LGBTQ Advocate and Fire Island Star Margaret Cho Speaks About Pop Culture and Politics

Best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially regarding race and sexuality, Margaret Cho currently plays the mother hen to a swarm of gays who annually visit her beach house in Joel Kim Booster’s gay rom-com ‘Fire Island’

The actress-comedian tells AV Club that she initially wanted a cameo since she was enthused about the film, Booster then suggested Erin would be the only lead who would work, which was originally written for a male, “It was just so natural because we already inhabit these roles in life, generally. So it was very easy to dip into that character and hang out with them.”

Cho compares the film to ‘Pride And Prejudice’ which she describes as all about class and privilege and buying into that privilege through romance and how we can gain power through sexuality and romance. Similarly, Fire Island is “about race and class within gay life. I think a lot of times if you are gay, you imagine you can’t possibly be classist or sexist or racist, [but] we have problems with all those.”

Her favorite LGBTQ+ films include Hedwig And The Angry Inch, and Go Fish, and considers American Psycho a lesbian film. She then adds “Of course, then you have the view of straight people looking through the gay lens, or things like whatever is all of Ryan Murphy’s work.”

Cho has always been outspoken about politics and social problems, she tells AV Club that she gets nervous about it but is also amazed how people today use social media to voice out issues such as the rise of anti-Asian hate or even going further back — AIDS, “I witnessed the entire AIDS original pandemic, which is our pandemic, devastate my entire world—it’s something that we were able to survive through and be resilient through. You can recover through anything.”

For her, it is important to look back and learn from terrible historical events so we can avoid repeating them, “that we realize that there’s a precedent to everything and that we can learn, that we have to stop it. We have to rise up to stop it.”

Read Margaret Cho’s full AV Club interview here.