I happened to meet Mike Borses three years ago while the two of us were enjoying an adult camp experience in some random town in Connecticut. It happened to be an LGBTQ weekend while we were there so you can imagine the larger than life personalities that were around us.
Mike, for some reason, stuck out like a sore thumb to me amid all the other big characters (myself included). Yes, he’s hot as hell, no question about that, but he also has a brand of humor that is witty, thought-provoking and downright interesting. Not a lot of people have that, regardless of your sexuality, so I knew that something was on the rise for this talented guy way back when.
Turns out I was right! He has since developed a massive following on his social media in the years since where everything he posts from memes to so much more brings on thousands of double taps along the way.
There is so much more to him than scrolling through his feed that I was so happy, yet so shocked, to discover in our recent chat fest. Brace yourself, because he goes there in every way possible about his personal life all while keeping it 100 percent real along the way.
You describe yourself as so many things on your Insta: Actor, Comedian, etc. Is there one thing you’re honed in on?
Ah yes, I guess I did write that. It’s somewhat tongue in cheek, a reference to how so many gay men post a multitude of professions ranging from architect to model, all divided by a series of slashes. It’s also partly a wish list.
When I left my “husband” of 8 years in early 2016, (we were never legally married and I didn’t want to get married until it was federally recognized, but by the time it was in 2015, it was too late for us) and got laid off from a job I hated and was ill suited for, I had to move in with my parents. I lost my mind a little bit. My life had not amounted to what I wanted, and I would daydream about being an actor in LA or creating characters for animations that would delight and entertain. It was at this point that I decided to create a swathe of destruction so wide and so vast on the internet, I had no choice but to pursue all those things I said I wanted to be: Actor, Comedian, Artist, Writer and Bon Vivant. The truth is I went to school to do all those things!
Once you get out of school the responsibility lies on you to be what you claimed you wanted. The main thing I’ve found that unites all my passion is to “hone in” on the comedy. My life has been by many measures quite blessed and by the same turn often littered with tragedies and great disappointments. Finding the comedy in every moment, whether it be in my life or in the lives of others, fascinates me and moves me forward. I can’t help that when I walk into a room and say just about anything, and I mean anything, it has always evoked laughter! I’ve retold the story of my battle with cancer and its subsequent consequences on my health about a million times and never failed to get a life out of that. Testicles make people laugh.
This comedic gift was a skill I learned to play up early on in my life, and I wake up just about every day anxious to devise ways to get my comedy in people’s faces. My desire is educate and entertain the children! A good laugh is just about the best thing you can have in good times and in bad.
I personally find anything you do online to be hilarious. Growing up who was your biggest comedy inspiration?
Well first off thank you for the compliment! Compliments sustain me. I figure, my role is often to give myself a swift kick in the ass, and to let other people tell me when I am doing a good job. So I hate to admit it, but I usually avoid looking at my messages from fans unless I am check for professional opportunities or compliments!
Growing up my biggest comedy inspiration had to be The Golden Girls. There was so much crap on TV, stuff that absolutely never made me laugh! Yet, I can remember being super excited for TGIF on ABC, every Friday at 8pm. There was Family Matters, Full House, Hangin with Mr. Cooper and Step By Step. Literally none of them ever evoked a laugh, probably from anyone, but I can recall being thrilled to see them!
However; when it came to The Golden Girls, I could not stop laughing. I don’t even think I understood a lot of the jokes, but I somehow knew they were funny. These women, who society had largely discarded or ignored on some level, came together after great losses: divorce, death…infirmity…and there they were constantly exchanging comedic barbs and love!
I remember how utterly hilarious Bea Arthur was as Dorothy. She didn’t take any s**t from anyone, she took it all in stride and always had a good joke ready. She would essentially call her X husband an a**hole, Blanche a whore, Rose dumb and her mother old and annoying. I loved it! That humor was a way to express love, truth, and dissatisfaction all at once. You could basically say mean things but in a cute uplifting way. The characters all seemed to have an awareness of their shortcomings and played them up for great comedic effect. It’s something I do in my own life. If I can make fun of myself then I can make fun of you.
Is there anyone currently that you truly admire and somewhat emulate from an entertainment perspective?
There are so many inspirations though: Sara Silverman, Amy Schumer, Margaret Cho, George Carlin, Larry David, Seth MacFarlane, Patton Oswalt, Key and Peele, Kathy Griffin and Jerry Seinfeld just to name a few. Geniuses all. He’s certainly not current but Dick Van Dyke even taught me the value of good slapstick. You can’t beat watching someone fall on their ass as long as they get right back up!
I would be remiss not to mention my best friend Pete. He has helped shape the culture of the LGBTQIA comedy space on social media for years with his distinct voice, commentary and of course memes! When I’ve been at my lowest, riddled with self-doubt, he has been there to cheer me on. His utter fearlessness to say what’s on his mind and speak truth to power is an inspiration.
In terms of someone a bit more “famous” in the entertainment world…I am constantly in awe of what Seth MacFarlane has been able to accomplish. He has produced movies, TV shows, and appeared as an actor on screen. That kind of range and impact, the silliness and intelligence he seems to strike in everything he does, is something I strive for in my own life. Perhaps someday I will meet him and annoy the s**t out of him with just how much I gush over and admire him. OMG! I also love Phoebe Waller-Bridge more than I can express. She is a genius!
How have you been able to develop such a massive following on social media in a short period of time?
Oh wow. Great question. The following doesn’t feel massive! It’s kind of like when someone messages you on Grindr and asks if you’re hung. You may have a massive d**k, but there is always someone out there with a bigger one. Sure you’re 7 inches-but one time I got f***ed by a guy who was packing 11 inches. Someone even told me recently that they got fucked by a 13-inch d**k. Sometimes I want to reply to stories like that and say I got fucked by a 14-foot d**k, boy oh boy what an amazing c**k, 14 feet long I swear!
Gay men are like straight men with fishing when it comes to talking about that sort of thing: I swear this fish was 10 feet long if he was a foot! Tall tales I believe they are called. So yes, a lot of people follow me for sure. What’s fascinating is how many unfollow! 300 a day sign up, and about 300 a day quit. My mother told me in the business world, “that’s called ‘churn.’” Yet somehow, I’ve been able to eek out a slight surplus of new followers just about everyday. I believe I did it by being a larger than life version of myself. I call it my “Dramatis Personae,” not sure if I heard it somewhere or I just made it up.
I saw social media as a landscape that democratized the ability to be whatever you want. It’s an equal playing field for all in many ways. I had so many jokes to tell, so many things to say. I boldly moved forward making memes and writing essays and accompanying otherwise run of the mill selfies with exciting stories and utter vulgarity. I never wanted to be “known” for my butt (which is spectacular) or my face, or my abs (which I don’t have) but for what I could DO. The simple answer is what someone told me recently about why they follow me…a photographer for Italian Vogue: “Everything you do makes me laugh and think.” The most surreal part of it all is being recognized in day to day life…something that’s actually been happening for years. If you see me around say “Hi!”
What would consider to be your big break so far in your career?
I would say unfortunately that “big break” hasn’t happened yet. I’ve only been at this mission for about, my entire life, but let’s just say 2 years (really 1.5 when you think about LA being in lockdown) and it started when I got to LA. I seem to have a knack, truth be told, for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In 2019 I was booked for a very high-profile event working with LA Pride and a global brand of jeans. I don’t want to name names. Unfortunately, after booking me, one of the higher ups involved saw my Instagram page, where in my stories I had posted images of the dildos at 665 Leather in West Hollywood. Subsequently they decided I was too raunchy for LA Pride 2019. I WAS TOO VULGAR FOR PRIDE! Pride! An event that started by hurling a brick through a window in protest of the fact being gay or wearing “women’s clothes” was too vulgar for society. The decision was, in my mind, utterly ridiculous, but man that would have been a great gig.
I also came close to being the Social Media and Marketing coordinator for Grindr. Due to the company’s sale, they declined to fill the role, and in a recent conversation with their head of HR, I learned they haven’t hired anyone new at all. Just my luck I guess!
All that being said, I think it’s impossible to move forward if you’re always looking back. Therefore, I wouldn’t mind a big break. If any directors, photographers, casting agents- anyone at all is reading…by all means hit me up. It’s been tough to move forward in lockdown. Currently I am working on several scripts for comedy sketches on social media with some amazing talented people and working on design projects for an amazing stylist in West Hollywood. Like a lot of people I am sure, I know I can do more if given the opportunity. That being said, no one “gives you” an opportunity in this town…you fucking take it. When that big break comes, I will feel it. I haven’t felt it yet. Even Lady Gaga didn’t consider her first hit single to be her big break…she only knew she had “made it” when “Poker Face” hit.
I think it will take a few more turns at bat before my own “Poker Face” happens. I am learning as I go…there is so much to still take on…agents, headshots and demo reels (all of which I very much need) and events…lockdown has been a time when it’s all seemed to stop…it’s made me that much more focused and driven to realize my dreams when the world resumes spinning.
Let’s dive a little deeper personally. What was your coming out story like?
My coming out story happened in phases. I was an early bloomer. I hit puberty at around the age of 9. The doctor pulled down my pants and said, “he has hit puberty.” I suppose the massive bush I was sporting tipped him off. Therefore, by 11 I was deep into gay porn on the internet. I remember this site, about men from Brisbane, Australia was my go-to. At that time, I did not know the internet was recording my every move in a history folder. However, my dad knew. He woke me up one summer morning and told me, “Michael I’ve been looking at the history folder on the internet and it seems you’ve been looking at a lot of gay porn.” I told him I wasn’t gay and to get out of my room.
I knew I was gay. I’m not sure when it happened after that, a week or maybe a couple days later, my parents sat me down for a talk. After simply explaining that I was “just curious,” my mother seemed satisfied with the explanation. I was 100% NOT GAY. Flash forward to the age of 14. When I was in the center of town with some of my friends, all of whom at that time were straight cis men, and a couple girls, we spotted a very obviously gay, beautiful young man with curly blue hair. Picture Marge Simpson hair, but about 3 feet shorter and rounder. We proceeded to make fun of him.
Later that night we ended up in the same Friendly’s restaurant. He was friendly with one of the girls, they lived on the same street, Clifford Street. She sat down to talk to him, and I looked over at them and made prolonged eye contact with this boy. It must have been fate, because later that night we saw him YET AGAIN. This time however I couldn’t resist. I somehow managed to break off from the group and follow him into an alley. I handed him a piece of paper. On that piece of paper I wrote my name and number. I told him simply this “I’ve been making fun of you with my friends all night, but I am actually gay. Here is my number. Call me tomorrow.” He called. I literally ran over to his house…my feet never touched the ground. I left his house maybe 6 hours later and I won’t go into too much detail about teenage gay sex…but he had a very large c**k. I was very clear that he was to tell no one.
I called him the next week. He hung up the phone after I said hello. I called him back. He said, “Can’t talk.” The next day at school it began. My life became consumed by the rumors I had sucked another guy’s d**k. It was all anyone was talking about at school. I was what they call “popular,” and thus this rumor was at the time earth-shattering. I denied it for two weeks. I made an appointment with my guidance counselor…I told her that there were rumors I was gay. Even she had heard them. I told her that they were true. I was sick of lying and that honestly I may never get another opportunity like this again.
I walked out of that office and having decided to never lie about it again. I told everyone when they asked: Yes, I was gay. Yes I sucked a d**k, and yes I liked it. The next step was to tell my mother, who handled it in stride. She was a bit saddened and scared for me, having been convinced I was straight…but she accepted me with nothing but love. My dad already knew and was cool with it, he had spent the last couple years seeking solace and guidance on the internet. It took a while for people to come around once I came out, but eventually most of my friends accepted it. High school was never easy after that. It was fraught with death threats and a constant battle for acceptance. That, however, is another story.
Are you dating anyone and if so what’s it like being in love? If not, what do you look for in another guy?
Well I’m not currently dating anyone. I actually started dating someone pretty shortly after I arrived in Los Angeles…probably wasn’t the best decision but it felt inevitable we should be together. In the end it wasn’t right and we broke up just a couple days before lockdown in LA started. Lockdown in LA hasn’t been the best environment for finding love.
Being in love is the best feeling! I have been in love a few times…and when I fall I fall hard. Being in love for me is like a feeling understood and understanding someone else. True love is a conversation with seemingly no end; and it’s the best conversation you’ve ever had! It’s funny and exhilarating and sexy and sometimes very sad. Of course, that conversation does end, one way or another, which itself can be exciting, because it means you rediscover what you’re like when you’re single and get to be a big slut. Although, you never have to let a boyfriend stop you from being a slut.
In terms of what I look for in another guy…I love a handsome face. The face for me is doing most of the work attraction wise. I really am very open when it comes to love and dating. There are certain things I want: of course I want a rich vers top with a massive d**k who is over six feet. But what do I really want? Someone smart, kind and funny! Someone I can always talk to and say what’s really on my mind is the best bet for me love wise. When it comes down to it, I want someone who gets my sense of humor and supports my wild-eyed ambition. I certainly can be a handful, but at least I keep it exciting. If pressed on the issue, I would say confidently that I am pretty much the best boyfriend ever, without exception.
Finally, what is the biggest goal for you and does it transcend the LGBTQ community?
Well my biggest goal is to get back the six pack I had when I was a teenager. Aside from that Sisyphean task, my biggest goal is to find real legitimate success in all the things I claim I want to be. The best anyone can hope for is to give it their all. I want to get to a point where my all translates into a television show on Netflix or HBO. I have so many stories to tell and so much to contribute… it will be a dream come true when I am able to contribute my very best efforts to the pantheon of human creativity and art.
All of us are just one voice of many; and in that cacophony sometimes you have to strain to hear your own voice. I want to use that voice to entertain and educate the children. So, if anyone can get me a meeting at Netflix, let’s do it. I have a voice, and I want to use it.