â€œYou're never more wanted in Canada until you leave,â€ says Kurt. In addition to more work, she is now enjoying more acclaim and creative freedom than she did in the States. â€œI feel like I don't have to struggle so much for the same amount of job satisfaction,â€ she says.
â€œIn Canada it's not an issue to do a show with gay themes, or with no gay themes but to present yourself as an openly gay person,â€ she says. â€œWhereas in L.A. they're always trying to spin it. Are you going to be funky? Outspoken? A comic relief? Or are you going to die in the second episode? It's always got to be gay and something else.â€
But love was Kurt's main reason for moving back to Canada. Last September she married her partner of five years. â€œI call her my Doctor Smarty Pants,â€ Kurt says of Chloe, who is a professor at York University. â€œShe tells me, â€˜Now that we're gay married, you know, there's no gay divorce, so you can't divorce me.'â€
In addition to the Logo gay marriage series, Kurt is developing a sitcom based on her life. She's hoping to play her own mother. â€œI think Freud would roll over many times in his grave,â€ she says. â€œI'm going to be playing my mother. As a sitcom character.â€
Kurt notes her mother's â€œincredible erasing memoryâ€ as she breaking into a thickly accented impression: â€œWell, eef you're going to make something upâ€¦â€ â€œYeah, like I need to make anything up. I go on stage and I tell her stories verbatim!,â€ Kurt adds, not giving herself due credit for her narrative knack and impeccable delivery.
She complains about her Hungarian heritage, a major source of her material: â€œWe're scattered, there's no cohesion. Of all the ethnicities, to have one that so fractured and joyless. Hey, lucky me.â€
â€œI've also inherited the Hungarian outlook,â€ Kurt continues. â€œIt's not really like the glass is half empty. It's more like [in thick accent] I think the gless is duhrty.' And why is it a glass? Why not plastic? Plastic is safer, you could kill yourselfâ€¦â€
Kurt has often joked that her mother tried to kill her when she came out to her in '89. â€œMy mother is so supportive and sweet and understands there are more of us, and there's kind of even a cachet about it because not everyone is so it's special. Yet she has no problem saying things like, â€˜I know iz rilly heppy but iz not normal, you know?'â€ And she doesn't want any of the family in Hungary to know, claiming â€œWe don't even have zese tings over dehr.â€
â€œBailey. Bailey, come here!â€ This time it's the family dog rather than Sesame Street competing with us for Kurt's attention. Apparently the Lab/Newfoundland mix recently discovered the little pan behind the barbecue where all the grease drips, and ever since then she has been going over to lick â€œthe disgusting barbecue drippingsâ€ every time she is let out into the yard. â€œI'm so grossed out by my dog right now,â€ says Kurt.
Big dogs need plenty of exercise, and Bailey is about to head off to a doggie play group. â€œIt sounds so pretentious. And we do take her for walks,â€ Kurt says. â€œBut there's something about her running around the lake with a bunch of other big dogs, playing in the water. I mean, I certainly couldn't coordinate that.â€
Kurt says Bailey looks like a bear, noting that â€œthe baby must think she lives with a gigantic black monster.â€ Kurt has already started a â€œtherapy journalâ€ for her daughter, and the first entry is about the dog. â€œTwenty years from now the baby will be grown up, sitting in therapy going, â€˜I have images of this big, black shadow lurking over me…'â€
Therapy journal? â€œI'm so sure I'm going to screw up as a parent that I want to have a book on hand. I just want to her to be prepared.â€
As if on cue, the baby starts to giggle in the background. â€œMy comedy has gone from how to come up with a really clever way of saying anythingâ€¦to making funny faces to make the baby laugh,â€ Kurt says. â€œShe doesn't care how funny a joke is.â€