Today, in the first of the Hot Dam Homes Character Interview Series, we’re sitting down with Mason Campbell. Mason is the first HDH guy we get to know, and we follow his unlikely love story with an A-List movie star in From The Ground Up.
Hi Mason! Thanks for sitting down with me today! Since this is your first public interview, can we get your name, rank and serial number for the record?
Ha. Very cute, Harper. Okay. I’m Mason Robert Campbell. I’m 34, and I live in Seattle, Washington.
Thanks! Tell us what you do for a living.
Right now I work with my brother’s construction company, Hot Dam Homes. We work with mostly high-end clients on all kinds of home renovations and landscape design. I’m a jack of all trades there, but I suppose my “official” job title is President of Client Management. It sounds fancier than it is.
Is it your dream job?
No, I don’t think I’d call it that. But I like it. I get to use both my brain and my body at work which is fun. Plus I love working with my brother, so, all-in-all it’s a pretty great gig.
Where are you from?
Born and raised right here in Seattle. PNW right down to my core.
What was your childhood like?
Uh, okay Dr. Freud. **grins**. My childhood was pretty good. The stereotypical, middle class upbringing – you know the drill. We have a lot of family close by, so growing up I spent a lot of time with aunts and uncles and cousins. My best friend, Sam, is also my cousin. He works with Dylan and me.
Can you tell us a bit more about your family and friends? Are you close with them?
I’m the middle child. My older brother, Dylan, is 6 years older than me. My younger sister, Grace, is 11 months younger than me – we’re Irish twins. **grins**
We’re all pretty close. Gracie and I are closer than Dylan is with either of us, but that’s only because Dyl is a few years older than we are. I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that Dylan has autism.
And like I said before, I grew up with my cousin, Sam, and we’re still best friends.
What was school like for you? Any favorite subjects?
High school was okay. I didn’t hit my growth spurt until late in my junior year, and before that I was a frumpy kid. I started questioning if I might be gay around that time, and Sam was the same. I think we’re both grateful we had each other during those years.
My favorite subjects were history and social science. Maybe it’s because my family has been in this area for such a long time, but I’m really interested in the history of the Pacific Northwest, particularly the cultures of the Indigenous Americans around here.
You went to college, right?
Yup. I have a BA in Psychology from Western Washington University. I thought about getting a Masters to become a teacher, but that didn’t happen. I like the idea of teaching or mentoring younger people – especially LGBTQ+ or other at-risk kids. My brother-in-law, Grace’s husband, is a psychologist who works a lot with kids, and veterans. I don’t want to go back to school to be a shrink, but I’d like to find something where I could work with people in that way.
How about religion? Are you a believer?
We were raised Protestant, specifically Episcopalian. But religion never played a big role in our house. Nowadays I’m an atheist, but it’s not something I think about much.
Would you call yourself a “moral” person?
Yeah, I would say I’m a moral person. I believe in equality above all. I mean, it would be a little odd for a gay dude not to believe in equal rights, no? One thing I do NOT believe is that religion and morality are the same thing, and I find it frustrating that those things get confused a lot.
How far will you go to defend your convictions?
That’s an interesting question. I don’t really like confrontation, so if someone starts in with shit I don’t believe, I remove myself from the situation if possible. But as a big, bearded guy with a ton of ink who wears jeans and work boots all the time, I don’t fit the stereotype of a gay man. Sometimes people assume things about me based on my appearance that are dead wrong. I’ve heard people say some pretty awful shit if they assume I’m “just like them”.
I need to work on that though. Like, I feel as though I should be more vocal in standing up for what I believe in.
Have you ever done anything you’re ashamed of?
Ha! Haven’t we all? But am I going to share that kind of shit in this public forum? No fuckin’ way, lady! **grins**
Cute, Mason **interviewer rolls her eyes**. Okay, then, let’s talk about sex. What are your general feelings about sex? How do those feelings affect your relationships?
Well, at risk of sounding like a complete cliché, I am a man who loves sex. Although, before I figured out I was gay, I had a couple of girlfriends, and sex was completely underwhelming. I mean, I was a kid, like 16-17 years old, so I probably wouldn’t have had mind-blowing sex with anyone of any gender. But the girls were beautiful and sexy and wonderful. The only problem was that I am really, really gay, and I hadn’t figured it out yet. **laughing**
Are you an emotional person? Can you describe your temperament?
I would say yes… I can be sensitive. Too sensitive sometimes. I was in a real toxic relationship for a while, and it ended badly. To be frank about it, that whole thing fucked me up, and I’m still working on getting over it. I don’t trust people easily.
My default setting is optimistic, though, so aside from my trust issues, I’m pretty happy and positive. As for my temperament, I try to be a calm person, try not to fly off the handle too much. Like everything else, that’s a work in progress too.
Tell us about your phobias, bad habits and pet peeves.
I don’t know about phobias. Like I said, I don’t trust people easily, but I dunno whether that would qualify as a phobia.
Bad habits – um, fuck yes. Cursing like a sailor is one of them. I’ve also got an unreal sweet tooth. Is sugar addiction a thing? Because if it is, I’m pretty sure I’m addicted.
Pet peeves? Well, you’d never know it to look at me, but I’m a “grammar nazi”. If people use the wrong “there, they’re, their” in writing, it drives me crazy.
How do you feel about your looks? Are you happy with your appearance?
I’m a pretty big guy. I know being 6’5″ and white has given me even more privilege than a guy who is shorter than average, but I sometimes get frustrated finding clothes that fit. I have a tendency to put on weight; I’m not the dude with the six-pack, but I’m mostly okay with that. I tend to keep my hair and my beard short and reasonably neat and tidy. Jeans and a flannel, plus work boots are my usual uniform. Seattle isn’t a formal place, which suits me just fine.
What’s your most cherished possession, and why?
Every year my parents would get each of us kids a different ornament for the Christmas tree. When we all moved out, we got to take those ornaments with us to start our own collection for our own homes. Those ornaments are probably the physical thing I cherish more than anything else. If my house caught fire, I would grab that box on my way out; they’re that special to me. I think my brother and sister feel the same way about theirs.
Do you have pets?
I don’t currently have any pets, but I will eventually. Dylan is the animal guy in our family. He’s got three big dogs, a couple of cats and he’s hoping to build a barn and have a few horses on his property one of these days soon. When I need my animal fix I just head to his place.
Would you say you have any enemies?
Shit, I don’t think I have enemies. I fuckin’ hope not!
What to you want your life to look like in 10 years?
**laughs** That’s kind of a personal question, don’t you think? **laughs again, shyly** Honestly, I’m not really sure. I used to want to settle down with a partner, but the bad relationship I had turned me off any kind commitment. Hookups are safer and easier.
I really like kids, but I know it’s not easy for a single, gay man to adopt children. All that to say, I don’t really know where I want my life to go over the next 10 years. I guess maybe I should think about that, huh?
Well, maybe, but there’s something to be said for living one day at a time too! Okay, Mason, my friend, that’s all I’ve got today! Thanks for sitting down and helping everyone to get to know you a little better.
My pleasure, Harper. Thanks for having me.