Interview With Dani Campbell of “Shot at Love”

AE: So your mom caught you?
DC:
So my mom caught me, yeah. She busted me, and she cried, and I was like: "Mom, it’s just a phase. Don’t worry."

And then I was totally in love with this girl, so I ended up telling her, "Yes, I am gay, and this is the way it is." And you know, parents usually want to blame somebody, so she blamed one of my good friends who was gay. You know, like she touched me and gave me the gay cooties.

But now my mom … is trying to learn from it with this show and everything. It’s been a good step in our relationship. She’s really embraced it, and now she just wants to learn and know more about it, and she sees that it’s OK. She’s a high school teacher, so the kids in her classes, they’re like … cause I really look like my Mom, so these kids are asking her, "Do you have a daughter on TV?" They’re just asking her, "Can she come in and visit us?" So you know, she’s getting a positive response from this as well. So this is all a good thing, this whole show.

AE: Wow, so she’s watching it and she’s OK with it all?
DC:
Yeah, yep.

AE: That’s fantastic.
DC:
Yeah, it’s really cool. I mean, my mother and I, we have a great relationship, but now it’s even better, because now we can talk about one of the biggest things that’s a part of me.

AE: So are you back working as a firefighter now?
DC:
Yep.

AE: Do you want to continue doing that, or do you have other plans, other aspirations now that you’ve been on the show and have so many fans?
DC:
Well, I’ve always had an interest in TV. I’ve been involved in theater when I was in college, and I’m not afraid of the stage. I do some crazy improv singing stuff. I like that kind of life, in the limelight, I guess. It’s definitely something I would look into if I was approached with any offers, but I’m not going to be jumping out of my career for just anything. It would have to be something great. Or hopefully I could do both.

AE: So I think you’re MySpace page currently lists you as being single —
DC:
Yeah. It was like that when I left for this show, and so I figured I’m not going to touch it when I get back, I’m just not going to do anything. And people are like, "Oh, I guess you didn’t win, because it says ‘single.’" I mean, people really look into this MySpace stuff. [laughs]

AE: Well, I was going to ask you a hypothetical question: If you are not with Tila, then what kind of girl are you looking for?
DC:
When I do look for girls, I guess I just look for someone that’s really confident. Very outgoing, likes to go out and have a good time, intelligent. I like girls that are shorter than me. I like long dark hair. [laughs] That’s about it, I guess.

AE: Well, is there anything else you want to tell your fans?
DC:
Mmm, I love ‘em. I love them all. No, I don’t know. This is all new for me, so is there something I should tell them?

AE: Well, one thing that came up for me actually is that I think it’s cool that you’ve lasted so long in the competition because you’re really more genderqueer than the other girls, which is great for lesbians.
DC: Yeah, yeah, it is, and I think that’s where all the feedback is coming from. They’re just really impressed, and they’re like, "Oh thank God, finally." Because I’ve seen some of these shows out there with lesbians, and I’m like: "Those aren’t lesbians! Those are strippers. Come on!"

AE: They do kind of look like strippers!
DC:
Yes! What’s with that? So I know it’s a … relief for our community to see somebody with more of an androgynous look to them. And just that I have a career, and [I'm] just someone being real, you know what I mean? And I’m not jeopardizing my integrity for anything on this show. I just stayed true to myself, and I think that everybody’s appreciating that, and I appreciate that they appreciate [it]. And I hope it just encourages people to be themselves.

The more we are not afraid of being who we are, the quicker we come out of the shadow of society, and the easier it will be to be gay, and we can start working towards equality for everybody. That’s it. My little speech. [laughs]

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