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But that was then. Looking toward the future of The View, my main concern now is whether ROSIE O'DONNELL will be her outspoken gay self or if she'll revert to the more generic persona from her old chat show, when she was an ambiguous mom who talked about her cute kids and adored TOM CRUISE. After all, there aren't a lot of out gays on daytime. In fact, there's only one—ELLEN—and even she's practically retreated to early-Rosie territory these days. My bet is that Walters won't be craving an avalanche of out lesbianism on the panel—despite her GLAAD awards—but riveting Rosie will be itching to provide it, and the internal conflict might actually have me tuning in.

Speaking of out TV stars, the guy who bills himself as RuffHairyTOP on bigmusclebears.com looks an awful lot like that spunky BUNKY from Big Brother! I guess he's into bear-back mountin'.

Moving on to beavers, a reader wrote in to ask: If TomKat's refusal to let their supposed baby be shown escalates into "Surigate," does that make Holmes the Surigate mother? (Yes—and by the way, can I get some props for having broken the story last year that the child was actually a pillow? And is it possible that Katie's afraid to align herself with BROOKE SHIELDS by announcing that she's suffering from post-pillow depression?)

Love him, can't explain why: Downey
photo: Dani Golomb
Love him, can't explain why: Downey

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In other parental craziness, another reader chimes in that in Superman Returns, both stars of On the Waterfront—Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint—are seen as the title character's folks, interestingly enough. Waterfront, he adds, is laden with Christ and crucifixion imagery. Discuss.

But despite all the sexuality chitchat surrounding that particular comic-book epic, the gay movie of the year is clearly The Devil Wears Prada, which the queens have been lining up to see with their pants down and their tongues out. As Duvet doorman DARRELL ELMORE told me, "I don't want to see men in tights, I want to see girls in clackers. It's porno to me!"

Sporting stilettos, I recently lunched with a British-born editor—Out's new chief, AARON HICKLIN—and was happy to find he's neither a devil nor wears Prada. And in his first editorial for the mag (which I write for), brave Hicklin spills the truth about the challenges of editing a gay publication in a phobic world. "Can I just be irritated for a moment," he wrote, "with publicists who tell us not to make their clients look 'too gay' and actors who strip off for a movie in the blink of an eye, but are then coy about undoing a collar button when the shoot is for Out? And as for the four Montauk surfers who walked off our 'Endless Summer' fashion shoot when they discovered it was for a gay magazine, I have a small question: Are you that insecure?" Well, maybe it's hard to hang 10 when you're only hung with three.

There's no point in tucking 10 this year since, I hear, Wigstock's not happening. The dragfest's organizers are taking a break, so hide your Nair, your hair, your Tussy, and your fake pussy till next time.

But let's end with the ballsy people in snoods that populated the Grey Gardens float at the Gay Pride parade. (Yes, I know this is ancient history already, but it just raced back into my noggin like an amphetamine flashback from a Philip K. Dick novel.) The float was a moving truck on which they'd built a gazebo, and the musical's co-star CHRISTINE EBERSOLE was precariously seated on top of it, about eight feet off the ground, with her legs spread. It looked uncomfortable, unladylike, and quite fabulous all at once, and watching the tirelessly game Ebersole perched there for hours, I simultaneously thought "Wow, what dedication!" and "She needs a new agent!" Oh, well. Like rotoscoping, it's an interesting tool.


musto@villagevoice.com

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