Nate Berkus Does Your Coffee Table Purchase tulasi actress
Nate Berkus Does Your Coffee Table
Oprah’s home design guru Nate Berkus prepares to hypnotize you on the
forthcoming August issue of OUT magazine in which he mainly discusses
how he found himself on Oprah and what he’s got in the wings in terms
of his design career. But he does briefly mention his January 2005
appearance on the show shortly after his partner Fernando Bengoechea
was killed in the Southeast Asian tsunami:
“After the show, I got a tremendous amount of letters and e-mails from
kids across the country who were coming out. They said that watching
the way my relationship with Fernando was presented on the show gave
them the courage to say to their friends and parents, ‘You know what,
I’m gay just like him and I want to have what he had.’ The most
touching correspondence I received came from an 18-year-old who said,
‘I’d never seen a gay couple’s love story presented like that on TV
before. Now that I’ve seen it, I realize I’d be wasting a lot of time
if I didn’t get out there and try to find it for myself.’ It was
amazing, and it makes me really proud, because somebody somewhere was
watching the show and it changed how they viewed themselves and their
own opportunities to live in a successful gay relationship…I wasn’t
concerned about presenting my relationship with Fernando to the world.
I wanted people to know about our life and what I lost.”
No groundbreaking revelations on whether or not another significant
other has entered the picture, but those of you with fantasies of
setting up house with Berkus should be pleased he has at least make it
to your coffee table.
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Nate’s Long Good-bye
In a tear-soaked, classic Oprah farewell, interior decorator Nate
Berkus yesterday told the story of his experience with the tsunami in
Sri Lanka, where he lost his partner Fernando Bengoechea.
“It’s not just the sight A?a??a?? it’s the sound and the smell that will be
with me forever,” Berkus said, describing in horrific detail how the
scene unfolded in a hut about 50 feet from the shoreline.
“We were in a room making plans for the day. All of a sudden water
started coming in between the wall and the roof…Fernando jumped up
and started lifting our things onto the desktop. I said, ‘What is
this?’ Then we heard a crack and I was pressed against the wall and
the floor.”
Berkus described how the hut’s roof was torn off by the force of the
water and the immediate sensation of drowning. He claimed that “a
heightened sense of consciousness” allowed his survival instinct to
take over.
“[Fernando and I] ended up popping up together and he swam over to me
and said ‘Stay together,’ and then a minute later we were drowning
again, and then we popped up together again, and the water was
calm…we were trying to hold onto each other. You were just swirling,
just trying to keep your face up,” explained Berkus..
When another wave took them the designer thought they would become
separated. “And then we both popped up about three feet away from one
another. Fernando and I came back to one another and there was a
telephone pole and we both held each other.”
Finally, his last moments of contact with Fernando provide the
painful, wrenching picture so many tsunami survivors experienced as
they saw their loved ones taken from them…
“And I felt his hand on the back of my shirt and I felt his hand slip
Berkus choked back tears and was reunited with some of the other
survivors he spent time with at Arugam Bay. Marcello Bengoechea, who
had set up the recently deleted “Fernando and Nate” blog was also on
hand. There has been speculation as to why the blog has been deleted
but I can only imagine that finding a sense of closure necessitates
the difficult letting go.
The lack of closure and feelings of helplessness must be the most
difficult aspect for victims of a disaster like this A?a??a?? the absence of
a corpse, the neverending search for details and answers.
All the criticism of the attention placed on Nate and Fernando because
of their “celebrity” connections seems an attempt to place the scope
of the disaster in perspective for many people. Certainly there are
thousands of stories as tragic as Nate’s. The sense of “milking” this
particular story for TV ratings is unavoidable. Yet putting a face to
the tragedy is important in the public’s comprehension of it. And the
fact that Nate and Fernando were a gay couple behaving like any other
couple on that beach is something the world has now seen.
And that’s important. For outside of the tragedy they became unwitting
examples that a gay couple’s love for one another can be as real (and
as ordinary) as anyone else’s.

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