PG: I want to refer to your biography again, in which you said that some people called you "freak," "sissy," and "faggot" for the way you dressed and acted onstage.
LR: I never heard nobody in my audience call me any kind of names. I've heard people in the audience screaming, "We love you," or "Long live Little Richard." I've heard people call me the Quasar, the Architect, the Originator, but I never heard nobody in the audience saying such a thing. I don't carry myself that way, never have. I'm very much a gentleman in what I do. And I don't get down on nobody else for doing whatever else they do. To each his own. I try to be a guide for people, to make their darkness bright and to make the pathway light, and never to condemn or control or criticize. I've tried to let my life be an example. I'll be sixty-two this year, and I've lived too long, come too far, to be considered a misfit.
PG: In terms of the makeup, the long hair, and the flamboyant clothes, you were very much a pioneer of an androgynous look.
LR: I don't understand what that word means.
PG: Androgynous means having both masculine and feminine characteristics.
LR: I only wore makeup when I went onstage. I didn't get up in the morning and say, I'm going to put on a pound of eyebrow pencil. But when I went on the stage to do a show, I would put on makeup because I felt that it enhanced my act; it drew attention to what I was doing. I tried to look presentable for a show, but not for sexual attraction. It was strictly for show business. When I got through with my act, I was through with it. I always knew I was a man, always felt that I was a man, always wanted to be a man. I thank God for making me a man. If I had my life to live over, I would want to be a man. And I think a woman should find it a joy to be female because God made both male and female.
PG: But do you think men have a feminine side?
LR: Well, I don't know much about that.
PG: I don't mean wanting to put on drag. I mean, do you think that men possess certain qualities--like sensitivity--that are more feminine than masculine?
LR: I don't think that you have to be effeminate to be sensitive. I don't think a woman has to act like a man to show that she has strength. I think that a man should be caring. I think that God made him to be caring and to be thoughtful. I think God made a woman to be strong and not to be trampled under the feet of men. I've always felt this way because my mother was a very strong woman, without a husband. My dad died at an early age.