Are you in the beginning stages with that?
Embryonic. It’s just getting off the ground. I trademarked it, so I own it. It has an LLC. We just need to get the clothing out there now. We’re in the process of interviewing designers and stuff like that.
I think there’s definitely a market there for that too.
Oh, yeah. The New York Post did a full-page article on me. People are liking this idea, and I just need to run with it quick and make sure that it happens.
Have you always wanted to move into activism, the way you’ve wanted to move into fashion? Is that something that you always saw yourself doing before this experience?
Yeah. I’ve always loved children, they actually look up to me like a role model. That puts me in a good position to influence them, you know? So they’ll be more apt to listening to what I’m trying to say because I’m Dani from the TV show. It’s crazy. It’s great, it’s a great tool since I’m trying to push something.
So many viewers were compelled by the boys vs. girls nature of Shot at Love. Do you think your fan base broke down the same way?
I think that concept was an awesome idea. It’s about time mainstream TV joined the rest of the world. My fan base is super broad, so I’m not sure how to answer that one. I think everyone enjoyed the show and that’s what matters.
A lot of lesbian viewers regarded all the femme girls as “possibly bi” and you as a “real lesbian.” Was that fair?
Of course it’s fair. I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to do what makes me comfortable. For example, I have short hair, I dress in men’s clothes, I’m in good physical shape. To some, these attributes are what makes me “look” gay. To me, it’s what makes me happy. Lesbians can see this and they just assume I’m the real deal. I understand that, but my goal isn’t to be masculine. It’s just that I know what I like. I love purses and pumps, but I would just look ridiculous in these things. As for the other girls, people make the assumption that if you look girly, you must like guys. Wrong!
It seems like lesbians, in general, often have some very strong feelings about dating bisexual women. I think Shot at Love offered a forum for us to have conversations about that. I know how it was presented to the United States like “I’m bisexual and I’m going to decide if I am going to be with a man or a woman.” But, what did you experience on the other side of that?
Just because a woman like guys and girls doesn’t make me any more or less sure about the relationship. If somebody is going to leave me, they obviously don’t love me, whether it is for a boy or a girl. So, I don’t really see it as a problem, I mean, bisexual people, more power to them. They like both sexes. They have a bigger [selection of potential partners]. If anybody’s missing out, it’s me. But you know, I’ve dated bisexual women, and there’s no difference. They just like boys and girls. Whoop-di-doo.
Lesbians were clearly rooting for you from the beginning. There was a little inference that you were the “real” lesbian. We heard that a lot here at the office.
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