Catching Up with Tila Tequila
By Noah Michelson
Tila Nguyen -- aka Tila Tequila, who now prefers to go by the moniker Miss Tila -- just might be the world's most famous bisexual. Or at least the world's most infamous.
The model, actress, Internet sensation, and aspiring U.S. ambassador to Vietnam (no, really) found fame in 2007 with her MTV reality show A Shot at Love (a sequel, A Shot at Love 2 aired soon after) which featured a gaggle of attention-starved men and women vying for Tila's affection. The show firmly lodged itself, and Tila, into the popular culture landscape and she's refused to leave the spotlight ever since. She just released a new single, "I Fucked the DJ," is readying her own celebrity gossip site, TilaTequilaOMG.com, and spent the last week tearing up New York City on a press tour that found her canoodling with Howard Stern, Entertainment Weekly, and us.
We caught up with Tila to chat about her first same-sex experience, being a role model for the queer community, and why haters better watch their backs.
Out: It seems like everyone is coming out with a single these days. What differentiates you from everyone else out there?
Miss Tila (Tequlia): What's different about my music is that it's very unique -- when you hear it you can tell, right away, "Oh, that's Tila's voice,' because I have a very distinct voice, a very distinct style, very distinct lyrics. It's very colorful. My music is very colorful! And very fun -- it's not too serious.
There's been a lot of controversy about your sexuality. How would you describe it?
I really hate it when people ask me, "Do you prefer guys or girls?" I ask them, "Are you bisexual?" and they're like, "No." I say, "OK, then you wouldn't understand. That's a really shallow, dumb question. Don't ask me that." They're like, "Shouldn't you pick one, then?" I'm like, "Um, no, because I just happen to love whomever I love." At one point I was engaged to a woman, and I was going to marry her for the rest of my life, so, I came out, because I was just going to be with a woman for the rest of my life. But unfortunately, certain things happened. Love is love and I'm still here looking for it.
When was first time that you realized you liked women?
When I was about 8 years old -- I didn't know what sexuality was, because I was 8 -- but I would play hide and go seek with this girl friend of mine and we would always go in the same closet while all our other friends were playing. We'd go in the closet and touch each other. I didn't understand that that was sex, or something sexual. We'd always hang out and we were like girlfriends when I was 8. But then, one day, I asked her, "Hey, when you watch TV and we see people kiss or whatever, do you feel something strange down there?" I didn't know what it meant. And she's like, "Yeah." And then we just started hanging out more and I had no idea what it was, though. But at 11 years old, that's when I really noticed. I'm like, "Why am I different?" because I would be in the gym locker room and all these cheerleaders were changing and I had my size 30 jeans on and I was like, "Why am I so different than them?" They were all hanging out together and talking about shaving and stuff and I was like, "I don't know how to fit in. But I really feel weird." There was this one girl that I felt something for and I didn't understand, at the time, what it meant. So, you hear about my life story growing up as a tomboy -- blah blah blah. It was because I didn't understand that I was into females.