Q&A with Jase Ruel (aka Diva Jase)

Q. Tell me a little about yourself.

A. Let me give you my mini-bio a friend helped me write. It’s a little of everything I am :

Jase Ruel is a 30-ish year-old writer, poet, artist, singer, activist, educator and all-aroung magician when it comes to bringing out the inner beauty of those around him as a licensed Cosmetologist.

His publication credits include several University journals, Newspaper, Magazine, and ezine prints, and has had his work referenced by a few State and Federal Politicians.

An avid letter writter, Jase knows how to use the power of the word to his advantage to get things accomplished. Jase has been an Editor at BellaOnline.com since 2004. He currently serves as the Gay Lesbian Relationships Editor, and has served in the past as the Gay Lesbian Editor and the HIV/AIDS Editor. He also is a freelance independent writer for the Examiner.com and currently serves as its Central Illinois Gay Issues Examiner.

He is a passionate advocate for gay lesbian rights and an educator on HIV/AIDS. He has spoken at many national College Conferences, Universities, and communites on these subjects and more.

He currently is employed as an Illinois Licensed Cosmetologist and specializes in skin-care, color services, and ethnic hair. He is a former EMT-I, and holds diplomas in Emergency Medical Sciences and Cosmetology. He graduated from Carl Sandburg College with honors and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, international honor fraternity.

He has received many scholastic, professional, and other awards and honors including National Dean´s List, National Scholars at-large, NHS, PTK, Who´s Who, Golden Apple Scholar, Stonewall Democrats honoree, and others.

He is studying to be a Clinical Psychologist and collects Obama memorabilia, Teddy Bears, old photographs and secretly covets shoes and old fountain pens. He also loves the postcards he collects from people all over the world, and has made many cross-cultural friends through the sending and receiving of postcards.

He resides in the Midwest in the armpit of Illinois where Iowa and Missouri meet, in a small farming town near a state university with his roommate of 10 years Sabrina and their canines Che and Papi, their felines Azrael, Isabel, Samson, and Gracie Elle, and assorted aquatic life.

Q. What inspires you to write?

A. Almost anything inspires me to write. It could be a conversation I had with one of my clients, a movie, a book, a dream, political action or inaction. Just about anything inspires me. Hell, I have even been inspired to write after smelling a man. Imagine a freshly showered man, coming out of the bathroom a little wet, smelling of Ivory soap, powder, minty toothpaste, and crisp clean hair, smiling at you with those pearly whites as his eyes squint just a tad in that ever alluring way that just makes the heat rise to your very core.

Q. What are your favourite books?

Q. Anything by John Grisham, James Patterson, Richelle Mead, P.C. Cast, Laurel K. Hamilton, and others. My roomie turned me on to sci-fi, folklore fantasy type books and I am reading a series called the Brotherhood of the Black Dagger that puts a twist on the vampyre lore.

Q. What inspires you to write your column?

A. My readers. Making sure they have information is paramount. Not many people know what is happening out there concerning LGBT people and I make sure to bring a little light to the dark corner of society. Additionally, I write because I want people to see us for the normal joe schmoes we are.

Q. What is your favourite movie?

Oh My! I have WAYYYYY too many. But the ultimate favorite that I will forever go back to because it holds a lot of memories for me… BEACHES.

Q. What is on your favourite iPod play list?

A. iPod? I don’t have one actually! LOL I do use my Blackberry to play music in addition to having Slacker Radio and Pandora so I can listen to custom stations. But the lists I have contain Adam Lambert, Glee Vol 1 and 2, 90’s gold mix, 80’s classics, Bette Midler, Babs, Whitney, Alicia Keys, Lady Antebellum, and lots of Studio releases of Idol songs.

Q. Are you married or single?

A. Currenly Single. Had a life partner that we had a ceremony, but he passed in 99.

Q. What is the most thoughtful feedback you have received from a reader?

A. A letter from a reader who said my writings had encouraged him to come out to his uber-religious family, and when he did, he had printed out some of my articles and showed them to them. They were able to get through his coming out and my writings had helped his parents understand about their sons homosexuality and that there are alternative thoughts and interpretations of the biblical passages used to condemn gays.

I also had one professor as permission to use my writings in her sexuality class so she could teach alternative theories on the psychosocial aspects of identity. I was then invited to come speak to her class and have a Q&A.

Q. Is there another gay online author to whom you look up to, and if so, why?

A. Comicality. He is a prolific author who has real raw talent. I also look up to Dream Janus, ABG, Don Hanratty, and a few others. I am amazed at the talent that is out there and that inspires me.

Q. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

A. I would pay off all my debt, the debt of my roomie, help my three siblings with theirs, buy a house, buy a car, invest, and donate to charities/organizations I support.

Q. If you could have lunch with a famous or historical person, who would it be, and why?

A. Bill Clinton. I would love to pick his brain, especially why he caved in 96 when Hawaii was poised to pass gay marriage, and he did DADT and DOMA.

Q. What are your religious beliefs?

A. I am a Reform Jew. I call myself a Reform Jew with world mystic tendencies. Meaning I am open to other ways to interpret and understand my faith and faith in general.

Q. What was your partner like?

A. He was awesome. I had never met another like him. He was a one-of-a-kind man. There was this connection between us that I cannot explain other than he was my beshert. My soul mate. He had the most gorgeous green eyes, like emeralds that always sparkled. They were like windows to his soul, and I could never hope to understand his soul or what he possessed behind those eyes. He was a patient man. Calm. Collected. Passionate. Understanding. He is missed but honored.

Q. What do you think of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer?

A. I loved the whole series. I think she has a way with images and words, and I love her interpretation on were and vampyre lore. I definitely think the movies do NO justice to her books.

Q. When do you feel most out of your comfort zone?

A. When I am not trusted or respected. I have this thing about being in control of my destiny, so when someone doesn’t trust me or respect me, it makes me less in control of the situation and makes me step totally out of my comfort zone.

Q. Do you have any little quirks when you are writing?

A. I like to have the TV playing, music in my headphones, my I’m programs all up and running, and my dog cuddled into my chair with me. Other than that, I don’t have any real ticks other than writing from the heart and not planning everything out.

Q. Who do you think you are?

A. My roomie says I am an annoying pain in the ass. Others have called me narcissistic, aloof, down-to-earth, compassionate, faltering, and so much more. Me, I know who I am. I am a well-adjusted 30-something year old who has a handle on what it means to live an honest and open life.

Q. What is your favourite cereal?

A. Booberry, Frosted Mini wheat’s, Frosted wheat’s, Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Life, Kix, Fruity Pebbles, and Raisin Bran

Q. Have you ever thought when a hurst goes by that you might be the next to die?

A. Nope. I know my time has been determined, so I worry about living life instead of worrying about losing my life.

Q. If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?

A. Depends on what your intentions were with the wish. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but my wish, or the wish of another one might hold more merit than yours ;0)