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Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003
File 018
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Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003 - File 018. 2003-06-27. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/721/show/689.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-06-27). Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003 - File 018. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/721/show/689

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003 - File 018, 2003-06-27, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/721/show/689.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1183, June 27, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date June 27, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 018
Transcript OUT ON THE TOWN: Pride extends beyond this month when gay Houstonians help their fellow Texans. Page 20. PARENTING: Houston activist Sue Lovell shares her story on the road of gay parenthood. Page 21 Out on the Bayou HOUSTON VOICE JUNE 27, 2003 PAGE 17 Black lesbian isn't 'America's Next Top Model,' but she's still out and proud By FAREN D'ABEU EBONY HAITH PROBABLY IS NOT the first black lesbian model, but she may be the first to come out on national television. Haith, one of the 10 finalists on UPN's reality show "America's Next Top Model," says executive producer and supermodel Tyra Banks brought together a diverse group of contestants to compete for a modeling contract and other high-value prizes. Since a "top model" has to be more than just a pretty face, they learn something new each week. One week, gay consultant J. Alexander — a thick black man in a dress and heels — teaches the girl*; how to walk down a runway Another week, they take acting classes with Alice Spivak who helped Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. After their lessons, the models are judged on how well they applied their lessons. A panel of celebrity model judges eliminates one model each week. Imagine "The Waltons" meet "The Jeffersons" meet "Survivor" Robin Manning — a plus-sized model whose personal motto is "I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me"— became the mother figure to the group as they were narrowed from 20 women to 10. But that mother quickly became disapproving of several women in the house, Haith says. Elyse Sewell, the Wynona Ryder look- alike, is an atheist, and Haith is a lesbian, so neither participates in the bible study classes held by Manning. The outspoken Haith says she was not going to let I Manning bring nega- 11^^ into the house. "The first thing I told her was 'I was born 7-7-78, honey I'm all lucky. Sevens are the gates to heaven, now you look at me and tell me I'm not a child of God,'" Haith says. "After that, I didn't hear a word from her." FROM THE BEGINNING, HAITH SAYS she was there to win. She was not in the house to make friends. The first argument occurred when the girls arrived at the house and were treated with new clothes of different sizes. Haith says the logical way to divide the clothes would be to see what looks best on each model. But mother Manning prevailed, causing a clothing raffle of sorts to determine which mcda received which CHitfit—regarrUessofsize. In an early episode, Haith lost a competition to win a night partying with recording artist Wydef Jean. When "Tyra Mail" — little notes from Banks telling the contestants what to expect the next day — came while the four winners were out partying, Haith wanted to hide the mail from them. But, there's more to every story, she says. "It's an eight-hour show. We were together for over a month," she says. "A lot of the times, my interactions with the girls were things that were built up. If I got frustrated at them, these are things that we went through in and out all day" The almost 25-year-old model from the Bronx says she's not as mean as TV viewers might think. "Why was I portrayed this way?" Haith asks. "Sometimes African American women — especially in my style — have a tendency to be portrayed [asj angry or very forceful." HAITH IS NOT THE TYPICAL SUPER- model. Her current style is bald and a bit rough around the edges. Even people who know her well may not always recognize her because her style, which has included blonde hair, is constantly changing, she says. Tm naturally a clown," Haith says. "I'm really a giriy girl as welL If I'm going through something, you're going to know it." Her big clown smile was seen naturally when she invited her girlfriend, Ka, to visit the house. "The girls came in to meet my girlfriend, and their whole attitude [changed]," Haith says. "They all came and introduced themselves — Robin too. ... I knew that they were going to be acceptable toward it and understand that this wasn't something that was a joke." Haith was an out lesbian from the beginning of her involvement with the show, but none of the other contestants knew. "Tyra already knew," Haith says. "After we were narrowed down to the 10, that was the first thing she said to me, 'we all know you're a lesbian.'" Haith told Banks that because there are so many gays in all aspects of fashion, she didn't believe that being gay would hinder her career. And besides Manning's protestations, if the other on-camera guests and celebrity judges are any indication, she's right. In one episode, the flamboyant runway expert J. Alexander refers to his husband, the doctor, when one of the model-hopefuls reveals that she'll attend medical school if she does not win the competition. Manning's anti-gay sentiments were disrespectful to the large numbers of gays who support models and actresses, Haith says. "I was a little shocked," she says. "Thinking to myself, 'You're not only making these comments toward me, you're making these comments to the per- son who made you look fabulous yester- day, the one that made that outfit that you wore look amazing, the one who held your hand when you were crying.'" DURING AND AFTER JUNE — TYPI- cally known as Gay Pride month — Haith says gays should be out and proud in all aspects of their lives. She does not fear that being out will hurt her modeling career. In fact, she wants to be a director and an actress as well, and fears that may be more difficult. "I think that people are always going to be in fear of what other people say," she says. In fhe future, Haith says she hopes attitudes will change. "We have newscasters who are 60 years old, 70, 80, who are coming out saying they're gay now," she says. "We have priests who are now finally getting accepted into churches. This is something that, in the next ten years, it really is yesterday's news." After a month of nationally televised grueling work — including sub-zero outdoor shoots, criticisms about dry skin, and being called a sinner, Haith is still smiling. "I think I'm one of the most happy financially unstable people there is," she says. And she says if she learned one thing from participating on "America's Next Top Model," it's that she exists. "I am present," Haith says. "I have always felt that as an African American woman especially — a woman, period — that I have had to do extra to say I'm here. ... I was helped to realize, by watching this show, that I was present from the beginning." Haith was eliminated on the June 10 episode. The show's season finale airs July 8. 9 MORE INFO 'America's Next Top Model' Tuesdays, 9 p.m. • UPN
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