By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Meanwhile, I'm told 60 Minutes is undeniably doing a segment on all the arty books coming out about porn. I guess they read the Times. But did you read the Post's headline "MOMSTERS: Lesbian duo beat son to death: cops"? Gee, for consistency's sake, I hope they'll label O.J. a "black murder suspect" and JOEL STEINBERG "a straight Jew psychopath!" (At least the dailies' nice CYNTHIA NIXON outing helped make amends.)
As for gay celebrations, the PR director of Valentino recently threw a party for VALENTINO's ex, but spies say the designer didn't show, instead going out to dinner with his current beau. He still thinks the ex hangs the moonit's just that he didn't want to be the only star in the room. (God, I love being the only star in the room. Feel free to invite me to second-rate shindigs anytime.)
But here's an invitational nightmare: What fearless publicist called to get herself into that chic author's book party, only to grab two display books at the bash and have the author sign them for society men the flack was dining with later that night? Huh?
And why does BRITNEY SPEARS insistently sing "My perogative" when the actual, grammatically correct title of her new song is "My Prerogative"? Is she illiterate or just plain spunky? Damned if I know. This journey has reached a certain stage.
The opening-night dinner at the new Bowery lounge Kos was so relaxed and friendly, you could not only talk to DENZEL WASHINGTON, you could even call him "D." It turns out D is "an investor and supporter" of the placealong with LENNY KRAVITZas well as of the spruced-up Bowery in general. "It's a different neighborhood now," he told me. "It's kind of funky. It's nice." But where did my beloved Bowery bums go? (I'm glad they're not "cleaning" my windshield any more, mind you, but I hope they're chillin'.) "Yeah!" agreed D. "Was that a GIULIANI thing?" Yep, Rudy apparently locked them up in some underwater vault, bolted by BLOOMBERG. But wait a minute, where did the city's streetwalkers go? "I don't know," said D, laughing, "but they're having a good time."
I also got to meet ANTOINE FUQUA, the Training Day director who's now doing Tru Blu, a '70s drama starring, of course, D. As Antoine (or, perhaps, F) noted, "Maybe the trendies and the bums can coexist. The trendies can get more humble and the bums can raise up a little!" As a representative of both communities, I'm cool with that.
What about the media outing of CYNTHIA NIXON, so unabashedly carried out in both the Daily News and the Post? Some of the same columnists who are now either breaking that story or jumping on it used to crucify the likes of me and outing pioneer Michelangelo Signorile for routinely announcing the gay sexuality of celebrities. But years of whittling down at prejudices have made gayness more reportable, especially since the entertainment landscape now includes positive out gay images, making queers more visible and appealing to the masses. (Sex and the City itself, interestingly enough, helped contribute to that phenomenon.) A legal decision earlier this year also argued that it's not intrinsically libelous to say someone's gay, even if they're not!
On top of these developments, a lot of the show biz press have finally realized that (a) Saying someone's gay doesn't make them gayyou're just reporting it; (b) If you're gonna dig into "dirt" that these people don't want in print, leaving out homosexuality is hypocritical and biased; and (c) It's OK to be gay, so outing someone isn't a condemnation at all, it's just a fact!
Things have progressed so much that, far from the old-style furious outings of a more closeted era, the Nixon reports were done in an angst-free, even positive way, with pains taken to point out how successful and happy Nixon is. I'm thrilled she has an Emmy and a girlfriend. I'm just upset that this is one scoop that eluded my otherwise perfect gaydar. I thought she was just a fag hag!