The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Outrage DC.
“Bounce,” Kelis demands as I step into the elevator. The doors start to close as the beat drops, and I break out into a full-on dance party. I whip my hair a couple of times before I realize the elevator hasn’t moved. I turn around and see a woman staring at me, mouth open. Crap. My face promptly turns scarlet-red as I repeatedly hit the ground-floor button.
This week’s interview, Griffo! (yes, exclamation point included) gets to our appointed meetup spot, Public Bar, right on time, but I’m already two beers deep. We order another round and chit-chat for a bit to break the ice. Our beers arrive and we delve straight into the interview.
Alexander: Alright, let’s start on a somewhat somber note. Upon your death, what would you like to be most remembered for?
Griffo!: Oh, this is easy. I want to write a book. I want to write a great feminist novel, actually, that talks about gender and race really commingled. I kind of have the idea for it already. I want the book to make a statement about how difficult it is to be a young woman transitioning into college age. That’s really what I want to be remembered for, being a big advocate for women and people of different races.
Alexander: Noble. I like that! Now, onto lesser aspirations. What song are you embarrassed to admit that you love?
Griffo!: “Government Hooker” by Lady Gaga. It’s dirty as sin, but I just love it. One time I was singing it in my office, and right at the part where she says, “Put your hands on me, J.F. Kennedy,” the cleaning lady totally caught me in the act. She gasped with a shocked face. I love telling that story.
Alexander: Funny, I just did the same thing today, except on an elevator. If you were drunk, who’s choreography would you emulate?
Griffo!: [Laughs] Oh, Lord. I guess there’s a lot of head movement, so I would have to say Willow Smith. [Starts blushing and laughing even more] That’s not a good question for me. It’s just the first thing that came to my mind, and it’s true.
Alexander: That’s kind of amazing. I would love to see you do the “Willow Smith.” What about dates? What’s a non-obvious end to a first date?
Griffo!: A guy actually taking notice of some really great traits about you that he’s picked up but you haven’t necessarily told him — just through things you’ve inferred or things that they’ve learned about you and have just put the pieces together. Things that they’ve really thought through, and they deliver you that great line at the end. I think that’s great. That tells me so much more about someone than any fact finder that we might be on in the middle of the date.
Alexander: What if you’re actually attracted to the guy? What is something you can’t live without?
Griffo!: They have to be intellectually curious or passionate about something. It could even be a hobby or simple curiosity. If you don’t have any kind of spark that leads you in a direction of some sort, I can’t take you seriously.
Alexander: What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said about you?
Griffo!: My best friend, Cassandra, and I were on a phone call after a couple glasses of wine, and I’ll never forget what she said. She said, “You really care about bettering educational opportunities for people. A lot of people choose fundraising as a career move, but you’re actually trying to provide opportunities because you almost didn’t have the opportunity to go to school at all.” (My parents stopped supporting me after I came out.) That’s definitely one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me because it’s the truth, and it’s nice to be recognized for it every once in awhile.
Alexander: What about the worst thing anyone ever said about you?
Griffo!: The worst thing that was ever said to me was in Rehoboth (Delaware) on Memorial Day this year. It’s not truly the worst thing anybody has ever said to me, but it is the one that’s fresh on my mind right now. A friend of mine and I were fighting over a guy. My friend is sort of buff, and I told him that this particular guy seemed more into twinks. My friend shot back, “You don’t even qualify as a twink. Hit the gym so you can stop looking like you have the body of a 12-year-old girl.” I took my 20-ounce tumbler and told him to cool off as I dumped it on his head. True story. And he’ll probably read this.
Alexander: Now, with the interview coming to a close, is there anything you’ve been dying to confess?
Griffo!: I’m a really nice person, but I’m not interested in being a really nice person to everybody. I have people I immediately warm to, but I don’t necessarily believe that I have to be that person to everyone. When you meet me out in public and I’m being a bit of a c*nt, it’s because sometimes people rub me the wrong way, and I think that that’s OK. I just can’t be nice to everyone.
Alexander: That’s pretty much exactly what your Grindr profile said. Perfect.
We finish our beers and I throw myself onto the Metro. I walk into the lobby of my apartment building and think, “Damn, someone’s having a rager tonight!” No sooner than I turn the key in the lock do I realize that actually we are having a party. Upon my entrance into the living room, I’m greeted by a gaggle of gays. Guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Check out the latest installment of Grindrphiles over at Outrage DC.