In I'm From Rolling Stone, the MTV reality series that premiered January 7, six young journalists compete for a one-year contract as a contributing editor at the iconic magazine. We're rooting for Tika Milan, a charismatic 26-year-old "big butch lesbian" who plays by nobody's rules but her own.
By Brandon Voss
The Advocate: Reality shows are notorious for editing cast members in a not so flattering way, especially with gays and women of color. Was that a concern?
Tika Milan: That was my biggest concern — I'm a pretty cool person, and I didn't want any of that left on the editing-room floor. It was definitely a concern that they were going to spin it that I was this angry black lesbian. I'm not angry. Sometimes I felt I was getting a little pressure from the director to be that person, but I didn't let it happen.
You also have a girlfriend. How was that treated on camera?
They were pressuring to show a lot of interaction between me and my girlfriend. However, my girlfriend was never on camera because my girlfriend is not out. Plus, I just wanted to keep something for myself, because the show wasn't about me and her; it was about me being a journalist. I was trying to make the show what I wanted it to be, not what they wanted it to be.
Did your sexuality ever hinder you in the competition?
In general, heterosexual women have these pretty-girl privileges. I'm a handsome motherfucker, but I don't get away with the pretty-girl shit. But me being gay really wasn't a big deal, though I was the only gay person at Rolling Stone — as far as I know. There's definitely prejudice in the music journalism world, but at Rolling Stone I didn't have any problems. It's a boys' club over there — don't get me wrong — but they're a really great bunch of people.
Coming from a background in hip-hop journalism, how do you handle homophobia in that world?
I definitely don't like it, but at the same time, what am I supposed to do about it? I just have to deal with it. I'm a big butch lesbian — it's very obvious that I'm gay — but when I interview different artists or deal with people from hip-hop magazines, I just try not to make it an issue. It's not about who I'm sleeping with, it's not about who I love, it's about me doing this interview and writing you a bomb-ass story.
Would you ever fem it up for your career's sake?
Hell, no. That would be such a fuckin' freak show. [Laughs] Last time I wore a dress was in 1999 at my uncle's funeral.
You wouldn't slip on a miniskirt if you found out that a Jay-Z or a Kanye West was more comfortable with a more feminine and submissive female interviewer?
Hell, never! But hey, I like my ladies submissive and in miniskirts too.
The Advocate, January 2007.