Kim Stolz Smiles With Her Eyes: The Autostraddle Interview

Riese: Back into politics, you wrote, about two weeks ago, about trying to give Obama the benefit of the doubt despite his lack of follow-through so far on key gay issues. Have you changed your opinion this week?

If President Obama says that these rights and decisions are best left up to the states in every way, then why aren’t we repealing DOMA? DOMA’s a complete rejection of that notion!

Kim: I’m disappointed that Obama didn’t extend full benefits to same-sex partners. I don’t understand his prerogative in limiting these benefits especially ’cause I saw a show a few weeks ago where he said something to the effect of, “I don’t know about marriage, but I want the LGBT community to have full benefits and rights.” He just absolutely went against what he said, and yeah, of course that’s disappointing to me.

If President Obama says that these rights and decisions are best left up to the states in every way, then why aren’t we repealing DOMA? DOMA’s a complete rejection of that notion! I have faith that President Obama will support equal rights for the LGBT community, but I think we might have to wait until a second term.

Riese: What do you think we should do in the meantime besides waiting for bigoted people to die?  When you were offed from ANTM, a lot of people said it was ’cause America wasn’t ready for a gay Cover Girl and now Ellen’s signed with them. Do you think things are changing rapidly enough?

Kim: I think there’s a domino effect in terms of states, like Iowa legalizing gay marriage leading to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. There’s a momentum despite the fact that the federal government isn’t willing to step up at this juncture. We need to build the grassroots support in our states & communities that brought Obama into power in the first place.

So I think it’s really about a grassroots effort right now and fighting for rights on a local level, and hopefully the federal will either follow or just let it pass.

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Riese: Do you expect people in the public eye to be honest?

Kim: I don’t know that anyone can expect people in the public eye to be honest when there’s so much effort to counter that.

Riese: … in an ideal world?

Kim: Sure. If all of the gay actors and actresses in Hollywood came out and said they were gay, I’m sure we’d have gay marriage legal in the United States today.

Riese: Does it drive you crazy, when you know people are gay, and they won’t admit it?

Kim: You know, it does drive me crazy in a way, but at the same time, I do respect people’s desires for privacy and to make their own choices. It’s not a gay person’s responsibility to come out. I personally think the best choice is to come out, but as much as I’d love to say there’s a social responsibility to come out to further the equal rights movement, it isn’t really actually their individual responsibility to do that.

Intern Katrina: As someone with a journalistic background, what do you think it says about the media now that “outing” someone has gone from being a huge taboo to an open non-publicized secret to now when “outing” is actually done, like with Lindsay Lohan?

Kim: I think that people are being outed in all different kinds of ways now because of the social networking world we live in. Being outed for being gay or lesbian is no different. In a sense it’s good, because it brings a typically silent issue to the table. But at the same time, everyone’s life is in the public eye, and these people may be less willing to feel free when all their actions are publicized everywhere they go. We’re at a very strange and flux time right now where we’ll have to see if this public outing and everything with gossip & Twitter & social networking & even what many news organizations are doing actually ends up being beneficial or not.

Riese: So do you like Twitter?

Kim: I like Twitter a lot, yeah. I get a lot of my news there. I enjoy it, I think it’s fun. It’s a great way to get out the things you’re doing, whether it be just for your friends or for a fan base. I think it’s a totally great tool.

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Next … “I think that the LGBT community is very much afraid of losing some of its numbers. And I just wish they’d realize no matter how matter how I dress or look, I will always be really gay.”

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2854 articles for us.

32 Comments

  1. Still not finished reading it. But had to say 3 things:
    1. Great photos/interview
    2. She seems really down to earth
    3. I LOVE HER WATCH!

    okay that’s it…thanks

  2. i love kim. she is one reason i want to be a new vj. because a. i’d be adorable and b. how great would our stand-up’s be?

    eric mathew for new vj.

    p.s. the photo of her is gorgeous.

  3. Kim is so awesome. I remember watching her on ANTM when I was 12 and thinking she was the coolest person ever… She seemed even more awesome in this interview, though. I’d totally watch her TV show if she ever got one. How cool would it be if it was right after The Rachel Maddow Show?! It would be like a smart/awesome lesbian marathon!

  4. this interview was so so great, you guys! the virginia tech story is such a perfect example of how important it is to be out, so other people can see how normal it is! cute dress, btw! whee!

  5. This girl is adorable, and so smart! I remember watching her on Top Model when I was a teenager, it made coming out seem easier/a lot less awful than I thought it would be.

  6. 1. Awesome interview and pictures.
    2. I like her shoes and dress.
    3. She seems really down to earth. I was curious about her after watching ANTM and seeing her on MTV, but never read any articles or anything. I enjoy hearing her opinions and such, I would totally watch her show.
    4. The Virginia Tech story is so cute. I’m a little jealous, my gaydar needs a tune up for sure.

  7. Great interview, and I loved the introduction – it cut to the chase on why she’s relevant and interesting, explains things that maybe wouldn’t be evident in the interview alone, and then follows up with a brilliant one on one. And the photos…geeze – Robin, so talented it’s ridiculous. All your pictures have such a warmth to them, I checked out your wedding portfolio, amazing.

    And Kim is such a babe it’s outrageous. (I’d follow her on twitter but i’m shy.)

    • Robin = brill. She really captures people in their natural light (both literally and symbolically). We’re so lucky to have her!
      +
      And thanks for liking the intro! I’m relatively obsessed with unpacking the impact of specific figures who represent a certain kind of queer visibility in the media, so it’s always interesting for me too to have the opportunity to do that, especially with someone who I think honestly had a significant impact on me when I was watching her on ANTM (in that she reminded me of lesbians I knew, but lesbians I also knew for some reason were never on teevee or in movies, aka “symbolic annihilation”). I really enjoyed fourfour’s ANTM recaps (the only recaps I ever read before trying to write my own) b/c he has a background in media studies and so beneath the humor there was a perspective I really admired.
      +
      Go team!

      • Twisted my arm…I have an aversion to following people I don’t actually know but I guess this counts?

        p.s. i’m recommending you to a friend who’s getting married next year here in CT :)

  8. Presbyterians are a stodgy bunch; they’re no United church, that’s for sure. But some like the gays, which is a start.

    Great interview! You guys are really snagging some interesting subjects (and now I clearly have a big huge crush). Keep on shinin’!

  9. Pingback: Autostraddle Interviews Kim Stolz : Top Model Gossip - Top Model Gossip from b5media

  10. Kim’s so great! She was cool on ANTM and even more so when you see her in other lights. I got to meet her during a community service project in New Orleans last year- it was awesome :)

  11. Excuse my french, but Kim is full of it. recently she went on Twitter basically saying Kristen Stewart is gay…if its an issue of privacy why doesbn’t Kim respect Kristen’s privacy

  12. Dude kim, we don’t hate your dresses and hair because it makes it look straight, we hate it because you look better with short hair. it’s a face shape thing, not a gay-bait thing ; )

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