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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

musicaltheatreman2
Leading Actor
joined:3/3/08
Leading Actor | Joined: 3/3/08

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#1
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:21pm

Wayne Brady was on The Talk this afternoon talking about Kinky Boots and said that Lola is straight. 

 

I saw Billy Porter in the role on Broadway, and based on the way he played the character out of drag, seemed pretty gay. 

 

I am not familiar with the original  movie the musical is based on so Is the character gay or straight?  

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Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/19/05

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#2
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:23pm

Saw him say that too, and it was a surprise to me!

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CindersGolightly
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/14
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/2/14

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#3
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:27pm

Billy Porter also said Lola was straight.

They/them. "Get up the nerve to be all you deserve to be."
neonlightsxo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/29/08
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/29/08

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#4
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:27pm

Yeah, it was a difference of opinions between Harvey Fierstein and Billy Porter when the show was new, as well. Cinders, you have it backwards


https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1057294


Updated On: 12/7/15 at 03:27 PM
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/29/05

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#5
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:29pm

I haven't seen the movie or show but if the text doesn't provide an answer - and it seems from this discussion that it doesn't -  then there there is no definitive answer, only acting choices.

Updated On: 12/7/15 at 03:29 PM
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Theater_Nerd
Broadway Star
joined:7/23/15
Broadway Star | Joined: 7/23/15

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#6
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:30pm

This is from a 2013 interview with Billy Porter:

 

I was reading an interview where Harvey [Fierstein] said he wrote Lola as straight and he thought it was funny that people had not really brought that up in talking about the show. I have to admit, I assumed Lola was gay even though there isn’t a romance in the show.

 

 

Here is the reality of that situation. Harvey wrote her as straight. I don’t play it as straight. And in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, we’re sort of in a fight about that because my version of Lola is not straight. She just isn’t.

 

 

http://www.newnownext.com/billy-porter-shines-as-kinky-boots-lola-and-a-tony-could-be-next/05/2013/

You Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable
Updated On: 12/7/15 at 03:30 PM
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CindersGolightly
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joined:5/2/14
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#7
Posted: 12/7/15 at 3:31pm

Whoops! You're right, my bad.

They/them. "Get up the nerve to be all you deserve to be."
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Kad
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joined:11/5/05
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#8
Posted: 12/7/15 at 5:28pm
There's really nothing in the text that strongly supports any sexuality for Lola. Straight, gay, bi, assexual- it's not really touched upon. All we know is that she likes dressing as a fabulous woman.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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darquegk
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joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/5/09

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#9
Posted: 12/7/15 at 6:19pm

It's all very similar to the question of Billy Elliot's sexuality: a sexually ambiguous main character whose orientation remains unspoken but provides a frisson to the drama of cultural assumptions the show plays with.

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Fantod
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joined:10/3/14
Broadway Legend | Joined: 10/3/14

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#10
Posted: 12/7/15 at 6:45pm

Actually there is a quote in the show where somebody asks Lola: "you like women?" And she says "yes" or something like that. 

 

Also, sexual identity is unnecessary to label.

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theatreguy
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joined:7/31/03
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#11
Posted: 12/7/15 at 7:01pm

Here's an article about this very subject which I found interesting. It's actually about the movie, but since the musical sticks so close to the screenplay it can be applied to both:

http://morningsidereview.org/essay/kinky-boots-how-to-talk-about-sex-without-talking-about-sex/

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CATSNYrevival
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joined:3/1/04
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#12
Posted: 12/7/15 at 7:02pm
Doesn't Billy Elliot flat out tell Michael he's not gay when Michael kisses him on the cheek? That never seemed ambiguous to me.
KathyNYC2
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joined:12/2/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 12/2/10

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#13
Posted: 12/7/15 at 7:02pm

IMO it's irrelevant...Simon/Lola's sexuality is not addressed (when Lola says she loves women, I never felt it was a sexual comment, just that she liked women as people more than men because she could relate to their sensibilities)..and it does not make a difference in the theme of the show, which is to be true to yourself in all aspects of life. Only Charlie's sexuality is defined.

The exact performance is colored by the actor - Billy's Lola was gay (according to Billy) and Wayne today said his version was not.

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Call_me_jorge
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joined:1/9/15
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#14
Posted: 12/7/15 at 9:05pm

CATSNYrevival said: "Doesn't Billy Elliot flat out tell Michael he's not gay when Michael kisses him on the cheek? That never seemed ambiguous to me."

And then later in the show he kisses Michael back, and let's face it the odds of a ballet dancer being gay is pretty high. It's a spectrum anyway.

Islander_fan
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joined:6/25/14
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#15
Posted: 12/7/15 at 9:37pm

I had always felt that the kiss Billy gives Michale isn't anything romantic or sexual. It's clear that Michael is gay, but, by Billy telling Michael that just because he likes ballet doesn't automatically means he's gay. The show takes place in an environment where there were things that men did and didn't do. Real men boxed and worked in the pits. If you were a "real man" and wanted to dance, then something wasn't quite right. Billy showed that you can be a "real man" and still follow your own path and that both Billy and Michael had found their own version of happy and that that was more important than sticking to social norms.

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CATSNYrevival
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#16
Posted: 12/7/15 at 10:01pm

I also interpreted the kiss at the end as a kiss goodbye and not a romantic kiss but I guess people take what they need from the show and both are fair interpretations. I'd just never thought of Billy as gay.

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Elfuhbuh
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#17
Posted: 12/7/15 at 10:53pm

I always saw the kiss as both a goodbye and a "I know you're gay, but you're still my best friend and I support you," sort of thing.

"Was uns befreit, das muss stärker sein als wir es sind." -Tanz der Vampire
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JoseLee_
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joined:5/24/13
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#18
Posted: 12/7/15 at 11:52pm

I want Lola and Billy to be gay or anything other than straight. love both shows!

KathyNYC2
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joined:12/2/10
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#19
Posted: 12/8/15 at 12:40am

Elfuhbuh said: "I always saw the kiss as both a goodbye and a "I know you're gay, but you're still my best friend and I support you," sort of thing.

 

I agree totally.

 

And then that is what was uplifting to Michael at the end...as Billy walked away. Billy was not gay but still considered Michael to be his best friend regardless of his orientation.....I always felt that while Michael was sad Billy left, he was still able to smile as Billy leaving gave him hope for the future because he realized he too would be able to leave to find a place he could feel belonged to him.

Need to re-watch my Billy Elliot Live DVD...sniff sniff.

 

"

 

Updated On: 12/8/15 at 12:40 AM
KathyNYC2
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joined:12/2/10
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#20
Posted: 12/8/15 at 12:47am

Islander_fan said: " The show takes place in an environment where there were things that men did and didn't do. Real men boxed and worked in the pits. If you were a "real man" and wanted to dance, then something wasn't quite right. Billy showed that you can be a "real man" and still follow your own path and that both Billy and Michael had found their own version of happy and that that was more important than sticking to social norms."

 

Times change and then they don't...I was just listening to a radio interview with Elliot Hanna and Zach Atkinson who portrayed Billy in the Billy Elliot Live recording. They were asked how it was to get back to school after the left the show.  While Zach said he felt welcomed to be back,  Elliot said he had the opposite reaction as most people at his school didn't support his dancing and I imagine were making his life tough. You can intellectualize that they are wrong and just jealous of what someone accomplishes but I would imagine it's still hard..

 

(Sorry for the double post..I couldn't figure out how to quote two different posts in one response.)

 

"

 

Updated On: 12/8/15 at 12:47 AM
TerrenceIsTheMann
Broadway Star
joined:9/28/15
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#21
Posted: 12/8/15 at 1:45am

I think Lola's sexuality not being defined is a great point of the show's theme-It doesn't matter. Just be who you want to be.

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Wee Thomas2
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joined:2/28/12
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#22
Posted: 12/8/15 at 7:31am
Yes
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Mister Matt
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#23
Posted: 12/8/15 at 10:58am

And then later in the show he kisses Michael back, and let's face it the odds of a ballet dancer being gay is pretty high.

 

Are they?  At least half of the male dancers I've known in professional companies have been straight.

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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RaiseYouUp
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joined:4/30/15
Featured Actor | Joined: 4/30/15

is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#24
Posted: 12/8/15 at 4:35pm

It just depends on what the actor decides. Billy explicitly stated that his Lola was gay, while others have suggested he may be straight. There are a couple lines in act 2 that hint towards him being straight, but I think it's left ambiguous on purpose.

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PattyO'Furniture
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joined:8/12/04
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is Lola in Kinky Boots gay or straight?

#25
Posted: 12/8/15 at 5:59pm

Assuming you consider the following paraphrases to be acceptable: 

Gay - biological male who identifies authentically as male, not female, and is sexually/romantically attracted to men who generally identify as male themselves.

Transgender female - an individual born biologically male who identifies wholly as female and is attracted to men, both sexually and romantically, are authentically men

*I know - the problem: "Who says what a man is?  What makes a man?  Girls can play football, too."  I'm going with the common sense, million-years-old hunter/gatherer framing device - the one we each use everyday of our lives.    

Since the musical never really goes into Lola's sexual or romantic life, I know I cannot say to whom she is attracted (in either capacity); however, I fell like I can say with confidence that Lola identifies as female (she does not just perform as female - she goes to the factory that way, as well).  It's just not possible (as several others have noted) to pin down a clinical definition of her in this regard.  If you subscribe to the usually-true walks-like-a-talks-like-a ideology, I think you'd have to venture that she is a transgender female.  As Terrance...Mann notes, I like that it's never addressed.  

I also agree it's odd that (I believe) at some point Lola references/implies/allows the inference that she is straight - it's easy to jump the gun and think, Oh - a straight male.  Lola says that, I believe, because (instead of the Frankenstenian term "transgender female"is Lola  in Kinky Boots gay or straight? she identifies as a straight female.