When it came to the Backstreet Boys and just about every other boyband, I’ll admit that I was always somewhere in the mainstream. In BSB, I was a Brian Littrell/Nick Carter kinda gal; for ‘N Sync, I loved JC Chasez; with Menudo, I was all about Ricky Martin. But after this interview with Oh No They Didn’t!, I’ve decided A.J McLean is now my fave ex-BSB-er. In it, he discusses homophobia, advocacy and being a good ally to the LGBTQ community, as well as how he learned to walk in heels. Seriously, it’s a great read. Here’s why.
1) He’s worn nicer shoes than any of us.
I’ve worn a dress at my wedding. I’ve worn 6-inch Louboutins. I’ve got no fear and no shame.
Fact: Men should have no shame about wearing whatever they want to wear, same as women.
2) He was why Backstreet Boy’s new video for “A World Like This” celebrated marriage equality.
It stemmed from me personally. I have a lot of gay friends and two of my best friends have been together for almost 10 years. And living in California, it’s been so friggin’ frustrating to me that they could not get it right; they couldn’t pass the bill. Then, literally, right after we dropped the video, they actually passed the bill in California, and I was just ecstatic. I just love the fact that people love each other, no matter if they’re the same sex or not. I think everybody’s equal, period.
I personally think it’s awesome when celebrities shed light on important issues, so I am so happy that this was one A.J. and BSB felt passionately about.
3) He talks about the first time BSB realized they had a huge gay fanbase.
We did three or four songs, the crowd went nuts and I was standing next to this 6-foot-6 drag queen who gave me a hug and a kiss. I was beside myself, and that was when we first knew that we had a big gay following.
Anybody else fairly surprised they were unaware of this? Nevertheless, it seems like they embraced it.
4) He has no apparent fear of removing his “masculine” body hair.
Oh, trust me, I’ve shaved my legs before. My poor wife hates me because she’s like, “You have better legs than most women I know.”
Okay, so he’s got a little bit of a humblebrag going on here. I’m all right with it. Can you imagine dealing with being “the other Backstreet Boy” for like two decades?
5) He learned to walk in heels like the rest of us: awkwardly.
And I can walk in heels. I was a little wobbly at first. I was like a baby calf, but then I figured it out. I don’t see how women walk heel to toe in friggin’ heels, so, for me, I walk toe to heel. It’s weird. I walk like a stork, but at least I’m not falling down.
As somebody who still walks like her legs are made of two floppy baguettes when in heels, I salute you, sir.
BONUS: This GIF.