We caught up with Kit Williamson the creator of the web series Eastsiders, a dark comedy about relationships set in the “Willamsburg of LA”, Silver Lake. Fop jumped at the opportunity to get candid with the mastermind. Williamson, firm in his opinions and convictions, let us in on his dirty little secrets behind this intriguing show. After getting acquainted a bit, we jumped right in and chatted about everything from open relationships to sex positivity to braking things on purpose. Some of his answers may shock you, but will leave you thirsty for more.
So let’s talk about your web series. Why is it named Eastsiders? When you think about L.A. gay culture WeHo comes to mind. Was this choice a stance against it?
I absolutely have nothing against West Hollywood but having lived there I never really felt at home. When I moved to Silver Lake I felt like I had found a community of people that I related to in form and execution. Gay West Hollywood can be slick and shiny and driven by consumerism and knee deep in bar culture. The East Side felt more like a neighborhood.
I love how intermingled different communities are on the East Side. Straight, Gay Lesbian, you’re all at the same house party.
Don’t’ you think West Hollywood was founded on feeling like an outsider and finding a place to belong and creating our own community?
It hasn’t been my experience with it. I’m still not knocking West Hollywood. I am more than happy to go west of La Cienega. I’ll get a drink probably as far west as Fu-bar, but at the same time I’ve gone to the Abbey. I have friends over there, but the East Side is the place for me.
So what’s going on with Tom & Kyle? They’re back together and having a lot of fun.
For better or worse they are opening up they’re relationship. They don’t know what’s going on and rather than talk about it they are exploring--which could be healthy or destructive. I think the storyline presents this situation in a neutral way. The show doesn’t have an opinion about the relationship, but perhaps an opinion about open and honest communication.
Nice. Love that little spin.
There you go.
The idea of an “open relationship” is a hot topic of conversation. More people are exploring that type of relationship. Is this something that you have dealt with personally? And do you think gay men are ahead of the curve because they are more open with their wants and desires?
It is something that I’ve definitely observed. I do want to say Tom and Kyle are not Kit and John. I don’t really talk about my sex life. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business. Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with open relationships or monogamy. I also think there is nothing wrong with being single. I have plenty of friends that have committed themselves to themselves. They don’t need a partner to find fulfillment. I think that is something we need to be cautious about when advocating for Human Rights and Equal Rights for gay couples. Not everyone wants to get married and we don’t need to pressure anyone to conform to how society thinks they should live their lives.
One of my pet peeves is when gay people begin policing each other. It was so traumatic in my childhood being policed for having same-sex desires and being told that it was wrong, aberrant and that I should be ashamed of myself. It is hypocritical for people who have experienced that to turn around and down the same thing.
That reminds me of when people shame each other for being on Apps like Grindr and Scruff posting full conversations to make fun or embarrass the other the person they were chatting with. It seems strange and hypercritical.
I once sat at a dinner table and had a guy take out and show all of these people their mutual friends’ Grindr conversation and all of the pictures that he sent him. That person casually skipped over his own pictures. I was thinking “you are not blameless in this situation, sir, if you’re going to call this guy a desperate whore then you should really look in the mirror when you are taking a picture of your dick with flash.”
It’s the same thing.
It’s a particular degree of hilarious to make fun of someone for being a “slut” when you are on those apps yourself.
While we are on the topic of Gay Apps, do you think people can find true and lasting relationships on those apps?
I don’t feel like I have a lot of authority on this. I met my fiancé before those apps existed. We actually met at a pub while he was bartending. I never really had to date in the age of those apps. What I hear from my friends is that there is a real pendulum swing to it. There would be moments of feeling connected to people and then feeling extremely disconnected. Communication is hard enough in person but to then have to filter it through an app has to be a pretty easy way to misunderstand each other.
Speaking of communication I was watching some of the newer season of Eastsiders and there seemed to be this theme of“breaking things on purpose and causing confusion just for confusion sake.” What is that about?
I think most relationships end not for the reason everyone says they do. I think most of the time things have to be pushed off the counter. If people can’t talk about their problems and resolve them then they act out.
They do so to gain attention, to take control?
The tag line for the Second Season is actually “Staying together, Falling apart.” I think the desperation comes from not being heard, being misunderstood and the frustration comes from not being able to articulate what you want.
We can’t wait to see how everything unfolds in this season. You have a lot of guest stars in this season. Can you tell us who some of them are?
We have Willam from Drag Race as a recurring character, We also have Traci Lords…
Traci Lords, is that a porn star?
Traci Lords is the first major cross over actress. She was in pornography when she was a teenager since then she has been featured in a lot of excited and mainstream projects over the last twenty years including John Waters, Cry Baby. She was in the Blade movies. She has done a lot of TV shows including Will and Grace; lots of cool stuff.
Love the way you handled that question, very diplomatic and much like her personal PR.
Listen, I am very sex positive. I also think there is nothing wrong with pornography. In her instance, you should do a little Traci “Googling”. There is a darker side to things that I have no authority to speak on because she was under age. I have many friends who are in pornography. I think there is nothing wrong with it--as long as it’s your choice.
We also have Sean Maher from Firefly, Jai Rodriguez from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and more.
Well we can’t wait to see what this season of Eastsiders has in store.
To see more of the Eastsiders go to Eastsiders.com or watch it on Vimeo.com