WILL THE REAL Rosie O'Donnell please stand up?
Is it the out-and-proud Rosie who runs cruises for gay parents and their kids, or is it the woman who makes a spectacle of herself with obscene gestures and comments about rich white guys?
Is it the Rosie who tells us to go easy on Paris Hilton because she herself has driven while drunk, or Rosie the structural engineer, who can scrutinize the collapse of World Trade Center building No. 7 on 9/11 ("it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved")?
The one thing she shouldn't be is Rosie the Spokeslesbian, because she doesn't speak for me.
I can count on one hand the times I've watched "The View," with or without Rosie, but there's no escaping her - from the gossip pages to the blogosphere - she even gets a mention from Fox's Bill O'Reilly once in a while.
She made Time's list of the 100 most influential people, complete with a glowing profile written by her boss, Barbara Walters. But her looming departure from "The View" comes just at the right time, because we need a Rosie time-out.
If I didn't know better, I'd think that Rosie O'Donnell is the only lesbian out there worth listening to.
Did you hear what Sheryl Swoopes said about lesbians and women's basketball? Probably not. She said the LSU scandal, in which the former coach was alleged to have had inappropriate relationships with former players, will hurt the sport. I'm not sure I agree, but it's worth thinking about.
How about Martina Navratilova, honored this month at Equality Forum? Any idea what she said? Me neither, but I bet it was interesting. Martina was out, and outspoken, way before Rosie was telling us about her crush on Tom Cruise.
Back when Rosie was nice.
There's an old saying that there are two ways to enter a room: One is to say, "There you are," and the other is to say, "Here I am." Rosie, you've been "here" for a while now. Take the summer off.
Meanwhile, there's always the mute button. Then, perhaps, we can hear from the myriad rich voices who make up this community.
And who make immense contributions to society, without making spectacles of themselves in the process. *
Debbie Woodell is a Daily News sports desk editor. Her column on lesbian and gay issues appears monthly. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.