Like many awkward gay boys growing up in conservative, rural towns, I frequently escaped into a fantasy world of comic books and superheroes. When Lynda Carter first appeared on television in 1976 as the most glamorous superhero of them all, Wonder Woman, my second grade self was instantly smitten with her blue eyes and dazzled by her golden tiara, magic lasso and bullet-proof bracelets.
So, when I received the press release announcing her upcoming concert appearance at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, I immediately replied with a request for an interview.
Four decades later, here I was, practically giddy as I awaited her call. The prospect of actually speaking in person to my childhood idol was practically overwhelming.
I’m not sure I could distinguish the difference then, but I know now that Lynda Carter was just an actress who played the statuesque Amazon on television. Fortunately, she embraced the iconic role that captured the imaginations of many fans years ago. Superhero or not, she was just as wonderful as that red, white and blue persona.
SFGN: I absolutely fell in love with you as Wonder Woman. I was seven years old and in second grade. It seems like yesterday that you brought one of my heroes to life on the television.
Lynda Carter: That’s so sweet. When I see the faces of people who got to know me when they were young, their faces change and they change in the most beautiful way. They’ll tell me the most beautiful stories, and, in the most beautiful ways their eyes light up and they become their seven-year-old selves. They remember some joyful thing, some happy moment in their life when they were inside the character inside themselves. It’s really cool.
SFGN: A whole new generation of girls and boys is experiencing empowerment thanks to the hit “Wonder Woman” movie now.
Carter: (Director) Patty Jenkins and Gal (Gadot) and I talked about it. I tried to explain this phenomenon, but they’re now experiencing it for themselves. This is what you hang onto when something gets popular—their experiences, your experiences. It’s not about you, it is you.
SFGN: You’ve been an ally to the LGBTQ community for a long time. When did you realize you had become a gay icon?
Carter: I’ve always had gay friends and I’ve never liked to see them bullied…I was interviewed by OUT magazine, and was told I was such an icon. I said, What? (The writer) said, You don’t know? YOU DON’T KNOW? Oh, Lynda sit down here, I’m going to tell you why…she said I had crossover appeal. Women (lesbians) liked me and (gay) men liked me, too. They’re like country western fans, they never leave you. I’ve always been a defender, but I just didn’t know how close we were. I wasn’t dumb about it, I kind of knew, but she showed me all these fan websites.
SFGN: What can you tell our readers about your upcoming appearance at the Seminole Casino? I understand it’s called “The Other Side of Trouble.”
Carter: It’s a rip-roarin’ show. I don’t know if they’ll make me stick to 90 minutes, but then I’ll probably have to cut a couple of songs out because I want to talk a little bit about Wonder Woman to the fans. We have 10 pieces on the stage, so it’s seven musicians and three singers. My daughter, I think, is going to be joining me. She’s 26 and a great singer. She just finished her bar exam.
SFGN: You sing so many different genres of music. What do you have planned?
Carter: It’s my taste in music, music that inspires me. There are some original songs, songs about my son and daughter, music I wrote for video games, everything from Chris Isaak to Billie Holliday to a lot of different styles. I even wrote a couple of country songs, which are fun…It’s a shuffle, I guess. When you put on your playlist or tune in the radio, you’re always surprised by what comes up next. It is always a surprise.
Lynda Carter performs “The Other Side of Trouble” with her all-star band on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. in the Pavilion at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St. in Coconut Creek. Tickets start at $40 at CasinoCoCo.com.