L.A. Pride Guide Exclusive Interview: Kelly Osbourne
Congratulations on making People’s Most Beautiful list.
I was really shocked by that. When they called me I was like, When is someone going to tell me that was a joke? When you’re in an industry where you’re surrounded by the world’s most beautiful people—and you know I always grew up really insecure —it’s still like I’m waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up
In addition to that, you and your mom have been named grand marshals of L.A. Pride.
That’s what I’m more excited about. You have no idea. I guarantee I won’t sleep the night before.
How does that happen? Do you get a call from someone saying, “Hey, we want you to come and be in the parade”?
Basically, my assistant Dave and I have been talking about Pride for a long time and what we were going to do, and he has some friends—as well as I do—who are on the committee, and he secretly went and suggested me.
It’s cool that you and your mom are from different generations and are equally vocal in your support for the gay community. But do you have a sense that your generation is more accepting overall?
I do. And I think as time goes on—and unfortunately, it is going to take time—eventually people won’t even think of it anymore.
How much of a role did your mom play in developing your attitude about gay people?
When I was a kid I brought home the kids that nobody ever wanted to talk to. I could never understand why you didn’t want to talk to somebody because they were fatter or because they were smelly or because their hair was always messy. I think you have to have a legitimate reason not to like someone. I’ve always just been that way.
I have it lucky. I’m a white female; there is no minority with me, and life can still be hard. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to know that you’re something, and to know that’s who you are, and have every single person in the world tell you that you’re a pervert and you’re a freak.
Have your own struggles lead to an identification with gay people?
It’s not about identifying, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong. And it’s wrong to look down upon somebody or not let somebody marry the person they want to marry because of their sexual orientation. It doesn’t make sense to me.
How did you become involved with the “We Give a Damn” campaign?
Through Cyndi. She and my mom have become good friends since they did The Apprentice together. I have been a huge fan of Cyndi’s for years. I have a picture meeting her in [London’s] Royal Albert Hall when I was about 11 years old. You know the yellow color that Lady Gaga dyes her hair now? Cyndi used to do that first, and she had it in a bob. She had drag queens onstage with her, and I remember it was the most amazing show I’d ever seen. I wanted to be just like her.
You were born in England, which allows civil unions and gays in the military. What are your observations about the cultural differences between the U.K. and the U.S.?
No matter where you go, you’re always going to have ignorant people. But it’s the way in which it’s handled in England that I think is a lot more respectful. They’re like, “If you don’t like it, fine, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be married.” Here it’s like, “It’s an abomination! We’re all going to die and go to hell because you want to kiss a man!” It’s ridiculous.
So they have more of a live-and-let-live attitude?
It’s hard to explain unless you are there. It would be wrong for me to say that you can be gay in England and everything’s just fine, because there are still ignorant people. But I think people are less inclined to do anything against it there than they are here.
In your world travels, have you found a place that has the ideal attitude or close to it?
I really like Paris a lot, because they don’t even care. Where else in the world at that time in history could Josephine Baker have gone on and become the star that she was? Nowhere. They’ve always been so ahead in their beliefs and are just like, “Whatever—you are who you are.” But they’re snobby about it too. So there’s still a touch of bitch there, which I like.
When did you first realize that you had a big gay following?
I still don’t realize it, to be honest with you. I feel that a lot of celebrity females take advantage of the gay community because they know that if they have the gay community supporting them, then they’ll always have some kind of a career. I never want to be one of those [women]. In my eyes, that’s almost taking advantage. And a lot of the time, what I think about what they do is, Well, you say all this, but where are you at the rallies?
You prefer people who walk the walk.
Exactly. There are women, like Lady Gaga, who fully embrace it and who stand up. They go to the rallies, they protest. But then there are women who—I’m not going to name names—that use the gay community to sell albums, but then they don’t back it up. And I don’t like that.
Before I forget, I want to say congratulations on your second anniversary with your fiancé, Luke.
In his modeling career, Luke has been pretty fearless with pushing gender boundaries, posing in lipstick, high heels, and even full drag.
Luke’s family is very accepting, like my mom and dad are. For Luke, I will say, he went through a bit at first, especially when that high heel shot came out. There was a little bit of a time where he went, “Do I really want to do this? Am I really gonna take the flack for this?” Then we had this conversation about it and we realized it doesn’t matter. It’s a paycheck and he had fun doing it—so who cares? And that’s another thing I find so amazing about Luke is that he’s not gay and he still takes the shit for it. And now he’s like, “Fuck you, I don’t care.”
If there were one thing that could change in the entire world by the end of this year, in any realm, what would you like to see happen?
That the government can no longer tell people who they can and cannot be with. For me, that’s the most pressing thing. Once that falls into place and people start to realize that there really is no difference, then everything else will also fall into place.