Leslie Jordan


“Well shit…what are y’all doin’?”

Leslie Jordan has risen to Instagram fame with that phrase. He has gone viral on Instagram during the quarantine doing little videos of stories from his life. I have always been a fan of Leslie, and nearly every night before bed, I check out what videos he posted that day. He’s just a really talented and funny man.

Last night I watched My Trip Down the Pink Carpet. It was just what I expected. It was funny, sweet, and emotional. Some of the stories from his one man show he has repeated during his Instagram posts, but they are still funny. I realize that he might not be everyone’s taste in humor, but he just makes me laugh.

While I am no Hollywood star and I’m nowhere near as funny, there’s a lot that I identify with in Leslie. He grew up in East Tennessee, and I grew up in South Alabama. He was raised Southern Baptist; I was raised in the Church of Christ. We’ve both had our share of struggles accepting ourselves for who we are. This could describe thousands of gay men and women across the South, especially of my generation and the generation before. Even today, kids are scared to death to come out because our parents barber always accepting. Leslie has said that while his mother accepts him, she’s never understood him.

Leslie hasn’t lived a perfect life. He struggled for over thirty years with drugs and alcohol, but he’s been sober since 1997. However, I admire him so much. During the height of the AIDS crisis he volunteered for Project Angel Food. These days he works with The Trevor Project to help prevent LGBTQ suicides.

I hope you’ll check him out. He really does make me laugh.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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