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‘Shortbus’ star Jay Brannan talks about himself, the Internet, gay rights and sings his new song, ‘beautifully’

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Folk singer Jay Brannan's path to cult stardom (and a one-night gig in Miami):

Told he has no talent, Brannan gets kicked out of acting school, then lands a plum role in John Cameron Mitchell's controversial, sexually explicit 2006 film Shortbus -- as a singer who has a ménage à trois with a dissatisfied gay couple.

Soon, Brannan's Soda Shop becomes the most downloaded tune from the Shortbus soundtrack. He posts a homemade music video of the song on YouTube, where it gets viewed 1.5 million times.

6095051"I would have nothing without the Internet," says Brannan, 27, who grew up in Texas, lives in New York and is touring the U.S. and Canada.

Life’s moving fast for Brannan. Eighteen months ago, he quit his day job proofreading legal documents. Now, a publicist handles all his business affairs.

Brannan says his music "comes from personal experience: anger, frustration, loneliness or sadness."

His album and song titles include goddamned, Can't Have it All and Half-Boyfriend, and can be downloaded on iTunes and Amazon.com.

"I do this to vent, like therapy. To get it out of my head, so it doesn't explode," he says of his music. "I don't write stuff for other people. It's unfiltered, uncensored. I don't think about what people want to hear. It's just instinctual."

Brannan is gay, but doesn't relate to the gay power elite.

"All the gay media circles and this industry that's been created about being gay, they try to push their own agendas and stereotypes of what you should be. They're trapping me and themselves," he says.

"A lot of it is based on outdated ideas about what gay is or what gay people want or what is sexy. I don't think about it that much. I don't care. I'm attracted to other men and that's the end of it."

As for gay pride, "it's about making money," he says. "A gay pride parade, it's like a big circuit party. What does that have to do with gay people getting married?"

Jay Brannan appears 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission $5, tickets at the door.

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes

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Thank you...I love him!

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