Romi Klinger talks about the reality of “The Real L Word”

AE: Aside from the heavily edited version of your relationship, do you think, overall, you and the rest of the cast were portrayed accurately?
I’m a very goofy person and I’m the first to make fun of myself. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m dramatic but also, that I’m a huge
nerd that finds a way to laugh at every thing. I wish the show had wanted to show more of my humor, but I give them so much drama, that’s what they used. They don’t want to see me laugh, they want to see me cry. And I do!

As for the other cast members, I think it can be hard for some to let themselves go with the production around. That limits the chance to be seen for who they really are. Or maybe they are just smarter than me and know how to show only what they want to be seen. Maybe they have filters, something I do not seem to have.


AE: I was at Francine’s to watch the first episode with all of you. Claire and Vivian’s reactions were interesting. There were tears and laughs and it felt really emotional. Can you explain what was going on that night?

When we watched the first episode with everyone at Francine’s, Claire and Viv were there. I do think it was a bit emotional for them. The show is new to them and their relationship. Claire can be a very private person.

AE: How private can Claire be, honestly?

Well, I don’t really know. I guess not that private, being
that she’s on a reality show. I just think she’s aware of what she is
allowing the cameras to get. She is a smart girl. But I think reliving sad times like leaving Viv in New York was not easy, especially [watching it] at Franny’s house. The show can take you back and make you relive moments you may just want to forget. And want the people you care about to forget. I think Viv, Claire and Franny handled it all very well. I give them all much love.

AE: It was interesting for me, having never watched a reality show with the cast in the same room. It was surreal. I sensed there were some unresolved dramas floating around — true or false?

Well at the time when you were with us, the show has just finished filming and it all went up really fast. So, yes, there was still unfinished drama. I have to laugh at some of the drama that goes down. I mean really, you can’t make this s–it up. [Laughs]

Our circle of friends is worthy of reality TV, for sure.  Whitney and Sara were some of my best friends before this show. We all
went through this crazy journey together. I loved going through it
with them and I feel so lucky to have the rest of the girls share an
experience with me that will forever keep us bonded. We all put our
lives out there, together.

AE: I have a list of RLW Biggest Misconceptions to run by you. Ready? What is the biggest misconception about LA lesbians?
Hmm, the biggest misconception is that they are all femme girls. No, they are not, or I would be sh-t out of luck! We do have a lot of really pretty
girls here.

AE: That no one has a real job?
RK: Yes, we do. It’s
LA. Jobs here may look different than jobs everywhere else, but they are
still jobs.

AE: Being on The Real Word was to become famous?
People have said I used the show to be famous and launch my line and that I used Kelsey for my story line. Let’s clear something up. 1. I never auditioned for the show; 2. I met Whitney before cameras were around; 3. Kelsey and I started dating after Season 1, way before any talk of Season 2; 3. I was going to start a line before I was asked back for Season 2; 4. I’m not rich and famous and no one handed me my [jewelry] line. Vanessa and I do it all on our own and work very hard.

AE: Reality TV?
For those who seem to not get it, and there are a lot of you: We are real people. We have no control of how they decide they are going to portray us. It makes it way more painful when people are trash talking our “characters.” If I was acting as a character, and you hated my character, it would not hurt as much as when you insult who I really am as a person. This whole thing only made me stronger.

AE: llene Chaiken?

As far as I’m concerned, she put out the amazing series, The L Word. (Shane  did it for me, as I’m sure she did for most.) I was honored to be asked to be a part of a show even close to The L Word, which helped change my life and many others [as far as] coming out, etc.. I respect what she has done for our community and will continue to do. She has always been very sweet and supportive with me. I thank her and Showtime for finding me intriguing enough for their show and I would love to come back and do it again!

AE: What’s next for Romi Klinger?

These days, I am in love with me. I am, for once, having a full-blown relationship with myself and it’s good. I’m also doing everything I can to get Hija Por Vida out there. Rose Garcia [from Season 1] is mentoring me and teaching me everything there is to know about
running a business. She has really
helped make Hija come together for us.

Photo by Jeff Pearson

AE: Did I tell you that I want to start a band called “Romi’s
Vagina”? I just think it would be so
punk rock.

RK: Where do I sign up? Let’s start this band please. At least a song. This vagina of mine needs an agent.

AE: What would you want the first song to be? What would we call our first record?

The record would be called Everyone’s Seen it, Nobody’s Heard it and the first song would be “Tile, No Carpet.”

AE: Perfect. You’ve read the AfterEllen recaps, and yet, still agreed to this interview. What do you think about the site?

I know you and many others recap the episodes and
pretty much make fun of everything you can about us. I guess that’s
what you get when you put yourself out there. I’m guilty, as all of us are, for
making fun of people without knowing them. This time, I’m the joke and that’s fine.

I love
that there are sites like AfterEllen out there. It’s a community and
it’s smart, funny and informative. If I was mad about everyone or every site that said
something bad about me I would be one lonely lesbian — and one major

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