Melissa Etheridge, Lea DeLaria, Martina Navratilova and the amazingly gay “Camp Christmas”

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Twenty-two years ago, UK’s Channel 4 created the gayest yuletide ever with their TV special Camp Christmas. Hosted by out Erasure frontman Andy Bell and rock star Melissa Etheridge, the musical comedy show was a who’s who of out performers at the time and the magic has been preserved by someone who uploaded the whole thing to YouTube. The quality isn’t the best, but you can still hear the brilliant gay jokes (“What’s the worst present you can give a lesbian for Christmas? Martina’s phone number with one digit wrong.”) and festive musical numbers like “My Favorite Things” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” 

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Martina Navratilova calls the cabin from where she’s “skiing in Aspen” and “fixing up her tree.” Lea DeLaria stops by and immediately hugs Melissa hello. “It is so nice to be with friends for the holidays,” she says. “I’m not going home for the hetero fest!”

martina-call lea

Even Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer pops over with a present, which leads Melissa to explain why she is so important and that a movie will be made about her in the next few years. (Of course, that turned out to be the Emmy-winning 1995 film Serving in Silence.)

It’s a trip back in time that makes me wish we could recreate Camp Christmas all over again.

If you want more Christmas tunes from Melissa or Lea, you’re in luck—they both have holiday albums that you can find on Spotify or iTunes. Lea’s Be a Santa is also available on YouTube.

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