Somewhere in between the endless parade of holiday eggnog and pretentious, authoritative best of 2007 lists, the Out staff took a few precious moments to kick around our personal favorites. Lucky for you we left one hell of a paper trail.
The cast of characters
(and we are all characters):
Shana Naomi Krochmal, online editor and all-around inquisitor
Aaron Hicklin, Editor in Chief
Bill Keith, Features Editor
Bruce Shenitz, Editor at Large
Jason Lamphier, Associate Editor
Matthew Breen, Senior Editor
Ready, set, gay! (All spelling and factual errors -- not to mention questionable taste -- are the fault of each individual editor.)
Shana: Question the first: What was the gayest moment of pop culture in 2007?
Aaron: Two women doing things their way stand out for me: Naomi Campbell arriving for community service in 5 inch Christian Louboutin heels, and Beth Ditto stripping for the cover of NME. Love or loathe them, it was pure punk in both cases: bold, audacious, and defiant.
Matt: Two parts: When Jodie Foster called us the "popsicle" magazine but declined to make any response; and when Jodie Foster sort-of came out at that luncheon thanking Cydney Bernard. Oh, and anything Mario Lopez did on Dancing With the Has-Beens.
Bruce: When People magazine DIDN'T put David Hyde-Pierce on its cover after he off-handedly came out in an interview.
Shana: What was the best song to dance your gay ass off to?
Jason: As Out's music editor, I'm obviously the arbiter of all things queerly sonic, so I'll offer the definitive response here: Few can deny the ubiquity and sheer power of the singles "Umbrella" and "Rehab" in 2007. I'll admit I'm no fan of R&B, but Rihanna's infectious ode to undying friendship lured me and every other gay man onto the dance floor every time DJs blasted it from their speakers (thank God for a healthy crop of remixes). Homos sang along, they shimmied, they hugged, and for some inexplicable reason, that sassy Caribbean diva-in-training never got old-even after about 45 weeks at Number 1. Admit it: You will never say the word "umbrella" again without at least mentally following it up with "ella-ella-ay-ay." Like Queen Aretha before her, the girl took a noun and made it her own. Now that's influence.
Aaron: Amy Winehouse was definitely the sound of the summer; you couldn't get away from "Rehab" or her wild eyed and tear-stained mug, or the guilty sense of enjoying the fruits of her substance abuse. I'm still not sure how I feel about Mika's coy dance around his sexuality, but his egregiously flamboyant "Grace Kelly," is pretty flawless pop, and you gotta love a song that can rhyme "purple" with "hurtful."
Joe: "Ready for the Floor" by Hot Chip: pretty and funky at once (Jason and I are obsessed) with homo-y lryics. It's a song about a dude coaxing his wallflower friend to the dance floor: "You're my No. 1 guy....."
Matt: "D.A.N.C.E." by Justice. Fun, euphoric dance music. "Valerie" by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Wino. Funky throwback groove with Winehouse's powerful soul pipes. And it's girl-girl. "Umbrella" Rihanna featuring Jay-Z, was a pretty great dance song, if insidious and omnipresent.
Bill: Since you all have named every goddamned song in the music catalogue from the past year, I'm going with Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape. It's not so much for shaking my gay ass to, but more for drinking margaritas poolside to, which is a preferable option.
Shana: What was the best portrayal of a queer person in media this year?
Matthew: Michael Urie on Ugly Betty. He got a love interest this year. Rebecca Romijn, same show. Plus Lt. Jim Dangle in Reno 911: The Movie.
Shana: Justin on Ugly Betty, who tried making out with girls after his dad died and then realized that kind of thing was just not for him after all.
Aaron: Candis Cayne, surely, for playing a confident transgender character on Dirty Sexy Money, not a stereotype of confusion and pain. And the timing, given our collective failure to get transgendered people recognized in the ENDA bill, couldn't have been better.
Bill: Tila Tequila's portrayal of a lesbian on MTV's A Shot of Love. The MySpace phenom's performance actually convinced executives at MTV and subsequent mouth-breathing, horny viewers that she might possibly be gay and based an entirely too well-received TV show based on that premise.
Aaron: Can I have two goes? Ian McKellen playing himself in the magnificent final episode of Extras (well, sort of final, excluding the upcoming Christmas special). And actually, Ricky Gervais and his awkward performance in a performance (as Extra's Andy Millman playing gay in a stage play directed by McKellen) was pretty brilliant, too.
Shana: Oh, if Aaron gets as many as he wants, I totally forgot Bryan Batt's great scene in Mad Men where he's too scared to take his dinner date up on his offer to go upstairs.
Shana: We haven't talked about movies at all really. Did you all go to any? What was the BEST!
Bruce: Gone Baby Gone was certainly one of the saddest -- and a good reminder that 'creating a baby the old-fashioned way' is no guarantee of being a good parent, or even an adequate one....
Bill: Best movie: What was that movie about abs? 300?
Shana: Apparently none of us go to the movies any more. Give me ONE QUEER MIRACLE you'd like to see in 2008.
Bruce: I'm waiting to see if Winehouse stays on track to be the latest incarnation of the Janis/Judy/Kurt Cobain "tragedy of success" story....
Jason: I'll leave the sappy, earnest responses to you guys and take the selfish, pathetic route here. One queer miracle I'd like to see in 2008: Jason Lamphier on a date. With a man. Who's not married. Preferably gay and not an alcoholic, but I don't wanna sound too picky. Of course, all rules are out the window for Bret McKenzie from Flight of the Conchords. Then it would be Business Time.
Bruce: The end of second-class citizenship for queer people, so we can rejoin the "civilized" world (Western Europe) where queer people have complete civic and economic equality.
Bill: Gossip Girl for the Nintendo Wii. Also, this ain't far behind -- High School Musical: The Ice Tour!
Shana: No, I can blow all of you out of the water here. Matt just sent me this release: Subject: DON'T MISS BARRY MANILOW PERFORMING ON BRIAN BOITANO'S SKATING SPECTACULAR!! Anyway, thank you all for making my Chrismukkah miracle come true: wheedling a few readers into reading all the way to the end of my attempt to demystify the idea that magazine editors ever have a more elaborate system of making lists.