Margaret Cho talks girl crushes, her open marriage and being a queer woman of color


Comedian/badass Margaret Cho is currently on tour for her first music release, the album Cho Dependent. She’s been making the interview circuit to promote the show, and has chatted about everything from activism, to her multiple girl-crushes, to her tastes in music, all with her signature whip smart humor and bold opinions.

In a video interview for The New Gay, Cho was asked directly about how she reconciles her super sexual content (interviewer Zack Rosen jokingly put it as “sex, sex, fisting, eating p—y,”) with her marriage to husband Al Ridenour. “I was not a virgin when I got married,” Cho quips. “I’ve had such a wealth of sexual experience … I’m always going to be queer.”

She certainly has the right to claim that, as TNG notes when he commended her for obliterating the divide between being a performer and being an activist, and asked her how she defines those roles. Cho responds:

Well, to me it goes hand in hand because my identity is so rooted in my activism. Y’know, I’m queer, I’m a woman of color, I’m very progressive politically. And this is about my work … I grew up cradled within the gay community, I came up in the ’80s and ’90s, and I worked a lot as an AIDS activist when I was very young. So it’s something I always knew I would do. It’s just inherent to who I am.

She also spoke about the gay pride dance she did on Dancing With the Stars, her effort to bring attention to the rash of gay teen suicides. Cho points out how important it is to have people on television who are out and visible. “I’m on TV. I’m gay,” she says of her gay pride dance performance. “That’s beautiful.”

Queerness was a popular topic in the short interview she did for New York Magazine this week. Speaking again of her marriage, she says, “We’ve never had a monogamous relationship … I need the ability to be myself and do what I want.”

Cho goes on to reveal a litany of girl crushes, from burlesque stars Jo Boobs and the World Famous Bob, to her Dancing With the Stars co-star Jennifer Grey, to Fiona Apple and Liz Phair. Her taste in musicians (both for listening to and crushing out on) is a strength she acknowledges in how she chose collaborators for her first music debut.

“All these people I love,” she says of the many guest musicians she collaborated with, from Tegan and Sara and Ani DiFranco, to indie darlings Andrew Bird and Carl Newman of The New Pornographers. “They’re all musicians that I listen to, so these are the people I turned to when I wanted to make music.”

Pairing a fiercely funny woman with face-melting musical talent? The end result, as evidenced in both her album and the show, is uniquely awesome.

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