HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 21, 2000
A GUIDE FOR YOUR LEISURE TIME
The Mitchell Gold Co.'s ads aren't just selling
furniture—they're raising gay visibility, too
by DAVID GOLDMAN
The campaign began with a pink page that teased
"We're coming out September 15th." It went on to
show a nearly naked male "overnight guest"
sprawled luxuriously across a sleeper sofa. In its
most ground-breaking ad, two handsome, stylish
men (gay fathers?) pose proudly beside a little girl
Furniture executive Mitchell Gold anticipated
complaints when his namesake company kicked off
its brash new ad effort last summer. Imagine his surprise, then, when its supporters far outnumbered
Gold, who is openly gay, calls the ad with "the
kid" "one of the things I'm proudest of." It debuted
in the New York Times in October.
"We got an incredible response that following
week. I got over 100 e-mails from people saying
things like, 'Bravo for running the ad. My brother is
gay, and he and his partner have a child, and 1 really appreciate your sending out a strong signal that
you approve of this kind of family.'"
In reply to a woman who did criticize the ad,
Gold discussed the urgent need for adoptive parents and suggested that the role the girl plays in the
unwritten story of the ad might be that of an orphan
whose life would be vastly enhanced by her two
gay dads. His reward was the rare experience of
helping open a mind.
"She e-mailed me back and said, 'I've never
thought of it that way. You've given me a whole
new thing to think about.'"
Mitchell Gold has been giving people new things
to think about, talk about and lounge upon since
1989 when he and his life partner, Bob Williams, created the Mitchell Gold Co.
And now the new campaign—which runs in Met
Home, House & Garden, the Advocate, Elle Decor,
Home, House Beautiful, the hiezu York Times, Wallpaper
and American Homcstyle—has earned the company
an advertising award nomination from GLAAD.
In less than 10 years, the company's success
attracted a corporate suitor with a juicy buy-out
>- Continued on page 18
A nearly naked 'overnight
guest' is part of a new,
gay-themed ad campaign
of the Mitchell Gold Co.
Choreographer Mark Morris
brings 'L'Allegro'—(wiled by
critics as his greatest work—
to the Bayou City next week.
movement and music
oreographer brings demanding shov\%to Houston in a mix of music, p
Morris, one of America's preeminent living o&n
iiiv to I louston next wis
two-dozen dancers, a 30-mcmber thorns, tour
vocal soloists and .1 large orchestra, this work promises to
be one of the most important dance event! of Ihe season.
"I 'Allegro" is a compilation of works from three artistic
astcrminds spanning three centuries. Music comes from
corgi 1'redericjk Handel ("Messiah"), text from poems by
("Paradise lost"), and dance
n (tailed by major dance critics
nd is the piece that catapulted
the Ma;. ,e Group to stardom. The troupe's
recent appearance at Washington's Kennedy Center re»jlt-
as M, :
As the it
>■ Continued on page 18