BY Michael Fairman
October 09 2009 11:15 AM ET
One Life to Live’s Robin Strasser is the really smart gay man’s greatest daytime diva. As Llanview’s Dr. Dorian Lord since 1979, Robin has played one of soaps’ all-time greatest bitches (with a dash of joie de vivre) for all she is worth. With Robin now celebrating her 30th year in the role, how do Robin and Dorian plan on whooping it up during the big 3-0? First, by having Dorian marry her female campaign manager in her efforts to step up her vendetta against her lifelong rival, Viki, in Llanview’s mayoral race. You see, when Dorian learned that the Llanview Gay and Lesbian Alliance (yes, soapland has one too!) was throwing its support around Viki, she had to come up with some way of combating it. So what is a good bitch to do? Pretend she is gay, hold a press conference, and announce she is going to marry Amelia, her campaign manager! And like everything Dorian does, her nuptials will be on a grand scale! The women will take part in a same-sex commitment ceremony featuring 22 couples in upcoming episodes. Second, Robin, who has been a huge supporter of the gay community, will be part of Saturday night’s big celebration at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., where she has been named the honorary chairperson for the drag ball Marching for Equality ... in Heels.
But Robin’s journey to these landmark events has not been without controversy. Over the summer contract renegotiations broke down between ABC and Strasser when she was asked to take a hefty pay cut. On her famous hotline the very outspoken Strasser detailed her thoughts, frustration, and despair about the situation. Meanwhile, gay men around the country were holding their breath till they turned purple over the possibility they could lose this daytime gem. Luckily, things worked out.
But with that comes another issue looming in the wings. Will the LGBT audience give Strasser and One Life push-back for her portrayal of someone lying about her sexual persuasion for her own gain? As this story plays out, Advocate.com can tell you to watch closely! There are some high emotional stakes and hilarious moments, and the brilliant Robin Strasser at the epicenter of it all that make this must-see gay TV.
Advocate.com: Tomorrow night you are the honorary chairperson for the drag ball Marching for Equality…in Heels, which honors the 40th anniversary of Stonewall and benefits the Matthew Shepard Foundation. How did this come about?
Robin Strasser: They asked me if I would go, and then they made me the honorary chairperson! The power of yes. [Laughs]
So, as honorary chairperson you lent your name to the event, but will you actually be in attendance?
It’s interesting you should use that phrase because I get particularly sensitive to “lending your name.” I never say yes unless my bod is going to be there! I think if you put your name on the committee with the invitation to an event, there is an obligation to show up, short of swine flu.
You know that both you and Dorian Lord are hugely popular with the gay audience. Thus, the fine choice in honorary chairperson!
All my best friends are gay [big smile], and not kidding at all, the best relationship in my experience is my two male friends who have been together for 25 years. If I want to be cheered up, I call these guys up and I go, “Can we go out to dinner? What’s up?” They are everything you want to see when two people are in a partnership.