Capital Xtra: I hear you’re in Ottawa for the Fringe Festival? Have you ever been here before? Are you enjoying the city?
Rebeccah Wyse: I was in Ottawa a long time ago. This is the first time I’ve been in Ottawa to remember it. Winter was freezing. It was minus 40. There was a bus strike and I had to walk to work. It was not fun. I’m here till late August. I’m getting ready for university. Now that it’s summer, I am enjoying being in Ottawa. It’s so beautiful.
CX: Where do you plan on going to school in the fall?
RW: Brock University in St Catherine’s, Ontario.
CX: What are you going to take in school?
RW: A major in theatrical arts and a minor in Canadian History.
CX: I think Canada’s lesbian population is going to go nuts over you. Are you ready to be a lesbian celebrity?
RW: [Laughs] Not sure. There’s a gay bar in the city, The Lookout. When I go there, people will surround me and say, “Rebeccah, I love you!” It’s definitely going to be an adventure.
CX: You came out on the show in a really off-handed way. Did you plan it? Or did you — it kind of looked like — surprise yourself?
RW: I just felt it was time to mention it. [Letting people know I’m a lesbian] isn’t really a big deal for me. I am practicing celibacy. But being a lesbian is an important part of me. When I feel ready to have sex, it will be with a woman.
CX: Given that, if you had to do it all over again, would you?
RW: I would — a thousand times! If I were to go back and people were to ask me again, I would say “Yes, I am [a lesbian.]” I am not ashamed of who I am. My older sister is also a lesbian.
CX: The final cut of the episode didn’t include a lot of the girls’ reaction to your coming out, although Meaghan made a comment to the effect, “I’m glad she’s comfortable enough to say it aloud.” Were the girls cool with it?
RW: The first few days, I made off-handed comments about it. I didn’t really go into detail. Everyone had a boyfriend at home. When people asked if I had a boyfriend, I said “No, I don’t.”
CX: Presumably Jay Manuel was cool about it…?
RW: Yes. He applauded me during elimination for coming out, saying, “It takes a lot of strength.” He seemed proud of me.
CX: You went through some rough patches on the show — actually, it seemed like you cried quite a bit. Was that related to keeping your sexuality a secret or was it from other stresses?
RW: It was definitely not because of my sexuality. I suffer from anxiety. I had panic attacks during the show. I was overwhelmed.
CX: Okay, gossipy moment: is Nikita as bitchy as she seems?
RW: [Gasps] I didn’t really get to know who Nikita was so she could’ve been a really sweet person. That’s not what I saw. We butted heads because we both have such big personalities. I’m not sure if I did anything to antagonize her. I’m a bit of scatterbrain. I could’ve said something to offend her. I hope I didn’t.
CX: Who was the Miss Congeniality of this season? In other words, who was the friendliest contestant?
RW: Definitely me and Maryam got along well. We were the only 18-year-olds. Neither of us were able to drink, we hung out a lot. She is the sweetest person. She has a seriousness to her and I’m a more outgoing person. We complemented each other.