Lesbian Reality Televison Q&A Round up
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Kat Feller's High School Reunion
Written by: Colleen M. Lee
Waiting 20 years to out yourself to former classmates sounds like an absolute nightmare. How about waiting all those years and having it be televised for anyone in the United States to see? Welcome to Kat Feller’s world. Feller, who is a successful voice-over animation artist, put a relationship on hold to join the cast of High School Reunion, where she busts out, discusses her secret crushes and decides that telling former friends you are a lesbian can be positive, rewarding and a should-do experience.
Why did you need to come out to your high school classmates?
The reason I felt like I needed to come out to my classmates was because it’s something I’ve been sitting on for the last 20 years. Some people had probably found out about it by word of mouth, but I just wanted to clarify the rumor myself, in person. To make it true and make it known—it is a fact and not just a rumor, and that it’s OK and I’m proud and I don’t care.
I love the show and it’s timely for me. I’m actually going to my 20-year reunion this fall and I guess I will be coming out as well. I could really relate to you, I’m like, “OK, let’s see how it goes for her.”
Oh no, it was great. I mean, this might be one of your questions, but everybody was so warm and accepting. It really made my reunion feel so amazing. It was like this weight that I had been carrying around for 20 years has finally [been] lifted off my shoulders and I could really be myself and when I go back to Dallas, it’s like it’s all good.
You were a bit hesitant to tell the girls you were gay. Was that you reverting back to being 16 and in high school?
When you’re sitting in a room full of straight girls and everybody’s talking about their marriages and their accomplishments and what their husbands and boyfriends are doing, it’s a little bit in the back of your mind: “I really want these girls to accept me.” It’s definitely nerve-wracking. Not knowing how they’re going to respond. Hoping they’re going to respond in a certain way. I was definitely nervous.
So was there a pressure to fit in? I know that you mentioned that you were dating boys in high school, but still had crushes on girls. Was it bi-curiosity or was it like “it might be easier for me to say maybe I want to date a guy” on the show?
You know, the bisexuality question really didn’t have anything to do with making it easier. I’ve always been a bit bi-curious. No, I’m not even going to say bi-curious. I’ve been out of the closet since I was like 20. It’s been, for me, it’s been a long time. As I’ve gotten older, you know, I’m near my 40s, I’m actually starting to appreciate people for who they are. I’m very much more drawn to the female sex by no question of the matter, but I have a bit of curiosity. I don’t know if I’m ever going to do anything about it, but I can’t see myself with a man. I just don’t find that comfortable. But I have thought about the curiosity of that.
I think your date with the “stud” was handled brilliantly. You dated the sensitive stud who all the girls wanted and then after the date you were like, “OK, I had a really great, positive date; however, I’m still a lesbian. I’m definitely lesbian.”
Yeah, I tried that, but no, that’s not going work for me. Robbie was the perfect guy because you’re right. No. 1, he was the most popular, so it was really flattering for me to go on a date with him. He’s still really handsome, he’s really sweet, and if I were to go on a date with a guy, he could very well be my type and it’s just, you know I tried it and it’s still not comfortable for me.
So it’s possible your bi days or your bi-curiosity is over.
Pretty much. I might still grapple with it in my brain from time to time. But as far as actively pursuing it, it’s just not going to happen.
Do you feel as if you conquered your insecurities on the show?
I actually do think it has changed. I feel like now that I’ve gotten rid of this weight on my shoulders I can go through life with, “OK, I’ve got the acceptance of my family, I’ve got the acceptance of my peers. Now after 20 years, I finally have the acceptance of my classmates.”
Quite a burden to carry for 20 years.
Yeah, I know. It does make it a lot easier to know that you’ve got that weight off, and you can move on and do your thing and be OK with it. Really, the bottom line for me, and this has been my motto my whole life: As long as my parents accept me and love me, I truly don’t really care about society. But it is nice to know that people that you grew up with, your friends that trust you and that you hung out with, accept you as well, because they were your family too then.
So you revisited high school and you came out and are proud: Are times changing or does this come with age?
Well I think, I actually think it’s the times are changing, because as far as not being able to come out in high school in the 80s, you know, who was out then? Boy George?
He wasn’t out, was he? He was just considered weird.
Ellen was not even out yet, she was still scared, closeted, but it’s a totally different day and age now. It’s like, with the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and gay men being completely loved by straight women, straight men all around. Coming out as a lesbian is becoming way more accepted in this day and age. It definitely has to do with that. So people in high school, they’re probably not as afraid of it anymore because it’s just like, “Oh she’s lesbian? Fine, whatever.” You know, but back then we didn’t even have CDs. I was listening to [cassettes] then. I was riding to school on a dinosaur, very primitive. It was scary, very scary. It’s funny because now I’m getting emails from friends of mine that are finding me online, friends that I went to high school with are like “I’m a lesbian too and it’s so nice to see you coming out.” You know, none of us could come out then. I’m finding that all of these friends of mine are coming out. I was like, “I had no idea she was gay.”
Yeah, you bump into them at a lesbian bar and you’re like, “I had no idea.”
I’m like, “Oh my gosh, no way, I had no idea! I had a crush on you.”
So…did you flirt with any of the women in the house?
Oh God! I did flirt with some of the girls in the house. All the girls in the house were really so sweet and so beautiful, and they actually brought one of my high school crushes on.
Did you have crushes on any of them in high school?
There was, a girl named Heather and she’s a sweetheart, bless her heart, and such a doll. And I actually confessed to her that I had a crush on her and it went over really well. She was flattered, which was, wow, that’s amazing to have somebody that I had a crush on for so long to be flattered that I had a crush on them. So it made me feel really good, you know?
So you did or didn’t flirt with Heather in the house?
No, I didn’t flirt with her because I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to put her in that position. But I did come out to her, so if you call that flirting and maybe exposing my crush on her then maybe for a minute or two.
Are you still dating the 6-foot woman, Brenda?
The 6-foot woman? We’ve been separated for over a year now and she’s still very, very close to me. We talk everyday. She’s actually coming to the premier with me in Dallas. We’re not, no, we’re not together. If you want to call it an open relationship, that’s fine. When we get together, we’re still very close. We very much love each other, but our careers and certain things are going in a different direction so we’re taking a break and we’re separated and well, I’m single.
I was just going to ask, are you dating anyone?
Please, I’m single! [Laughs.] No, I’m single and I’m OK with it. And if Brenda and I decide to come around in a few years or if not, we’re always going to be best friends. It’s very important to both of us that we stay together. She’s awesome. My parents love her. She’s totally part of my family and she’s going to be staying with me at my parents’ and it’s just wonderful having her as a friend.
Since we’re on the subject of women, who would you date on TV?
Oh God, from a reality show? From The L Word, for sure. Remember Carmen? She’s definitely the epitome of my type of woman. She was beautiful and just carried herself well…and [was] voluptuous and sexy.
I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear that.
Oh man, [can] you set me up with her?
[Laughs.] I’m flattered you think I have her number.
You can slip her number in a note. That’s fine, I won’t tell her. I’ve never seen a woman on a reality show that’s like, “OK, she’d be nice to take out on a date.” At least not that I can think of at the moment. I think I like the Jennifer Garner type. The dark hair, dark-eyed, cute-girl face, long hair, feminine. I like the feminine girls. I don’t tend to go for the more butchier types, although I can appreciate them.
So would she have a tattoo or not?
You know, tattoos are nice. But, virgin lesbians are OK too. [Laughs.] And you know, actually I’m attracted to edgier girls too as long as they have a feminine cute look to them. Like I can see a hot girl with tattoos walking by, but if she’s got long hair and she’s voluptuous, that adds to it even more. Yeah, I’d say Shane is cute, but she’s a bit small. I don’t know, I mean, I get it, I totally get Shane and how everybody thinks she’s so hot because she truly is. She’s very sexy and hot and all that sort of thing. But she’s not my type. I don’t know if she were to approach me and offer me a drink and a hotel room key that I’d follow her up on it.
If you didn’t want the key, I’m sure you could sell it for a lot of money.
Yeah through eBay and there’s a few things, a few pieces of debt I’d like to pay off. [Laughs.]
Do you still talk to everybody from the show?
Oh yeah, the entire cast, as opposed to a few people, we all stayed very, very close. Justin is actually coming out here, he’s going to be hanging out with me. It’s funny because before the reunion I didn’t even talk to these people and I never kept in touch with them and now they’re like my family. They’re like my best friends. It’s amazing what two weeks can do to you.
Any parting words?
Go J.J. Pearce [high school]. I’m very proud of our school for getting its own show.