La Toya: Pride’s co-grand marshal talks DOMA, life without Michael and ‘Life with La Toya’Feature Story, Section 4A Thursday, July 11th, 2013
Life with La Toya star, La Toya Jackson will be grand marshal alongside George Takei at this year’s San Diego LGBT Pride Parade. She will also be introducing the winner of the Voice of Pride singing contest during the Pride Festival.
San Diego LGBT Weekly spoke with the superstar by phone recently and got some insight about what it’s like to work with Oprah Winfrey and to be a Jackson – as well as what’s missing in hers and her family’s life since the passing of Michael Jackson.
San Diego LGBT Weekly: What is the biggest misconception about you, La Toya?
La Toya Jackson: It’s the same as with my family. People think they know us; and they think we’re all crazy! But we’re actually pretty normal when it comes right down to our everyday lives. We’re just like other families.
OK, but in actuality, most families I know are pretty crazy. Every family has a certain level of craziness. In fact, I’d say on a scale of one to 10, my family is a solid seven. Where would you put yours on a scale of one to 10?
(Giggles) Well, I don’t know how to answer that. Let’s just say there’s always something going on with one of us. But there’s so much more to us than that.
What has it been like working with Oprah and having your own show on her network?
She is so great and easy to work with. It has really been a pleasure and an honor to be on her network and working with her company.
What’s your history with the LGBT community?
When I released my first song, I was delighted to learn that 90 percent of my base was comprised of gay men. It’s an honor to be among the ranks of artists like Cher and Diana (Ross), who can say their fan base is the gay community.
What’s your favorite episode of Life with La Toya?
I love the ones with my parents. I really love the episode with my father, where I’m showing him how much I love him, how much I care. He’ll be 85 this month. He has changed a lot over the years. And, of course I really love the one with my mom. I think people who see the episodes with my parents will be surprised to see what very loving, humble and meek people they are.
What will you be doing at San Diego LGBT Pride?
I will be in the parade as grand marshal. The following day I will be announcing the winner of the Voice of Pride. I’m really excited about being a part of San Diego’s Pride Parade and the festival this year. I’ve been to Pride before – to the parades here in L.A. But this will be the first time I’ve been a grand marshal, and I’m just really excited to be there alongside my fellow grand marshal, George Takei.
What’s your biggest challenge these days?
I’d have to say just keeping up with La Toya (laughs). There just are not enough hours in the day.
How has life been since Michael’s passing?
It’s very different. The voice isn’t there any more. The laughter isn’t there any more. I can never see that person again, in the physical – never. I will never be able to hold or embrace him again. I miss him terribly. We all do.
It’s still hard to talk about, I’m sure. Thank you for agreeing to let us ask you about your beloved brother.
Lastly, what should fans expect from the next season of Life with La Toya?
You’re going to love it. It’s an incredible show next season. Next season, I’ll be traveling and you’ll probably see a performance. The thing to know about this show is that it’s all natural; it’s all real. Life is a play on reality.
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