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(Continued From page 1) 
While smaller-package gay tours often mix and match gen-
ders, the big three companies remain largely single-gender—
but they are dipping their toes into cogender waters. Olivia is
planning mixed trips in 2003. RSVP and Atlantis both wel-
come lesbians, with women so far making up 10% to 15% of
RSVP travelers, 3% of Atlantis.

With so many gay men or lesbians traveling together, the
joke goes, they don’t call ’em cruise ships for nothing. But
that doesn’t mean couples on a gay vacation are putting their
partnerships at risk, Campbell says. “We always say that if
your relationship is on the rocks, then it’s going to be even
more on the rocks when you’re surrounded by 2,000 other
possibilities. But if your relationship is stable, it’s going to be
enhanced by being surrounded by so many other wonderful

Olivia has instituted a method to help avoid uncomfortable
misunderstandings: Single and solo travelers are given a tell-
tale dog tag to wear, if they so desire. “It’s such a romantic
and sexy environment that if you’re coming single, you’re
going to meet people,” says Olivia founder and president
Judy Dlugacz. The only downside, she adds, is that because
travelers come from all over to join a cruise, romances can
develop that are geographically challenging once the boat
docks. “So,” she advises, “pay attention to geography if you
don’t want to move!”

Ferber is a New York City–based writer who contributes to
Time Out New York and other publications

Lawrence Ferber, “Unwrapping package vacations.”
05 March 2002: Online. Available:


Really Rosie - Book Review

 Rosie O’Donnell’s slim memoir, Find Me, is more substantial than it looks. Maybe you were expecting a self-serving tour of career highlights from the Queen of Nice—or, more to the point, a coy, read-between-the-lines treatment of O’Donnell’s life as a lesbian. Nope. None of that. Her prose packs an Irish wallop, and though she doesn’t ladle out a lot of words, she doesn’t need to. She has the knack of packing all the facts you need into minimal space—which keeps you, the reader, on your toes and saves her startlingly frank revelations from dissolving into sentimentality.

 Rosie has often said she doesn’t want to make a big deal of being gay, and as her landmark Primetime Thursday interview proved, she’s expert at putting her lesbian life into a larger frame of reference. The same holds true for Find Me.

Here’s how O’Donnell contextualizes her one account of
dating a woman: “Once, I dated someone with an eating
disorder, a dedicated carrot chomper, and for the short
time we were together, I arrived in my own body. She forced me there. She insisted I go to the gym with her twice a day. Pounds started dropping off me as I increased the StairMaster’s speed, upped the incline on the treadmill. Afterward we’d share some tofu as a reward. It was, I see now, a little obsessive, but love or its close facsimile can make you crazy. So I went a little crazy while at the same time, flesh just melted and my muscles emerged. The funny thing is, I barely noticed. I was too busy trying to convince my anorexic love of her talent and self-worth. I had no time to see me. Perfect.”  

O’Donnell gets into darker territory too, although she declines to provide the details. “I was an abused kid,” she writes. “This is something I have chosen not to dwell on in my public life. It sounds trite, like an ET sound bite. But sometimes you can’t escape a cliché, and when you can’t, you have to go straight to the heart of it and hope there’s something not stale at its center. So, yes, I had been abused, although the details are not important. What is important is that I had, supposedly, dealt with the fallout in therapy. How naive I was.”

O’Donnell elaborates on this point as she tells of her long-distance friendship with Stacie, a 14-year-old girl who’s pregnant thanks to a brutal rape by her youth minister, no less. Even amid her near-frenzied charitable giving, O’Donnell can’t get her mind wrapped around this particular hard-luck story. As she and Stacie commence an intensifying string of cathartic telephone conversations, O’Donnell reexamines tender memories of her own mother’s death from breast cancer—and reevaluates other areas of her life, from her decision to adopt her children to her decision to leave her gigantically successful talk show.

Consistent with Rosie’s no-big-deal approach, partner Kelli Carpenter is mentioned, just in passing, a couple of times. Actually, that’s plenty. This book conveys the warmth of their family—and a wealth of other stories worth hearing—very nicely, thank you. Even if you’re among the “gay nazis” who wanted Rosie to come out sooner, this book may just win you over. Find Me is proof positive that there’s a hell of a lot more than sexual identity to Rosie O’Donnell 

Anne Stackwell, “Really Rosie.” 22 March 2002:



In Defense of Gay Priests


Clearly, the Catholic Church in Boston and

HUGS     §                  HOPE            ¤       UNDERSTANDING            ¤       GIVING         ¤      SUPPORT                 §     HUGS

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Last modified:  September 08, 2002