A GoPride Interview

Alec Mapa

Alec Mapa interview with ChicagoPride.com

Wed. September 29, 2010  by Jerry Nunn

Alec Mapa
Alec Mapa has been standing up for gay rights with his Filipino American comedy act for years. Spotted on Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty, ChicagoPride talked to the jokester right after his appearance on The View.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Alec. I just saw you on The View and you did a great job hosting.

AM: (Alec Mapa) Thank you. I was sitting in for Whoopi. The undisputed male queen of co-hosting is Mario Cantone. My hat is off to him. He tore down the barrier as it were. It has always been a very gay friendly show. It is Barbara Walters, she loves the gays and they love her.

JN: That’s true. I want to be the gay Barbara Walters. I interviewed Mario before and he was fun.

AM: He has been a personal hero of mine for a really long time. I used to see him do stand up when I was at NYU and living in New York. He is absolutely fearless. He is completely unafraid to get up in front of any audience. The difference between Mario and me is I primarily perform for gay audiences. Mario would be out there in the trenches for straight audiences who are not necessarily gay friendly and he was cracking them up. You know what I mean?

JN: Yes, I do.

AM: When you make people laugh, you establish a connection with those people. That changes hearts and minds faster than anything else.

JN: I want you to come to Chicago.

AM: I love Chicago. You know what happened to me?

JN: What?

AM: I was filming the fourth installment of the High School Musical series. It is called Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. It stars little Ashley Tisdale. I was flying to Des Moines, Iowa for a gig for pride. I missed my connection in Chicago, so I tweeted, “I am stuck in Chicago.” A friend of mine called me at the airport and said to come stay his place.

JN: That was nice.

AM: We went out to dinner on Halsted Street. That is Boystown right?

JN: Yes, it is.

AM: I was basically the gay mayor of Boystown for one night. I just went around shaking hands and posing for pictures (laughs).

JN: Well, we love you here.

AM: People went bananas. The thing is nobody cares about me in Los Angeles because everybody’s famous and all I ever do is work and come home. So I have no idea that anyone is watching or listening. To come to Halsted and have people be so nice to me was so lovely. I like that because everyone from Chicago is real big.

JN: Big in size?

AM: Yes, all you cornfed Chicago boyz, short of bending over to pick me up, it was an experience. Having said that, half of them thought I was Jujubee from RuPaul’s Drag Race, I will take what I can get!

JN: How tall are you?

AM: I am 5’5”. I think the average height in Chicago is 7’5” or something like that. Or it was the night I was on Halsted Street...

JN: The thing I liked about you on The View is that you were genuine. The girls were going crazy over you!

AM: Aw, thanks. They were, especially Elizabeth.

JN: Isn’t that strange because she hates my friend Kathy Griffin.

AM: I know (laughs). She is not a fan of Kathys. I showed up and I wanted to be a good guest. It was my very first time and I only had one shot. I was not there to ruffle any feathers. I was there for Comedy Day, to be myself and have fun. That’s what I did and the minute I walked offstage the producers said they wanted me to co-host. There are a million people back there with headphones. My immediate response was, “Yeah, right.” I thought I would never hear from them again. They called the following week and asked me to co-host that Thursday, I was like, “Holy shit, are you serious?” Those two weeks really felt like a prize that I had won on a game show.

JN: I can imagine.

AM: The thing about Elizabeth Hasselbeck is that the minute that I mentioned that I had a kid I could feel the vibe change completely. It was like she loves her kids and I love mine. Let’s start from there. We are not going to agree on everything but if we can start from a place on things that we are both passionate about then that works.

JN: Definitely. I spoke to Melissa Etheridge and she said the same thing about Elizabeth.

AM: People will use kids against the gay community. They talk about our influence and how it is harming the children forgetting the fact that many of us have children. My child is entering Kindergarten this fall and he has two dads. Not only that, he is not going to be the only person in Kindergarten that comes from a family with same sex parents. Every child in that class is going to know so and so has two mommies or two daddies. The thing is kids don’t care. My son just wants to eat ice cream all day! Those are his biggest concerns. He is not walking around and puzzling over what having two daddies means. He just wants to be safe and taken care of.

JN: How long have you been with your husband?

AM: Eight years.

JN: Congratulations.

AM: That is 75 in gay years.

JN: Right, what are your current projects now that Ugly Betty is over?

AM: Ugly Betty is over so I am on the Jonas Brothers this season. Isn’t that weird? I am playing their chef and then I did the Disney Channel movie Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. That will open next year and play on Disney on a loop. I am hoping it will be successful enough that I will be on the lunchbox.

JN: That would be cute.

AM: That would really be awesome. I am also doing standup dates here and there. This whole year has been about me assimilating myself to the whole foster adoption situation. My son has been with us for six months and it has been about finding our footing as parents. It has been great. He went to the R Family resort on top of Club Med that was for gay and lesbian parents. He also came with me to the HRC event in San Diego and we just got back from New Orleans. We knew he was our son when we upgraded to first class and the stewardess asked what he wanted to drink and he said,” Do you have any Pellegrino?”

JN: He has good taste.

AM: I said, “That’s my boy.”

JN: Well, I hope you can all take a plane ride to Chicago.

AM: Tell any club that will sponsor me that I will be there. I love Chicago. I love the food, I love the people, and I love the authenticity of the place. The thing I love most about Chicago is that everyone that lives there is proud of the city.

For more information about Alec’s life and to book him for an appearance visit www.alecmapa.com.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.