Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Why I Love Jan Crouch: Author and TV Writer Christian McLaughlin Explains His Obsession with the Elaborately Tressed TBN Evangelist

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Why I Love Jan Crouch: Author and TV Writer Christian McLaughlin Explains His Obsession with the Elaborately Tressed TBN Evangelist

Article excerpt

Jan Crouch is Tammy Faye on crystal meth. You can't take your eyes off her because you cannot believe that someone who looks and sounds that much like a parody of religious TV is not only 100% real but also has inspired millions of devoted cash-tithing followers around the globe. Allow me to testify, brothers and sisters.

I was in my senior-year college apartment in Austin enjoying free cable when I stumbled across what looked like an angora kitten in drag preaching the gospel and demanding cash love-gifts. Whether it was the industrial-strength eye makeup, the cotton-candy wiglets woven together and teased into a cascading pink mane, or the helium-inflected Georgia drawl punctuated with babyish cooing and upper-register burbling, I was hooked.

However, despite her position as co-founder and first lady of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Jan stayed out of the spotlight in the early days. She was a skinny, spacey, frail little thing, dutifully supporting her windbag platypus-faced husband, Paul Crouch. But sometime in the early '90s, things changed. Paul was hit with accusations that he was into guys, even allegedly hiring a strapping African-American ex-con as his personal assistant-chauffeur. One can imagine her cornering Paul in one of TBN's Newport Beach, Calif., mansions after yet another meeting with an alleged molestee's lawyer: Jan jabs a finger into Paul's man-tit and ferociously mews, "You can chase all the black booty you like, mister, but things are gonna change around here!"

And change they did. Amid various lawsuits, payoffs, and gag orders, Jan underwent a startling metamorphosis: Suddenly her makeup thickened, her wigs became fuller and more elaborate, and she was sporting a newly tight, varnished face and an enormous bust. Plus her attitude took a turn for the sassy. On the air Jan began teasing her husband (who apparently decided to battle the gay rumors by draping his corpulent frame in hideous ultra-gay Versace knockoffs). …

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