Being a part of Top Chef Masters is an unadulterated joy, and when I'm on camera I embody a character, one whom viewers seem to find polarizing: They either like it and find it entertaining, or they're really not into it. And in my casual survey of the Not Really Into Its, who frequently like to make their opinion known on Twitter, in their blogs, and in the comments sections of others' blogs, there's a surprising amount of commentary along the lines of "ew, I think James Oseland is gay." Whenever I read one of those comments, I'm immediately plunged back through time to be, again, that kid who's being chased around the playground. Maybe I'm just too sensitive to be on TV.
I've always been gay. I've never been anything else. I never dabbled in girlfriends, and it never occurred to me that my yearnings were in any way peculiar or shameful. My mom, once she got over her initial resistance, was actually pretty ahead of the game, consciousness-wise. But that was how I experienced my identity privately; beyond me, my mom, and our station wagon, the world in which I lived as a 14-year-old was typically American Brutal. I can't remember a time that there wasn't a background chorus following me around, calling out "fa**ot," "sissy," "femme," "girl," "woman," "gay," or "queer" -- the whole tiresome litany. By the time I was 16 -- the year when I was nearly killed in a gay-bashing -- I'd had enough. I dropped out of high school and moved in with my 37-year-old boyfriend, Charles.
The story of how I came to be interested in food is as uneventful as the story of how I came to be gay: I simply always was. Whatever I've been doing in my life, I've been the food guy -- when I was in art school, working in the movie business, traveling the world, whatever. My dad was the cook in our family, and although he and I were never close, it was through food that we found closeness. My memories of him are always entwined with us cooking together, eating together, exploring restaurants together. When he left when I was 13, I took over as the cook in the family, and this way that I'd found to communicate with my dad became a way to communicate with everything.
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Posted By: Kissss |
3/18/13 11:52 AM
I hate hearing about the gay community being bashed so viciously and if you knew any gay people you would understand they are some of the most positive and loving people on earth