Why This Backstreet Boy Hopes His Daughters Are Gay

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images.
AJ McLean, resident bad boy of The Backstreet Boys for the last 24 years, is not a shy guy. In fact, he is probably one of the most talkative and outgoing celebrities I've ever spoken with. He's blunt, to the point, and really adamant about getting his point across — which makes sense because he's been famous longer than I've even been alive. After decades of being grouped with his four fellow bandmates Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie D., he's finally found his dream solo project. It's one that doesn't involve instruments, costumes, and it especially doesn't involve boys: It's being a dad to his two young daughters, Ava Jaymes, 4, and Lyric Dean, two months, with his wife Rochelle Deanna Karidis.
Recently, while exclusively spilling the news about 2018's Backstreet Boys cruise (which you can learn more about here), McLean expressed to Refinery29 just how much fatherhood has changed him, and how glad he is to have daughters ("I'm so thankful I don't have sons"). He told us how being a father has helped him stay sober, and why he hopes that both his girls are gay because it "takes the penis out of his life." Like I said, he's an unfiltered guy — future suitors, you have been warned.
What’s the best part about being a dad?
“Honestly, I’ll try not to get emotional. I’ve been in this business for over thirty years, since I was three years old. I have been on stage and I live to perform. I love my job, I love being a Backstreet Boy, I love making people smile, I love what I do. But there is truly no better feeling then being a father and seeing the look on my daughters' faces and how they idolize me and how they look up to me. It makes me want to be a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better everything. Because of my daughters, I’ve stayed sober. The best job in the world is to be a dad. It just is. If I lost everything in my career, if Backstreet said no and we were done tomorrow, I would still be happy and satisfied being a proud father. I am so thankful that I did not have boys.”
You didn’t want your own Backstreet Boys?
“Nope, nope. All my bandmates have boys, too much testosterone.”
Oh they do? You’re so right.
“I’ve wanted girls, and it’s also karma because you know I’m the bad boy, but after we had my first and my wife found out what the sex was of our second — and now officially I’m saying our last — she called me in the middle of a meeting and kept calling me, kept calling me, kept calling me, and I’m like, I kept hitting ignore ignore ignore. I’m like, ‘Fuck, okay fine I’ll answer. What? Babe, I’m in a meeting.’ She goes, ‘I’m sorry to bother you, but I just want to say you got your wish.’ I screamed like a little girl, and these guys who don’t know me from Adam were like, ‘What is up with this guy, he’s screaming bloody murder, he’s got to be on drugs or what.’ I’m like 'Sorry guys, I’m having a girl, and that is what I wished for.' All my friends said, ‘You’re going to have a boy, boy, boy.’ I’m like, don’t say that, I don’t want a boy. Sure enough I got my wish and she’s healthy, happy, gorgeous, and amazing.”
How did you come up with her name Lyric? Was it a name you’d been thinking about for a while?
“So my wife got to name our first, and my wife is a big fan of old Hollywood so Ava was named after —"

"I hope that both of my daughters are gay because that takes all penis out of my life."

AJ McLean
Ava Gardner?
“Exactly, Ava Gardner, and James which is my middle name except I spelled it differently for her. So I said, if we have another girl I get to name her, so I chose Lyric and for her middle name I wanted to go with Deanna which is my wife’s middle name, but she said let’s be different, let’s do Dean and it took me a while. I’m still not cool with it because if you say it out loud it’s Lyric Dean McLean which I can only imagine she’s going to get teased about when she’s in school. But if she does, I’ll kill anyone that tries to mess with my girls, period. I will also go on record by saying, and I told my wife this, I hope that both of my daughters are gay because that takes all penis out of my life — I do not want to deal with boys ever. But if I do have to, they’re going to have to go through quite a lot of trials to go through me because my daughters are my life.
"My initial idea was [that] when my first daughter goes on her first date [I would] tell the boy, 'Look, I was in prison and all these tattoos were from prison so if you mess up you know I’m gonna hurt you.' Sadly now there’s Google and all that stuff, so [he might] Google me and say, ‘Oh you’re in a boy band, you were never in prison.’ Yeah, so now I can’t use that, but I will use another boy band member, Mr. Joey Fatone from NSYNC. He’s got a 15- year-old girl and a 12- year-old girl, and the 15-year-old went on her first date last year and he told her to say, 'Whatever you do to me, my dad will do to you.' So, I am going to keep that and I am going to use it. Gotta love it.”
Yes, that’s great. I mean they’re both very lucky to have you as a father even if you threaten their potential suitors.
“We’ll see what happens, I can’t even think about looking that far ahead because right now they’re still my babies and they will always be my babies. But ugh, please, no, let’s not even talk about it.”
We won’t, we won’t.
“It kills me.”
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