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Jesse Archer

Jesse Archer

Profession Writer, actor, boy about town
Hometown East Village, NY
Website http://www.jesseonthebrink.com/

Oregon native Jesse Archer cut out the beavers when he left his home state, and the actor, writer and boy-about-town has since become one of the most recognizable faces in gay New York. He may be best known for his gay comedy flicks such as Four Letter Word, Slutty Summer and Boy Culture, but the handsome stunner also happens to be one of the most-travelled boys in town. Sure, he’s a Fire Island regular – each year embarking on a “no sleeping in a bed” Survivor Weekend – but also a regular travel columnist and the author of You Can Run, a (fabulous, very gay) South American travel memoir.


Jesse, Fire Island season is upon us. Do you still do your legendary Fire Island Survivor Weekends?

I do! My best friend head out there once each year to sleep on the beach in solidarity. One year it was really cold so we found an abandoned house and crashed there. I woke up on the floor beside mice droppings and had bug bites all over my body. Survivor Weekend is brutal.

The subtitle of your South American travel memoirs, is “Gay, Glam, and Gritty Travels”. What’s your secret to keeping the “glam” in travel, often on a low-to-no budget?

Simple things, like if you wear sun protection or lotion, buy the one with shimmer in it. I also insist upon having gay sex in countries where it’s illegal. That’s glam, right?

Right... So what’s your glammest travel moment?

Enjoying a bottle of cheap wine while sitting on human bones in a forbidden section of the Paris catacombs.


This one would be difficult. Probably running around Machu Picchu in a hot pink wig, like the Incas used to do.


Translating on extended jungle tours in the Bolivian rainforest.

Back to Fire Island: The crowds don’t seem to get any younger out there...

It’ll always be a top summer destination. The reason it’s older is because it’s too expensive and there aren’t affordable alternatives. It’s a boutique village now, much like Manhattan!

Top tip for Fire Island virgins (now there’s an oxymoron) from a veteran visitor?

Go out with just a backpack, hit the afternoon tea dance and be extra-friendly to strangers. In other words, jump... and the mattress will appear! I guess there are affordable opportunities after all.

A large part of your work feeds on NYC gay clichés. Is there really such thing as a “New York City boy”?

He’s definitely from all over. A foreigner. A tone-bodied, street savvy foreigner who knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to ask for it.

Where do you find the glammest boys in New York?

Chistopher Street Pier is cute by day. And by night - anywhere, just make sure it’s after midnight and before dawn.

And you, when you’re not sparkling, where do we find Jesse in the city?

Tompkins Square Park in the East Village has a lawn in the middle which is great for relaxing and checking out the flavor of your neighbor. It’s also got a “Temperance” fountain, which is my favorite place to pose for photos with a cocktail in hand.

How has gay New York changed over the past five years? How do you see it changing over the next five?

Recently, it’s been a lot about staying home and cruising online which killed the big nightclub scene. Now people are going out more - and aren’t afraid to make a big production out of it. Playing dress up is back! In the future, I think more people will be going online not to stay there, but to find off-line fun.

What’s the most overrated aspect of New York?

Living in a shoebox!


The transience of the place. NYC is constantly changing, evolving, tearing down, building up. Much like travel itself, the city really forces you to accept and adapt to change.

The ONE thing that a visitor must do?

Stand in the centre of Times Square.

What three things are always in your carry-on when you travel?

Diary. Running shoes. Feather boa.

What does the future hold for you? Any un-ticked boxes on your to-do list?

Right now I’m getting ready to premiere my new film, Violet Tendencies. In the future, I want to make more movies, save the whales, learn Chinese and go live in Australia.

Learn more about Jesse on www.jesseonthebrink.com. Find Jessie sleeping rough on Fire Island first weekend in July.

Jesse Archer