Love, New York

Reality show star Tiffany Pollard on loving the gays, growing up - and starring in Lee Daniels' new 'Paris is Burning'?

By Chris Azzopardi

Love or hate her, Tiffany Pollard - better known as her reality show-spawned celebrity alias, "New York" - isn't a name you forget. At least not if you caught her, and all the drama she dragged in, while starring in a string of saucy VH1 docu-series, including 2006's "Flavor of Love," "I Love New York" and her most recent, "New York Goes to Work." Pollard wasn't named "Head Bitch in Charge" for nothing, but the 28-year-old diva has cooled off, she says, and finally feels in charge - of her life.

Before stopping on Oct. 8 and 9 at Detroit's Ice Nightclub, the reformed rabble-rouser called us from California to chat about why the gays get her, looking like a man, and how lunch with out director Lee Daniels led to her first major film role.

Do you stop by a lot of gay clubs?

Well, I've been blessed and very fortunate to have a large gay following. You know, gays confide in me; I love the gays. They give me so much love and support, and so I like to hang out and frequent a lot of gay clubs when I travel or when I'm here at home.

How old were you the first time you went to one?

Oh my goodness - I think I was 17!

How did you get in if you were underage?

I've always just been fabulous, so they had to let me in.

What goes on at these gay club appearances?

I mingle, I give love, I receive love. It's always just a cool vibe. Gays are just full of love, and that's how I'd sum up the gay lifestyle - just a whole bunch of love.

What about you attracts the gays?

Gay people are fearless, and I know that they have a lot of challenges in their life, and because of that I feel like they're real. A lot of gay people that I speak to are in-your-face, take-it-or-leave-it, love-me-or-hate-me, and I can relate to that in my life. And I'm a heterosexual, but I still relate to it. Strength recognizes strength.

What are you up to these days?

These days I'm still single. I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning more toward doing it again and looking for love, but right now I'm working on some plays. There's one coming up in North Carolina. I'm also doing charity work; I'm going to Calcutta, India, and I'm excited about that. So I'm just trying to branch out and venture off and get onto a new path.

What made you interested in doing charity work?

I love people, and God is, like, the head of my life. And I don't think people know how spiritual I am, and I just feel if he's blessing me I have to spread it around and bless someone else.

So you actually do have a heart of gold.

(Laughs) Right, exactly! What's going to be cool about this is they're going to document the trip; I'm going with Joyce Meyer Ministries, so it'll play out on TV, all over the Internet and all over her podcast. I'm just excited to put that side of myself out there.

Will this tie into a reality show?

You know, the sky's the limit! And there's going to be a possibility there.

What do you think of the image you made for yourself on your reality shows?

I feel like my life is a progression; obviously you get a little older, but looking back at it, that was where I was at that time in my life. So, I still love New York, I still support New York; that's just who she is. But like I said, I got a little older, so I've calmed down a little bit more and focused more on ... I think I wanna get married! (Laughs) I'm, like, really ready to settle down and get my husband on. But I don't know if I want to have a baby yet.

Does this mean you're leaving New York behind?

I wouldn't say I'm leaving her in the dust; she's still there. She's not totally in the past, but more so that I'm discovering myself through a new light. And you got to understand, they're playing my shows in different countries now, and I get hit up from London and England and all over the place, and to just have that kind of notoriety is almost larger than me. It's like, I see the bigger picture.

And quite a feat to be larger than you, considering the size of your boobs.

Thank you very much! (Laughs) I got 'em done again, so thanks for noticing. They're perkier, they're higher and they're rounder.

Soon we'll see them in Detroit.

I have to wear the perfect outfit to showcase them!

Unfortunately, you'll be in a place where it won't matter.

(Screams) That's another great thing! I'm so glad you brought that up! I love the gay clubs because - I was just talking to my girlfriend the other day about this - I could walk in there with just a thong on, and go topless, and nobody's going to touch me (laughs). I just love that.

So, back to your personal progression: You were in your early 20s when "Flavor of Love" aired. What's changed about you since then - besides the boobs?

Life! You know, if people see you on TV, they just figure all you live is what you live on TV. But no, life happens and I don't compare myself to the average person; I say that I am the average person, meaning that you just change, you evolve. The things that changed about me the most is that I figured out more of what I want in my life and I went down that path. Before I was just all over the place, but now I really know how to speak even more for myself and stand up for what I want, and that's how I go about life. So I've definitely changed.

What are some things you'd still like to accomplish?

Acting is still on my to-do list, but now that I'm a little older, I can't say that's, like, the heartbeat of my life. I can't say I really live for that. I think I live for people. I really enjoy interacting with my fans. I do a lot of charity work, but not only charity work - I go to places where most reality stars or even celebs wouldn't go, like if there's an opening in the ghetto and there's a nail shop. Just little things like that. So, I really live for interacting with people, and one of the things I really want to accomplish one day is opening up a homeless shelter and, like, feeding people and doing really good work like that.

As far as acting, you've said you want a role in a drama. Maybe something like Mo'Nique did in "Precious"?

Oh my goodness, yes! Wasn't that a killer movie?! That's so funny you brought that up because the guy who wrote and directed and produced that movie (Lee Daniels) reached out to me a month ago, and I met with him for lunch, and he's trying to draw up a movie for me to be in. He's like, "I gotta use you; you're just awesome!" So I might be the next, like, Precious' mom!

Did he mention what kind of movie?

Yes, he did - but it's probably a little bit confidential right now. But he wants to do - have you ever heard of (the documentary) "Paris Is Burning"? He wants to make that into a movie. He wants me to be one of the leading ladies, but I would be on with a couple of more - I won't name their names - very large celebrity women. We won't say whom, but yeah, that's going to be happening. He's working on Martin Luther King Jr.'s film right now, so I probably won't get to do that until next year some time.

Do you ever Google your name?

OK, I'm gonna show you my weak side: I don't Google my name. I'm afraid of that kind of stuff! I don't get on and see what people are saying or what they're not saying. I don't play that cat and mouse game. I try to stay away from it.

What are some of the craziest rumors you have read about yourself?

That I'm a man! That my mom really is not my mom! That I'm bleaching my skin - that's the latest one I had to deal with, like three weeks ago. Oh, and that I'm a heavy user of cocaine. And (that I did) a sex tape! Need we go on?

The man one - where do you think that comes from?

Strong personality. Strong features. You know, people forget that you're made with a father and a mother, so obviously I take more after my father. I'm strong. I'm big. People kill me when they think that (I'm a man)!

Thanks so much for talking to us, Tiffany.

I'm so excited about coming out, and I really appreciate the gay love that I get. My message to the gays is that I love gays, and I think they really need to know and embrace the fact that God loves gays, too.

Tiffany "New York" Pollard

10 p.m. Oct. 8-9

Ice Nightclub

11425 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck

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