Q: You do a pretty good woman, especially the character based on your mom. Did you always have that sort of ease, for the lack of a better term, with your female side? It's given hope to a lot of gay men that you might be bisexual.
A: Thank them for the offer. I take it in great pride. If I was gay, I would be the gayest man alive. When I did "Mambo Mouth" and the female character, Manny the fanny [a transvestite], I went downtown to the Meat market and interviewed (very corny, I had a pad and everything and a tape recorder) and would talk to them and ask them about their lives and this and that. And I went home, and I would try to imitate what they told me.
Q: Your ease with gay issues is unusual, especially for a Latino. Did this come from your gay, theater-loving uncle who is one of the very few positive images in "Freak"?
A: Yeah, you learn that gay people don't affect your straightness. If you're straight, then how is some other person's preference going to endanger you? It's so damn stupid. And most gay people are super intelligent and creative and contributors to our culture and collective psyche. And I learned that from my Uncle Sanny who gave me a chance to rechannel my self-destructiveness into something which brought me success and power.