Photo: Jason Rodgers
The stars came out in force to support the gay and lesbian community Tuesday night at GLAAD’s rooftop fête in Manhattan. We chatted with honorary co-chairs of the event New York Housewives Jill Zarin and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps to catch up on what they’ve been doing this summer and, in light of GLAAD’s work, asked them to name one gay person -- past or present -- who they believe paints the gay community in the proper light.
The countess, who has been spending much of her summer traveling, let her guard down a bit, conceding that last year was “tough” for her (referring to an extremely public breakup with her husband). She’s excited that the next installment of The Real Housewives of New York City will feature a LuAnn who is “more comfortable in [her] own skin.” LuAnn named Tim Gunn as a man who represents our community well. Specifically, she likes that fact that Gunn is “so well mannered” and “very well read” (not surprising that these attributes are of high import to the ambassador of class) and she appreciates that he has a lot to say, but is still soft-spoken. Not so soft-spoken housewife Jill Zarin picked Ellen DeGeneres as a good gay emissary “because she’s a cool lesbian.” She and daughter Ally have been busy preparing Ally for college.
Looks aside (though it’s hard to discount his hotness), one of our favorite chats of the night was with Ronnie Kroell (of Make Me A Supermodel fame) because of his sheer exuberance about GLAAD’s work, specifically the organization’s efforts to reach out to youth in the community and to encourage young members to join the cause. He cited Ellen as a role model (and one of his own) for her ability to dust herself off after a career plunge and push her way straight to the top. “She’s a real trail-blazer,” Kroell said of DeGeneres.
Other faves in attendance: Outrageous comedian Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffery Self and Cole Escola of LOGO’s Jeffery and Cole’s Casserole, Amanda Lepore and Cazwell (pictured above), Project Runway’s Jack Mackenroth, DeMarco Majors (Shirts & Skins), Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order Criminal Intent), Milena Govich (Rescue Me), and Nicholas Rodriguez, Scott Evans, and Brett Claywell, who together make up one sexy gay storyline on One Life To Live (even if you’re not a follower, tune in this Friday for something special).
Stay tuned to Out.com for a photo slideshow from GLAAD’s red carpet and more on the celebrities’ picks for top gay role models.
-- JOSEPH HASSAN
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