Derek Hartley is a pioneer. His show on Sirius Satellite Radio, Derek and Romaine, just celebrated its two year anniversary.
Double Scorpio with a Gemini Moon. Terrible, right?
Day Job/Night Job.
Sirius OutQ Talk Show Host on Sirius Satellite Radio/Columnist for PlanetOut.com
How long have you graced NYC with your presence? Where are you from and where do you live now?
I moved to Manhattan in January 2001. Lived most of my life in California and Utah (parents divorced and separated by state lines). I live in Harlem and I love it.
Two For You.
Can you say anything you want on your Sirius satellite radio show, Derek and Romaine?
We can say anything on our show as long as it is true and honest. Certainly being on satellite radio allows us more flexibility in swearing and telling dirty stories, but ultimately that isn’t what our show is about. We are there to entertain and be creative. I think the lack of censorship really means we are allowed to be ourselves without having to worry about what might come out of our mouths.
I may be considered to be "Whitest Black Girl Ever" because I know who Billy Squier is. For you, is there such there a thing as being not GAY enough for your listeners?
Some people who listen to our show on Sirius OutQ are disappointed to learn that I have no fashion sense. When I moved to Manhattan, I was walking to work one day and I saw a homeless man wearing one of my favorite shirts. That was a heartbreaking moment. I thought they might come and take my gay card away. Some listeners of the show would like us to talk more about “gay issues” which is mystifying to me. Romaine and I talk about gay issues all of the time. It’s just that our gay issues have more to do with what to watch on TV, how to deal with our relationships and what we can wear to still be comfortable and not be mistaken for the homeless.
What are the best improvements to New York City in the last year?
50% less Sarah Jessica Parker. I love her, but less is more, sweetie.
What's the most unusual thing that you smuggled into bar or club in New York?
Since all I care about is liquor, I am rarely smuggling anything into bars. However, I am notorious among my friends for smuggling out an arm’s full of gay bar rags (HX, Next, etc.) when my name or picture appears in them. It is not unusual for me to suddenly whisper to a friend “quick, open your backpack” and then proceed to dump 15 magazines in there. It makes my mom so proud to see her son pictured next to strippers and shirtless bartenders. That way, it doesn’t seem like I have wasted my life.
What's the best place in the city for people watching?
Like the swallows of San Juan Capistrano, in the spring the Asian brides return to Central Park. I love to watch them frolic on the rocks and among the streets. I could watch that for hours. Central Park has the best people watching because there are so many different people doing so many different things: the brides, the people with toy boats, gay men climbing out of the ramble. There is something for everyone.
Who would you stalk if you were guaranteed NOT to be caught?
Meredith Vieira, co-host of The View. It’s no secret that I am totally in love with Meredith. It’s completely irrational and I don’t care. I don’t know that I would stalk her, per se, but I might like to casually run into her sometime and have lunch. Even if that means following her around for a few months for such a “casual” encounter to occur.
If you could travel back in time and party would anyone back in the disco era, who would it be and why?
I suppose it would be Olivia Newton John so that I could be a roller disco extra in the final scene of Xanadu. I miss dancing on roller skates. I am sure Olivia does too. Call me ONJ! We can roll hand and hand along the Pacific Ocean together at sunset. It will be beautiful.
What is your must-have fashion accessory this summer?
Jamie Krauss. Dogs in purses are over. I heard a rumor that birds in hats were going to be the replacement, but I think the must-have accessory this summer is just the right summer friend. Jamie is the quintessential summer friend. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about fashion or accessories, so I turned down a summer accessorized with Jamie in favor of touring Gay Pride events to promote my radio show. If only I wasn’t such a whore!
You've been asked to host a party and the only requirement is that you must invite three New York celebrities (alive), who would you extend an invite to?
Brooke Astor, Caroline Kennedy and Paris Hilton would be my choices. They are the three stages of New York socialite. Paris Hilton is the neophyte, partying and finding her way in life. Caroline Kennedy is the sage, filled with a life of experience and great amounts of wisdom. Brooke Astor is a legend, a master class in dignity, elegance and grace. Between the three of them, I am certain I could learn everything anyone ever needed to know about survival in New York. Then after the party, I would totally meet Uma Thurman around the corner for a hot fudge sundae at 1AM because when it’s all said and done, there is nothing more important than being yourself.