- Audio | Kristine W: 'Be Alright (Hex Hector Master Radio),' from the album 'Be Alright'
- Audio | Kristine W: 'Mr. Christmas,' from the album 'Hey, Mr. Christmas'
- White Party Week official website
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
``Music brings people together in ways nothing else can,'' says the one-time beauty queen once known as Kristine Weitz, who performs Sunday at White Party Week's Noche Blanca dance event at Dolce Ultralounge, 1500 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. ``With music, there seems to be no agenda. It's very freeing. People can listen to a song and express emotions they can't say.''
Kristine, who has a huge gay following, says she looks forward to appearing at the annual big AIDS fundraiser.
``I performed last at the White Party the year I was getting sick,'' says Kristine, 46, diagnosed in 2002 with acute leukemia. ``This is going to be fun.''
Kristine grew up in conservative Washington. She represented the state in the 1982 Miss America pageant, winning a talent award and a preliminary swimsuit competition.
``I was always very liberal. I was accepting of everyone,'' she says, adding that in parts of Washington state, it's still hard for gay people to be out.
``It's more cowboyish,'' she says. ``Brokeback Mountain.''
From the beginning of her singing career, Kristine nurtured her gay following. ``It was hard 12 years ago when I started in the music business. ``It was hard to embrace the gays at the record labels.''
Everyone warned her: ``That's career suicide. You need to be mainstream, mainstream.''
Times apparently have changed. ``Now, Lady Gaga is all about working it,'' Kristine says.
During her illness, at the height of Queer As Folk's TV popularity, Kristine filmed a music video featuring the series' cast.
``I was really sick at that time. I had a stem-cell transplant. You wouldn't have known it, but I had to lay down on the floor in the back. I was bald then, so I had all those wigs. The Queer As Folk cast didn't know at the time,'' she says. ``I was living it every day and this was my chance to have fun and not think about it. That was how I coped.''
Kristine lives in Las Vegas with son J.R., 9, daughter Elizabeth, 10, and the children's father, a farmer.
Last spring, Kristine took the kids to the Miss USA beauty pageant, where judge Perez Hilton famously asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, about her stand on gay marriage.
``I thought the question was so inappropriate for a pageant. . . . My kids were there and they have 4,000 gay uncles. But they're all classy and they don't talk about sex in front of kids,'' she says. ``[Hilton] seemed like an evil queen. I thought, `Oh no, America's going to think all my guys are evil queens.' ''