• Cindy & Carlos Santana

    “Dearest Marsala, I feel so grateful and deeply moved by the consciousness in which you wrote this article about us. Thank you from the center of my heart.” – Carlos Santana

    Cindy & Carlos Santana
  • Barry Manilow

    “Marsala, your interview is the best I’ve ever read about me in my entire career. It’s my dream interview! You are really something. Thanks so much for this. I’d frame it, but I haven’t got enough wall space. Love, Barry”

    Barry Manilow
  • Dave Koz

    “Marsala, my sincere gratitude. You are a wonderful interviewer. I now see why everyone has talked with you.” – Dave

    Dave Koz
  • Faith Hill & Tim McGraw

    “Tim and I talked about you after the interviews. It was great! We never talk to anyone in the press as long as we talked with you.”

    Faith Hill & Tim McGraw
  • Rob Thomas

    “No matter what you do there has to be an evolution so that you become a newer, better version of who you are.” – Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas
  • Lionel Richie

    “Wow, wow, wow, Marsala, these are great questions!” – Lionel Richie

    Lionel Richie
  • Nate Berkus

    “Marsala, Thank you sincerely for what is, without a doubt, one of my all time favorite features. With Love and Affection, Nate”

    Nate Berkus
  • Vince Gill

    “Thanks Marsala. Amy and I loved the story you did about us. Looking forward to meeting you the next time I come to Las Vegas.”

    Vince Gill
  • Suze Orman

    “Marsala, your article is the best one ever written about me!”

    Suze Orman
  • Priscilla Presley

    “Marsala, I enjoyed our conversation so much, it was as if I was talking to one of my friends. For me to expose myself to someone I have never met says a lot about you.”

    Priscilla Presley
  • Anthony Hopkins

    He extended his hand and said, “Hi I’m Tony,” with a soft, very familiar British accent that was surprisingly warm and friendly.

    Anthony Hopkins

Gay rights: Melissa Etheridge, Suze Orman, Carson Kressley, Dave Koz & Sally Field speak out

I didn’t plan it that way, but the last four celebrities I’ve interviewed have all been gay. I find it interesting that I even say that because I certainly don’t say “Oh, the last 12 people I’ve interviewed have been heterosexual.”

But I say it happily because with every ounce of my being I believe in every human being’s right to love and be loved by whoever they choose. I believe everyone should have the same benefits that come with being legally married, and the same opportunity to be parents, often times to kids who would otherwise languish in the foster care system.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, LGBT History Month, and National Bullying Prevention Month, and Melissa Etheridge, who is a breast cancer survivor and a lesbian, as well as an incredible musician, singer, and outspoken environmental activist, was the perfect person to interview.

Getting Up Close and Personal with Melissa Etheridge was amazing. I am a huge fan of her music, and I respect and admire her outspokenness about the damage the corporations and we ourselves are doing to the environment. I love that she wrote and sang the Academy Award winning song “I Need to Wake Up” for the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. During my conversation with Melissa her heart was open, she was self-reflective, and she had some profound things to say about a lot of subjects.

“For the past 25 years my motto has been ‘Speak True,’ and I’ve made my choices according to that. It’s important for me to be impeccable with my word because that’s all you have. Sometimes that leads you to places where you have to deal with the truth that you and others don’t always want to hear”.

- Melissa Etheridge

Life Lesson: Each of us needs to pull the weeds and tend to the flowers in our own backyard. We are each entitled to believe what we want as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else. Gays getting married doesn’t hurt me. My having an abortion doesn’t hurt you. These are two important issues that will be decided at the voting booths next month. What a beautiful world it would be if each of us pulled the weeds (and didn’t use Monsanto’s Roundup) and tended to the flowers in our own backyard.

“If your neighbor has a completely different view on abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, all of those things, you still are both Americans. Neither one of you is necessarily more patriotic than the other. Neither loves their country any more than the other one does.”

- Phil McGraw

Suze Orman with Carson Kressley.In September I had the chance to get Up Close and Personal with Carson Kressley, who was the fashion expert on the hit reality show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007), Carson Nation on the Oprah Winfrey Network (2011), and last year a contestant on Dancing With the Stars. Carson is hysterically funny and so is his interview, but he also was very real and showed a serious side of himself.

“I grew up filled with grief, worry and despair because I had this big dark dirty secret, and I thought the people I cared about wouldn’t love me because of this ‘affliction.’ I was bullied in school, and the best thing about being on “Queer Eye” wasn’t wining an Emmy or being on Oprah, but when kids said the show was the first gay subject matter that allowed them and their parents to have a dialogue. Whether you’re the tallest, or the only Chinese girl or gay guy in the class, being different can be a good thing. I’m proud I’ve been able to help young people embrace their individuality and not do anything desperate.”

- Carson Kressley

In August I got Up Close and Personal with Suze Orman, the money maven who has helped millions of people become fiscally responsible and financially free. What fascinating and revealing stories she told and great advice she gave.

“Gay marriage needs to be legalized on the federal level because marriage at the state level still gives us no rights financially or medically. KT and I have been together 12 years and there’s something radically wrong with the fact that although we pay lots in taxes and have multi-millions of dollars in each of our names, when one of us dies the surviving partner will have to pay 50% in estate taxes, whereas if we were legally married we wouldn’t have to pay a penny.”

- Suze Orman

Dave KozAnd in July I got Up Close and Personal with Dave Koz, jazz saxophonist extraordinaire who also has his own Koz line of wine. Dave is one of the nicest guys, but he too is tired of a society that feels it’s okay to discriminate.

“I have no tolerance for inequality. Our political system is so broken, and the feeling of helplessness that it’s never going to change, is depressing. I think it’s wrong for one group of human beings to have rights that another group doesn’t. I say that as a gay man who wants to be able to marry someone if I choose to. The fact that people are still espousing beliefs that are so blatantly unequal pisses me off. You can probably count the men in the music world who are out on two hands, which is why I did a music video in support of marriage equality called This Guy’s In Love With You.”

- Dave Koz

What an eclectic group of diversely brilliant people who talked about many things besides gay rights. They shared heart-warming stories about their childhoods and careers, their passions, their strengths and weaknesses. All the interviews are very insightful.

Nate talks openly about being gayAnd then this morning my friend Nancy Golden, whose son is interior decorator and former daytime TV talk show host Nate Berkus, posted a video on Facebook of Sally Field accepting the “Ally for Equality Award” given to her by the Human Rights Campaign and it brought me to tears.

Sally’s youngest son Sam presented her with the award. Sam is gay. And Sally is well, Sam’s proud mom. I love when art imitates life or life imitates art.

My favorite TV show was ABC’s hit Brothers & Sisters. I watched it each week and I wanted to crawl through the screen and be part of that family. With all their differences and squabbles they were there for each other. One son went off to war, one son was gay, one daughter was Republican and then there was Sally Field, the liberal Democrat who loved all her children equally and unconditionally. In real life Sally is the same kind of mom.

Kristin ChenowethAnd while we’re on the subject of gay rights, let me throw in for good measure that I also loved getting Up Close and Personal with Kristin Chenoweth the incredibly talented TV, movie and Broadway actress who at 4’11” stands tall like a giant and speaks out about intolerance with such conviction.

“Make no mistake, I am a Christian and I believe in God, and I don’t believe he makes mistakes. So I don’t believe being gay is a sin, and in fact it’s how you’re made.”

- Kristin Chenoweth

 Life Lesson: I don’t believe we need more tolerance of gays which implies that there is something that is intolerant about them. I think it would be better if we learned to accept that we are all different, unique in some way and that’s okay. Do you want a garden that only has daisies in it or do you want a garden filled with a profusion of different colors and species of flowers – azaleas, baby’s breathe, black-eyed Susan, roses, lilies, orchids, tulips – each different yet all beautiful in their own way.

October may be National Bullying Prevention Month, but let’s take a stand and say that we will not tolerate hatred, intolerance, and bullying in whatever form it raises its ugly head.

Did You Know?

Many of my interviews, including Up Close and Personal and feature articles, can be found on the Interviews page.




Giving Back

There are many ways to make a difference in the world – whether through random acts of kindness, volunteering your time, or donating resources. Celebrity Scribe offers a list of charitable organizations and foundations you may be interested in supporting, or perhaps you know someone who can benefit from their services. Please visit the Giving Back section and take a look.

Discussion

  1. terrific post.. you really do wear your heart on your sleeve.. that’s why so many love you!!!

    • Thanks Nance, I’m definitely an sensitive, emotional, Sicilian Scorpio who always speaks from the heart. Love you girlfriend.