Pop Goes the Homo


By Matthew Breen

But there is even a picture of you stripping in this book!

Yes, there is a picture of me stripping in that book, with my bits right there on the page'you can see that I am circumcised in that picture, and still, nothing!

How did you get involved in stripping?

I was once hired by a magazine to go-go dance for a night a Micky's, this trashy-ass bar in West Hollywood. If you're going to go-go dance for a night, you might as well go to the trashy place to do it. The go-go dancers are right there facing Santa Monica Boulevard when cars go driving past! It was probably one of the best experiences of my life. There's nothing better than having strange men come up to you and think you're so hot that they will shove a dollar bill down your shorts. That was the biggest ego trip of my life. People can look down on porn stars and strippers and think less of them, but you know what? I understand the attraction now. And isn't that the purpose of the writer's journey, to evolve and to have insight into the universe itself? Ah, that was deep.

Who is interviewed in this book?

Growing up I loved Dead or Alive, so interviewing Peter Burns was huge for me. We had to delay the interview because he'd gotten a tattoo that day, but when he finally called, he goes off about his plastic surgeries'which, if you've seen pictures of him, are, like, crazy wild. People think he's insane, but I think he clearly understands who he is and what his little weird quirks are. We've got all these wonderful, really intelligent, really sharp queer people interviewed in the book, like John Cameron Mitchell, Christopher Rice, Wilson Cruz, Joe Phillips, Ted Casablanca, and John Rutherford, but Pete Burns was probably the wackiest but also the most fascinating of them all.

Who did the illustrations?

My partner, Steve Thompson, did the illustrations. It was situation where we needed artwork and there was no budget to get them, so my partner'who is an animator'he stepped up and was like, You know you're nicer when you're calm, so he did a lot of the illustrations so I would stop freaking out.

See Richard Andreoli, and essayists Parker Ray, David Ciminelli, and Dave White read from Mondo Homo at A Different Light bookstore in San Francisco on April 1, 2005. For more details, click here.