‘A-List Dallas’ Star Taylor Garrett: “My Mom Prays for Me to Be Straight”
An interview with Taylor Garrett, the gay, Christian, Republican star of The A-List Dallas.
-April Daniels Hussar
The A-List Dallas premiered a couple of weeks ago on LOGO TV and it’s already causing major cultural waves. The show profiles five gay guys and their gal pal Ashley Kelly, a buxom Barbie-blond who proclaims glibly in the first episode, “The higher the hair the closer to Jesus!” Filled with cowboy boots, prayer meetings, love triangles quadrangles, major drama and copious amounts of alcohol, it’s a wild ride and definitely worth watching. The show’s most interesting character, in my opinion, is Taylor Garrett, a handsome young Christian conservative who makes a living fundraising for Republican candidates and issues.
I had the opportunity to chat with Taylor recently about everything from why he said yes (after saying no four times) to being on the show, to his infamous lunch with Ann Coulter, to what his family thinks about The A-List Dallas (“they don’t get that channel!”).
April Hussar: So why did you decide to participate in the show?
Taylor Garrett: I mainly said yes because — it sounds kind of corny or cheeky — but I really wanted to show young people that you don’t have to be a certain way just because you’re gay. My famous one-liner I like to say is, “I refuse to live on the Democrat’s plantation and be their slave just because I’m a gay man.” And what I mean by that is the Democrats always tend to want to keep minorities and minority groups voting for them simply because they’re minorities. Also, I wanted to show young gay youth that they can still be a Christian and be included in a religion and a faith, even though a lot of churches tend to ostracize us and make us seem unwelcome.
AH: What’s your reaction to critics who say your show and the whole A-List franchise gives gays a bad name? That you’re not good role models, that you don’t represent the gay community in a good light?
TG: Well, first of all, you have to have some kind of interesting story to make TV. No one wants to watch boring people on TV. Second of all, to all the critics who claim we don’t represent the gay community: I never said I represent the gay community. I don’t. I represent Taylor Garrett. That’s the only person I’m representing. Now, I probably do represent the fraction within the gay community that’s Republican and Christian, and I’m happy to represent them. But I do not represent the gay community as a whole.
AH: How does your family feel about you being on the show?
TG: Well … haha – my family doesn’t get that channel. They live on a ranch. So, they know I’ve been filming but they think it’s for a documentary about my professional career with my peers. I’ve just kept it at that. They know I’m gay; they’ve met several of my boyfriends. They believe it’s a choice, they believe it’s a sin, but they love me so much that they respect me and we kind of have a mutual respect to disagree on the issue. Just the other day I was talking to my mom and she was like, “Yeah, we’re still praying for a miracle for you to become straight.” I said you’re gonna be prayin’ for a long time.
AH: Zachary Quinto recently came out – inspired by recent suicide of young, gay, bullied Jamey Rodemeyer. Do you feel that gay public figures have an obligation to come out in public?
TG: (Pause) I feel that it’s their business.
First of all, I hate a hypocrite. And I know a lot of hypocritical politicians that are gay; I know a lot of people on Fox News that are gay and every day they talk about gay issues and they’re out having sex behind closed doors with escorts and prostitutes. I find that to be disturbing. I hate that. But on the flip side, a celebrity, such a Quinto – he’s playing a fictional role in movies and I don’t think that he should have to come out of he doesn’t want to. But it’s great that he did. It’s really amazing.
On the political side I find it extremely disturbing when there are politically elected officials who are voting against gay rights but at the same time they’re banging some guy against closed doors.