We sent Doree to the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association benefit last night, because she loves the gays.
What happens when a bunch of gay and lesbian journalists get together for a little schmoozing and speech-making in the Good Morning America studios? The buffet goes nearly untouched, and the white wine flows. That's because "gay men should not eat at cocktail parties," said freelance writer Cator Sparks (real name!), who had a bit of a Southern twang and was wearing several purple and pink garments under his gray suit. Including purple socks! Because purple is the color of gay people.
It was Mr. Sparks' first time at an event sponsored by the NLGJA, and halfway through the evening he had already proclaimed it the "most amazing experience." He had met a lawyer who had, earlier in the day, wrapped a building in a huge gay pride flag and gotten arrested. Also, a writer from PETA who had wanted to hold his book party at Hooters, but the restaurant would not allow it.
One of the advertised guests—CNN's Soledad O'Brien—had not shown up, and thus, all of the hosting responsibilities had been left to ABC's Brian Ross, who said something about having worked with a producer who was gay, and "was not ashamed to say what he was." Also, it's important that "people like that" work in news. It makes the world a much better place, Mr. Ross said. Then he introduced his boss, ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson, who waved to the crowd and then seemed to disappear. Meredith Vieira, looking deeply tanned and highlighted, talked animatedly to a few partygoers, cell phone in hand. We approached Project Runway's Tim Gunn, who was there as an honored guest. He proclaimed his new job, as chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne, "fantastic" and said he would keep doing Runway, that it was a condition of his taking the job in the first place. Parsons, he said, was "surprised and disappointed" that he had left, but that he was planning on "reaching back into the institution" for a secret project at Claiborne he couldn't tell us about. Damn you, Gunn! We just want to know anything and everything about you.
Kyan Douglas, the former Queer Eye grooming expert, was much more forthcoming about the "lifestyle-oriented" show he is developing. "It's about creating the life you want," he said. Mm-hmm? He elaborated. "You know, take a successful woman, but she's just very busy. She's making a lot of sacrifices in her life, and we're going to step in and help her. It's like a combination Oprah-Supernanny-Dr. Phil-Queer Eye-Extreme Makeover type thing." Queer Eye's Ted Allen was there too, talking about moving to Cobble Hill and how much he loves the neighborhood.
There was a Silent Auction, at which you could win various gay-themed items, such as a tennis ball autographed by Martina Navratilova and round-trip airfare for two to Provincetown.
There seemed to be a lot of people who worked in broadcast journalism. As well as a man named Porter Binks, who works at Sports Illustrated, and the Daily News' out-and-about Chris Rovzar, and that Andy Towle guy. An intern from CNN had blond hair that had been styled into a sort of Mohawk-pompadour. Right now, he said, he lives with an aunt in New Jersey, and it takes him three hours each way to get to work. Soon he will go back to school, at Indiana University, and when he graduates he wants to move to New York, "hopefully to Chelsea."