My Life On the Gay List

BY COREY SCHOLIBO (© 2008 The Advocate)

OK, I’ve got to admit it. I was a little disappointed when I met Kathy Griffin. I know. Don’t hate me.

When I arrived at her palatial Los Angeles estate, I was surprised to find that I had only an hour with her before her trainer arrived, plenty of time to conduct your standard celebrity interview, but I’d assumed that once I arrived, my meticulously prepared questions would be thrown by the wayside as we curled up in her bed to watch Dancing With the Stars. Or perhaps she’d want to skip out to the Four Seasons to show the world she was doing press, while we’d really be discussing Heather Mills’s leg over dirty martinis. After all, this is a woman who once said she’d do an interview with a kitten if it would sell more tickets and who faked a drunken fall in the streets of London in an attempt to get into the tabloids. So when The Advocate -- a magazine that arguably speaks best to her key demographic -- asked her for an interview, I expected something, well, more.

I was her third interview of the day. She had gotten up at 5 a.m. to do KTLA TV’s Morning Show to promote her already sold-out engagements at the Kodak Theatre (you know, the place where they hold the Oscars). As Griffin’s assistant went to find her, I could see her Emmy on display with the winning envelope and her crumpled-up acceptance speech, in which she famously announced, "Jesus can suck it. This award is my god now." When she appeared she was still wearing camera-ready makeup, too cakey for real life, and her signature sparkly eye shadow was faded but holding up.

We had been scheduled to meet for this interview a week before, but Griffin had personally called me to cancel. It seems Liza Minnelli was performing for just one night before her own gig at a casino in Richmond, Canada, and Liza had requested to meet her. And meet her she did.

"I knocked on her hotel room door. She opens it up. The room’s pitch black," Griffin tells me now. "She’s chain-smoking in bed. I get in the bed with her like Michael Jackson, and we watch The Asphalt Jungle. There was a guy who had been at the restaurant the night before, he’s one of these guys who seemed completely gay to me but had the hot girlfriend. I said to Liza, ’Did you get a gay vibe from that guy, or is it me?’ She goes, ’How would I know? Look who I married.’"

Let me be fair, there was nothing disappointing about Griffin herself. She was hospitable and gracious and full of just this sort of juicy tidbit. She offered me water, turned off her cell phone when it interrupted us, and answered all my questions with candor. No, as with most letdowns in life, I had actually disappointed myself. I had expected that the moment we met, Griffin and I would be instant best friends, after all, I am gay and somewhat witty. If you watch her Bravo Network reality show, My Life on the D-list, chances are that’s exactly what you’d think too. Maybe this is because Griffin comes off like someone you already know, or maybe it’s because she can’t seem to stop talking about us. In a way she’s kind of a gay man herself.

So imagine my surprise when we sat on her couch, and I had to conduct an actual interview. Griffin had no intention of being my new best friend, she was working. Photographed by Mike Ruiz

© 2008 The Advocate (Corey Scholibo / Photo by Mike Ruiz)

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