Those of you of a certain age may actually remember the first season of MTV's The Real World.
Long before reality television shows were the stupefying institution they have become in recent years, in 1992, The Real World was actually kind of interesting.
Of course, we've subsequently learned that things in the beautiful Manhattan loft these seven strangers shared weren't quite as "real" as MTV purported, but that doesn't matter much to me.
For one thing, the show introduced us to Eric Nies, who, though now sadly faded, was once stunningly beautiful (if dumb as a box of hair).
Even more important to me, however, was the presence of Norman, whom MTV labeled "the lone gay cast member."
Back in '92, there just weren't many real gay people on TV, so I was extremely interested in watching Norman try to find love in the Big Apple.
The closest he came to having a boyfriend during the run of the show was a brief fling with a handsome fellow named Charles Dabney. In one episode, Norman and Charles were even shown smooching while attending the NYC Gay Pride rally. Pretty hot stuff for basic cable in those days.
Skip ahead a couple years, and Charles Perez, who had appended his mother's maiden name to is own, had a short-lived daytime talk-show. It wasn't very good (he was like a male Ricki Lake), but I used to watch it with my my housemate Irma. We watched a lot of bad TV together.
Check out this promo for his show, and note the diva-based queer club music.
Eventually I took to calling myself "Sean Seany Perez," claiming I was giving props to my (non-existent) Latino heritage. Irma, who is Puerto Rican, found this hilarious, so I kept the joke going for several years.
Now Irma is a big-shot writer at Telemundo, and recently she managed to get Charles Perez, now a weekend anchorman on WPLG in Miami, to autograph a headshot of himself and dedicate it to my old ethnic pseudonym.
That was right sporting of him, I'd say, since my silly name was pretty clearly mocking him.
Hmmm, I guess this post might be considered something of a long run for a short slide, but, um, I don't care.
This picture is now one of my prized possessions. I think I'll get it framed.
(a.k.a. Sean "Seany" Perez)