Intimate Encounters: Azariah Southworthby Alex G. on April 25, 2008
Step your teen bopper ass back Lance Bass, because this year someone that actually matters just came out of the closet and didn’t have to prance to do it. It’s time for the favorite part of any gay man’s life: the one-hitter-quitter… and let me tell you, this one hit it out the park as far as I’m concerned :p
We’ve recently had the great pleasure of being able to interview the former Christian T.V. host of The Remix and recently outed celebrity, Azariah Southworth. I’ll be honest with you guys, he’s easily one of the sweetest people I’ve interviewed to date.
Without further adieu, our latest intimate encounter: Azariah Southworth.
Alex: I suppose first and foremost, my opening question has to be about the Feedback. I know there’s been a lot of support for you, but I’m sure there’s also been a lot of backlash. Which was more prevalent for you?
Azariah: A little over 90% of the feedback has been very positive and supportive. However, it has not been from the church like Christianpost.com reported. They twisted what I said and made it like the church was being supportive when that is not the case. There has been a little backlash but more positive than negative for sure.
FYI: The Good Christians took his quote of â€œIâ€™ve received literally hundreds of emails from everyone around the world and they’re all encouragingâ€? to be referring to the Christian Community, instead of being a general statement as it was originally intended. Gotta love propaganda-oriented journalism, really shows some great colors.
Alex: I read somewhere that you would be unable to continue on with your Television program, was that due to a decision on your part, or a decision by the network? If there are any very specific details that you’d rather not share that’s fine, but I was just curious about your comfort level with the events.
Azariah: I was not going to be able to my TV show anymore because I knew the networks were not going to allow it. Sure enough, I was correct. The show is officially kicked off the air. So, if MTV, FUSE, or LOGO is reading thisâ€¦I have an amazing show for you! Yeah, as soon as the network executives got wind of the news they immediately pulled it with no hesitation. I knew that was going to happen, because I know these people, what they believe, and they donâ€™t believe in being gay.
Alex: lol Gotta love shameless self-promotion =D How has your family been impacted due to the recent announcement? Have they been supportive of your lifestyle?
Azariah: My family has been very supportive and loving, thank God! I know itâ€™s not easy for them, but our relationship is still good and the strong. My family will never stop loving me, they may disagree but theyâ€™ll never stop loving me. Weâ€™re a very close and strong family; weâ€™ve already been through too much together.
Alex: Were you worried your surroundings when you came out? I know Tennessee isn’t exactly the most blue state on the map, let alone being the humble home of the Grand Ole Opry.
Azariah: Lol! Actually, yes, I was very worried. I went out to a birthday dinner the night it all blew up in the media and when I got home I kept looking behind me, I put the chain lock on both of my doors. I was very scared. The smallest sound or movement of anything freaked me out.
Alex: I know from personal experience that when you just come out of the closet, you may not necessarily have a great number of gay friends for support; do you consider yourself to be very active (socially or politically) in the Gay Community?
Azariah: Yes, Iâ€™m very socially active in the gay community here in Nashville. I have a lot of very close gay friends who support me and have already been down the road Iâ€™m on. Theyâ€™re all very intelligent and educated in what the Bible really says about being gay too. Iâ€™m very grateful for the friends I have here, straight and gay.
Alex: Do you have any special guys in your life, or a partner that you’ve shared these recent roller-coaster days with? Be Honest! You’re a pretty good looking guy with a good head on his shoulders, I’m sure if you’re not taken, there would be plenty of guys throwing themselves at you by now.
Azariah: Wellâ€¦ Iâ€™m currently singleâ€¦ However, I received an email from a guy in Atlanta and weâ€™ve been talking online and over the phone now. Heâ€™s seems to be a really great guy, we come from the same backgrounds, he loves Jesus, heâ€™s really cute, heâ€™s goal oriented, we love the same kind of music and style of clothes, did I mention heâ€™s freaking cute! Lol! When we talk, we talk for a long time and I really enjoy it. Weâ€™re planning on going on a date. Iâ€™m very excited.
Alex: lol That cute huh? You gotta love attraction at its Gayest; have you maintained many of your old friends with the recent declaration of your preferences? I know that sometimes some people aren’t as…accepting as we’d like them to be.
Azariah: Iâ€™ve had a few fallouts with friends in the past week. Some of them use to be my closest friends but now our friendship will never be the same. There is so much more to that story, but itâ€™s very personal and maybe can be told when it is all resolved. I hope that we will come to a place where we can be friends again though. They mean a lot to me. However, if they decide to move on then so be it. Like Madea says, â€œI put everyone in my life in the category of a tree. Some people are like leaves, one day theyâ€™re over here and when the wind blows theyâ€™re all the sudden over here, when the season changes theyâ€™re gone. Some other people are like branches, now you got to be careful with those branches, theyâ€™ll trick you. As soon as you step out on them, some of them break from right underneath you. You got to be careful with those branches. But when you find yourself two or three good people like the roots of that tree, they ainâ€™t going nowhere. When people want to go, let them go.â€? That is some of the wisest advice for friendships Iâ€™ve heard.
Alex: In the Future, do you still see a Christian oriented career for yourself, or have you moved on to other occupational pursuits?
Azariah: I definitely want to be involved in ministry and I think thatâ€™s where my life/career is kind of heading right now. However, I still want to do television and I would love to host a talk show. That is something Iâ€™m pursuing right now. I would also love to deejay a radio show.
Alex: I know with the recent events, and especially being a part of the pious Christian community, one may question himself or his allegiances when coming to grips with being a homosexual. How has your faith been affected during this time of self-actualization? Were you ever worried about it being a “sinful life,” just the wrong way to live or did you believe God would be alright with your manner of lifestyle? After all, I know of a holy man who was always surrounded by twelve men at once, and it was very fashionable at the time; then again, that was two millennia ago.
Azariah: My faith has been tested but strengthened in the past week. I have become more aware of who I am as a person and as a Christian. Through this Iâ€™ve seen my hypocrisy in situations which has caused me to learn. However, Iâ€™ve discovered more of who I am and who I strive to be. I was definitely worried being gay was a â€œsinful lifeâ€? but after doing research I donâ€™t feel that way anymore. I believe God just wants us to find someone to love. The Bible says there is neither male nor female in the body of Christ. God is not a male or a female, he is his own, heâ€™s God. God doesnâ€™t see gender when he looks at us, he sees our hearts, and he is only worried about the condition of our hearts. (Indeed â€“ Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for dozens of other reasons, butt-sex just so happened to be rampant there and got a bad rep =) )
Alex: What would you like to say to other gay men who struggle with their sexuality and being a pious believer?
Azariah: I would like to say, God desires and loves you unconditionally. He wants nothing more than you to reciprocate the love he is offering you. Youâ€™re not alone, and youâ€™re not abandoned. Know that itâ€™s ok, and yes, the rumor is true, you can be a Christian and be gay. : )
Alex: Try telling that to our site’s overlord. His partner is a firm Christian believer, but Trey begs to differ…to say the least.
He also had this to say about the National Day of Silence:
“This is something I hope most people will be able to participate in. Not only for the memory of Lawrence King, but the countless others who experience acts of hate everyday. This is a call for people to wake up. Hate is a time of the past, and we’re moving forward. Throw down your stones and grab the hand of another and lets walk together in silence for love.”
We’ve had a number of efforts to get a comment from the Network in question, but unfortunately we weren’t given the time of day - then again with a tag-line of “Media Gossip at its Gayest,” it really isn’t all that surprising. So there you have it folks, an all-around stand up guy =) Thank you so much Azariah for taking your time to do this interview. LOGO, FUSE, MTV… get this guy back on TV!