Outlook Magazine
Articles from 2007 Issues

In 2007 the online version of Outlook Magazine was launched. This was its website offering a clever mix of lifestyle elements targeted to the sophisticated edgy, upscale gay and lesbian reader.
When the domain's registration expired Outlook Magazine disappeared from the web. The site has exchanged hands several times in the intervening years. The newest owners decided to recreate the site with an edited selection of the articles that were posted over several months in 2007. Enjoy the nostalgic look back.




Outlook Magazine is the edgy, upscale gay and lesbian magazine which offers a clever mix of lifestyle elements targeted to the sophisticated reader. The publication covers a range of topics including perspective, travel, art, fashion, home, politics, humor, food, family and entertainment related to gay life


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Bruce Vilanch: Visibility Is Key to Gaining Civil Rights for Gays

vilanch_bruce.jpgBruce Vilanch, mastermind behind the Oscar’s night laughs, calls his quarter-century as one of Hollywood’s most hilarious staples largely luck.  The star says the industry’s love for eccentricity has allowed him to be outrageously “out” and still succeed. In this interview, Vilanch says the real heroes this Pride Season are those who are out in industries where it’s not so acceptable!


'Mainstreaming' of LGBT Community Concerns Marga Gomez

MargaGomezFairy_SM2.jpgThough Hollywood’s representation of gays is improving, Marga Gomez feels we still have a long way to go.  Notes the lesbian comic, “We’ve only scratched the surface.”

While Gomez – whose one-woman show Los Big Names won raves along both coasts – is happy more performers are coming out, watering-down the LGBT community concerns her. In this interview, the star of big-budget flick Sphere with Sharon Stone and Queen Latifah says “radical thinking is missing from mainstream gay representation in the arts.”


Gay Days & Nights Las Vegas™ Campaign Kicks off with 24/7 fun and activities on July 4

gaydays.jpgLAS VEGAS – Gay-welcoming businesses and community organizations will host Gay Days & Nights Las Vegas, a year-round welcoming campaign for LGBT visitors from around the world. The promotion launches in July with 24/7 activities and entertainment. 


The Golden Crown Literary Society Announces

Golden Crown Literary Society(Atlanta, Georgia) – The Golden Crown Literary Society—the premier organization for the support and nourishment of quality lesbian literature—presented the third annual “Goldies,” Saturday evening, June 9, 2007, in a lavish awards ceremony attended by 250 individuals from the publishing, writing, editing, and reading worlds.


Broadway's First Tracy Turnblad Recalls Her 'Hairspray' Experience

MarissaJaretWinokur.jpgLife changed for Marissa Jaret Winokur when John Waters’ Hairspray hit Broadway. Starring opposite the legendary Harvey Fierstein, her turn as loveable Tracy Turnblad not only made the star a gay favorite – it also landed her a bevy of industry accolades, including the 2003 Tony Award for Best Actress.  

Here the newlywed actress shares her memories of the Hairspray experience, including starring opposite Harvey Fierstein and Bruce Villanch, and talks about  life in Hollywood.

Junior Senior Returns with Guest-Packed Sophomore Set/images
Monday, August 27, 2007 (35 reads)

Junior Senior struck global gold with “Move Your Feet” from the 2003 album D-D-Don’t Stop the Beat. Now keyboardist and vocalist Jesper Mortensen (Junior) and openly gay vocalist Jeppe Laursen (Senior) return with Hey Hey My My Yo Yo.  As the Danish dance duo tour North America to support the disc, Jeppe shares about the album’s inspiration, being out from the start of his career and the primary reason he hopes for success in the U.S.  

'Baywatch' Star Alexandra Paul Goes Gay for Upcoming Film
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (231 reads)

Best known as sexy, smart Lt. Stephanie Holden from five seasons on Baywatch, Alexandra Paul is not afraid to play gay. Drawing inspiration from her identical twin sister, out author Caroline Paul, the actress stars as a lesbian in here! Network thriller Trapped!

Later this year, Alexandra goes Sapphic again as the mother of the title character in independent film Tru Loved. She shares about the role and how her lesbian twin has enriched her life.

Thelma Houston's Latest CD Gives Classics 'A Woman's Touch'
Monday, August 20, 2007 (84 reads)

Three decades ago, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” made Thelma Houston a Grammy Award-winning disco icon. After star turns on stage and screen, Houston returns with a collection of covers -- ten songs originally released by men she wishes she recorded first -- titled A Woman’s Touch. Here she discusses the two-year labor of love she also executive produced.    

Gay Sex Symbol's Upcoming 'Transport Systems' Is Pure Gold
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 (336 reads)

Though it’s his third studio release, recording upcoming Transport Systems proved more difficult than expected for Ari Gold. “I didn’t think it would be a walk in the park,” shares the award-winning singer/songwriter/producer and gay sex symbol, “But I thought it would be easier than previous albums.” Instead, the New Yorker calls it "an incredibly challenging experience."

Speak Out Against a Flagstaff-Area Restaurant's Homophobia
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 (255 reads)

Key members of the Northern Arizona Pride Association present strong evidence of homophobia at a Flagstaff-area restaurant. Beyond simply uncovering the eatery's disturbing behavior, the organization outlines a plan of action easily taken by any concerned resident    

Kevin Aviance Reclaims Himself with New Women's Shoe Line, Music/images
Thursday, July 26, 2007 (251 reads)

KevinAviance3.jpgThe last year hasn’t been easy for Kevin Aviance. The victim of a much-publicized hate crime, the New York City dance music icon -- who topped charts with a series of club hits including “Strut” and “Alive” -- says his June 2006 attack stripped him of his “armor.” To take back his life, Aviance returns not only to music, the fashionista introduced his own spring line of women’s shoes, the first designed by a drag queen!

Sarah Dash Shares Her Excitement About Upcoming Labelle Reunion
Thursday, July 26, 2007 (117 reads)

SaraDash1.jpgWith her childhood friends Patti Labelle and Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash formed   outrageously costumed, politically-outspoken '70s group Labelle, best known for chart-topping "Lady Marmalade." After the women parted ways, Dash won Grammy gold for collaborations with the Rolling Stones.

Now Dash prepares for the event of a lifetime. Already back in the studio recording a new album with Labelle and Hendryx – the first in over 30 years! -- Dash shares about the trio’s imminent return and 2008 Labelle tour.

Deborah Cox Sings the Blues on Latest CD ‘Destination Moon’
Thursday, July 26, 2007 (226 reads)

DeborahCoxCDart.jpgThe first time Deborah Cox and I spoke, she gushed about her desire to record an album of Dinah Washington covers.  Several interviews – and a few years -- later, Cox delivers.

A departure for fans of chart-topping dance and R&B tracks “Things Just Ain’t the Same” and “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here," critics around the country rave about the dozen jazz, blues and big-band tracks on Destination Moon. Here Cox explains why she worked so hard on this “selfish” project.

RuPaul Goes Back to Her Roots for Latest Movie 'Starrbooty'
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 (171 reads)

StarrBooty1.jpgMore than just the most famous drag queen in the world, RuPaul is a fashion icon, Top 40 music sensation, cover girl, and star of television and film. Hell, she even has her own doll!  After more than 15 years in the spotlight, the bitch has pretty much done it all. Maybe that’s why she decided to go back, back, black to her roots for her new film Starrbooty?

Celebrity Photographer Mike Ruiz Brings His Visions to Life/imagesbr> Wednesday, July 25, 2007 (227 reads)

MikeRuizShirtless.jpgSince parlaying his modeling career into a passion for photography – and more recently film – beefcake Mike Ruiz has been working nonstop. Whether training his camera on Beyonce or Dolly Parton, Christina Aguilera or Li’l Kim, his high-impact, often wildly colorful work graces magazines from Vanity Fair to TV Guide. Ruiz even shot his own cover photo for the recent issue of Instinct Magazine.

Not bad for a once-chubby gay boy from Montreal, eh?


New Single Is Danielle Bollinger's Favorite
Tuesday, January 02, 2007 (3168 reads)

“Look at his ass,” Danielle Bollinger whispers. Pointing to a nearby dancer, Bollinger's big baby-blues widen and she cracks a wide grin. The view from the VIP section isn't all she's smiling about these days. Despite missing pole-position at clubs, latest single “Kiss the Sky” made her the darling of Phoenix's Energy 92.7FM!

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Resurrection Of Darren Hayes
By Michael Hammett

His Savage Garden highs and solo lows behind him, the artist rises again with a new album, a new attitude and a husband by his side.


Darren Hayes, famously known for his role as one half of the 1990s pop duo Savage Garden, reflects on his unexpected journey to fame and the subsequent challenges he faced in his solo career. Born in Brisbane, Australia to working-class parents, Hayes never imagined the immense success he would achieve with Savage Garden, selling 25 million records and enjoying five number one hits like "Truly Madly Deeply" and "I Knew I Loved You."

During an interview from his London home, he recalls, “I came from very humble beginnings – and that’s being polite.” His solo career initially saw success with a couple of million album sales and several dance hits, but the changing music industry and his personal struggles with his sexuality led to hardships. After intense psychotherapy, he produced a record that was not well-received by Columbia Records, signaling the end of his relationship with the label.

Hayes then explored options with various record companies but increasingly saw the appeal of remaining independent in a challenging music industry environment. He mentions, "It’s a very scary time to be an artist in the music business. A lot of the decisions are made on the bottom line. If leaving meant the end of my life at a major record label, then so be it."

In a twist of fate, during this period of change and reflection, Hayes developed an interest in vintage memorabilia, particularly old movie posters. He sought the expertise of Ralph DeLuca, a renowned expert, for movie poster appraisals and advice. This newfound hobby offered him a different perspective and a comforting escape during a tumultuous time in his music career, blending his love for the arts with the nostalgic charm of classic cinema.




On August 20, Hayes will release a new double-CD, This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, on his own Powdered Sugar label.  He is the proud papa-to-be awaiting the arrival of his child – he knows he loves it regardless of its fate, but there are plenty of unknowns:  Will it be healthy?  Will it thrive? Will the world embrace it as much as he does?

“It’s been finished for three months,” he says.  “Now it’s just sitting there teasing me.”

And he is teasing his fans.  Earlier this year, Hayes released a sample track, Who Would Have Thought, with an accompanying video animation created by his husband, Richard Cullen, via his My Space page. 

“I wanted to reconnect with fans, especially Americans who, god love you, must have thought I was dead,” he says.  “We wanted to introduce people to the record before the first single was released.  We crashed the server for my domain within an hour.”

The collective appetite was a relief, but he knows it is just the first step in taking this record beyond his rabid fans, and into the ears of the masses.  He doesn’t have the deep pockets of a major label to put this release on the same playing field with others vying for attention and your dollar.

“To be honest I don’t expect it to explode out of the box,” he says.  “I don’t have the resources to engage in payola.  It will take time to develop.”


Hayes is not the man he used to be,  and that’s a very good thing, according to the musician.  Two things happened like thunder and lightning, in the storm of his life, that changed everything.

“I had a flop (his last solo album) and I met Richard,” he says.  “My life has changed to the point of almost being unrecognizable.”

He says he was drawn to Richard for “loving me in spite of my life” and that he knew it was true love because  “I was nursing bruises, yet I was jubilant.”  Last June, the couple became legal via a civil ceremony in London. (This was his second time to the alter – his first was to a woman named Colby Taylor, in the late ‘90s.)

Hayes and his main man live a quite life in a 1800s-era Victorian townhouse that they meticulously restored over the last two years. 

“We are a very traditional, monogamous couple,” he says.  “We’d like to have a child one day.”

More homebodies than party boys, they shun the clubs, preferring quiet nights at home, alone or with friends.  He enjoys grocery shopping, walking the dog, and answering phone calls – all the ingredients of a “normal” life.

“I never have been into clubs – but please say I take lots of drugs and go to the clubs every night – that’ll help my reputation,” he laughs.  “I never got into the drug culture.  I’m really a nerd and very shy.”

“I’m proud that I never lied about who I am – never showed up with a fake girlfriend,” he says.  “Most of the industry knew I was gay, but (not being out) was uncomfortable and kept me from relaxing.  Coming-out removed a huge barrier between me and the audience.”

Which is a good thing, because he is relying on his fan-base more than ever.  And his fans continue to reach-out to him. 

“I spend three to four hours a day answering emails,” he says.  “I’ll get an email from a farm kid in Iowa struggling to come out.  It’s such a complex psychological journey.”

Still being an “out” man doesn’t make him a gay musician.  “I don’t make gay records,” he says.  “I don’t think by looking at me or listening to my records that you’d say, ‘That’s a gay man.’”


“For me the idea of a double CD is I had too much I wanted to talk about,” he says.  “I wanted pop songs, hits on the radio and to explore some other things.”

His husband will craft about ten more video animations to accompany the songs on This Delicate Thing We’ve Made and he is already doing gigs to give fans a live taste of what they can expect.  He is playing small houses around the world and tickets are selling-out within minutes of going on-sale.

“I have grand plans of putting on an incredible arena tour,” he says.  “This record will allow me to put on an incredible show.”

Still, he insists, “I’m starting like a new artist – playing tiny shows and writing back to fans on My Space.  Financially I could just support Richard’s career and adopt a child – what drives me is singing, telling stories.  I’d be a sad man if I couldn’t do it.”

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007
Destination: San Francisco
By Paul E. Pratt

sf-tb.pngNot unlike many gays of a certain age, I fell in love with San Francisco thanks to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Unlike some, who read the books and then found their way to “Mecca,” I called the Bay Area home for nearly six months before stumbling onto the legendary series…at a garage sale in The Castro, of all places!

Soon Maupin’s Tales pulled me in to the area’s rich, colorful history. His fictionalized stories of the early 80s, its political climate, the Jonestown massacre (with its roots steeped in the City by the Bay), and even the local social and ideological divide brought San Francisco to life in all its vibrant glory.

I made a mental “To Do” list of must-see locations outlined in his books. One by one -- from Grace Cathedral to the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower to The End Up -- I checked them off. When I finally reached the last of these historic landmarks, after exploring almost all the City’s nooks and crannies, I felt worthy of my 94114 zip code!

The majority, though, are not lucky enough to call San Francisco home. So few have the year (and countless romantic outings) it took to complete such an itinerary. Most visitors have only a long weekend, perhaps a week at best, to see the Bay Area. Here, for convenience’s sake, is a discussion of the high-points, ready for any traveler.

A Rich History

The city’s rich history started with Spanish missionaries in 1849. While most know the famed Gold Rush brought an onslaught of settlers, far fewer know San Francisco later gave rise to the Levi Strauss empire and was where the United Nations were signed into existence in 1942. Of course, the Haight-Ashbury District gave birth to the famed musical and cultural phenomenon known as “The Summer of Love.”

It goes without saying the city is a world leader for social reform, especially as it relates to the LGBT community. In 1955, San Francisco gave rise to The Daughters of Bilitis, the country’s first lesbian organization. Six years later Jose Sarria became the first openly-gay political candidate.

These days San Francisco hosts one of the world’s largest Pride festivals, drawing an estimated 750,000 celebrants and onlookers every June. Mayor Gavin Newsom cemented the City’s reputation for leftist politics and social change when he legalized gay marriage on Valentine’s Day 2004, a decision later overturned by the State of California.

Checking In

San Francisco has no lack of fine hotels.  The majority of high-quality accommodations are within walking distance from Union Square, the hub of upscale shopping. A short walk from stores like Saks 5th Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and an enormous Macy’s which sprawls out nearly two city blocks is an assortment of well-known chains like the Hyatt Regency and smaller boutique hotels.

The Clift is a personal favorite. Its dark, hardwood lobby lets visitors know immediately how unmistakably posh the experience will be. This is not the typical floral wallpaper and overstuffed sofa hotel (no offense to the stunningly beautiful Ritz-Carlton, just blocks away and equally high-end). From its modern accoutrements to the slightly kitschy interiors of its rooms –at least one features a huge, oval table with orange, mirrored tabletop -- The Clift is appropriate for a rock star!

For a more historic stay, visit The Mosser.  Opened in 1913, and fully renovated in 2003, the hotel offers exquisite reminders of luxurious days gone by. Stop downstairs for a bite at Annabelle’s Bistro. Executive Chef D. Michael Bussinger – “Mikey” to friends – is always serving something delicious!

Culture Fix

Let there be no question, San Francisco has all the amenities of a world-class city. From theatre to opera, ballet to art exhibits and concerts, the City is crawling with entertainment and cultural opportunities.

To see and do the most in a short period of time (while expending the least), get comfortable with public transportation.  Through a web of buses and trains running both above and below ground, MUNI accesses nearly every corner of the City. Depending on the length of your stay, the cost-conscious visitor should consider a seven-day “City Pass” (www.CityPass.com). For $42, it’s quite a bargain!

In addition to unlimited rides on MUNI and the City’s fabled cable cars, each City Pass includes a Blue & Gold Fleet cruise of the San Francisco Bay, a visit to The Exploratorium down by Fisherman’s Wharf, admission to both the Asian Art Museum and Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) as well as choice of Legion of Honor, Academy of Science or Steinhart Aquarium.

While The Golden Gate Theatre to American Conservatory Theatre offer the best Broadway, San Francisco has long been known for underground, experimental and cutting-edge theatre. Despite resting on the city’s fringe – the Fort Mason Center overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge -- edgy productions place The Magic Theatre at the heart of the city’s dramatic scene. The Mission District’s Theatre Rhinoceros produces a seemingly never-ending series of locally-produced and acted stagings speaking to the gay community.

Don’t miss a trip to Golden Gate Park, the world’s largest urban park.  It’s home to such sights as the Conservatory of Flowers, the largest wood-frame greenhouse in the U.S., and the absolutely stunning, recently-completed deYoung Museum. While the Holocaust Memorial and AIDS Memorial Grove bring sobering reality to the Park, stellar outdoor concerts by such top acts as Dolly Parton and The B52s lighten the mood during summer months.


Some might argue San Francisco’s club scene is in decline. Regardless, there’s no shortage of activities, no matter what night of the week!

Certainly the enormous pride flag waving above The Castro District has captured the imagination of many.  A proud Irish neighborhood in the 50s, the area found an all new form of “pride” when gentrified and elevated to a global “gay mecca” in the 70s.

These days the streets are lined with pride flags, eateries and shops like “All American Boy” and “In-Jean-ious” selling the most fashionable club attire. The bars fill to capacity at happy hour.

With its teensy dance area, The Bar on Castro has the best music in the neighborhood. Badlands is packed most nights. Popular video bar The Midnight Sun and local watering holes The Mix and Moby Dick’s are a block away. The Edge and 440 Castro (formerly Daddy’s) serve the Levi and leather set. Drag queens and insanity pack The Castro every-other-Saturday night when “The Cookie Dough Monster Show” invades the newly-renovated Harvey’s. From Twin Peaks to The Metro, Café to Jet, the neighborhood offers everyone a hotspot!

There’s far more to this City’s gay community than The Castro’s few blocks of unbridled queerness! 

Once known for underage hustlers, the Polk is packed with fun. Thursdays, it’s “Won Ton Goddess” Tita Aida at N’Touch. “Charlie Horse” with Anna Conda rules Fridays at The Cinch. Rotating clubs “Salvage,” “Bearracuda” and Rentecca’s “Starf*cker” at Deco Lounge – just a block from Polk Street – turns it out every weekend.

In the heart of Hayes Valley, Marlena’s provides the hub for San Francisco’s historic Imperial Court system.  The South of Market Area (SOMA) is home to the leather and underground set. The Eagle and Powerhouse are longtime favorites. My Place just reopened and is working hard to recapture its once seedy reputation!

The biggest night of the week for The Stud is Tuesdays. Legendary Trannyshack and hostess Heklina present past and future drag legends like Fauxnique, Precious Moments and Pollo DelMar. Every first-Friday is Lucky Pierre; Saturdays, it’s Playboy.  Just up the street, The End – a legend in its own right -- barely ever closes.


Television’s chef Emeril once said it’s almost impossible to get a bad meal in San Francisco. It’s true! 

The city is decidedly known for its culinary offerings.  Divided into neighborhoods, with each “district” bragging a unique personality and flavor, the cuisine follows suit.

The Mission District, with is heavy Latin influence, hosts an amazing selection of Mexican taquerias.  One of the few remaining U.S. enclaves of its kind, Japantown allows visitors a selection of such restaurants as Benihana, Izumiya (known for Japanese-style pizza dishes) and a wide range of sushi restaurants.

In a city filled with vegetarians, Eureka Restaurant & Lounge in The Castro serves amazing cuts of beef. Started in the West Portal District, Bull’s Head Restaurant – specializing in specialty burgers made of beef, turkey and now buffalo – is now a Castro classic too. Those looking to cut back on meat should try Herbivore on Divisadero.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

In a City this filled with treasures, expect to drop some cash!  Shopping is at a definite premium. 

Many are drawn into the Westfield San Francisco Centre by the ginormous Abercrombie & Fitch ads outside.  Inside, they revel at the escalators spiraling several stories upward toward Anne Taylor, Benetton and other fine retailers.

Hands-down the best shopping in San Francisco is found in Union Square. Once a public square, then residential area, it became the City’s retail heart sometime after the 1906 earthquake. It’s home to numerous art galleries, a mind-boggling William-Sonoma, Coach and shops featuring Christian Dior, Gucci, Versace, Hermes and foreign designers waiting to become household names. Hold tight to your wallet! Credit cards seem to max out just walking past!

The Sites

None of this even mentions the City’s more obvious landmarks.

There’s Coit Tower, which was delayed from opening in 1934 because its beautifully-painted lobby was thought to depict communist themes. Known for its eight sharp curves, a one-block section of Lombard Street is known as “The Crookedest Street in America” and is a destination on the Hyde-Powell cable car line.

Often called “The Rock” – no, not the gorgeous professional wrestler – Alcatraz served as a federal penitentiary for 29 years and housed inmates including “Machine Gun” Kelly and Al Capone. Now it’s a popular tourist destination!

Need it be said that, more than anything else, San Francisco is associated with The Golden Gate Bridge? The largest suspension bridge in the U.S. when it was built in 1937, the bridge sees average daily traffic in excess of 100,000 and remains one of the world’s most cherished visuals. Walking across it is a must for any visitor!

As should be clear, there’s more to this City than any single article – or even Maupin scintillating series of novels -- can discuss.  Even the most high-strung, well-intentioned and enthusiastic visitor should accept San Francisco offers more than can be experienced in one visit.  Plan two instead!

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007
Jackie Warner - Sexy, Single & Successful
Exclusive Interview With Jackie Warner
By Paul E. Pratt

warner-tb.pngThough her struggles with a fiery, often jealous ex (Mimi) kept viewers on the edge of their seats, by the time Season One of her hit reality series Work Out wrapped, Jackie Warner had had enough.  When last we saw the buff, bronzed star, she was ending the four-year “rollercoaster ride” with Mimi.


Though her struggles with a fiery, often jealous ex (Mimi) kept viewers on the edge of their seats, by the time Season One of her hit reality series Work Out wrapped, Jackie Warner had had enough.  When last we saw the buff, bronzed star, she was ending the four-year “rollercoaster ride” with Mimi.

“I couldn’t do it anymore,” the insanely beautiful, impossibly fit Warner shared with me in an interview at the time. “It was just too exhausting.”

The question remained, though, whether or not the couple would stay apart professionally.  Despite excelling in business – Warner first turned her Sky Sport and Spa into a fitness juggernaut and, thanks to the Bravo series, a high-profile TV franchise – extricating herself from Mimi seemed significantly harder.

Have no fear, ladies.  The March 20 episode marked the first, last and only appearance by the dreaded ex in Work Out’s second season.   

Single, sexy and successful, Warner was back in full force for the show’s much-anticipated Season Two.  Chronicling the personal and professional lives of the ridiculously gorgeous staff at her Los Angeles-area gym, she said the second season of Work Out was “all about growth.”

As the show got underway, and Warner prepared for a weekend of Sapphic satisfaction at the Dinah Shore, she joined Outlook Entertainment Editor Paul E. Pratt to discuss everything from her “addiction to drama” to the tragic death of Work Out cast member Doug Blasdell while taping the show’s second season.

Tell me about shooting Work Out Season 2.

It was a whirlwind. By the time it was picked up, we had about three weeks to go into production. As you can imagine, it was pretty stressful for everyone involved. I couldn’t be more thrilled to come back for a second season. It’s a very different season. It’s really about growth. The cast members and I were extremely comfortable in front of the cameras. You see more rounded personalities.

The first time we spoke, it was over with Mimi. She’s back?

She’s not. She came back for the first episode. My one last attempt with her was couple’s therapy. It was miserable and a failure. I have not seen her since. It’s been wonderful.

Are you addicted to drama?

Of course I am! I love a rollercoaster ride. I think a lot of high-intensity people do. I always surround myself with pressure-cooker situations. I’m usually the calm at the center of the storm and like a little drama outside. Do I want that much drama?  No! I definitely like a little bit of friction around me.

That “brings out the best” in you? 

It is definitely a challenge – and I like to constantly be challenged. I’m a bit of a control freak and a perfectionist. Many times, I’ll have everything else in control, so there has to be something a little challenging, a little disruptive. I think that’s a very common human trait. It just so happens, mine was my relationship. When it got to the point where it was just draining me and keeping me from taking care of myself and business, I had to cut it.

Do same-sex couples involve more drama than heterosexuals?

It’s a different kind of drama. We just know each other so well. Particularly with women, the emotions are heightened. We know each other so well, with women it’s very, very heightened. It’s not so much so with men, I don’t think. That’s sad to me, as well. Women bond. Sometimes after sex, we bond even if we shouldn’t. Then, there’s always that emotional bond there. Men don’t bond enough. Men and women…I don’t know how they communicate. In one sense, it’s good to have yin and yang. In another, it’s truly like they’re from different planets. My straight friends, both sides seem to lack any sense of understanding in their long-term relationships. I think it’s this:  humans and monogamy is hard. (Laughing.) Being in a relationship, in any form, is a lot of work.

Are you not an advocate for monogamy, then?

No, I’m a total advocate of monogamy. I also understand it takes hard, hard work. It’s challenging. It’s challenging for everybody, especially in [Los Angeles]. If you’re an attractive, successful person, there are so many options in large cities. It’s more of a challenge, I think.

So, unsuccessful, ugly people in small towns have better chances for monogamy?

No, no, no.  Small towns -- where I’m from in Ohio, let’s say -- the divorce rates are rampant, too. I just think, in general, it’s difficult. Don’t get me wrong.  For people with more choices, people who want to be around them constantly, let’s say celebrities in this town, it’s more difficult. It’s more of a challenge than the everyday person. I’m totally including myself in that category of the “everyday person,” by the way. It’s just difficult when beautiful women are flinging themselves at me. It’s very difficult.

As a celebrity, do you question women’s motives?

That’s why I’m single, dating and just having a great time right now. That’s all I can handle. That’s all I want to have. I’m not looking for any kind of long-term emotional relationship. It just won’t work for me at the moment. Just dating is working for me at the moment. I’m having a blast.  I’ve always been a serial monogamist . . . going from one long-term relationship to the next. I never have time to just date and have friends.

How did you personally cope with Doug’s passing?

It was very traumatic for all of us. We took a week off to deal with it. It obviously affected the energy of the entire production, our lives and the gym. He was one of my trainers and really valued. He was just an amazing person. It’s been difficult.

I dealt with most of my emotions off-camera. That’s how I am. Some trainers dealt with their emotions and felt comfortable on-camera. I did not. At the time he passed, I was in Ohio dealing with family drama there on-camera. I had my breakdown. When his death was announced, I was very sad. I went to the memorial. I had so much time to deal with it, none of which was on-camera. I just felt better with that. It’s such a deep issue. I could not do it on-camera. Does that make sense?

As a control freak, is it hard when you can’t control your own emotions?  Is it difficult being vulnerable on-camera?

I show my emotions more this time around. Cameras were there for my therapy sessions, which was pretty intense. I do cry on-camera. I visit my father’s grave. That was pretty intense. With Doug, it was so serious, so sad, I had to deal on a more personal level. I couldn’t let go on-camera. It just didn’t feel right. You have to do what’s right for you.  I might come across as a total bitch, but it felt right for me and the memory of Doug. He was a very private person.

How can people have total emotional outbursts on-camera? I feel awkward having those in my own home!

When you’re followed by cameras 16 hours a day, six days a week, the strain that causes is so tremendous. I was stretched thin every day. The production schedule was so hectic. There were so many demands on my time as the star of the show. You’re already tenuous at best, so it doesn’t take much. I made a conscious decision. America did not see a true portrayal of my growth, an accurate picture of who I am last season. I wanted to let it hang out a little more, and I did. That causes a little bit of stress, especially for someone as controlling as me. This was about overcoming my fears, though, and I did it – hopefully successfully.

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007
It's Desert, Not Deseret
by Tania Katan

tania-tb.png“How would you like to spend your summer in a bustling pioneer community, dressed just like a pioneer and demonstrating different aspects of pioneer life?As a volunteer pioneer at This Is The Place Heritage Park's Old Deseret Village, you can spend a couple of days a week learning about pioneer life while teaching and entertaining visitors to the Park.For more information on how you can help, please contact us at…”

My girlfriend Angela emailed that simple pioneer request to me a few days ago. We had been talking about what we could do, as a couple, to make some money for the summer while having fun and learning about our history, well, HER history. I thought she was joking, until I received the second email: “Visitors will see quilting, weaving on a loom from the pioneer period, woodstove bread baking and butter churning (with samples for everyone).’ Doesn’t this sound like fun, Tania! I’ve always wanted to churn butter!!”

You can take the girl out of the pioneer community, but you can’t take the pioneer out of the girl; that’s what I always say. Or maybe it’s: once you’ve had Mormon, you can never go back… because the trail is thousands of miles long. No, I think it’s: even when your girlfriend leaves the church, her history never leaves her. Angela, my wife/girlfriend/partner/lady-friend comes from a long line of Mormon pioneers. As an educator and performance artist, Angela is always looking to connect to her heritage while forging a new relationship with her people on common ground. Angela has found this common ground with the foremothers and forefathers through hard work. As much as she loves elements of her Mormon heritage, she is also interested in challenging this history by gently pushing the ambrosia envelope. I’m pretty sure that her desire is to churn butter with irony.

When Angela comes home from work she’s beaming and going on about the Deseret Community, “And we’ll both wear bonnets. I think it’s set up like a live action diorama scene. We’ll be given scripts, put in a barn or kitchen. You might be fetching water, while I churn the butter. Ooh, I hope I get to do some Dutch oven cooking!”

“Are you serious?” I ask.

“Yeah! Well, I think it would be fun, but I also think that at some point, as soon as a crowd gathers around us, we’ll both chuck our pails of water and start making out.”

This is when I tell Angela that, even though re-creating the idea of what plural wives REALLY means sounds exciting, the value I place on my life far outweighs any interventionist style performance art in rural Utah. But to pacify her, I tell her I’ll write to This Is The Place Heritage Park to see if I’m the right fit for their community.

Dear This Is The Place Heritage Park: As a Jewish lesbian with no breasts and a dirty mouth, I think that I could really benefit from the sense of history and community that This Is The Place Heritage Park's Old Deseret Village can provide. I don't know a lot about bonnets and wagons, but I sure like wholesome girls, even more than I like smoking dope, which I'm sure you do a lot of while waiting for visitors, right? I feel that my experience with being a carpet muncher will surely be "educational" and "entertaining" for the ten visitors that will come throughout the summer. Also, I’m not sure if you realize that Desert is spelled D-e-s-e-r-t not Deseret. As a writer, and generally literate person, I feel like I could bring the gift of the English language to the people of your humble pioneer community who, no doubt, say things like "thou" and "art thou."

In closing, I hope you will choose me to enact pioneer scenarios, whether I'm birthing babies, beating clothes on a rock, or humping the crap out of the young neighbor girl who wandered into the wrong village; I am ready to live out history: FOR REAL!

xo Tania

I have yet to hear back from This Is The Place, which leads me to believe that perhaps it’s not the place for me.

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2007
Vanessa Williams Is a Diva 20 Years in the Making
Two Decades of Divadom
‘Ugly Betty’ Star Vanessa Williams Is a Diva 20 Years in the Making
By Paul E. Pratt

vanessa-tb.pngAdmit it.  When Vanessa Williams tumbled from grace – from the first African-American “Miss America” to the only woman ever stripped of the crown – you thought she was down for the count.  Wrong!

Less than five years later, Williams was reborn on The Right Stuff, the first of her eight hit albums. A cool dozen Grammy nominations, countless NAACP Image Awards, a Soul Train Lady of Soul Award and even a Tony nod later, Williams is more than simply a contemporary R&B hit-maker, Broadway diva and bona fide star of television and film. She’s a survivor. 

These days the talented New Yorker steals scenes on Ugly Betty, the Golden Globe-hit produced by superstar Salma Hayak. Williams is so convincing as deliciously bitchy Wilhemina Slater, the calculating, career-obsessed magazine editor viewers love to hate, she received a 2007 Screen Actor’s Guild Award nomination

Behind the scenes, the twice-divorced Williams is decidedly different, a dedicated mother of four. Her oldest daughter Melanie turns 20 soon. The baby, Sasha, is seven later this summer. Between PTA meetings and shooting her hit television series, the veteran entertainer caught up with Outlook to discuss not only how she almost missed the role of Wilhemina, bouncing back from flopped UPN series South Beach, but also her respect for her gay colleagues.

You play the ruthless Wilhemina so well on Ugly Betty.  Describe the contrast between that character and who you are in your every day life.

There are many [differences] in terms of Wilhemina and myself. I love my kids. I love cooking. I enjoy being available and open and loving. Wilhemina has problems showing her affection to her daughter, being available for her daughter and having relationships which are sustained in her life. She’s the complete antithesis of what I’ve done and what my life is. The biggest similarity is her passion. Her passion is her magazine. She’s worked hard to get it where it is. Next to my children, my passion is my career. I’ve really had some opportunities to work in every field, work hard and really commit to what I’m doing.

What drew you to Ugly Betty? The recent Golden Globe success might make it seem an obvious choice, but what appealed to you at the very beginning?

Actually, the best things that have happened to me in my life are . . . I don’t want to say “happenstance,” but they’re things which have been complete surprises. They’ve come as complete surprises. Pilot season, last year this time, I was just finishing up South Beach, which was shot in Miami. I was loving that because the commute time is much shorter. It’s only 2-1/2 hours from New York to Miami.  I loved living down there! We didn’t know if the show was going to be picked up, so I didn’t really know what I was doing. I wasn’t really panicked for work. My father passed away, so we were traveling internationally as a family when the script came in.  I couldn’t even meet with the [Ugly Betty]director or producers because I had so much else going on. They ended up casting someone else. When I got back to the States, I was busy performing when I got a call saying they wanted me to start the next day. They’d fired the person they cast, I was their first choice, and they wanted me on set the next day. I went in for a costume fitting and started working that day.

You had less than 24 hours to jump into this character?

That’s right!

You mention South Beach.Unlike Ugly Betty, that project was not well-received. At this point in your career, do you feel the need to “rebound” from something like that, to prove yourself again?

No, no, no. At this point, I’ve been in the business for over 20 years. You take different jobs for different reasons, you know? I wasn’t dying to do a television series. On South Beach, I was clearly the person with the most name value, so I was assigned most of the promotional responsibilities. It wasn’t like it was a ‘star vehicle’ for me. It was mostly an opportunity to work close to home.

You’re very convincing as a villainess. Do you feel people expect you, simply because you’re a beautiful, confident woman, to be a bitch?

I don’t think so. I don’t know what people think. I certainly know that I’ve been in the industry now over 20 years. There have been plenty of opportunities to see me in my true light and know my personality. I think most people enjoy the pure folly of it and think it’s funny that I have an opportunity to play this part and, luckily, play it well. I don’t think there are any real ‘expectations’ that I know of.  The behavior of other people who’ve been in the business a while is what I think the expectation might be. I don’t think I have any real “diva” stories that are haunting me and following me around.

Gay men love their Divas, though!  Have you noticed you’ve amassed a significant gay following?

Mm-Hmm. Oh, sure. I certainly think most of more popular roles – The Witch in Into the Woods, I was Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman, the Diva in Diva’s Christmas Carol – are all very strong, strong characters with amazing wardrobes, wonderful songs and witty lines. I really enjoy having those as part of my resume. There’s certainly a part of me which is able to pull those off consistently. Part of it is my theatre background. I’ve been doing musical theatre since I was in middle school. Most of my gay friends are associates I’ve had since high school and college, men who have performed with me, know my repertoire, know my strong suits. Whenever I’m given an opportunity to do a part, I always call my friends and get their opinions because I trust them.

Speaking of your gay colleagues, I was just listening to your contribution to the new Dave Koz CD At the Movies. How did you get involved with that project?

I think Dave just called. He knows my musical director Marc Mathis. We were in the studio doing something else, so we just did a quick track. He requested it. Marc did an arrangement of The Way We Were, and that’s what we did.


(Green) Home Sweet Home
Nestled on the outskirts of sunny Orlando, Florida, a 40-year-old house has been restored to its former glory — but this time, it’s green.

Getting Intimate with Rufus Wainwright
Wainwright is definitely on turbo-mode; he seems to be everywhere. A recent gig at Carnegie Hall, two tracks on the Meet the Robinsons soundtrack, a commission for an opera at the MET, self-producing Release the Stars in Berlin, a new love and a heinous touring schedule. Glad he had a few minutes to spend with Outlook.

Visiting Sacramento? Come On Inn!
Oh, if only the walls could talk at the gay-owned Inn and Spa at Parkside  in Sacramento, Calif. The stately bed and breakfast has played host to a slew of rich and famous folk since opening five years ago, including the members of Green Day, Kelly Clarkson and comedian Judy Tenuta.

Visiting Sacramento? Come On Inn!
Oh, if only the walls could talk at the gay-owned Inn and Spa at Parkside  in Sacramento, Calif. The stately bed and breakfast has played host to a slew of rich and famous folk since opening five years ago, including the members of Green Day, Kelly Clarkson and comedian Judy Tenuta.

Radio personality Heidi Hamilton reveals her sexuality on air
While it’s true she has the longest tongue in radio, she rarely trips over it on the air.  Actually, she brings the voice of reason to the airwaves when her co-hosts get off track or maybe off color---like when big brother figure Frosty gets too sentimental and becomes sissy boy, or irreverent Frank gets on a tangent and starts pissing listeners off.

Clothing for the Soul
When doctors rushed Alyson Bruu into emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding from a routine operation, the August 2004 procedure not only saved the New Hampshire-based entrepreneur’s life – it opened her eyes to a new world that might be best described with, “Bring it on!”

Bridget Pettis: Crazy, Sexy, Cool
People like being near Bridget Pettis because her energy is magnetic. She’s positive, fun, beautiful and smart. And (some Pettis trivia here) she made the first basket in Mercury franchise history.

Golf legend Rosie Jones - Off the Course
Golf legend Rosie Jones talks about coming-out, taking her last professional swing and offering golf getaways for the gals.




Ultra Nate Declares "Love Is the Only Drug
Tuesday, December 05, 2006 (2769 reads)

Ultra Nate's 1998 single “Free (To Do What You Want)” was not only a wildly successful club track, it also made the singer a radio favorite. After a low-profile few years, she's returned with “Love Is the Only Drug.”

The first single on Ultra's own BluFire Records foreshadows her upcoming album. Here she discusses what dance artists can learn from hip-hop, fighting Beyonce for chart success and how gays are a “natural part” of her career.

Gay Former Gospel Singer Finds Acceptance on the Dance Floor
Monday, December 04, 2006 (2675 reads)

Struggling to balance his faith and sexuality, Chris Willis first shared his God-given vocal talents through songs of worship. Two gospel CDs later, a chance encounter with DJ David Guetta finally brought the acceptance and success Willis craved.

International acclaim ultimately turned Stateside. David Guetta vs. The Egg's “Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)” -- cowritten and featuring vocals by Willis – is a current dance phenomenon. The openly-gay singer/songwriter shares about “the DL,” finding self-acceptance within his religion and his “rebirth” through house music.

Aquarium Toilet Tank Makes Unique Holiday Gift!
Sunday, December 03, 2006 (3275 reads)
(Westminster, California) - It's a unique new product whose decorative appeal could turn the bathroom into the most talked about room in the house. The Fish n Flush is clear two-piece toilet tank that replaces a standard toilet tank and cleverly contains a fully functioning aquarium inside.

Not Your Mother's PSA: Provocative Ads for Gay Men's Health
Friday, December 01, 2006 (3260 reads)

New York, November 30, 2006 - This is not your mother's public service announcement. Tackling the rise in HIV, crystal meth use, and unsafe sex among gay men with candid yet loving honesty, a groundbreaking public service announcement campaign starring Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie Perez, and Amanda Peet will debut tonight in advance of World AIDS Day commemorations on December 1st.



by Marc A. Dorfman

The “eyes” have it as far as Santa Fe artist Chris Richter is concerned. While his painting, like the artist, is easy on the eye, it was the eyes of aspen trees that brought Chris to Santa Fe two years ago. “I took a plein air class here in 2002,” Chris beamed in his Upper Canyon Road studio, “and it changed my life.” Just as the small Texas town where he grew up inspired him to leave for the brighter lights of Dallas, the grand stands of aspens in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains moved him to put a career in graphic design behind and head out on the highway for a New Mexico adventure.

Chris and Todd, his partner of 19 years, discovered Santa Fe in the 1990s and, like so many others, returned for an annual City Different fix. But the seductive lure of those trees kept calling, his spirit was willing, and the rest is history, albeit in the making. Chris now paints aspens “up close and personal” – sometimes so close the trees’ eyes (or knots) become abstracted. “To me, they’re almost human and I feel connected to them,” he confessed.

Within a short time, Chris insinuated himself into the vibrant Santa Fe arts community, joining the Center for Contemporary Arts, a much appreciated venue for local artists, and SITE Santa Fe, a world-class showcase of cutting-edge art. In 2006 his large-scale “Aspen Vista” was one of 103 works of art chosen from more than 1,000 submissions for exhibition in the Albuquerque Museum’s “Biennial Southwest” - a coup for Chris, considering he’d only been painting full-time for two years. He’s also shown in the Santa Fe area’s at-home ambience of Salon MarGraff and the whimsically hip Gallery ZIPP.

Asked about Santa Fe’s community of gay artists, Chris acknowledged that “most of us don’t identify as gay artists. We’re just artists working in a variety of styles and media.” And how does Santa Fe differ from other arts-savvy cities? “There’s no gay ghetto like in New York or L.A,” he explained. “Santa Fe’s a welcoming place for all kinds of people and the gay community is one part of the whole.”

For Chris, that whole includes workouts at Fort Marcy Gym, the slopes at Ski Santa Fe, and the kilns at Santa Fe Clay. They keep Chris in town though he’s an artist on the move. Keep your eyes on him.