Internet sensation Joanne the Scammer has become a popular meme on social media. It all started in 2015 when Brendan Miller better known as Joanne the Scammer posted a video wearing a blonde wig claiming he was a “messy b****.” In an interview with the Fader the man behind the meme, Brendan Miller sits down with The Fader to discuss his web persona, childhood, and making money through porn.

Miller shared that he grew up in a religious household and that he did not find out that he was adopted until he 17-years-old.  Also Miller also stated that he doesn’t know much about his biological parents.

“I went to an all-black school, and people would say, ‘Branden, you’re black,’ or ‘Branden, you’re adopted,’” he says. “I was like, ‘No, actually I’m white.’” He laughs about it now, but remembers the discovery as traumatic. “That was tragic, I’m not going to lie. I found out I was adopted, and then I found out I was black. I was like, Oh shit, none of these people are really related to me at all! That was a fucking…” He stops for a second. “I thought I was white. I had white friends. I was a white person! I still have my moments where I’m like, Oh my God. That’s really awkward.” Once, he asked his mom why she hadn’t told him the truth. She said she was scared he’d run away.

Miller also stated he is not openly gay because of the way he was raised. However, Miller’s  character allows him the freedom to be whoever he wants.

“When you ask me if I’m gay, I say yes,” he says. “Do I flaunt it? No.” He says the attitudes towards homosexuality that surrounded his Southern childhood are ingrained deep, and keep him from being open about his love life…  “It wasn’t my strategy, but it just so happens I play a character that allows me to do whatever I want,” he tells me. “It’s the one time I can kind of be free.”

Brendan also mentioned that he has been able make money off his character by doing photo shoots and attending parties. He also spilled about some of the celebrities that he has spoken to via twitter including Solange Knowles, Jhene Aiko, Katy Perry, and a host from The View.

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