Telephone Psychic Miss Cleo Stages An Unlikely Comeback, Still “Gay As A Two Dollar Bill”

Remember Miss Cleo, the world’s most notorious pay-per-call telephone psychic/shaman who claimed to be Jamaican but who was actually discovered in 2002 to have been born and raised in Los Angeles?

Well, she’s back!

Oh, and, in case you forgot — or if you just didn’t know — she’s a lesbian.

“I’m as gay as a two dollar bill,” she said in a rare interview with Indiewire.

Miss Cleo appears in a new documentary titled Hotline by openly gay filmmaker Tony Shaff. The film offers an inside peek at the fascinating world of phone hotlines — from sex to suicide prevention to Miss Cleo herself.

Miss Cleo admitted to Indiewire that she was initially hesitant about participating.

“Tony reached out and told me that they were going to do a documentary about hotlines,” she said. “‘And we can’t do it without including you, Ms. Cleo.’ But I don’t do many interviews. I haven’t done any video interviews since the end of 2002. But Tony had a very special connection. He knew one of my godchildren. He didn’t know that he did… But I found out, and that’s how the universe works.”

The fact that Shaff is gay (and, doubtless, the undisclosed fee he offered her) also helped sway the telephone psychic, who came out publicly in 2006, into taking part in the project.

“I didn’t know it until he got to the house,” she told Indiewire. “But once I realized he was family it was like ‘okay, I’m good to go.’ There is a similarity in what we have to deal with. No matter what. Even though it’s 2014, not every person you run into is going to embrace you.”

She continued: “I think only about 30 percent of people who know of me know that I’m gay. They’re clueless! I don’t hide… I’ve been gay since I was about 16. I went to an all girls boarding school and loved my mother for it. She would die if she heard that but she’s already dead so it doesn’t matter.”

Miss Cleo also told Indiewire that coming out had consequences: “In the black community and the Jamaican community, that’s not easy. Not at all. As a matter of fact, when I came out publicly in 2006, I lost a large portion of my family. It’s so difficult. I’m grateful for all you younger folks where it’s not that way anymore. But I’m a mom… And it was tough worrying that someone would take your children because of who you are.”

Hotline had its world premiere in Toronto last week.

Check out the trailer for the film below.

HOTLINE Trailer from Hotline Documentary on Vimeo.

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  • hyhybt

    What’s so gay about a $2 bill?

  • xzall

    The original saying was queer as a three dollar bill. Two dollar bills were in existence but there’s no such thing as a three dollar bill. The saying was using the meaning of the word Queer which meant strange, odd or different back then.

  • hyhybt

    @xzall: I’m familiar with that saying, though “as a $3 bill” fits much better after “phony.”

    On the other hand, I like “queer as a football bat,” but have only very rarely heard it.

  • Cagnazzo82

    Her commercials gave me a lot of good laughs in the 90s.

    I remember they used to spoof her on Mad TV.

  • DarkZephyr

    Its supposed to be “Queer as a 3 Dollar Bill”. Its a play on words, because “Queer” also means “strange” or “unusual”.

  • Mezaien

    @hyhybt: I am not sure about the 2 dollar bill? but you can roll it nice and sniff some Coke with it. Trust me I try it, but I don`t like coke! rather smoke GANJA.

  • Zekester

    @hyhybt: They’re rare and fabulous!

  • Zekester

    @xzall: Actually the original saying was “Queer as a two dollar bill” because they were rare and odd; particularly when they were taken out of circulation in 1966. Then when they were put back into circulation in 1976 the saying was changed to “Queer as a three dollar bill”. I never really understood why people changed it. “Queer as a two dollar bill” makes sense because we are relatively rare and, to many in the mainstream, we are odd. “Queer as a three dollar bill” infers that we don’t exist; which is only believed at Focus on the Family, the AFA, the FRC and NARTH.

  • Bromancer7

    @hyhybt: My go-to phrase is “gayer than pink tea”.

  • heatstroke1981

    Mine is, “Gayer than Little Richard at a picnic”

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