Actress, writer, comic Ellen Degeneres is soon to begin a stand-up tour. Her five-year sitcom Ellen won an Emmy for her much-anticipated coming-out episode. At the same time Degeneres' character realized she was gay, the entertainer revealed her own sexual orientation. Degeneres talks about coming out, her former relationship with actress Anne Heche, and why she resists becoming a lesbian role model. Degeneres is the author of the book, My Point... And I Do Have One.
Canadian author Jane Rule, one of the best known and most widely read lesbian writers. Rule is best known for her 1985 novel Desert of the Heart, which was later adapted into the movie "Desert Hearts." Her new book is titled Memory Board. (REBROADCAST from 1/29/88)
Gay rights activist Kelli Peterson talks about her controversial efforts to a gay and lesbian support group in her high school. She is the subject of the recent film "Out of the Past" which received the 1998 Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award for "Best Documentary." Peterson's effort was suppressed by the School board and the Utah legislature which passed a law banning all extra-curricular clubs in schools. THIS INTERVIEW CONTINUES INTO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHOW.
A 1985 interview with film historian Vito Russo, author of "The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies." The book was first published in 1981, an updated version was then published in 1987. Russo died in 1991 of AIDS.
Stand-up comic Suzanne Westenhoefer. She recently appeared on the latest "Comic Relief" special on HBO (November 11).Westenhoefer. is a lesbian, and uses her humor to challenge the stereotypes about gays and lesbians. She also was the first lesbian to have a comedy special on HBO, "Nothing in My Closet but my Clothes." (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Writer May Sarton. She died of breast cancer on Sunday, July 16, 1995. For many readers, Sarton was a heroic figure for her decision to expose her lesbianism in the early 60s, long before society was tolerant of the gay life, and also for her decision to lead a life of solitude. The author of over 35 novels, books of poetry and essays, Sarton was probably best known for her journals, Recovering, and At Seventy. (REBROADCAST FROM 7/7/89).
Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, chief nurse of the Washington National Guard. Last week she was discharged from the army for being a lesbian. Cammermeyer is one of the highest ranking members of the military ever to be removed because of her sexual orientation. She served in Vietnam where she received the Bronze Star and in 1985 was chosen from 34,000 candidates to be the Veterans Administration's Nurse of the year. She is challenging her dismissal in Federal Court.