Top of the Line
Rosie O'Donnell, in hosting the Grammy's last week, admonished folks not to bring politics into the gameand then she slipped in "No on 22," a reference to the anti—gay—marriage referendum facing voters in California next week. She also joked about Melissa and Julie's baby ... and seemed poised for her own "revelation," but stopped short of coming out. Ellen DeGeneres helped host the pre—show for Entertainment Tonight, but most of her interviewees seemed clueless about her specimen cupmeant to get sperm for a proposed baby. Nice to see the Dixie Chicks win ( with their powerful anti—domestic—violence song ) and Santana. Melissa Etheridge lost out to Sheryl Crow, but Elton John received a Grammy Living Legend Award.
Gay billionaire David Geffen is all up in arms over The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, by Tom King. Geffen originally cooperated with the writer, thinking King would concentrate on Geffen's business acumen. But really, did Geffen think all the gossip wouldn't make it in? King talks about Geffen's love for Cher, his conflicted sexuality, and his power deals. Excerpts are in the March 6, People, despite Geffen's efforts to pressure any magazines from running parts of the book.
In recognition of Women's History Month, Marie Kuda will present a slideshow/lecture "Women—loving Women: Biographies, Autobiographies, and Letters of 20th Century Lesbians," on March 30, 7 p.m. in the Veteran's Room of the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park ( 708𤭯— 8200 ) . Kuda will also do a slide/lecture March 2, 7 p.m. for the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veteran's of America at Ann Sather's, 929 W. Belmont, on "Boots and Bayonets: Cross—dressing Women in the Military from the 16th Century to WWII," and on Friday, March 3, noon, on "Chicago's Gay & Lesbian History" at Elmhurst College.
Roland G. Schembari, co—founder of the San Francisco Bay Times and a pioneer of gay publishing in the San Francisco Bay area, died February 21, aged 56.
As well as being a publisher, Schembari worked for Berkeley public radio station KPFA—FM, was part of the group that produced the nation's first gay radio show, "Fruit Punch,'' and was involved in the Oral History Project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society of Northern California.
Schembari is survived by his partner, Schadick.
Equality Illinois announces that Equality/Lobby Day 2000 will be March 23 in Springfield. Call ( 773 ) 477— 7173. or, call the statehouse operator ( 217— 782— 2000 ) to ask to speak to your representative and ask for "yes" vote on HB 474, the gay non—discrimination bill. Equality Illinois will also be lobbying for HB 4407, the Gender Violence Act, which will allow victims of violence based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation to file civil suits.
Rupert Everett and Madonna's The Next Best Thing opens March 3. Rupert is on Regis & Kathie Lee Thursday to promote the film.
John Goodman of Roseanne fame may be getting his own Fox TV showwhere, believe it or not, he will play a sports—loving gay divorced dad, reports Entertainment Weekly. He gets a tidy straight roommie, a la The Odd Couple. Thirteen episodes have been ordered.
The New York Post reports that "MTV, under pressure from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has yanked a video by The Bloodhound Gang that featured a scene of gay—bashing. The video, 'The Bad Touch,' aired once on MTV Feb. 7 to hype the U.K. group's new alternative rock album, Hooray For Boobies."
Outlines columnist Yvonne Zipter has been selected to be the featured Illinois poet in the spring issue of Spoon River Poetry Review. Eleven of her poems will be published.
So long to Steve Wakefield, who is now off to Seattle to work for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.
Queen Latifah and George Michael added to D.C. gay event
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, announced last week that Queen Latifah and George Michael will join a multitude of other stars on April 29 in Washington, D.C. at RFK Stadium for a major concert event: Equality Rocks. Performers already confirmed for the event include Garth Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Etheridge, Anne Heche, Kristen Johnston, k.d. lang, Nathan Lane and Pet Shop Boys. Tickets for Equality Rocks are available nationwide by calling TicketMaster at 800— 551—SEAT, 202— 432—SEAT, or visit their website at
All About Garbo
All those rumors about Greta Garbo's rumored affair with Mercedes De Acosta may finally be confirmed April 18, when the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia opens up to the public correspondence between the two women. The intimate letters, telegrams, photos, and other materials were not allowed to be shown to the public until a certain number of years after the women's deaths. More lesbian history about to be uncovered.
Talk to us, girls
The highly anticipated HBO film If These Walls Could Talk 2 airs March 5. This one is about lesbians, and stars Ellen DeGeneres ( directed by Anne Heche ) , Sharon Stone, Vanessa Redgrave, Chloë ( Boys Don't Cry ) Sevigny, and Michelle Williams.
The segment where Vanessa Redgrave deals with the death of her longtime partner is being given the highest marks by critics. But even though the other two segments have been given the thumbs down, it's still groundbreaking TV. Go HBO.
Harvey Milk's camera store set to become a landmark
In the San Francisco of the 1970s, Harvey Milk's camera shop on Castro Street was the center of political gay activism, reports The San Francisco Chronicle. Now, the city Planning Commission unanimously voted for landmark designation for the 1894 wood—frame structure at 573— 575 Castro St. between 18th and 19th streets. The nomination now goes to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Willie Brown, the paper said.
Electronic 'Gaydar' on sale soon
Gaydar, billed as the first portable interactive electronic icebreaker/matchmaker for gay men and lesbians, ends the guesswork about the sexual orientation of that person across the room, reports USA Today. Expected on the market early this summer, Gaydar is a pocket—size key chain that sends out a radio signal, activating similar devices within 40 feet. It can used for men or women. For info, see www.GayGety.com
HRC rejects Coors gift
The Human Rights Campaign has refused a $5,000 donation from the Coors Brewing Co., reports The Rocky Mountain News. HRC won't accept the money because the Coors family supports right—wing, anti—gay causes, HRC's David Smith said. That action is "shortsighted," reads a letter to HRC signed by 24 Democrats in Colorado's House of Representatives; the Coors company has argued that it is a separate entity from the family, and people shouldn't assume the company is conservative, the News reported. While some gay groups have accepted Coors money, there is still a longstanding boycott in place.
As we reported a few weeks ago, longtime Chicagoan attorney and activist Renee Hanover is moving very soon to Southern California to live near her family. There is a community going—away party for Renee Sunday, March 12, 4— 8 p.m. at Star Gaze, 5419 N. Clark. The free event will be a chance for Chicagoans to help say goodbye to Renee, and thank her for her many years of work on behalf of gay rights, civil rights, and women's rights. Former Chicago political activist Cathy Halligan is helping plan the send—off party.