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Erich CONRAD The platinum-tressed nightlife impresario threw his first party for Andy Warhol and has been going strong since. "Beige," his Tuesday-night B-Bar shindig, is the salon of choice for Manhattan's gay A-list. This month, he's taking over as social director of Eric Goode's Chelsea Park.

Michael CUNNINGHAM Among the most celebrated writers to emerge in the past decade; his fourth novel, The Hours, won both the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the pen/Faulkner Award. A film based on the novel is now in production, with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

Lea DELARIA The popular comedian is currently doing double drag duty as Eddie and Dr. Scott in The Rocky Horror Show, having wowed both critics and audiences with her bravura performance in Broadway's On the Town. Next up: Showtime's Further Tales of the City, WB's cartoon The Oblongs, and a jazz album, Play It Cool, arriving in May.

Dennis DELEON The city's former human-rights commissioner is now president of the Latino Commission on AIDS and a staunch, often lonely advocate on behalf of AIDS spending and prevention in the city's hard-hit black and Latino communities.

Bill DOBBS The contrarian attorney and media hound doggedly manages to push his way into every story about gay rights, usually with an angle that enrages other gay advocates and brings attention to his pet causes. Recently led Jimmy Breslin and his wife, Councilwoman Ronnie Eldridge, on a tour of sex clubs in Queens.

Sean DRISCOLL The head of Glorious Food still runs the preeminent caterer in town, dishing up cuisine for the city's most important benefits and galas.

Martin DUBERMAN The most esteemed historian of gay life in America. An award-winning author, with more than eighteen books to his credit, he founded cuny's Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies and teaches history at the graduate school.

Ramon ESCOBAR As executive producer at MSNBC, he's one of the highest-ranking gay TV-news executives in the country, in charge of almost all breaking-news and hard-news programming at the growing 24-hour news network.

Rupert EVERETT The English actor, sometime author, and Versace model started out as an indie dreamboat in Another Country before going on to become Hollywood's favorite gay boy in My Best Friend's Wedding and The Next Best Thing. Next up: The lead in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Patricia FIELD The legendary downtown retailer and Emmy-nominated costume designer (for Sex and the City and Spin City) continues to be a fashion-world trailblazer, lighting up staid fashion shows with neon-red hair and matching attitude.

Ed FILIPOWSKI Took over the fashion-P.R. powerhouse KCD (together with co-owner Julie Mannion) in 1991 and assumed one of the most powerful positions in fashion. He controls access to such top designers as Gucci, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent and the seats to the world's top runway shows, from Helmut Lang to Marc Jacobs.

Matt FOREMAN Heads up the largest state political lobby, Empire State Pride Agenda, and finally got the state hate-crimes bill passed last year. A thoughtful, shoot-from-the-hip strategist, Foreman played a key role in Hillary Clinton's campaign and exerts considerable influence on city politics.

Barbara GAINES The recently promoted executive producer of The Late Show With David Letterman has survived twenty years with the late-night comic, and just won an Emmy to show for it.

GAY POLITICOS These Democrats brought gay power out of the closet and into elective office in the nineties: Deborah Glick, State Assembly (Manhattan); Tom DUANE, State Senate (Manhattan); Margarita Lopez, City Council (Lower East Side); Phil Reed, City Council (Upper West Side); Christine Quinn, City Council (Chelsea).

Ethan GETO Canny behind-the-scenes operator active in local and gay politics, he managed Bob Abrams's Senate campaign. Now a partner in the high-powered P.R. firm Geto & de Milly, he represents Broadway theater owners and the American Cancer Society, among others.

Emily GISKE A prominent Albany lobbyist and a vice-chair of the state Democratic Party, she's been a behind-the-scenes fixture (and fixer) in New York politics for twenty years, close to some of the state's top political players. She has both Schumer and Hillary on her speed dial.

Brian GRAYDON The 37-year-old president of programming for MTV splits his time between L.A. and New York, and develops all content for the music channel and launched the smash South Park.

E. Lynn HARRIS The popular author's most recent book, Not a Day Goes By, made its debut at No. 1 on the Publishers Weekly list, and he just sold two new books to Hollywood for a high six-figure payout.

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