Singing superstar Cher believes she and her gay fans have such great mutual admiration because they can relate to her status as an "outsider".

The BELIEVE singer says that lacking mainstream status gives her much common ground with her homosexual admirers.

She explains, "I was always an outsider, no matter what business I went into. I think they could relate to that."

Cher, 57, has had a legion of gay fans since breaking into showbusiness 40 years ago. And the star, who says she has "gazillions" of gay friends, insists she enjoys her fans just as much as they appreciate her.

She says, "I think they are more flamboyant - and I mean that in the most positive way. They will just try things that are risky - you know, they'll try feathers, or they'll try painting a wall striped. They'll just go for it."

Cher says she came to appreciate homosexual companionship when she was very young because her mother had two gay hairdresser pals.

She recalls, "They were so much more fun than all the other men I had been exposed to. They just had a gay old time."

09/06/2003 09:07