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The Interview

Tracy Ryerson

by Jerry Nunn
Tracy Ryerson is part of a group of LA ladies that make up Showtime’s The Real L Word. She proves it’s interesting to see how the past fictional show was closer to reality than it seemed.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Tracy. Let’s talk about your show. How has the whole experience been going so far?

TR: (Tracy Ryerson) It’s surreal. It’s something I never thought I would do. It’s going in many different directions and a cool, fun experience.

JN: How did you cast in the show? Did you audition somewhere?

TR: Yeah, they had auditions but I don’t know how long that went on for. My roommate actually went up for it as well and I put my name in the mix with her. It’s one of those things you go in with a friend and the friend gets it. I knew earlier on they wanted me so I actually said no a few times. The process was a few months long and a few weeks before I decided to pull the trigger and do it.

JN: Why were you kind of hesitant to do the show?

TR: Because I work in the film industry. I produce features mostly and now I’m in the reality TV world now. So, you build up your career and people take you seriously to a certain point. Walking into a room as a reality television star you don’t how people are going to react.

JN: That’s a good point.

TR: It’s more of a career decision, I think. I am private, so…

JN: Well, not in this show.

TR: Not anymore. I know.

JN: It’s like everything is kind of out there. You’re talking about relationships with your mother. That’s not easy to do, I’m sure.

TR: Well you know that’s the one thing, my job was off limits. There were just so many confidentiality clauses. Honestly, my mother and I had to work through things that you didn’t end up seeing. I never in a million years thought she would end up on camera or talk about the gay issue on camera. She surprised me.

JN: What’s your nationality?

TR: I’m half Puerto Rican.

JN: Ok, so on your mother’s side of the family.

TR: Yeah, my mother is Puerto Rican.

JN: Is she religious?

TR: She’s kind of getting out of it. My mom found religion again when her mother, my grandmother, died. She’s not religious in a way where she’s going to say, “God, he’s gay.” No, she’s not like that.

JN: Oh, that’s MY mother.

TR: Really?

JN: Yeah, so it was like the same thing with you. I didn’t talk to my mom about any of my gay life and what happens is you get distanced from her so much.

TR: Yeah, it’s so hard. It’s crazy. I gave my mom four years when I first initially told her and then, obviously, revisited it. I tried to sprinkle in something gay to see if she’ll grab on one and talk about it. At this point I knew she wasn’t going to so I had an aggressive approach, I guess, a reality television show.

JN: Yes, a little in your face.

TR: Exactly.

JN: So, you’re in a relationship?

TR: I am. She can’t talk on this call because the kids are crazy right now.

JN: The kids are hers correct?

TR: They’re her kids, definitely.

JN: So, that’s a wild mix, huh?

TR: It’s crazy. I do this all the time where I decide to take everything on at once. I need to slow down. I started this relationship three months before we started shooting. We knew each other before that so we had some sort of foundation but you really don’t know someone until you must. So, with a seven-person camera crew in front of you and three screaming kids, it’s really a test. Luckily, we’re coming out on top. The kids are a handful. They’re all under the age of five. The two twins are three and Jagger is five and he has special needs. He’s got Williams Syndrome. They demand all of your attention.

JN: I am sorry to hear that. You know what I think is interesting about this show? I have friends that are from LA and they have all their girlfriends that actually look like the show. Many people think the original L Word was manufactured or something but it’s very LA.

TR: I think it is. Obviously, I know these girls. You walk around in LA and everyone wants to be an actress or something like that. There is beauty out here, a physical beauty. I don’t know about anything else, but physically more so than a lot of other places. It’s kind of spilled over into the community as well.

JN: What’s the long-term goal for this show?

TR: I think it’s for equality. To show we are like everyone else. The live, they love, they fuck-up, you know? They sleep with four women at once. I don’t know if you’ve seen all the episodes. It’s for visibility. If these shows weren’t happening right now people wouldn’t be talking about these issues. Luckily, you open a newspaper and these issues are in there. It’s important to have these big story lines with scripted shows and this reality show that shows real life lesbians doing their thing.

JN: Thanks for being so open on the show.

TR: Of course, it’s kind of weird being under a microscope. It’s trippy.

JN: People recognize you?

TR: Yeah, before you walk down the street or go to the bar and people look at you and find you attractive. Now, they look at you and they’re judging you because they’ve seen you on camera. You kind of have to decipher which one it is. It’s just a little odd. People will come up to me and say, “Hang in there. You are going to be alright with Stamie.” Thanks, bud.

JN: That’s funny. People can be very nosey.

TR: Exactly. I have a lot of people saying, “What are you doing? Run for the hills!” That’s their advice to me.

JN: Wow. Well, good luck with everything.

The Real L Word season finale is on September 1st. Visit for details about Tracy and the gang.

Written by Jerry Nunn (
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