Joel Kim Booster has been standing out in all the right places these days. The actor, writer, and comedian wrote and stars in the upcoming gay romantic comedy Fire Island, and he recently appeared on two covers for Out's sister publication Out Traveler (which is owned by the same company, Pride Media).
Booster spoke with Out Traveler about his own visits to Fire Island, and the impact those experiences had on his life and identity.
"It was, for me as a young gay man, to go for the very first time in my life to a place where there were no straight people, and you were just sort of able to be free, and, unencumbered -- and this is me coming from New York City, which isn't exactly a red state when it comes to gay issues -- but even still, it was really powerful for me to be with some of my closest gay friends in a place where there were no straight people," Booster told Out Traveler in the exclusive interview. "We could all just sort of be ourselves in a real, sort of primal way, for the very first time."
Joel wears Ray-Ban glasses; Charlie by Matthew Zink swimsuit
He described the experiences as "really powerful and helpful" in solidifying his identity as a gay man. Booster also revealed one of the biggest misconceptions about Fire Island.
"Fire Island, for me anyways, has always been a lot less about sex than it has been about looking for sex," he explained with a laugh. "There's a lot of logistical barriers to having sex on Fire Island, at least for me. I know some other people who have had far different experiences, but I think the search and the quest for sex is a lot funnier and a lot more interesting, both in real life and in the movie."
Booster's Fire Island also stars friend and fellow out actors Bowen Yang and Margaret Cho. Inspired by Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, Fire Island premieres June 3 on Hulu.
To read Joel Kim Booster's full cover, head to Out Traveler.
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