Hollywood spitfire and staunch LGBT ally Kelly Osbourne is feeling tense about her first book, There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters from a Badass Bitch. After all, “What if I change my opinion by the time it comes out?!” she says, laughing because it’s true.
Then there’s our revealing interview, where the opinionated 32-year-old actress, singer and now author — and daughter of Ozzy and Sharon — let her candid thoughts loose on topics ranging from her sexuality (“everybody’s gay”) to her openness about dating women and her issues with celebrities who feign lesbianism for publicity. And that recent controversy over her statement regarding President Donald Trump? She admits it really got to her. Turns out, even badasses cry sometimes.
— Chris Azzopardi
Dallas Voice: Your book, which covers your personal journey to self-acceptance, could have a positive influence on so many young people trying to find themselves. Kelly Osbourne: Oh, thank you so much! It’s the most vulnerable thing I’ve done in a while, I can’t lie. I’m kind of like, oh my god, I’ve actually done this, because for the first time in my life I wanted to take my power back, and instead of people telling me who I am, I wanted to tell them.
Who are some of your favorite badass bitches? I mean, Elton goes without saying. Just people who’ve made a difference in my life, like Liza Minnelli. I think Lil’ Kim. It’s anyone who just learned to be themselves and take responsibility for who they are.
When were you first aware you had an LGBT following? I don’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t been submerged in the LGBT community. It’s the only community that, even though I shouldn’t have belonged [laughs], accepted me. It was the only world I ever really felt comfortable in, because, and I say it in my book, I don’t know what it feels like to fit in.
What do you attribute that bond to? I think my relationship, especially with the drag community and the drag world, became so prevalent at such a young age because of Boy George, of course, and Blitz Kids and that huge movement in the U.K. I think drag queens choose how they want you to see them and they do that knowing that they’re probably going to get a lot of shit for it, and that’s what magic is. That’s like, “Fuck you, this is who I am,” and you can wake up every day and be whoever you want to be. I love that.
When did drag first come into your life? It’s never not been in my life. I mean, my mom was calling up [a drag club] in San Francisco; I was, like, 11 or 12 and being snuck into a drag bar. It was amazing. And there was a time I went to go see Cyndi Lauper on tour when she was playing in the U.K., and she used to have, like, 20 drag queens on tour with her. I was probably about 9 or 10.
You have to understand, my favorite childhood pastime was putting my mom’s lacy underwear and bustier on over my clothes — because I wasn’t allowed to wear them any other way — and going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky Horror is still, to this day, one of my favorite movies of all time. I loved the makeup. If you look really closely at the “Time Warp,” you’ll see where I get all my hair colors from. But yeah, everyone else was watching Annie, and I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show and singing about sweet transvestites.
How much of your gay submergence do you credit to your mother? It’s equally my mom and my dad. In rock ’n’ roll, you were the outcasts back then and outcasts tend to find each other, especially in London.
How about Boy George — what was his influence on you? I remember staring at my TV, thinking, “Is it a beautiful woman or a beautiful man? It doesn’t matter.” He was the first person to break down barriers. He single-handedly changed people’s perspective so much. And he’s such a smart man! If you ever sit down and have a conversation with him about his political views and his opinion of the gay community, he says things that are so spot on and so important because he’s lived long enough through good times and bad times to see what things really are. I love talking to him. And he has the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever looked into!