When a friend recommended makeup artist Romi Klinger for a shoot I was working on, I instantly recognized the name — not as a production contact, but as a two-season cast member of The Real L Word. Granted, the only episode I watched was from Season 1, when she had on-camera sex with Whitney Mixter, so my impression of Romi was based mostly on that one crazy scene.
By the time the shoot was over, I had gotten to know the Real Romi, and not Reality Romi. (For the record, Real Romi is very professional and great to work with!) And so, I kept asking myself, “How and why did this nice, down-to-earth girl end up on a reality show?” I decided the best way to find out was to simply ask her, so I did. We ended up talking about that, and a whole lot more.
AfterEllen.com: What made you decide to be on The Real L Word?
Romi Klinger: I had just starting to date Whitney [before they began taping Season 1.] I wasn’t sure what this show was, but I didn’t care because
I really liked her. When they started shooting, I was a bit turned off
by it. I didn’t want to sign up or jump on board. But then one day, I said
“F-ck it. I like this girl and I can go with this, or not.” I am pretty much an
open book as it is, so I put my life and
my emotions for Whitney out there for the world to see. Who knew that
day would change so much of my life?
AE: The cast received criticism and judgment, as most reality show people do. How do you respond to that?
RK: Since Season 1, I have heard all kinds of
criticism. You can’t please everyone. I am honest with who I am on and
off camera. There has been a lot of great support since Season 2. For the new cast, it might have been shocking to see how the
final show was edited, but I was prepared after last season. It’s a show,
at the end of the day. What they do with that footage is up to them. I laugh it off and don’t
let any of it get to me. I can’t.
AE: Last year, I saw the Season 1 episode where you had pretty graphic sex on camera with Whitney. Afterward, I Googled you to see if you had made a public statement, which you had. I really loved your positive response. Care to reiterate it here?
RK: Whitney and I had the famous strap-on scene in Season 1 that brought a
lot of attention to me, not all of it positive. As far as sex with Whitney on Season 1, and sex with Kelsey on Season 2, I can’t say it enough: I am very comfortable with my body. Sex is sex and I am not ashamed of it.
Straight people have sex all the time on cable and in the movies, and no one says anything. [But] I have sex with someone I love, who happens to be another woman, and I get all these opinions? Thank God my mother and father
raised me to be a strong woman and who owns who I am.