Out-and-proud Donald Maltby, is a successful writer/magazine editor whom Cliff sought out for friendship, advice and support in order to come out. During and after the fact, Donald continued to be Cliff's voice of reason as he learned to navigate his way around the gay world. It was an otherwise unlikely friendship, but Donald's effeminate behavior versus the masculinity of Cliff never got in the way, surprisingly. Donald's womanly flamboyance always unnerved Lou, and caused some mild, but humorous friction between them. However, Donald always managed to get the last laugh on Lou with his sharp humor. He lived in a cozy loft apartment which was another common setting for the stories. Cliff and Donald sometimes frequented The Velvet Spike, a local gay club/bar.