Oprah and Gayle Sittin’ in a Tree

Special camping episode fuels lesbian rumors

This week on Oprah, the talk show host and her longtime gal pal Gayle King hit the open road and went camping in Yosemite National Park. Chock full of “funny” moments, the show featured more than its fair share of snippets that could be construed as super Sapphic.

First there was Gayle’s signing out of tune in the car much to her roadmate’s disgust. Then there was the ongoing struggle over Oprah’s always having to do the cooking. We even watched the two cozy up in a camper together. When it came time to call it a day, King said, “Let’s just add to that lesbian rumor,” and asked Winfrey to join her in the Coleman Pop-Up. “Come on in, baby,” she said.

As though the talk show diva was about to give her audience a fleet of new cars, she threw out her arms and yelled in her much-imitated tone of zeal: “Lesbian ruuummmooors!”

By the next morning, the gals were just as cozy. “Good morning, America,” King said. “Oprah Winfrey when she first wakes up. Isn’t she pretty?”

The show did little to dispel the lesbian rumors that have been swirling around the dynamic duo for years. The two-part show, while designed to inspire African Americans to visit the country’s national parks, came across as more of a hokey sleep-away camp where it was pretty hard to believe Oprah, one of the richest women in the world, would be slinging hash over an open fire. One had to seriously suspend disbelief to watch the big O wade in the waters during a fly fishing expedition and ride a donkey off into the sunset.

Perhaps the only believable moment in the show was when Gayle chided Oprah for not ever hearing of the food chain Panera. You could also tell which of the women is more butch. Gayle vowed never again to sleep under the stars (unless it was with a man). And Oprah, well, she claims to have her fly-fishing poles at the ready the next time Stedman goes on one of his adventures with the guys. Rumors be damned.