Sarah mentioned in her current Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. column that former America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 8) contestant Jael Strauss identifies her sexual orientation as "lesbian" on her Myspace.com page. Well, after reading this I immediately catwalked over to Jael’s page and added her as a "friend." Jael was my favorite contestant last season and I always got the "not straight" vibe from her.
As Jael’s new "friend," I am now privy to receiving her bulletins, and the latest one directed me to a piece she wrote for the groovy website www.orato.com. Orato.com is dedicated to "first person citizen journalism." In the article, Jael talks about her Top Model-ing experience and about her post-Tyra life. I have to say that Jael’s seems just as cool, interesting, and, yes, weird, in print as she did on the show. Oh yeah, and did I mention that in the article she says she has a boyfriend? Jael’s world view is nothing if not unique, so I’m guessing that the same goes for her definition of the word “lesbian.”
Here are some excerpts from the article, "
On changing the world one photo shoot at a time: "I feel the best way for me to make a positive difference is to infiltrate and try to remain honest and aware of the others that absorb the image that I portray. In particular, I intend to change the modeling industry to the best of my ability, regardless of winning the contest or not. I am attempting to do so by remaining a compassionate, vulnerable being in the public eye, rather than allowing money or fame to compromise my actions."
On bitchy Top Model judge Miss J’s "fashion" choices:" I also have no idea what was up with judge J. Alexander’s ruffled collars. All I can say about that is, green is my favorite color."
On Jaslene’s win: I think Jaslene took amazing photos and wanted it worse than anyone there. I remember talking to her on the balcony at semi-finals, before we were chosen to get into the house. It was her number one dream to be America’s Next Top Model, to be the first ANTM to represent her Latina sisters. I am so happy that her dreams came true.
On how her "mood" affects her sexual orientation: "The show didn’t discuss my sexual preference because it’s none of their business who I do it with. I don’t feel that sexual preference defines who I am personally. I hope I have a lot more interesting characteristics than my sexual orientation. There are “open” lesbian “top models.”
"Kim from a previous season was openly gay. I love people. No matter what gender. I don’t consider myself gay, straight or bi. I choose not to limit my experiences in life to men or women. I am currently in an amazing relationship with a man. Damn, I sound like a hippy! People may think they know who I am one day because they read my MySpace page, but that can be tricky, since I change everything around depending on my mood!"
On where she’s at: "I am currently booking a U.S. tour for the band Noman from Detroit, co-producing a music video for “God’s of Radio,” just joined Otto Models and recently modeled for www.hitchcouture.com. At the moment I’m also looking for a David Bowie look-a-like for a music video my boyfriend is directing, which I am co-producing and acting in. This is my first time producing a film project, so it is so exciting. Oh, and I am planning my trip to Burning Man!"
Just in case you don’t remember Jael–though I’m not sure how that would even be possible–here’s a little video clip of her rapping: