Jason Russell | KONY 2012 | News | Oprah

Oprah Asks KONY 2012's Jason Russell if He's Gay: VIDEO


Following the revelation that his group Invisible Children was financially tied to anti-gay Christian fundamentalist groups, KONY 2012 co-founder Jason Russell's personal life came under scrutiny, a scrutinization that was magnified after an apparent mental breakdown, in which he marched back and forth in a nude rant at a California intersection.

Yesterday, Russell appeared on Oprah's Next Chapter to talk about his breakdown. Oprah asked him if he's gay:

“Yeah, I’ve heard those rumors...In the video I was snapping my finger up and down. I grew up in theater. My parents started a large children’s theater organization, so I am animated. I am theatrical. That's me by nature. So when you take me, times it by ten, I don't know what was in my head but it was controlling my body and making me do really strange things."

Russell says he hardly remembers anything about the episode on the sidewalk: "I think I was trying to ask cars to take me to the airport, in my underwear."

Russell says it took him two weeks to come back to himself.


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  1. He never answered the question.

    Posted by: Carl | Oct 8, 2012 9:20:36 AM

  2. Why does he have to answer Oprah's intrusive question? What business is it of hers? Maybe he should have asked Oprah if she's gay. That's far more relevant.

    I am sick and tired of liberals like Oprah asking rude questions that are irrelevant. She's a sensation-seeker.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 8, 2012 9:22:45 AM

  3. He's not gay, he's theatrical.

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 8, 2012 9:25:46 AM

  4. How is that an irrelevent question? Asking an obviously closted gay man who has ties to anti-gay organizations if he himself is gay is incredibly relevant. Points out his hypocrisy and is probably a huge factor in his very public mental breakdown.

    But I forgot, Oprah is a woman and black. We all know how Jason feels about women and black people.

    Posted by: BEAHBEAH | Oct 8, 2012 9:31:41 AM

  5. @jason, Oprah asked the question of him because his organization is funded by and supported by an anti-gay politically right-wing Christian group. His sexuality were he to be gay would be given this fact.

    Posted by: Stuart | Oct 8, 2012 9:32:13 AM

  6. He didn't answer the question...But it's between him and God anyways.

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 8, 2012 9:40:16 AM

  7. The fact that Oprah didn't push him further on the topic actually gives me the tiniest bit of respect for her. Everybody can see the obvious, there is really no need to interrogate the guy on t.v...Barbara Walters did that with Ricky Martin and it was in bad taste.

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 8, 2012 9:42:01 AM

  8. You mean between him & his imaginary friend. He has had his 15 minutes. Next!

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Oct 8, 2012 9:45:29 AM

  9. Fair enough question when his group is tied to an anti-gay Christian fundamentalist group. It becomes a question about hypocrisy, not sexuality.

    I'm always puzzled why Oprah is such a target. She's already answered questions about her sexuality. I appreciate her support on gay issues and all the other good work that she does. Yes, she's rich - megarich - she worked hard to get there.

    Posted by: Mitch | Oct 8, 2012 9:45:52 AM

  10. He did agree to be interviewed, so the gay question should be on the table. We talk about it on this blog so why can't Oprah.

    Posted by: Billy | Oct 8, 2012 9:46:44 AM

  11. She didn't ask. She said "there were all these other rumors that you were gay..." It was an opening for a conversation, not a question.

    Posted by: shane | Oct 8, 2012 9:48:16 AM

  12. @Jason . . . you may be right, that Oprah is gay. Questions directed at her as to her largely pereicved and rumored lesbianism is relevant, but this is an interview of Jason Russel.

    The question is asked because of his behavior that day, behavior that called into question, by millions of people who saw the event on YouTube, his sexual orientation, therefore both relevant and legitimate, therefore a question anyone coducting an interview with Mr. Russel would be expected to ask.

    So, it make me wonder why you think asking someone if they re gay is an insult? Do you think it is insulting to be gay, a negative?

    In any case: I buy hisanswer. I have seen enough psychotic breaks to know that what goes on during such a break would be far to simplistic, as well complicated and problematic, to correlate that behavior with a subconscious secret concerning his sexual orientation.

    My partner is gay and bi-polar (obviously - lol), and he has had psychotic breaks where he has acted quite butch, cock walking, mimiciking the antics of a cocky straight male. It is difficult to know what goes on in the mind of someone having such a break. No one would rely upon them for testimony on a witness stand during such a break . . . so why would anyone draw conclusions derived from the behavor of that person during a psychotic break?

    Whatever we may think of the man, until something more substantial comes up, then he is deserving of our pity, and the benfit of the doubt. Anything less, frankly, is insulting, and irelevant.

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 8, 2012 9:53:49 AM

  13. and anyway, we need to re-define the word "gay" "Gay" should be reserved for openly homosexual, not closeted or repressed. It should be reserved as a term imbued with pride.
    "Homosexual" should be a more general term, inclusive of all types.

    Posted by: shane | Oct 8, 2012 9:53:49 AM

  14. @Shane, technically you;re right, she didn't out and out ask him a question, but she didn't bring up that topic to make small talk. She brought it up to get a response on the rumors and he basically didn't deny it, but talked about being theatrical...

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 8, 2012 9:53:57 AM

  15. Yes. He agreed to be interviewed and didn't answer the question. It took him two weeks to come back to himself? That's serious stuff. Of course, he's seeing a Christian counselor, right? Been there, done that. This is what fundamentalism does to people.

    Posted by: Daniel | Oct 8, 2012 9:56:01 AM

  16. Totally gay...and why do we care? Who is he?

    Posted by: Kyleeen | Oct 8, 2012 10:09:47 AM

  17. I'm not GAY, I'm THEATRICAL!

    Posted by: pdxblueyes | Oct 8, 2012 10:09:51 AM

  18. He avoided the question. But, yes, he most definitely IS gay. If not, I'll turn in my gay membership card.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Oct 8, 2012 10:10:33 AM

  19. Is Theatrical the 'T' in GLBT?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Oct 8, 2012 10:12:33 AM

  20. Isn't the real important issue, regarding Oprah and her network, the fact that on Friday October 5th, she taped episodes of her Lifeclass show with renowned homophobes Joel Osteen and Rick Warren?? Who cares about this KONY guy?!!

    I'd like some answers from Oprah and her camp why these two men, with some of the biggest anti-gay agendas, would be asked to be a part of her network! It's appalling actually that no media attention has been brought upon this terribly wrong decision.

    Posted by: Gene-Manuel | Oct 8, 2012 10:13:20 AM

  21. @QUEST you're absolutely right. and i agree that 'everybody can see the obvious' and that oprah's holding back was in good taste, it speaks to her abilities as an interviewer. i think we gay men can identify each other, generally if we are free of baggage ourselves we become better at it. i have a straight male friend who insists that, eventually, 'you can't hide your truth from others who have vision, even though you're hiding it from yourself'.

    Posted by: shane | Oct 8, 2012 10:14:07 AM

  22. Anastasia Beaverhausen FTW!!

    Posted by: shane | Oct 8, 2012 10:18:06 AM

  23. @Gene-manuel: You don't know much about the evangelical circuit do you? Both Osteen and Warren tend to steer clear of gay issues altogether and are only forced to give the hardened evangelical line when pressed on the issue by reporters. They do not talk about gay issues at all in their churches...They are both grifters who sell a new-agey prosperity doctrine to their congregants. If a gay person were to go to their shows, they would find not one word against gays, but a lot of crap about using God to get rich, or better looking or other such BS. In ten years when gay issues are less controversial, these two will be the first to come out in support of gays because it will mean more money in their pockets...as of now they are making a calculation that they must stick to the old line in order to keep the coffers going. There are much greater enemies we should be focused on that these two con-men.

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 8, 2012 10:21:27 AM

  24. How about just say, I am straight, instead of running around in circle and explain about your growing up background? He does not have to justify his sexual orientation.

    Posted by: bambinoitaliano | Oct 8, 2012 10:23:00 AM

  25. LOL! Some of you guys are so funny!

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Oct 8, 2012 10:29:59 AM

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