"I try to keep things very quiet. —Out actor and former 'NSYNC member Lance Bass ( pictured ) .
'Since the dawn of the new century, it has been the rarely questioned conventional wisdom, handed down by Karl Rove, that no Republican can rise to the top of the party or win the presidency without pandering as slavishly as George W. Bush has to the most bullying and gay-baiting power brokers of the religious right. [ But ] the political clout ritualistically ascribed to [ Tony ] Perkins [ of the Family Research Council ] , James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gary Bauer of American Values and their ilk is a sham. These self-promoting values hacks don't speak for the American mainstream. They don't speak for the Republican Party. They no longer speak for many evangelical ministers and their flocks. The emperors of morality have in fact had no clothes for some time. Should Rudy Giuliani end up doing a victory dance at the Republican convention, it will be on their graves.' — New York Times columnist Frank Rich, Oct. 28.
'If groups such as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence spent half as much time criticizing Islam for its abuses against gay rights as they do Catholicism, then perhaps their attempts at activism might be seen as truly groundbreaking. As it is, their juvenile behavior is redolent of a son desperately rebelling against his father, a teenage girl telling her mother she hates her because she can't stay out as late as she'd like, and other similarly adolescent expressions of fury. When we start seeing sex toys with Muhammad's likeness on them being sold at the Folsom Street Fair or sisters infiltrating mosques in burqas, then perhaps we can call these activists and their supporters brave. Until then, perhaps it's time for the sisters to grow up.' — Cinnamon Stillwell writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 24.
'I am indeed [ gay ] . No secret and no big deal to me. ... I'm not running to make some social statement. I'm running to lead in the Senate for the voters in NC—something Senator Dole has not done. When people meet me, they'll see beyond the labels and into my character.' — North Carolina U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Jim Neal, answering readers' questions on BlueNC.com, Oct. 20.
'DALLAS ( Reuters ) —Doug Warner seems like a stereotypical Republican: Southern, white, male, he served in the military, drives an SUV and likes hunting and fishing. He is also openly gay.' — Reuters discovers gay Republicans, Nov. 2. Story at tinyurl.com/ytghxa.
'Now I can pretty much write about gay issues and not hear from anyone. Certainly popular culture has a role to play in destigmatizing.' — Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, 59, speaking to students at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vt., Oct. 23.
'Some people I date that are a little recognizable, it kind of gets out there and all of a sudden you have a boyfriend you never labeled as a boyfriend. And that ruins your chances of anyone else asking you out! So I try to keep things very quiet. I've been dating someone in particular I'm getting to know a lot better and having a lot of fun.' — Out actor and former *NSYNC member Lance Bass to the Chicago gay newspaper Windy City Times, Oct. 24.
'I have to say that I don't think gay is the most attractive word; if I were art-directing the creation of a word that would describe homosexuals, I think I might have tried to find another one. Gay makes us sound silly and frivolous, which is probably where it came from originally—it was first used in a Cole Porter song in the '30s—and I think it was probably a bit derogatory, and so it's not a word I necessarily like, but it's what I am, whatever.' — Fashion designer Tom Ford to Out magazine, November issue.
'If I lived in a one-room hut, every piece of grass that made the roof would be lined up in the right way, and the hut would have an aesthetic, and there would be two pots. I'm obsessed with perfection to the point that it's nearly an illness, and I work really hard to control it because I'm trying to learn to see the perfection in imperfection.' — Gay fashion designer Tom Ford to Out magazine, November issue.
'I love being an American, but it's sick that if I died tomorrow, 50% of my property would go to the government and the leftovers would go to Richard, whereas if we were a heterosexual couple, that wouldn't happen.' — Fashion designer Tom Ford to Out magazine, November issue.
'I went to Mexico when I was in high school with my show choir, Power and Life. I was 17. It was the first time I saw really poor people and it freaked me out. I grew up in Kansas and was very sheltered. I wasn't wealthy or anything, we were upper-middle class, but [ in Mexico ] there are kids poor and begging with no shoes and it was a real eye-opener when you begin to realize there's a whole other world out there.' — Out singer Melissa Etheridge to the gay travel magazine Passport, November issue.
'In a strange way I've spent the last 15 to 20 years trying to derail my own career, but it never seems to suffer. I suffer like crazy. I've suffered bereavements and public humiliations, but my career always seems to right itself like a plastic duck in the bath. In some ways I resent that.' — Out singer George Michael to the BBC, Sept. 29.
—Assistance: Bill Kelley