A Discussion with Jason Dill Regarding a Photograph of Him & PJ Ransone

By Dave Carnie

Jason Dill, NYC. Photo: Josh Friedberg

Does anyone really care about this? I’ve been told they do—that you do. Is that true? They say “everybody” is talking about this photo.

“If so,” I said, “I’ll do it. I’ll call Dill up and write about it.” I’m a big fan of the gays. And I’m a fan of the not-gays acting like the gays. But I’m an even bigger fan of Jason Dill, so I’ll take any excuse to call him. But calling Dill proved to be more interesting than this photo.

Dill, like me, doesn’t have a cell phone. Or he has one but doesn’t use it? I’m not sure. His phone situation is, like Dill himself, complicated. But I applauded his phone-free lifestyle.

“I don’t particularly like talking on the phone,” I wrote him in an email, “so why would I carry a phone around with me? I might as well carry a tennis racket around with me. ‘Yeah I don’t play tennis, but everyone has a racket, so I figured I might as well get one too.’ Idiots.”

But, unlike Dill, I do have a phone. It’s just connected to the wall. Jason had to call me from a payphone in Brooklyn. “They still have those?” I asked.

“Not in LA,” he said. I could barely hear him. He sounded like an astronaut in space. “They’re still all over in New York—hold on, I’m going to find a better phone. I can barely hear you. I’ll call you back in three minutes. Okay, bye.”

As eccentric and weird as Jason is, I’ve always found him to be very caring and honest. He gives a shit. There’s fuckups and artists, but it takes a special kind of person to be a reliable fuckup. Or should I say, “It takes a special person to be a fuckup that’s reliable?” Because you can certainly rely on a fuckup to be fucked up. But, the point is, you can rely on Jason to do what he says he’s going to do. Especially if it involves getting fucked up. Or calling back.

Three minutes later the phone rang, but instead of Jason on the line, I got a woman’s voice. “This is a collect call, from [pause, followed by Jason’s voice], JASON DILL. Do you wish to accept this collect call from [pause] JASON DILL?”

I accepted.

“I just got ripped off on a calling card,” he said when we were connected. “I swear I went to call you back and it was like, ‘You have .79.’ My girlfriend moved back to London, so I know all about calling cards. It’s like, I don’t know, I just went to the wrong deli right now. Hopefully this doesn’t cost you too much.”

Jason Dill and PJ Ransone: Photo: Terry Richardson

Because of the rates, there was no time for jibber jabber. I had called to talk about the Terry Richardson photo of PJ Ransone doing a reverse ball cup on him. “What’s going on in this photo?” I said.

“I didn’t realize that anyone even gave a shit about that stuff,” he replied. “The thing is PJ gets such a kick out of making it seem like I’m gay in the skateboard industry. And he’s such a camera coverage whore. He’ll take coverage any way he can get.”

“So you’re not gay in the skateboard industry?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “I’m sorry to disappoint everybody. I thought my vivacious tendencies towards African American women had been well documented. I get that more than I get gay I think. It’s funny to just spark people off, and that was obviously a joke, and all set up by PJ.”

“So Terry didn’t direct PJ to cup your balls?”

“No. PJ was like, ‘Hey Terry, shoot this, shoot this!’ We were just hanging out right there. I’ve had many photos taken with PJ where he’s like, ‘This is gay. Which is funny.’”

“So this is not an exclusive interview with the first major pro gay skateboarder?”

“Most certainly not.”

I still think that the Bones Brigade was gaying off and that they were the first openly gay pro skateboarders, but I have yet to find anybody to substantiate my theories. I continue, however, to search. “Have you and the Bones Brigade ever, you know, gayed off?” I asked him.

“No,” he said sternly. He seemed to be getting kind of miffed. “I mean, doesn’t everybody—especially you. I would think you would know—I’m not calling you ignorant, but you know the gay ones are real quiet and you never think—don’t you know that? The gay ones would never have a photo op like that. It just wouldn’t happen.”

I had to explain that I’m down with the gays. And that I’ve been in Jason’s shoes many times. Worse even. There was a photo of me in Big Brother with a dude’s balls in my mouth.

“Dude,” Jason said, “I’m super into it, I think it’s great. I remember one time, I was fucking young, I went to Miami on some—I don’t know what I was doing there, it was the 90s so it was a long time ago, for me. And I remember some kid I met up with skating was like, ‘You could stay at homeboy’s house.’ And he was that kid that rode for Birdhouse, Tim Von Werne or something like that? And I was just talking to him and he was like, ‘Yeah I gotta go to work in the morning.’ Oh and his roommate was this big, super fat goth chick, and it was like his best friend. But what am I fucking like fuckin’ 18? I don’t know. Nowadays I’d be like, ‘Oh your big fat goth friend? Oh you’re not gay.’ So I was like, ‘What do you mean you work, I thought you skated for a living?’ And he was like, ‘I work for this modeling agency and I pick up the models when they come to town [Jason adds a slight lisp to his story] and I drive them, whateverrrrr.’ I was just like what is this guy all about, driving models, what? That was all so foreign to me.”

I think Tim Von Werne’s interview in Heckler was the first interview with an openly gay skater? We followed with a bigger interview with Jarret Barry in Big Brother a couple years later. We even gave him the cover. In assless chaps. But they weren’t “major” pro skaters.

Jason Dill, Los Angeles. Photo: Josh Friedberg

“I was so surprised to hear,” Jason continued, “that you’re so—‘enamored’ isn’t the right word—to be taken aback by it. It’s just such a funny position.”

I shut the tape recorder off to explain to Jason that my interest in the subject is indeed a little queer. I am not taken aback by it. I don’t give a shit about it. At the same time, I am a hard-hitting journalist (of sorts) and stories of this nature are my forte. And they sell magazines. People love this kind of shit. On a personal level I became interested in the subject of homosexuality in skateboarding (again) because of a series of recent incidents in which I was, without asking, given to learn that the person I was speaking with wasn’t a homosexual. “No homo,” they said in the middle of what seemed like an innocuous, asexual conversation.

“I didn’t suspect you were a homosexual?” I said confused. “What made you think that I was thinking you were homosexual?”

It’s not the homo part that bothers me—although I do think it’s offensive/racist to our gay brothers and sisters—but what bothers me is just how fucking dumb it is. Its backwoods inbred stupid. I’ve always thought that skateboarders were better than that.

“It’s so dumb,” Jason said. “And I gotta tell you that I know a brother of the gay orientation out here and he’s a giant graffiti writer and he fucking hates that term. It’s so fucking corny. So lame. Someone made this ‘I (heart) NY No Homo’ shirt. It’s so corny. I don’t understand why brothers gotta be wasting their time on that shit. Did you know that dance hall and reggae is super homophobic and all that stuff? Why you gotta make it bother you so much?”

“I just thought everyone got the memo,” I said, “the more homophobic you are, the more obvious it is that you’re suppressing your own homosexuality. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Being gay that is. But the more homophobic you act, the more you exaggerate the very quality you’re trying to repudiate in yourself. Which just looks ridiculous to me.”

“Hey, look at Congress,” Jason said. “Look at Republicans. Every time some motherfucker is like I’m going to pass this bill on prostitution, and gay marriage, and bathhouses, all of a sudden who’s fucking getting fucked at the airport in the bathroom stall by a dude? It’s those male, white republicans. It’s so funny. Who would have ever thought that some reggae dance hall singing phenom of the late 80s has so much in common with a white Republican congressman?”

I think Jason was referring to Buju Banton? But yeah, the reggae scene, and hip-hop for that matter, are both extremely homophobic. “I just think skaters are supposed to be smarter than that,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” Jason snorted, “have you seen how they dress?”

“Have you seen how you dress?”

“Hey,” he said, “what are you going to do?”

Jason ended by saying that he just thinks it’s funny that anyone would care about a photo of him with another’s man’s hands on his balls.

“There’s a few things I wish I’d never done,” he said, “interviews and whatnot. There was definitely a time when I was like, I’m going to push it so fucking far over the edge because everybody is such fucking kooks about everything, that I just wanted to be so far out there and removed from it. But nowadays, [this photo] wasn’t even one of those. That was completely just joking around.”

“I’ll assume you were joking around in that other photo with PJ as well,” I said referring to the photo where they’re both nude. “Because I was laughing my ass off looking at your junk. What the fuck is wrong down there?”

“That photo is a decade old, so those are the old days,” he said laughing. “Nobody trimmed back then. No, I know. You trim the grass to make the house look bigger. It certainly didn’t help for either of us in that one. It’s hard for white guys to look good flaccid.”

We talked for a little while longer about more interesting subjects like Intervention and the side effects of watching other people do drugs, Facebook, phones, getting his grandmother a hockey stick, etc., but I finally remembered that this was a collect call. Jason concluded by saying that he thought any rumors of him being gay are boring.

“I’d much rather have rumors about the money I turned down in skateboarding to ride for whack companies,” he said. “I’m running around trying to be Mr. fucking Integrity and I’m calling you collect from a fucking payphone in Brooklyn.”

It was worth every penny. No homo.

Purchase Dave Carnie’s incredible new book, BOOB, here!


  1. Danny Mayer
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Funny stuff! Love the stuff about thinking The Bones Brigade were gaying off! Haha, Dave Carnie interviews are the best!
    Oh yeah…FIRST to comment!

  2. Posted December 29, 2010 at 3:51 am | Permalink


  3. kookface mcgee
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    shocking. zzzzzz.

  4. Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    awesome, truly awesome. Thank you for being you. I appreciate it. The mags have so many average “journalists” and won’t print the “adult” angles within the skateboarding world.

    bravo and keep scribing

  5. Rilo
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    So do you have a cell phone or not? One sentence you said you did and the next sentence you said you didn’t.

    Now re-read the above line but replace “a cell phone” with “balls in your mouth.”

    I’m thoroughly relieved to know that Jason Dill and Buju Banton aren’t gay. I personally find homo’s icky, but they can do whatever they want. ain’t nobody stopping them from having a high-fashion circle jerk. Just leave me and my girl out of it.


  6. rilo is an idiot
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    rilo you are a fucking idiot.

  7. Tom
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    stopped reading after about 5-10 lines. uninteresting.

  8. Bif Allen
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I love these two sentences… “I didn’t suspect you were a homosexual?” I said confused. “What made you think that I was thinking you were homosexual?”
    I find myself thinking and saying the same thing every time I hear some one say “No Home” or “Retarded”. It’s so dumb to me. It’s like…Are you really that insecure that you have to assert your heterosexuality in the middle of a conversation about Cup Cakes? “I love Cup Cakes, NO HOMO!”

    Thanks for writing such a great article Dave.

    From your biggest (non-gay) fan,

    PS: “There was a photo of me in Big Brother with a dude’s balls in my mouth.” A Dude? That’s all am to you? I thought you were better that Dave.

  9. crawler
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    this abd site has got my approval just from that fantastic conversation…

    yep the rilo comment is ridiculous and exactly the sort of shit which isnt thought of too fondly in this interview..

    once again

    great subject matter.. and great site..

    lookin forwarrd to more! :)

  10. Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    already been woah… good read… keep em coming

  11. P.S
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Actually quite funny!!!

  12. ben
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    This is brilliant. Love Dill, love esoteric skateboard culture. Thanks for this great piece of writing.

  13. Posted January 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    i’ve had enough with this esoteric skateboard culture

  14. Chip Van Ham
    Posted February 2, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    So inquiring about homosexual rumors or “outing” a major pro skater is a proper “hard-hitting journalistic” endeavor? I mean, from a message board standpoint, sure why not…but there’s a reason why almost all gays, in any sport, stay in the closet. Especially concerning skateboarding-it’s such a youthful and juvenile-oriented sport/lifestyle/whatever the fuck you wanna call it. Basically, kids are uninformed idiots. Though popular culture has slowly changed, the amount of homophobia in skating certainly hasn’t abated. Which is pretty odd, considering current skate fashion, wherein it’s fine to look and dress like a young, androgynous Joan Jett (thanks Greco and Duffel!). It’s reinforced on a monthly basis in the magazines with interviews, and it’s broadcast over the internet thru videos and anonymous commenters (see rilo above). PJ himself stated that the intent of the photos was “This is gay. It’s funny.”

    Why is it funny? And how is this photo funny, if not in a derogatory or derisive sense? It’s funny to make Jason look gay to kids?

    Dave, you’ve done some funny ass, insightful things concerning gays and skateboarding over the years, and it’s always been something I could connect with (that, and the love of Morrissey)…but I really hate when it seems blatantly exploitative. Saying homophobia “sells magazines” reeks of just that.

    Besides, it seems that all my friends in San Francisco are well aware of a pro gay skater living there-it shouldn’t be that difficult to find out, if in fact, this person is gay. If the rumor is true, I wish he would stand up and try to correct some of these long-standing horrible attitudes that plenty of skateboarders have. Whether or not he wants to deal with the difficulties of being out and pro is entirely up to him, however. From experience, the closet is mighty comfortable, when dealing with skateboarding.

    Hope you keep fighting the good fight, Dave, and please try to keep the gay stories above the belt (so homo).

  15. Duncan
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey Chip Van Ham,
    Maybe you shouldnt take skateboarding (or anything Dave Carnie says) so seriously. I thought the interview was funny as hell… I couldnt care less about anyones sexual preferences, I just wanted entertainment and I got it!!
    Ps. I thought Dill’s photos were hilarious. A total poop-toss in the face of the “no homo” generation. All the more respect for him LOL.. Thanks Dill, Carnie and ABD for keepin it raw!!

  16. Spencer
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know what type of sunglasses Dill is wearing? Been trying to find out who makes those…

  17. Posted September 25, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    awesome material

  18. hb po
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    dill is a twat

2 Trackbacks

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