Everything we knew and loved about him we had learned by watching the new, gay reality TV show, The A-List, on LOGO TV. Other than that, we had no clue who this guy was because, quite frankly, he didn’t have any huge claim to fame before the show, which is exactly why we fell in love with him. What we found out was he was a lot like us. He loved the movie Mean Girls. He thought Jake Sears from the Scissor Sisters was SEXY and he didn’t really know the difference between an A-lister and a D-lister, because, even though Kathy Griffin may not want to admit to this, when you get to the heart and soul of it…there is no difference. So, that being said, we give you…A-List, D-licious…TJ Kelly!
1. Introduce us to TJ Kelly. Who is he and why should we know him?
I am a boy with a zest for life. I love laughing, tasty beverages and cute boys. I was born on the outskirts of Boston and raised mostly on Cape Cod by a proud Irish family. In the summer of 2009, I packed up a suitcase and jumped on a $20 Fung Wah to New York City. I currently reside in Brooklyn and you may call me Ms. Brooklyn (Bushwick if you’re nasty!).
I manage the ultra-luxe Ryan Darius Salon located in the West Village. As a professional nail technician, I have showcased my talents doing nails for music videos, TV shows like “America’s Next Top Model,” and behind-the-scenes at several NYC Fashion Week shows including Calvin Klein, Betsey Johnson, Victoria Beckham and Nicole Miller. I founded and helped create the new website OutSpokenNYC.com and I am also a contributor to the website www.NonSociety.com where I blog a “Lifecast.”
I am energetic to the point and a little irreverent but you take the good you take the bad and you have Me some where in between.
2. Where did you grow up and how did that help you survive in New York City?
Well, like I stated, I grew up outside Boston actually in a town called Malden. My family then moved to cape Cod in 4th grade and I didn’t leave Cape until I was 27. I think what helped me survive and be successful was that I wasn’t jaded. I looked at the city with the eyes of a child. I kept humble and gracious and it didn’t go unnoticed. My polite demeanor mixed with a sassy and witty sense of humor opened many doors for me here. All are attributes and qualities my parents gave me, really helped me do it big in NYC.
3. Are you dating someone or are you single? And if you’re single, what makes TJs other half?
I am dating. I actually have a guy in my life right now who I adore. He is younger so for the first time I am the older one; a cougar if you will. I usually go for guys who are opposite then me. Quieter. Level Headed. Focused. Someone who can bring me down to Earth when my head is in the clouds. A cute face is also a plus but humor is one of the biggest things I look for in my other half.
4. How did you become part of LOGO’s The A-List and what was has that experience been like for you?
I became part of the A-list because of my best friend Ryan (the blonde). He was cast and because we are personally and professionally so close they asked me to be a secondary character. I was suppose to be in like 1 or 2 episodes and was pleasantly surprised to see they used me in every episode. I especially loved that I named the first episode “Codeword Delicious.” It has been such a surreal experience and I feel so blessed to be a part of it. The best part for me was getting to experience it with my Bestie of almost 14 years.
5. For all the future socialites, what do you think makes a good A-Lister in any social scene?
Well, please remember I never say that I am an A-lister. However, I do believe we are all A-list in our own way and our own lives if we believe that we are. Financially and Material wise I am nowhere near the other boys but this never effects me. The A in A-list for me is Attitude. It’s the way I hold my head up high and don’t compare where I am in life to others’ present journey. I am smart and can carry a conversation. Have a firm handshake and look people in the eye when you speak.
6. Out of all the characters in the A-List New York, who did you get along with the most and the least and why?
I got along with Ryan the most…haha. Our relationship is beyond friends and in the family arena now. He’s My sister. I love all the other boys a lot but I guess I clashed with Rodiney the most and Austin at a close second. Rodiney and I just never connected and I find his behavior to be manipulative where others found him naive. As for Austin well isn’t that enough said. To tell you the truth I adore him but if we spend too much time together we end up bickering. With Austin and I its a tug of war.
7. You’re currently blogging live about the RuPaul’s Drag Race episodes on LOGO. Tell us about this collaboration and where we can read these posts?
Yes recently I have been asked to join the LIVE BLOG Parties for Rupaul’s Drag Race and I Love doing it. I was asked by LOGO to join but really anyone can sign on and join the fun. It’s like a big chat room that you go into where you can chat live about the show as it airs. Its soo much fun and yes I was asked to do it as a “celebrity” but would do it even if I wasn’t asked formally. You just go to Logotv.com right before Drag race comes on, sign in with Twitter or Facebook and chat it up.
8. You’ve introduced a website called OutspokenNYC. Tell us about this new website.
OutSpokenNYC is a collection of seven fearless voices, each based in New York City and at the pulse of the gay universe. Let us help you filter out all the noise and share the sights and sounds that make life in the Big Gay City worth the crowded commutes and too-damn-high rent checks.
The guys at OutSpokenNYC converged in the Fall of 2010 after months of following each others shenanigans on Twitter. After a raucous brunch in Chelsea on chilly Sunday, it was immediately clear that the group dynamic was something special. A few drinks (and subsequent hangovers), a brand new blog born.
It’s easy to lump all gay men in the same category (vain, self-obsessed and shallow are common descriptors) but the problem is, that’s never really true. While we may seem similar on the surface (as many gays admittedly do), each of us comes from distinct backgrounds and experiences that gives him a fresh take on a life and a culture we all share. Collectively, that makes for one hell of a dialogue.
As it grows across platforms, OutSpokenNYC will be your source for fresh outlooks on everything from your favorite artist’s recent album to that new documentary on gay equality to how to keep your style sharp. We are the 6 gay best friends you don’t have yet. Check out our About Outspoken welcome video HERE.
9. Congratulations on your nomination for LOGO’s NewNowNext awards. What were you nominated for and what does that mean to you?
Yes Super Excited about my New Now Next Award Nomination. I have been nominated for Best New Indulgence. I am up against the most random grouping including OWN(oprah winfrey network), NetFlix, NKOTB and Backstreet Boys summer tour and the game Angry Birds. I think I have to watch out for Angry Birds haha. I really am so flattered by this and can’t wait for the actual show. It will be my first time going to LA so I am super excited.(At the time of this publication, LOGO TV’s NewNowNext Awards have already aired and regretfully, at least to us, TJ lost out to New Kids on the Block-Summer Tour.)
10. Your Twitter profile, @TJKelly10, says you’re a nail technician. What’s your favorite nail polish color and finish?
I am a nail tech. Fave color right now is the Custom Color I mixed for Nicole Miller. It was a light elephant grey with a high shine topcoat. It’s sooo trendy and cool.
11. How do you define “sexy”? Who do you believe are the three sexiest gay celebrities?
I define Sexy as an attitude. Sexy can be the Cocky Bad boy with a big mouth or the Quiet Kid with the Nerdy glasses its how they sell what they got that I find Sexy. Sexy is a walk and talk that can vary from person to person. 3 top sexiest gays are Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Shears(of the band Scissor Sisters) and Porn Star Francois Sagat.
12. What three straight celebrities do you wish were gay?
Three straight celebrities I wish would be gay would be Ryan Reynolds, Shia Lebouf and Mark Salling(of GLEE fame).
13. What three things do A-listers know that D-listers don’t?
I don’t know if I am classified to answer 3 things A-listers know that D-listers don’t. I think as people we just need to remember our manners and what the venue is. Dress for the occasion. Never wanna be under-dressed.
14. What is the sexiest city in the world? Hotel? Club? Restaurant?
I am so not well traveled but I would say I think Montreal is very sexy. It has a carefree attitude that I love and the people are soo kind. As for Sexy hotels, clubs and restaurants. I think these change way too frequently for me to give a solid answer. My advice would be Google SEXY restaurant and see what pops up.
15. If you could only listen to three CD’s for the rest of your life and they couldn’t be mixed, what would they be?
Kelly Clarkson “My December” Destiny’s Child “Writings On The Wall” and Adele (recently added) “21”
16. What are your three favorite movies of all time?
“Mean Girls” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Bring It On” would be top three movies I am such a 15 year old girl, right!
17. If you were going to develop the next big, gay, reality show, what would you have it focus on and what would you call it?
The next Big Gay Reality show would Star me and it would be like the Gay Version of “I Love New York” or “Flavor of Love” It would be me in a house with 15 Gay Men and I narrow them down with challenges to find my true love. TJ Looks For Love!
18. Who has been the most exciting celebrity you have met as a result of being on The A-List?
Most exciting celeb I have met is Johnny Weir I adore him and it was such a surreal moment. We met at the OUT 100 and he actually said he was a HUGE Fan of ME..I almost died it was so thrilling!
19. Where would you like to be in five years?
In 5 years I hope I am on the way to build a family however lets just say I hope to be exactly where I should be wherever that may be. This year in particular taught me that anything can happen at any moment so just to go one day at a time putting your best foot forward.
20. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?
Jockstraps of course!
Be Yourself. Be Fearless. Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!
*Photographs Courtesy of TJ Kelly.
WARNING: We allow 100 words or less of content per interview to be taken and used, with a link to our original interview, without our authorization. Content larger than 100 words or copying our entire interview without our authorization to be used in ANY manner will result in our taking legal action per copyright infringement.