Popped Culture: Out of the closet with Isaac Siqueiros

Article By: Robert Stinson
Photos By: Jennifer Martinez

Thousands of people were lined up alongside University Ave. in Hillcrest as NUG Magazine took to the streets decked out in style complete with a banner, and a contingency full of colorful personalities who helped to make our first appearance at San Diego Gay Pride off the hook! The parade grabbed national headlines, including a spot on CNN and the Fox News Network with the inclusion of the active military contingency, which was the first time members of the armed services openly participated in the annual event. Zeke Stokes, a spokesman for the Service Member’s Legal Defense Fund, said that openly gay service members risk discharge should the courts grant an Obama administration request to temporarily reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. That’s So Gay Live and Rompe Corazones’ float was there amongst all the glitter and fanfare; right alongside them was Isaac Siqueiros, the zany host of Out of the Closet, California’s first and only gay themed radio show.

Isaac invited us to his brand new headquarters at Slang Studios in Chula Vista where we made a VIP appearance on his live broadcast, which is streamed to audiences all over the globe. Isaac and his pair of wacky on-air sidekicks, Cris Tian and Karla O, had a bevy of questions for us that threw us for a loop and kept us dying of laughter in our seats. After his show, Isaac opened up about his humble beginnings and the creation of Out of the Closet.

People on both sides of the border have been enjoying your show for some time now. Could you tell us a little about the genesis of Out of the Closet?
It all started in December of 2010. I had a friend who had her own radio show so I thought, why don’t I do a gay radio show? I did my research and found out that nothing like that had ever been done before. I sent an e-mail to the owner of the radio station my friend worked for and told him my idea for a show, and he had me come in and audition. They usually make people do five auditions, but I only ended having to do three because my ratings were so high. By the time I was finished with the last try-out, I had over 17,710 viewers. From there the show kind of took off. What I like about it is that all the broadcasts are in Spanglish so my friends in Mexico and San Diego can enjoy it.

So what country do most of your fans live in?
To be honest I have fans all over the place. It started out that people were mainly watching  in San Diego and Baja California, but as things progressed, more and more viewers were added including people in Africa, The UK and Argentina to name just a few. I get fan mail from all over the place.

The LGBT community as a whole has made so many leaps and bounds just within the last few months, especially with gay marriage passing in NY. How does it feel to be an activist during such a critical time in our civil rights movement?
I feel very honored to be in a position to touch people’s lives, especially those who are going through a hard time dealing with their sexuality. Now that a lot of states are legalizing gay marriage, it feels good to be in the middle of it all.

You’ve had quite a few personalities on Out of the Closet since you first started broadcasting.
We’ve had so many personalities on the show; one of my favorites is Rompe Corazones whom you’ve featured in your column. This week we’re going to have Chico’s Angels, which is a group of three drag queens from LA that have their own comedy act. I also feature a lot of musicians on my show; basically, we are trying to showcase as much local talent as possible who are members or allies of the LGBT community.

Being a little older, I can remember all the bullying that was happening in the halls of my high school. Do you feel that it has  progressively worsened over the years or is it just more publicized now?
I think it is just more publicized now. Fortunately I’ve never been bullied myself; you could say that I had the perfect coming out experience. The only thing I can think of that even compares is that people made fun of my eyelashes in high school. They were like, you know you curl your eyelashes and I was like, no  they’re natural, I swear!

On your show you ask all of your guests to tell their coming out stories, now it’s your turn.
When I came out to my family three years ago, I had their full support so I feel very blessed. I think the generations who came before us made things a little easier for us because they were the ones who really had to struggle against oppression and overcome adversity. That’s what I always wanted to do with my show: make things a little easier for young people who are coming to terms with their sexuality.

What is your feeling about the whole immigration issue that has been a hot button  in the political arena?
This is a topic that is really important to me because my parents and most of my family were immigrants. When they first came to the United States, things were not easy for them. Can you imagine a day without Mexicans? Nothing would get done (laughing).

Tell our readers about your new association with Slang Radio? I’m totally diggin’ the new format.
Oh my God, I am so grateful and honored that they reached out to me and asked me to join their family of very talented on-air personalities. It’s a very professional environment, and unlike where I was before, they have a controller in the studio making sure everything runs smoothly.

As you know, NUG has been knee-deep in issues pertaining to the legalization of medical marijuana. What is your feeling about the subject?
What the hell? What’s the big issue about it anyways? In the end it’s not a big deal, I mean marijuana comes from the ground and is natural and people are going to do it anyways, so why not legalize it?

I couldn’t agree more. 20 years from now, we’ll look back on this time and ask ourselves, why did Americans think that gay marriage and safe access was such a threat to the  nation’s security,  especially when there are more vexing domestic issues such as the failing economy and our inability to provide healthcare to citizens?

So what’s next for Out of the Closet and how can people get involved?
I am also involved in like three other projects at the moment. I am working alongside some production companies in trying to bring Hillcrest to downtown. I mean, why do we always have to be there? Out of the Closet is coming full force, so expect to see great performances by talented musicians and performers. We stream live on Slang Radio twice a week and we’re completely interactive, so be sure to tune in and call us when we’re on the air!

You can stream Out of the Closet’s weekly shows at http://www.slangmediagroup.com or on their Facebook page.

Steve

Author: Steve

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