Comedian Jordan Firstman disputes ‘delusional’ suggestion that gay men’s suffering is over

Instagram comedian Jordan Firstman has spoken out about the misconception that the gay community’s suffering is over.

In an interview with pop star Charli XCX on the singer’s BBC Sounds podcast Best Song Ever, Firstman is asked which songs he feels soundtrack the experience of being a gay man.

Justifying his choices of “Fabulous” from the High School Musical 2 soundtrack and “One is the Loneliest Number” by Aimee Mann, Firstman explained: “Gay to me is like, delusion. Gay to me is ultimate loneliness.”

“Gay is seen as so, like, ‘Oh, they’ve gotten over their problems. They have PrEP, they can’t get AIDS and they can get married, like they’re good’ [but] there is still so much underneath.

“… because gay men feel like they’re done with the suffering, because the world has become more accepting, at least in the States, [they feel] that they don’t need to do anything.

“There’s not that much trauma, there’s a little bit so it would be really easy to work on it but because right now no one feels like they need to work on it, that trauma ends up pushing gay men into these cycles of sex and drug abuse and partying.”

When asked by the singer if he believes that habits of drug and sex abuse are used as a form of escapism in gay men, Firstman answers: “Totally.”

“Gay men love to f**king party and they always have.”

Jordan Firstman also spoke about an unwillingness to self-reflect among gay men. “To move forward they would have to do this work, and I think they think it’s more work than they need to do but we can get past the trauma. And I’m totally guilty of it too,” the social media star admits, “but I think I have an awareness that makes me at least want to figure out what it’s all about.”

Earlier in the interview, Firstman spoke about the experience of going viral on Instagram at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he gained masses of followers for his comedic impressions of characters including banana bread’s publicist and the fly on Mike Pence’s head.

“I blew up really fast and that was a really weird transition. I kept building and building and building. And then suddenly all these famous people loved me,” Jordan recalled.

“It all started to spiral out of control, I had an attempted cancellation that was like… I’m like open about it now.”

“You’re very open about it now!” Charli XCX interjects. “The first time I met you, you were like ‘So, let me tell you – I got cancelled!’ I didn’t know but then I knew.”

Firstman faced heavy backlash in December 2020 when the notorious internet vigilante Instagram account Diet Prada unearthed derogatory tweets posted by the comedian in 2012.

In the since deleted tweets, Jordan Firstman joked about hiring a Black women ‘to fight in my place when needed’, and in a separate tweet he joked about killing homeless people.

He also tweeted: “I hate Indian people because at my last [Dunkin] donuts they knew my name and order and at this one they don’t.”

The comedian swiftly issued an apology on his Instagram, writing: “I wrote some offensive jokes on Twitter in 2012 when I was 19 that are now being circulated online. I am deeply regretful and sorry for these tweets; I was young and dumb and trying to find my comedic voice. I have grown a million lifetimes since and I do not stand by them in any way.”

Speaking nearly a year later about his overnight fame followed by extreme criticism over the tweets, Firstman told XCX: “So that put me into a really deep, deep dark depression because I was like ‘I don’t understand why any of these things are happening, these ups and downs are so extreme.'”

Echoing his later statements about escapism, Firstman says he dealt with the stress of the experience by partying for a month and a half in Mexico.

You can hear Jordan Firstman’s full interview with Charli XCX on BBC Sounds.