Actor, Instagram sensation Leslie Jordan celebrates new book with one vital message to all: ‘Do for others’ #Actor #Instagram #sensation #Leslie #Jordan #celebrates #book #vital #message Welcome to Viasildes, here is the new story we have for you today:
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If you don’t know Leslie Jordan, then you might not know the secret to happiness.
The Emmy award-winning actor and new best-selling author of “How Y’all Doing?” shared with Viasildes News Digital Saturday that he is doing “amazing.”
Why? Because he’s discovered the secret to his success. And, though small in stature, Jordan’s voice – and message to all – are larger than life.
“Right now, at 67 years, I’m happier than I have ever been. I’m more in tune with who I am, what I am,” Jordan said at the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., where his new best-selling book was celebrated this weekend.
“How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived” is Jordan’s second book, solidifying its position on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists upon its release last year. Published by HarperCollins, one of the Big Five English-language publishing companies, the book has earned Jordan an Audie Award for humor.
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But, as the comedy legend will tell you, his life wasn’t always very funny.
Emmy award-winning actor and best-selling author Leslie Jordan sat down with Viasildes News Digital at the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Having formerly struggled with what he calls “internal homophobia” [today, Jordan is a proud gay man], the loss of his father as a child, and an admitted dependence on alcohol throughout his young adulthood, Jordan – who celebrates not just his book, but 25 years of sobriety – explained the debilitating discomfort he felt in his early life.
“I’ve talked to so many gay men over the years who’ll say we fell out of the womb ashamed,” Jordan said of his ***, pointing to his effeminate nature as being, at one time, a source of shame having growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“But I am myself. It’s my nature. It’s what I am. It’s the way I was made,” the “Will & Grace” alum told Viasildes News Digital.
“I’m happier than I have ever been. I’m more in tune with who I am, what I am.” – Leslie Jordan
Hailing from a Southern Baptist community, Jordan knew from a young age that being gay meant he was different. But failing to accept and embrace those differences put Jordan on a path toward destruction, as he illustrates in his book with the [southern] charming wit that only a voice like his could.
In making the choice to get sober, though, Jordan said it allowed him to grow into his “queerdom” – gradually discovering that he was becoming more comfortable with himself, and what he brings to the table.
The author also discovered that putting pen to paper was the way to the light.
“Early in my sobriety, my sponsor in the recovery program that I was in, he said, ‘When you put pen to paper, it slows your mind down to the speed of a pen, and you’ll get some clarity.’”
Jordan, who details many of his ‘misadventures and mischief’ in his book – including some run-ins with the law – attributes the practice of longhand journaling to much of his recovery from alcoholism, explaining how the exercise has translated to his authorship.
“I would write, write, write,” he said, admitting to amassing countless journals that he would store beneath his bed.
Soon enough, HarperCollins would approach him about writing a book.
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After Jordan became what many would call an Instagram sensation throughout the pandemic – his video posts going viral, earning him nearly 6 million followers [or, as he calls them in his book, “friends”] – the publisher saw potential.
“HarperCollins came to me and said, ‘we see a book.’ They gave me a list of all my various posts that they thought could be chapters,” he explained.
“What an amazing writing exercise. I was able to go back and take those two-minute posts and flesh them out into a chapter.”
“That, I think, is the secret to happiness: doing for others.” – Leslie Jordan
In his collection of chapters, Jordan regales fans – and friends – with entertaining stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life in his droll, irreverent voice – even narrating the Audible version himself.
And with that voice – one that’s growing proverbially louder with age – Leslie Jordan delivers a message to all: Do for others.
“Sometimes I don’t own what I’ve done. This is a big deal, to have written a book that’s a bestseller,” he told Viasildes News Digital. “But I’ve said before the only thing fame brings you is a platform. That’s all it brings you. And then you either give or take. And I want to give.”
“That, I think, is the secret to happiness: doing for others.”
To all who might be struggling to find happiness, Jordan urged to “do something for someone else,” and you might just find yourself in the process.
“Part of my success is that I am so comfortable with myself,” he encouraged.
At 67, Jordan isn’t just a comfortably proud gay man. He is also a proud gay man of faith.
“The best advice I was ever given: my sponsor said go (to church), take whatever you hear with you that resonates, and leave the rest under the pew in front of you. Because what you think is eh [sic] could be someone else’s kernel of truth.”
The actor, comedian, author, viral sensation, and yes, singer, can be heard belting on his gospel album, Company’s Comin.’ Last year, Jordan made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in his home state of Tennessee – singing hymns from his childhood, and celebrating his Baptist upbringing.
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In this way, perhaps Jordan’s voice has grown louder with age, literally, too.
But he’s not the only one with a voice, the renaissance man reminds.
“Change comes from within.” – Leslie Jordan
“People think they don’t have a voice; yes, they do. Your vote counts,” he told Viasildes News Digital. “That’s why I think it’s really important that people, especially within our LGBTQ+ community, get the youth out to register to vote. And then the change can really happen.”
While Jordan admits to often steering clear of political discussion, the author – whose new book is, in part, a moving account of the 80s AIDS crisis – is calling for gay youth to keep their sense of community, as well as their individual convictions, strong.
“It’s wonderful to march in the streets, but that only brings attention to your cause. It doesn’t change things,” he explained. “The change comes from within.”
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Fans of Leslie Jordan’s can catch him on FOX’s “Call me Kat” – and, of course, on Instagram.
Laura Carrione is an Editor with Viasildes News.