6. Joking around about love
-- The last time we met was after the live taping of “Haato O Tsunago” at the Tokyo Pride Festival. I was wondering, what was your initial reaction when they asked you to appear at a gay pride event?
Well, in the past, organizers of the Tokyo Gay Parade had contacted me and asked whether I would do something for their opening ceremony. Each time I let them know that I wanted to, if my schedule allowed, but it just never seemed to work out. I very much wanted to take part, especially since the gay community wanted me there, so I was elated to have finally made it this year!!
-- Do you think you'd like to take part in other LGBT events in the future too?
Yes! Though I wonder why they would want me--of all people. You know, I’m no opinion leader. And people who work in pop entertainment like me can’t be too political. But as long as they take me as I am, I’d love to be there.
-- On television, you once said that the Japanese comedian "Cunning" Takeyama is your type. What is it about him that you like?
He’s a big man--in the spiritual sense, and he’s got amazing insight...I don’t know how to say it. I just got the sense that he’s a deeply feeling being, so I began liking him.
-- You’re attracted to his inner qualities then, right?
He’s got great emotional depth. I mean, I know I’m talking in simplistic terms, but it’s like even though he might seem to be a rambunctious kind of guy on TV, really he’s very sensitive and thoughtful. So it was natural for me to kind of fall for him.
Also, after I had said on national TV that I liked him, he didn’t try to put it down or overcompensate or react with antipathy or anything. He just took it in stride. And he told me, “You know, I’m a comedian and you’re a comedian so we can use those feelings you have for me as part of an act. But there's nothing more than that. If that works for you, then let’s try something with it.” And after that we created a few sappy romantic comedy skits and joked around with it together!
The fact that, in response to what I had said, he’d be open to doing skits like that really just goes to show what a terrific person he is.
-- We could feel the warmth and humor seeing you on TV. You know, earlier you said that up till now you’ve fallen for straight guys more often than gay guys. How do you tell the two apart?
I can tell easily at just a glance. I wonder why. It’s hard to say but there are a number of signs. It’s the look in their eyes, and the way they talk. Though the look of someone’s face is the same, there’s just something different there. It’s very strange.
-- How accurate, do you think, is your gaydar? (laughs)
Very. (laughs) I know as well as I know coffee from tea...so I’d rate myself at about 85%. (laughs)
-- I read on your blog that you’re currently single. What would be the first thing you do when you get a boyfriend?
I doubt that lesbians would understand this, but in the gay world sex comes pretty easily. So really, I’d like to go out and do all the things that usually lead up to that, like going out on dates, hitting amusement parks, buying groceries for dinner at the supermarket, you know, just things that straight couples do. Like going to Disneyland, and watching fireworks together in the summer...tacky stuff (laughs).
After that, as long as I had my partner’s understanding, I’d like to hold a gay wedding, even if it wasn’t recognized by law, and have the media cover it. I’d really like to give the public a visual image of what it is that sexual minorities want, so I’d want the ceremony shown on TV.
-- Please do! And be sure to invite us to cover it! (laughs)
Sure. (laughs) I’ll let you know.
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translated by rayna