Ann Hampton Callaway: Out at Last

After years of writing for the likes of Barbra Streisand, Patti LuPone -- even Fran Drescher -- Ann Hampton Callaway steps center stage with a new album and an announcement: She's gay.



She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens


You know you can finish the rest (although the middle part is
tricky, so do what everyone does and hum it or make up your own
words). Of course, that's the theme from the TV show
The Nanny,

starring Fran Drescher. But did you know the woman who wrote
and sang that song has recorded close to a dozen albums, has
written songs performed and recorded by Barbra Streisand, Patti
LuPone and Carole King, and received a Tony nomination for her
role in the Broadway musical


Her name is Ann Hampton
Callaway, and although she has just released a new album called

At Last,

there is something else she is ready to share with the public
for the first time -- her gay sexuality. all these years you are finally at a place where you
are comfortable discussing your sexuality. How did that come
Ann Hampton Callaway:

I've discussed my sexuality with my friends and peers, but I've
never discussed my personal life with the press. I had partners
who weren't comfortable with me being "officially"
out. However, for me, I feel like I'm depriving myself and
friends of just being who I am and embracing the life I've led
and all the pain I've endured.

Was there any significance to coming out at this point in

I'm not only a singer but also a citizen. We have made great
strides in electing Barack Obama, a thoughtful and intelligent
man with a great vision for our country, but we still have
Proposition 8 staring us in the face. Even though we've made
great advances, there is a lot more work to be done, and I want
to be a part of that. It will take all of us to step forward
now and say who we really are. Maybe by me coming out people
will say, "I love Ann Hampton Callaway." It may
change their face as to who gay people are.

What do you think is the future of Proposition 8?

It may be a semantic problem that people have with the word

Some call marriage an act of God, and in all of the very narrow
interpretations of the Bible or whatever their religious book
is, if they take these passages so literally, then they're
never going to accept gay marriage. How do you get people to
see that everyone is a human being and has the right to
celebrate, honor, and sanctify the relationship they have with
someone they have chosen to share their life with?

You have a new CD out called "At Last." Tell me about

It's a collection of love songs for adults, and I say that with
a little wink in my eye. It's the most unbridled and personal
collection of songs that I've recorded to date. I was trying to
capture this moment in my life of finding my great love and
reaching a sense of peace about all the different steps and
missteps it took for me to come to this place. It's a
celebration and embracing all of the hell and gorgeousness of
the emotions and experiences that love puts all of us

Tags: Music