2 posts categorized "KEVIN MICHAEL BARBA"

Aug 05 2011
Gay Wrongs Comments (15)

SafariScreenSnapz001It's Hitler vs. Gandi in the World Series of Love!

** This post is stitched together like Frankenstein from a comment I made on the original Barba post. **

I kinda knew my interview with Kevin Michael Barba would stir up strong feelings considering the relish with which commenters disemboweled him in the initial Gawker piece on that stomach-turning letter used to introduce him to the world. I mean, "18yo gay socialite" is like chum in the water.

P But I find a chunk of the responses to be a real embarrassment—much worse than the harm they're accusing Barba of causing simply by existing and having an ego and a youthful desire to achieve notoriety.

Let me start by saying I actually take no issue with all the commenters who simply are not at all impressed—especially (but not exclusively) for older people, there is no real reason why he would be inspiring. So those criticisms are pretty expected and self-explanatory and I get them.

But in watching the responses here, on YouTube and over at Gawker, I do have to point out some glaringly unfair and hypocritical comments.

First, anyone who's attacking him for his nose or his hair or his clothes while saying he's not deserving of being a role model is kind of saying, "He's sooo shallow...and ugly, too!" I mean, look at your logic.

Criticize him for being naive in thinking just getting to where he is so far is a sign of "success"—but attacking how he looks? How exactly does that make him unworthy?

SafariScreenSnapz003

More deliciously, we have commenters calling him a lesbian, a girl, a transvestite SafariScreenSnapz002 and over on YouTube insulting him for being "femme," something our community "tends to shy away from." Are you guys out of your gourds? You're fucking gay. You suck penises. We all do. So what if he is more effeminate than you are (assuming he even is)? Why on earth would that bug you? The drags at Stonewall wore dresses. So?

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Aug 03 2011
A Socialite At The End Of The Tunnel: An Interview With Kevin Michael Barba Comments (28)

PreviewScreenSnapz00218 and pregnant with ambition

Eighteen-year-old Kevin Michael Barba is a reality show waiting to happen. He was introduced to the culture via a deliciously catty Gawker item lampooning a letter written on his behalf seeking help in securing a publicist. His goal? To be an out gay role model to teens, a human It Gets Better—even if his privileged upbringing makes him one of those rare It Was Never That Bad To Begin Withs.

Like any good member of the proletariat, I figured he might be a male Paris Hilton and Role-model scoffed at his naked desire to be famous. But I was curious, and after some Facebooking, I met with him for lunch at Blue Fin in Times Square. And lo and behold, I found him way more likable than his assistant's letter betrayed—yes, in spite of the fact that he's less than half my age and has an assistant in the first place. In person, he comes across as downright earnest, hoping to do good and at the same time wondering aloud how so many Gawker squawkers could liken his haircut to Justin Bieber's. ("Old people only have one point of reference for 18-year-olds?" I offered.)

Jackie O StripesOh, Jackie!

He's also self-aware enough to note that while he hopes to inspire others, he'd also like to earn a Mazel of the Week nod from Andy Cohen someday. His role models sound like ingredients in the image he hopes to convey—Cohen, Jackie O, Bethenny Frankel.

Lest you think I'm just cozying up to him on the off chance he could be persuaded to pay for my first tummy tuck, I paid for lunch over his strident objections. I wanted to preserve my journalistic integrity. So keep an open mind and have a look at how he responded to all my questions—if you watch to the end, you might even get a chic Countess LuAnn de Lesseps reference...

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