James Alexander Langteaux is an international reporter/producer/host who recently came out publicly with his new book, “Gay Conversations with God: Straight Talk on Fanatics, Fags and the God Who Loves Us All.” He wrote most of the book while living in Charlotte, although he moved recently to Louisville. James says he is missing Charlotte and his incredible friends and plans to return often.
I had the pleasure of meeting James a few times while he lived in the Queen City and always found him funny and interesting — in other words, a perfect subject for 20 Questions. Read on to learn more about this man who carries Charlotte around in his heart wherever he might be. (And, if you didn’t seen his recent “Anderson Cooper is Gray” article in The Washington Post, you should check it out, too.)
Did you collect anything while you were growing up?
Silver coins. When I was about nine years old silver prices went sky high and I tried tricking an old lady next door into selling me her “old quarters and old dimes.” She said she had an attic full and I could have all I could carry. I was so excited I could barely breathe. Turns out, she was more cunning than I was and her attic was full of old Time’s” — as in Time Magazine. What could I do but clean out her damn attic! (Did I mention it was August?)
Can you walk on your hands?
I probably could if my arms were just a little bit longer.
Would you rather ride a jet ski, a roller coaster or a Chippendale?
Well, I’ve ridden them all and I’d have to say a jet ski. I’ve always been a big fan of water sports. Plus, I hate long lines, which rules out both of the other two.
Have you ever touched a dolphin?
I can’t believe you asked that question. Actually, a dolphin has touched me (inappropriately) and I have a scar on my arm to prove it. I was scuba diving in the Turks and Caicos Islands when Jo Jo the “friendly bisexual dolphin” (no joke) took a bite out of my elbow! So odd, considering I’ve always insisted on dolphin-safe tuna!
How do these films rank based on the number of times you’ve seen them: “Dead Poets Society,” “Lean On Me,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “To Sir, With Love”?
#1 “Dead Poets” (about 25 times); #2 “Lean On Me” (maybe 4 times). I have only watched Oprah a couple of times (when did she get married, and you spelled her name wrong, btw). I haven’t seen “To Sir, With Love” but, oddly, I can hum the theme song.
What food do you most associate with family get-togethers?
My great-grandparents came to this country from Austria and Germany, so German potato dumplings, sauerbraten, spaetzle and kraut. And who doesn’t enjoy a little wiener schnitzel, from time to time?
Do you secure your gym locker with a keyed lock or a combination lock?
Definitely a combination lock. I know a keyed lock is safer but there are so few places to keep the key while you are showering.
How old were you the first time you visited a gay club?
I was 22 and on a job interview in San Francisco. The club was called “The Stud” and I think was mentioned in the movie “Milk.” I still remember how fast my heart was beating — men dancing with men, what a novel concept.
Have you ever sung a solo in public?
This is a mildly embarrassing fact that almost none of my friends even know: I was actually trained in opera as a kid. I made quite a healthy little income singing at weddings until my voice changed.
Do you know how to play pinochle?
Is that another term for “teabagging?”
What’s the last rainbow-colored or gay-themed item you bought?
Would a Fleshlight be considered “gay themed?”
Which one of the following would you ask to the senior prom: Richie Cunningham, Eric Foreman, Alex P. Keaton or Dawson Leery?
Sorry, guys, but if we get a do-over for senior prom I’m taking Jordan Catalano from “My So-Called Life.” Sigh
Have you ever purchased a product from an infomercial?
There is some hazy memory of a “Bedazzler” — which would explain all the sequins on my jean jackets.
Can you recite from memory the license plate number of your current vehicle?
I can barely remember what state it’s licensed in!
What’s your favorite book genre for pleasure reading?
I’m a huge fan of quirky, semi-non-fiction along the lines of David Sedaris and Ann Lamott.
Do you have a lucky number?
A few, and most of them start with 704, but I don’t think I should share them.
Apple pie, banana pudding or coconut cake?
COCONUT CAKE! No contest.
How many albums do you own by Blondie, Bette Midler and Bob Marley, added together?
None, I’m afraid. I’m a pretty bad gay in the music department. I loved The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails and Thompson Twins.
Have you ever given a sex toy as a gift?
Yes, the above mentioned Fleshlight. Purchased at White Rabbit.
Do you think gay marriage will become the law of the land during your lifetime?
If it doesn’t, then I will regret not having done enough to make it so. : :