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Delve into her formative years, and it’s not hard to find the rebel seed. A
tobacco-chewing kid into skateboarding who from an early age preferred to
run with the boys, looking back, Jenny says can’t believe her parents didn’t
suspect she might be a lesbian until she came out to them at 22.
Citing her parents as hugely supportive (they joined PFLAG), she says they
had no problem with her being a dyke, and given how much she put them
through growing up, her being gay was the least of their problems – given her
penchant for extreme sports, they were just happy she still had a heartbeat.
Just how a Californian motor mechanic and out and proud card carrying
member of Dykes on Bikes, Act Up and Queer Nation ended up a super
model is a good indication of how Jenny lives her life – simply turning up at
the right place at the right time (albeit usually late).
“I rode up on my motor cycle, really late to a casting and Kelly and Calvin
(Klein) ran out and kinda freaked out – then I freaked out, and then we all
went to New York together,” is how she thinks her modelling career may
have kicked off.
What followed was a career spanning international catwalks and numerous
campaigns including Calvin Klein and Banana Republic, and Jenny got to
hang out with pretty much every sexy babe you can imagine.
“I gotta tell ya, being a butch dyke during the nineties in fashion was great
because every girl wanted to have an affair – every single girl – even like 14
year-olds with their mothers! It was crazy. The best thing was I hung out with
all the models and all their boyfriends and the boyfriends were like, ‘Jenny
when we die, we totally wanna come back as you.’ And I was like, you’re
right, I have a great life right now – sexually, you know.” Her absolute standout
babe from that period? Christy Turlington, hands down.
While Jenny’s career has certainly been colourful, when asked about
milestones, she’s quick to bring up the famous Ellen ‘Coming Out’ episode.
“There’d been bomb threats to the studio if filming went ahead – so there was
a really high security alert. They called it the Puppy Episode thinking that the
Christian Right wouldn’t blow up puppies,” she laughs.
Once again turning up to the studio late because she forgot to write the date
down, she was pretty nervous to begin with.
“By the time I arrive there’s all these people there like Demi Moore, Laura
Dern, kd lang holding a turkey baster… And I’m thinking, what is this? … I
just didn’t think it was gonna be a big deal. Then it comes out and I’m sitting
there watching it with my friends… and I was shocked – it was amazing
– when I talk about it I feel like crying – it has such an impact. Every lesbian in
America was on the phone to their mother after it. To this day, I’m so grateful
they let me do it. It was incredibly ground-breaking and still one of the things
that I’m so proud to be a part of. I think Ellen is an amazing woman.”
On the topic of a lesbian clique in Hollywood, Jenny agrees one exists and
that most lesbian actresses in Hollywood, including most of The L Word cast,
get together at a club each week and watch the show together. (And for the
record, the character Jenny would most like to jump is Bette: “Oh man”.)
But for a bona fide dyke, Jenny has a well-publicised history with bisexual
women including one of the most beautiful, talked about, left of centre
women on the planet – Angelina Jolie. At this point I mention that given the
list of beautiful women she’s slept with, including Ione Sky, Angelina Jolie
and Rebecca Loos, that’s also six degrees from guys like Brad Pitt and
David Beckham. “Oh well… you know Cath....” She shrugs in that ‘go figure’
“You know why I think that is? Cos those girls approach me and they’re really
kind’ve aggressive and I think that makes me go… okay. Actually, I think most
of them are more straight than bisexual… But you know they’d always be at
arm’s length and I’d never fall in love with them and it would never work… so
that’s why I chose them.”
“I’m really drawn to creative people with a streak of sexiness. I like a bossy
lady – that’s probably my downfall. I’m attracted to a lot of artist-types, and a
lot of artist-types are a little bit crazy – but obviously that’s what I like, so…”
There’s that grin again.
Of all her “straight girl” experiences, one she’s prepared to talk about on-the-
record is Rebecca Loos, the one she married.
“OK… so that was like a mid-life crisis,” she laughs. Jenny says the marriage
was supposed to be a political stunt in response to the gay marriage ban in
California, and only got weird once they’d slept together. She’s able to laugh
about it but explains by saying she’s attracted to fiery Spanish types. “She’s
totally like the Paris Hilton of Spain and I was like ‘I just gotta do it, I gotta see
what it’s like waking up in a princess’s bed every morning!”
While she may have the reputation of a gunslinger, Jenny says when it comes
to picking up a dyke, her experience is pretty much the same as everyone
“I can go to a dyke bar and see someone and we’ll be making eye contact
for an entire year and we still won’t know we like each other. That exactly just
happened. The girl I’m with right now, (a singer), we’ve known each other for
over a year – and liked each other the entire time… and it took a year and
four months for us to finally make out and then like another four weeks before
we even had sex!”
Spend some time with one of the nicest, most enviable dykes on the planet
and it’s not hard to see why so many people like hanging out with her. She’s
just so easy to be around. Although she warns me, it’s a smokescreen. The
moment she takes out her phone to show a girl photos of her beloved ferrets,
Roxy and Jinx, guaranteed – the chick runs a mile.
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