Bringing Gay Marriage to N.Y., Dina-Style



And the performance is a benefit for Marriage Equality New York, right?
Yes, absolutely. Since we started, a portion of the proceeds has gone to Broadway Impact,
which is also for equality. And everything I do, I like to have it
based on charity. So this is my part. And when we discussed the play, I
said, "You know, I think it would be awesome if part of the ticket price
goes to the cause." And of course, everybody agreed and thought it was a
great idea. And to know that every single person who goes there is
fighting for the cause is a great thing.

And this isn't your
first time doing philanthropy. Tell us about Project Ladybug.

Project Ladybug I started...we're in our fourth year. It's for children
with cancer. And I'm so proud to be the founder because it's really
grown so much. And I have to thank Bravo for that. That something so
wonderful could come out of something so crazy. Bravo gave Ladybug her
wings, and now we're known nationwide, actually internationally. We
raise money for the little things, the forgotten things, for these kids.
Their birthday parties, their laptops, their clothes, their
winter coats so they can be warm while they're going to chemotherapy.
Right now we have a lot of national campaigns going on with it, like the "lucky locks," which is the red streak you've been seeing in
my hair. So I'm just so proud to be a part of it. Everything that I'm
doing right now — to use the voice that I have while people are still
listening — is to try to teach people that giving back is so wonderful in
so many ways. You surround yourself with like-minded people, which in
turn, makes you so happy. So I'm just trying to spread that word. Do
good and more good comes to you.

What's it like since the
announcement came out last week that you're leaving the show?

been amazing. You know, the fans are so wonderful. I felt that in a way
I was disappointing people for leaving. Some feel that I was running
from it. A lot of them — 99% of the fans — understand why I'm leaving and
support me and just have such wonderful things to say. I was actually
crying reading my Facebook messages and tweets [on my Twitter page]; they're just so
wonderful. I don't even deserve such wonderful people saying such
wonderful things. To know you're touching so many people means a lot.

spoke to Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York recently and
talked about how vested people are in the Housewives franchise. 

it's like a war zone. Somebody will say something off-color, then
everybody will attack. And then I'm like, "Calm down, everybody!"
It's amazing — the Housewives' cult following. I think,
especially our franchise, so many people can relate to us. We're not
this unreachable lifestyle. We're just real girls doing our thing.
That's why so many people have taken to us.

Tags: television