Lina Bradford is one of the most beloved names in New York nightlife. Previously known as Girlina, she was a key member of the '90s club kids scene. More recently, she’s made a name for herself as DJ Lina, spinning at Fire Island Pines for more than a decade.
Lina’s latest venture comes as host of her own web talk show, In the Dollhouse with Lina. Having recently premiered the second season, she’s welcomed guests like Candis Cayne and Mickey Boardman. In the latest episode, she chats with her close friend, Whoopi Goldberg, about family, EGOTs and Strut. Watch the official OUT premiere and learn more about Lina, below.
OUT: You have more than 600 Barbie dolls, right?
Lina Bradford: That was the last time I’ve counted. It’s been some time. Everyone always gives me Barbies. They’re in storage, in closets. I need somebody to recount. It’s not gonna be me though.
Do you have a favorite?
I’ve always had three that have kind of followed me from childhood to now. I love my Tuesday Taylor, I love my Tressy dolls, and of course I love my Cher dolls. I love them all but those are three that I love because of the story that they gave them as far as their fashion and their homes and their lives.
You’ve been a big name in the New York club scene for years.
(Laughs) That’s an understatement.
How did you suddenly get the idea for a talk show?
I’ve always had a talk show scenario with my friends or with my dolls. So it’s something I always knew that I was gonna do at some point. I’ve worn many hats in my life since the '70s to now from dance to host to DJ to everything. So I knew that I never had to particularly pick one, that they would all speak to me at different times when I’m able to do it. I’ve been DJing for 20 years and I said, you know what? I think this is going to be the time for me to address that.
This week, you have Whoopi Goldberg who is also a talk show host. Is that a little intimidating?
No, not at all. Everyone that I have on my show, I have to have a particular connection with them, whether they’re a good friend or not. Whoopi happens to be a good friend. I have to find someone that I feel a connection with, spiritually. I’m a very spiritual witch. So we connected on that. I’d known her daughter prior to knowing her. So there was always a connection there. I’m never intimidated by anything. I believe that I’m supposed to be doing everything it is that I’m doing with a very clear and good heart. So it was just very fun, and I looked forward to it as I do with everything I get to do in life. Not a lot of people can say that they love what they do in life. I’ve had many, and I love them all.
She’s also been such an ally to trans people. Is there something you think she could teach other cis people?
I’ve never gotten into labels except for the ones I wear on my back. I’m a dynamic woman, and I don’t find that a label gives me my full range. I think that people who need to have a label don’t want to have the conversation and take the time to get to know, that they’re uncomfortable. They feel like, “Ok, well if I have you in a box, I can understand you.” No, you really can’t. I think at the end of the day it comes down to people just not having a restriction in their life. If you’re not restricted in life, you’re gonna be open to listening. And I think that’s the biggest part of anything with anyone regardless of what type of circle or life that you live. You have to be open and listen.
What talk show would you like to be a guest on?
I think Piers Morgan. I like the strong back that he has. I respect him.
That’s a very interesting choice.
Like I said, I’m a very diverse woman. My intellect, my goofiness, all of it is a tossed salad of how I dance through life. There are so many parts of me that a lot of people haven’t gotten to see, some more than others. But I’m really putting myself out there into a different direction and area that a lot of people haven’t seen.
Is there a particular conversation you hope your talk show starts with your audience?
Most importantly, love and light and happiness and laughter are everything. It’s important with the dark times that we’re in right now to be reminded to stick together in a community and with all communities, to laugh and have fun. People need to start caring again and not be so focused on what’s in their hand. Look up, talk to people. I’ve always been that person, and I think that’s portrayed in my show.