Sunday, July 14, 2024
Interviews

It does get better?…A chat with Sophie Santos

Is coming out necessarily easier for younger generations? We caught up with the hilarious Sophie Santos to find out.

She’s a Spanish-Filipino army brat, the self-proclaimed Queen of Stunted Late Bloomers and one of the most exciting emerging voices in comedy—Sophie Santos spent the pandemic writing a memoir about coming to terms with coming of age as a biracial lesbian. Once a southern beauty pageant contestant and sorority girl, Sophie embraced her tomboy misfit identity and is now a Brooklyn-based comedian, writer and host of The Lesbian Agenda, a critically-acclaimed satirical comedy show featuring up-and-coming LGBTQ+ standups and performers. Sophie has written for shows on Bravo and MTV, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Kennedy Center.

How old are you?

I don’t want to age myself, but a lot of people keep telling me that I’m YOUNG AS HELL.

You’ve moved around a lot. Where do you currently live in?

Brooklyn, New York!

Astrological information?

Haha, this wouldn’t be a queer interview without you asking me about my astrology. I’m a Taurus. I’m also a Leo Moon and an Aries Rising for those that are really into knowing too much info about me.

How do you identify in terms of gender and sexual orientation?

I use she/her pronouns, and I identify as a lesbian. 

When and how did you come out to your parents?

I came out to my parents separately. My mom actually outed me. She took me out to lunch one afternoon, and on our way home, we were singing at the top of our lungs to Adam Levine—a heartthrob to every suburban mom—when she suddenly turned the music down, and said, “Honey, when are you gonna stop diddlin’ yourself to The L Word and get yourself a real woman?” I was horrified. Actually, horrified doesn’t begin to capture how much I wanted to die. She had found out I was watching the show because I told her, but I didn’t think she knew what I was doing in my lair.

My lieutenant colonel dad on the other hand simply asked me if I had a girlfriend over Chimichangas at a strip-mall Mexican restaurant during college. I thought he was just using the pride-and-ego-up approach to get information from me. Turns out, he was just being supportive.

Do you think coming out gets any easier as time goes by? Advice for those folks wondering how to come out?

Yeah, I do think there are still major setbacks, and it does feel like no matter how far we get, we’re still battling uphill. However, I do think we’ve still made major headway. And media representation (which is a huge part of it), has seemed to have done a 180. I mean, there’s lesbian and gay TikTok! What?! At the end of the day, I think coming out is such a personal journey, and I think it’s important to come out when youre ready. There’s no timetable. Lean on people who you really trust and know that there will always be a support system for you, even when it doesn’t seem that way.  

How did growing up in the Midwest and then the South affect your point of view, and your sense of humor?

It definitely made me an avid sports fan. Roll Tide! Chiefs Kingdom baby! Growing up in the South was hard at times, but it was a breeding ground for my comedy career (even though I didn’t see it at the time). I lived in a town called Arab…I was a pageant queen and a sorority girl who’s now a lesbian New York comedian…I had no choice but to capitalize on that. I’d say that my point of view didn’t really start getting shaped until I centered my work around my queerness, embracing the journey, and started tracing the signs that led up to those aha moments.  

How did being biracial inform you as a writer and performer? 

Being biracial was hard because I didn’t know where I fit in. I never felt I was enough of one thing. Once I let that go, I started to again, embrace the experience of feeling exactly that: not being enough of one thing, and that opened up a lot of mental doors for me as a writer. 

In your hilarious memoir, your romantic entanglements, especially the Jillian/Rylee situation felt like it was plucked out of The L Word. Why is there so much drama around lesbian sex and love?

I mean, I think my situation with both of them was way more than just sex and love. It was a very bad case of me being extremely selfish. But anytime emotions are invested, it’s always going to be hard to navigate. I think that’s universal.

How did you spend the pandemic and what, if anything, did you learn from it?

I spent the pandemic writing my book, The One You Want to Marry (And Other Identities Ive Had). If there was any time to write a book, that would be it I guess?! I also spent it wiping down my groceries, stripping out of my Covid “street” clothes and putting on clean “house clothes”, and spraying Lysol in my hair. I learned I needed a bigger apartment.

The book is out now and so are you. What are your public and personal plans for fall and winter?

I mean I think personally and publicly are intertwined right now because of the book, so I’m planning on getting this book out into the world, touring a bit to talk to people about it, and seeing where this journey takes me. I’ve never had any project like this before, something that’s this big of scale being thrust into the world. It’s kind of fun to truly be living in the unknown. I currently host the comedy show The Lesbian Agenda, so we’re trying to get a tour for that together. Follow us on @thelesbianagendashow on Instagram for more info. And I’ve been releasing more comedic music, which you can listen to on all platforms! Follow me @sophieesantos on Instagram or check out my website, www.sophiesantos.com.

Get The One You Want To Marry (And Other Identities Ive Had) here.

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Merryn Johns

Merryn Johns is the Editor-in-Chief of Queer Forty. She is an award-winning journalist, as well as a broadcaster and public speaker. Originally from Sydney, Australia where she began her career in journalism in the 1990s, she is based in New York City where she became the editor-in-chief of Curve Magazine and wrote for a variety of publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, Slate, and more. Follow on Twitter at @Merryn1

Merryn Johns has 141 posts and counting. See all posts by Merryn Johns

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