Catching Up With Josh Kilmer-Purcell

4.24.2011

By Phillip B. Crook

Brokeback Mountain gave us gay cowboys, but The Fabulous Beekman Boys gave us gay farmers. Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are a decade-strong couple who, in a moment of crisis, became goat farmers. Their reality show on Planet Green chronicles how Ridge (a doctor and former Martha Stewart Omnimedia exec) and Kilmer-Purcell (a former NYC drag queen turned writer, ad creative director and regular Out contributor) cope with a life neither expected -- including a growing soap/cheese business, a growing menagerie (they have a llama), and the challenge of growing their relationship. Out caught up with Kilmer-Purcell to see how all that growth is going, dish about Martha, and define what really is fabulous.

Out: First of all, you and Brent are basically the gay poster boys for Wellington boots now.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell: I know! We should get paid, don't you think?

Do you have a brand of choice?
Lately we've been wearing Western Chief -- but that's only because they're the cheapest on Amazon and we get them right away.

I don't know why you would, but do you do anything crazy in them, like wear them when you're naked?
We haven't done that yet, but now you're putting the thought in my head'

Because on your show, Sonja Morgan from Real Housewives of New York said that she gardens naked in hers.
And you know what? She's our neighbor in the city, so one day I'm going to go over and knock on the door and see if that's true.

Martha Stewart gets brought up a lot when talking about the Beekman Boys -- what's it like to be mentioned in the same breath as Martha?
She's great. I make fun of her sometimes because it's easy and a lot of people do, but I have so much respect for her. I like running into her at parties because every time I see her I have a whole list of questions.

Like?
We just saw her the other night at Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook party, and I had this question about hyacinths -- they've been spindly -- and Martha had the perfect answer for me.

Ok. Which is?
That I have to dig them up every fall, split them by hand, and keep them in the refrigerator for the winter. I'm totally not going to do it, but I have the answer now.

Brent, for one, goes into Mr. Perfectionist mode around her.
Oh, he literally is Martha. He won't admit it.

Have you named a goat after her?
No, I would probably get in trouble for that. I have to be careful, because Brent yells at me when I cross a Martha line.

Well speaking of goats, what's a horny goat like?
It's not as hot as people might think. The gross thing is that when females are in heat, the males put their head in between their legs and they pee on their beard, which feels kind of old school West Village to me. That's the time of year when the barn starts to smell like The Eagle.

And how does that compare to labor season?
Equally gross, although I do actually like the goat birthing season. It's so incredible to watch a goat giving birth, especially after living in New York for so many years and having all these pregnant friends with their drama and yoga classes and underwater births while doing Pilates. Goats literally are just walking around and then one pops out the back end and it's like nothing happened.

A lot of gay men consider their animals to be their babies. Do you feel that for your goats?
No, having a farm totally cures you of that.

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