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Meet "the Lady": introducing a woman into the Queer Eye for the Straight Girl team may be more about sisterhood than lesbian inclusion.

There are some things a woman doesn't want to talk about with a man, even her gay best friend. Or, in the case of Bravo's new Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, her three brand-new gay best friends: Robbie, Damon, and Danny. That's why the show's team of "Gal Pal" makeover experts is rounded out by Honey, a gorgeous lesbian film producer who's an ex-model and former fashion magazine editor.

Numbering one short of the original Queer Eye's Fab 5, the Gal Pals' categories of expertise are broader and more ambiguous. Cutie-pie actor Robbie (last seen on AMC's Gay Hollywood) takes over for Carson and Kyan as "the Look" expert; interior designer Damon, who could be Thom's fraternal twin, rethinks "the Locale"; bald, bossy Brit Danny fuses Jai's and Ted's realms into "the Life." Honey's moniker, however, refers not to her talents but to her persona, "the Lady." The message is clear: She's here to relate to the show's sad-sack subjects woman-to-woman.

In the premiere episode, which aired January 11, the Los Angeles-based Gal Pals take on Rebecca, who's shown on her 30th birthday hiding her model-beautiful looks under dumpy clothes and living in a dorm room-like dump. It's Honey's job to sit her down and talk about what's tarnishing her self-image. With future episodes promising engagements and weddings, it's easy to imagine savvy, big-sister Honey giving a frank, fascinating facts-of-life talk. (After all, she was once married to a man herself, with whom she's still co-parenting a 15-year-old daughter.)

Like Jai, Honey--whose background is Filipino, Chinese, Ukrainian, and Polish--is the dollop of ethnic diversity atop the otherwise Wonder Bread crew. Unlike Jai, she exudes authority, in part because at 39 she's five years older than the next-oldest Gal Pal, Robbie. She can yuck it up with 20-somethings Damon and Danny--the show's bitchy romp through the subject's inevitably horrific home remains its most entertaining segment--but you also get the feeling she could silence any of them with a piercing glance.

What's any of this got to do with Honey's being a lesbian? So far, not much. As the only partnered Gal Pal--her other half is photographer Joon Pascocello--she will certainly be the best source for relationship advice. But mostly her role appears to be exactly as labeled: She's a Lady. As Tom Jones puts it, "She's got style / She's got grace / She's a winner." Works for us.
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Author:Steele, Bruce C.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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