Gay Man Decorating the White House for Christmas

Barney's creative director Simon Doonan will be decorating the White House for Christmas this year, the Caucus reports:


Mr. Doonan, the creative director of Barneys New York and a tart-tongued columnist in The New York Observer,
was selected several months ago to organize this year’s public displays
for the holidays, the Obamas’ first in the White House, according to a
person familiar with the planning.

While the White House wouldn’t confirm the choice, several
volunteers and florists were gathered at the presidential mansion to
begin installing the annual displays over the weekend, after the White
House Christmas tree, a Douglas fir from Shepherdstown, W.Va., arrived
there on Friday.

Although Mr. Doonan’s connection to a luxury retailer may raise some eyebrows, given the scrutiny over Michelle Obama’s
every wardrobe selection, he is the latest in a line of celebrity
decorators to make over the White House for the holidays. Under Bill Clinton, displays were created by Polo Ralph Lauren’s creative services department, as well as the late floral designer Robert Isabell.

Details surrounding this year’s decorations have been under tight
wraps, but they are expected to include a selection of artworks by
children. Certainly, they will be less controversial than Mr. Doonan’s
displays for Barneys for more than two decades, which have
alternatively fascinated and horrified holiday shoppers. Past themes
have included hippies, Sigmund Freud, Warhol, celebrities on Vanity Fair covers. At least one American politician. Dan Quayle, in a display in the 1990s, was depicted as a ventriloquist’s dummy.

Good for the witty and talented Doonan. I do wonder, though, if this is the first time the White House has been decorated for Christmas by someone America considers a second-class citizen?

Note: Simon Doonan was married to his partner Jonathan Adler in California in September 2008, so their marriage is valid. That last remark was meant to be taken in a broader sense.


  1. unruly says

    Is Doonan a US Citizen (seeing as you can have dual UK/US citizenship and he’s definitely lived here long enough)? Traditionally, the President (Executive Branch) tends to stay with US citizens for all pomp and circumstance. I find this factor more surprising.

  2. Stewart says

    Wow, how radical! In other totally shocking news they’ll have a gay man styling the First Lady’s hair and another designing one of her dresses – where will it all end?

  3. says

    So we may decorate your house, style your hair, dress you and feed you, but cannot stand in the honor guard protecting you. Isn’t this how blacks were treated before WW II? Harry Truman would be very disappointed with this, our first black President.

  4. Interested Bystander says

    I’ve been a fan of Simon’s since watching the terrific television program based on his life “Beautiful People”. Much more authentic than “Glee”.

    It’s good to see him lifted from obscurity.

    In the last thing of his I read he talked about having a wart on his hand and how it related to the hand butting gesture that has replaced hand shaking. Has this cleared up?

    All things considered, were it not for his humble beginnings, were it not for his short stature, were it not for Jonathan Adler’s soaking up the air in the room, and were it not for Barney’s New York mediocre business performance, Simon would be MAJOR.

    For example, Quayle as ventriloquist’s dummy is the obvious choice, but who but Simon would carry it through from conception?

    I’m impressed by the Obama White House’s hipness and I’m delighted for Mr. Doonan

    P.S. I think on his website he talks about being an American citizen

  5. says

    Save it Bruce. The story is about Simon Doonan, don’t try to piggy back LGBT issues on to the civil rights struggle on this story. Truman may have intergrated the Armed Forces, but, that’s about all he did for Blacks, so, don’t use this to try and remind everyone that the President is Black (which is what you were doing), we know that.


    Simon Doonan is one of my favorite creative people and the White House made a great choice.

  6. sonnie says

    Oh sure, i am not good enough to have EQUALITY in this country, but my second-class citizen artistic gay ass is good for something. Oh, i can decorate the White House, my my.

  7. JohnInManhattan says

    I worked for several years in the same building as Simon Doonan and saw him as recently as last week at Barneys New York. Yes, he’s witty but also quite the ignorant cunt. I’m not surprised he accepted this gig instead of retaining some dignity.

  8. Michael @ says

    Oh, Derek, puh-leeze. Give it a rest. Don’t worry, your place on Massa’s Xristmas card list is safe.

    You may shelve YOUR OWN demand for 24-7 equality whenever it better suits you to blindly defend the namesake of your personality cult [despite that fact, that, sorry Girlfriend, he’s just not that into you], but how dare you flame someone else for not being willing to do the same.

    As for Truman, within the context of his times his contribution to the advance of black civil rights is gargantuan, courageous and daring contrasted with the crumbs left out for us by this POTUS despite the fact that gay rights are far more supported by the public than those of blacks were during the years of Truman’s administrations.

  9. Interested Bystander says

    Having visited Simon’s website, I see that he is not as well educated as some regarding certain matters. However, I have a personal experience where he seemed open to being called on acting like an “ignorant cunt” (see comment from JohninManhattan)and he promised not to do it again.

    When Sarah Palin is looming in the background I think we need to try to work with this administration for the time being.

    I’ve known a lot of windowdressers in my day, but I don’t work in even a remotely related field. Go figure

  10. Brian in Texas says

    Oprah is interviewing the President and First Lady and will do a tour of the house for ABC so yes I guess we will see the decorations.

  11. Abie says

    Pretty sure Robert Isabell was gay, and as for the Ralph Lauren creative services department, it hardly bears hazarding a guess about that. So, no, Simon Doonan is far from being the first openly gay person to decorate the White House.
    Seriously, did you think that nobody else who had decorated the White House was gay? Haven’t met many florists, have you?

  12. NADA says

    Miss Michael Bedwell,

    FUCK YOU BITCH….At least Derek is doing more than fussing out Obama while you still suck the glass dick and platinum pussy of The Clinton’s who did us MORE HARM