A GoPride Interview

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison: I just felt like if your gonna spout about Jesus hating my gay lifestyle then maybe Jesus hates your stupid Hummer; that’s destroying the beautiful land...

Wed. January 4, 2012  by Windy City Times

I just felt like if your gonna spout about Jesus hating my gay lifestyle then maybe Jesus hates your stupid Hummer; that’s destroying the beautiful land...
Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison on his name and new here! show

Jim Morrison talks candidly with Windy City Times about his famous name; his new TV show, For & Against; his screen-printing business; "Dangerous Breed"; and being a gay, liberal lawyer living in New York.

WCT: (Natasha Hemley) Let's talk about your name for a minute.

JM: (Jim Morrison) First of all, I was born the year he died and my middle initial is the same middle initial ["D"] as his. It was a total coincidence because my parents are divorced and my mom was remarried and me and my sister took my stepfather's name. I guess I either lucked out or got cursed into it. Nobody ever forgets my name, but I aways have to endure the Jim Morrison jokes.

WCT: Is it hard getting recognized for your own talents apart from the late rocker?

JM: It is a little bit difficult. It's good and bad.

WCT: Did you ever think of changing your name?

JM: No, not really. The weird thing about it is I never technically changed my name to "Morrison" because when I started using Jim Morrison, me and my sister got a court order that we were allowed to use my stepfather's name. A court order carriers the same weight as a name change.

WCT: What made you decide to go into law?

JM: My mom and my stepdad are both attorneys. I really had a huge fascination with constitutional law and just seeing what a law degree did for my parents—the way they thought about things and addressed things. The whole social justice aspect of it was a natural fit for me. I went into law on more of a philosophical level.

WCT: You litigated the first successful sexual-orientation discrimination case against a high school student in New Jersey. Can you talk a little about that?

JM: In the course of practicing, my dad had a client who was 17 or 18 at the time. It was a traffic violation, something small, and I heard his story. His story was being a high school student who was constantly harassed, tormented and physically attacked by other students because he was gay, and this was like 1995-96. I explained to him exactly what the significance of his case was and the cause of action that he had and we pursued it. [Note: The case was settled out of court.]

WCT: Being a gay lawyer, do you find it hard being a part of the community the way things are now?

JM: Yeah, definitely. I live in New York, [I] get to choose the community [I] live in because we are old enough to make our own choices. We find the places where we fit in and live our lives and make our choices that reward the things we love about ourselves.

WCT: You have a new show called For & Against premiering in January on here TV! How did you get on this project?

JM: I had made a pilot for MTV called Town Mall back in 2001 and that didn't get picked up because after the 9/11 attacks no one wanted to do anything political. It was more of an MTV kind of vibe. The people over at Here TV really wanted to do an original, local program. They brought me in and asked if I was interested, we talked about it.

WCT: What is the focus of the show?

JM: The show has a queer focus; I think that is necessary—there isn't enough of that. Many people I meet in my daily life are so checked out, they don't know what is going on.

WCT: What are some of the issues you are going to be covering?

JM: We'll look at the subtle usage of words and how these words matter—how dangerous it is when we, as a community, start adopting the very words that were formed to be used against us. We are going to do a show on gay Republicans. It's a show [about] gay marriage equality from within the LGBT community.

WCT: How did you get into screen-printing?

JM: I actually started it when I was making the show for MTV. I was over at my producer's house one night, I just grabbed a magic marker and I just wrote on the T-shirt "Jesus Hates Your SUV." At the time, it was all about Christian conservatives. I just felt like if your gonna spout about Jesus hating my gay lifestyle then maybe Jesus hates your stupid Hummer; that's destroying the beautiful land that you keep driving over because he made that, too, I guess.

I would choose vintage shirts that were environmentally [friendly]. I started making shirts like "Jesus Hates Your Botox." It started to take off.

WCT: Where did the name for your T-shirt collection, Dangerous Breed, come from?

JM: Dangerous Breed comes from [people] characterizing something as dangerous that isn't. It's sort of a metaphor about things that appear to be one way, but are another way and are called one thing out of ideological laziness.

You can catch Jim Morrison on his new show, appearing on here TV! Jan. 6. See www.heretv.com.

Interviewed by Windy City Times