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Inside Tinky's Closet

by Stephen Lautens

February 19, 1999

Thank you for attending this press conference. I am the lawyer for Tinky Winky. You know him as a member of the Teletubbies cast.

As you no doubt know, televangelist Jerry Falwell has stated that Tinky Winky is gay. In this month's National Liberty Journal Mr. Falwell has pointed out that my client has been seen to be carrying a purse, is purple, and his antenna is triangle-shaped.

These factors are presented as conclusive proof that Tinky Winky is gay. My client has tried to face this controversy with dignity, but has decided that he can be silent no longer.

Tinky Winky will now read a prepared statement:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the press. I never thought I would have to stand before you today to publicly discuss such a deeply personal aspect of my life.

Like my other Teletubbies colleagues, I am a classically trained actor. After graduating from Julliard, I worked as an understudy and eventually in several off-Broadway shows.

It was on the European tour of a Streetcar Named Desire that I met my friends and co-stars, Dispy, Laa-Laa and Po.

We were later joined by Mr. Noo, who had just finished three years touring with the Royal Shakespearean Company as Claudius in a critically acclaimed production of Hamlet.

Together we created a new television series for youngsters based on respect, dignity and a mutual love for Tubby Toast. We were concerned about the mindless violence and endless product marketing of children's television.

One critic said my contribution to the Teletubbies is reminiscent of William Shatner's early work at Stratford.

High praise indeed.

But now people who have no business asking are making inquiries into my personal life. I can keep silent no more.

I ask you, am I to be judged by the colour of my skin? Did I ask to be born purple? Don't believe anyone who tells you that being purple is a lifestyle choice.

Believe me, it would be easier if I wasn't purple - but that is the way God made me, even though I tried to deny it even to myself for many years.

I'd like to point out for the record that Mr. Falwell's skin is pink. He should think about that before he casts the first stone.

Mr. Falwell has made much about the fact that I sometimes have been seen carrying a purse. I would like to point out that it is in fact a magic bag, and everyone in Europe is carrying them this year. Where else are you supposed to keep the keys to the mini-van when you don't have any pockets?

I know that Ziggy has been very public since coming out last year, but it was his choice to be Grand Marshal in the Pride Parade. And it came as no surprise when we finally found out why Schroeder never showed any interest in Lucy.

It was only a matter of time before the Coyote and the Roadrunner admitted their hostility was only covering up their true feelings.

You are all waiting for me to answer the question: "Am I gay?" I am here today to tell you that it is none of your business.

It is the right of every fictional character to live their life and do their job free from discrimination. I only ask that you respect my privacy and allow me to carry on with my important work."


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