Perez Hilton is ready for his critics.
The blogger and media personality has been in rehearsals for the off-Broadway musical NEWSical The Musical in which he will play himself as well as a few other newsmaking characters.
Even though he doesn't debut until September 17, Hilton is aware of the mixed responses to the prospect of him tackling the stage.
'I totally understand skepticism, cynicism and snarkiness (laughs) so it doesn’t surprise me, and I think it’s deserved. I haven’t proven myself in this arena yet,' he tells Huffington Post. 'I’m just here to have fun and work hard, and I know that if I work my hardest and try my best, I’ll be happy with the outcome even if I get bad reviews. Like everyone else, I would love to get great reviews, but that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because it’s a dream come true and it’s something new. I don’t take myself very seriously. I just like having fun and doing different things. I’m a hustler!'
A lot of the criticism seems to be coming from other gay men. Hilton was asked if he feels like he has any kind of a responsibility to the LGBT community at this point in his life and career.
'I used to not think so, but now I do,' he says. 'I used to say that I wasn’t trying to represent anybody, that I wasn’t a spokesperson for the gay community just like I’m not a spokesperson for the Latino community. The difference is now, I definitely am mindful of the energy that I’m putting out there and my actions, and I don’t want to be perceived as somebody that the LGBT community should be ashamed of or embarrassed by in any way.'
He adds: 'The comparison that I like to make is…a lot of LGBT people don’t like Rosie O’Donnell, but I don’t think they’re ashamed of her. I don’t think that they perceive Rosie as someone who is contributing to the corruption of society. I don’t need gay people to like me; I just want them to no longer think that I’m a bad representation for gays.'