Perez Hilton has always made a living poking fun at (and drawing male sex organs on) celebrities. But he's also become one - powerful and wide-reaching.
"I don't consider myself a celebrity because for every two people that like me, there's probably 3 1/2 that don't," opined Hilton, who says he doesn't care if people don't like him, "I just care if you still read my Web site."
And Perez clearly loves to stir the pot.
As if being asked to judge the Miss USA pageant wasn't enough, Hilton went for a bigger splash, asking one of the finalists, Miss California Carrie Prejean, her opinion on the controversial subject of same-sex marriage.
Prejean's responses then and since - homosexual marriage is wrong, people choose to be gay, etc. - have become the hot topic on the talk-show circuit and only bolstered Perez's status as a celebrity and gay rights advocate.
LOVE HIM, HATE HIM: Either way, Perez's influence is undeniable.
Making his own media rounds, he defended the same-sex marriage question as fair and relevant. Prejean stands by her remarks; Hilton stands by his.
It's become an epic feud with the battle lines clearly drawn.
"I said she was a dumb b!tch," Hilton (a.k.a. Mario Lavandeira) said, not backing down in the slightest. "Well, you know what? What she said in that answer was that I am a second-class citizen that doesn't deserve full equality under the law."