"We were finally getting our high school crush that we'd missed out on," Johann says, recalling the time he fell head over heels in love. They met online, flirted for a year, and then finally met up for pizza and nachos and found a dark street where they could make out.
It took Johann a long time to get to that point. He grew up in apartheid South Africa, where there were strict limits on any access to gay culture. Sheltered and deeply religious, he could only catch brief glimpses of queer relationships in books like E.M. Forster's Maurice. Even when he tried to come out, his friends wouldn't believe him. He had a two-year relationship with a girl that started after he told her he was gay.
So what changed? Drag Race came along at just the right moment. He landed in Seattle around the time that Ben DeLaCreme was hosting weekly screenings of Season 6 at the Century Ballroom, and in the massive audiences that came to watch the show Johann discovered what a queer community looks like. Suddenly, he didn't feel quite so alone.
This episode zooms around across a wide range of topics -- here's a few snippets from the movie version of Maurice.
Adorably, most of Johann's gay cultural influences involve deeply nerdy men: studious, academic, quiet and introverted and brainy. Here's a sexy kissy scene with Michael and Ben from Queer as Folk.
And Object of My Affection, which I've been told was extremely important to shy closeted boys in the mid-'90s.
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0