Kim Stolz Smiles With Her Eyes: The Autostraddle Interview

Riese: Give me your most adorable fan story and your most crazy weird fan story.  Or something that really made you feel like you were making a difference.

Kim: Every day I get letters and Facebook messages from people telling me that watching me on MTV or Top Model helped them realize who they are and get the confidence to come out, which is great.

One of my favorite stories actually happened while I was at MTV News covering Virginia Tech one year later. Probably one of my best skills is my gaydar [laughs], and I was interviewing a freshman there and thinking, “Man, this girl is GAY!” So she’s talking about her boyfriend so of course, because of who I am, I have to check this somehow.

So I ask her for her number for a “follow-up interview” which obviously we probably don’t need. We start talking and texting back and forth — and I wasn’t hitting on her! I was actually dating someone at the time and wasn’t interested romantically, but I wanted her to come hang out with us ’cause I think everyone on that MTV News production team was gay.

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So she didn’t come meet us. She texted me saying, “Oh I’m staying in tonight. Also, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, I have a boyfriend,” which is funny because I was like, “Don’t flatter yourself, I’m not interested!” But obviously she knows I’m gay, and, you know, a lot of straight people think that all gay people are hitting on them. So I wrote back, “Haha, I have a girlfriend, no worries there. But I would probably keep an open mind if I were you.”

So I forgot about it.

One year later I get a facebook message; “You probably don’t remember me, but I just want to let you know that you were right.” And I was like, “Who the F is this, right?”

So I write back and I’m like “Who is this?” And she wrote back, “You interviewed me at Virginia Tech a year ago …”

And she tells me that I put this stuff in her mind, and six months later she broke up with her boyfriend, eight months later she came out, completely and totally gay, and is making pretty great changes at Virginia Tech to make them more open.

Riese: That’s awesome. So what about your crazy fans?

Kim: Um, well you know, there have been a couple of stalkers, and I’ve had to sort of…get people involved. But I also have those funny, crazy stories of girls running up to me and asking me to sign their boob, and I’m just like, “Yeah, where’s the pen!” But you know, it’s mostly just cute little stories like that.

Riese: So is there anything you’re working on now that you want to tell people about?

Kim: I’m definitely working with MTV on a couple of projects. I am working with Ford Models. I’m writing for The Huffington Post. I’m writing for a new website called True/Slant!

Riese: What’s their…slant? What’s their thing?

Kim: True/Slant is a great new political website with political commentary, and a hundred something journalists are now contributing. It’s just a nice, big group of people. It’s cool. It’s a very smart website. I like it a lot.

So there’s that, and I’ve been working with some other news networks. Oh, and I’m probably going to also take some law school classes just because I always wanted to do that, and I want to know if it’s something I do want to go into. I was going to go to law school, but I actually got the call from MTV offering me the job while I was in the Columbia Law School admissions office.

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Riese: So what’s your dream project right now?

Kim: You mean like right now, or in ten years?

Riese: I guess that depends on whether you want your dreams to happen right now or on ten years.

Kim: [Laughs] Hmm. Well, my dream project changes all the time, to be honest with you.

As of right now, my dream project would be to host, write, and produce a political talk show that both brought the news to the viewer and brought many different opinions and had different pundits chiming in, and could be a compelling show in terms of opinions, but also would be fair and informational.

Riese: Have you pitched that to anyone?

Kim: I mean, I also would like to go out into the field a lot in that show. I definitely have talked to many people about getting to that place and getting to have that kind of show. I don’t think it’s realistic that I’m going to have it tomorrow, but … I think I’ll have it at some point.
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Next … “It was an unbelievably hard time, but at the same time, I knew that I was right, and I knew that there was no way that what I was doing could be wrong, and I was in love.”

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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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