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270 posts categorized "DRAG"

Jun 29 2016
6-PACK — Hillary: MOVE ON ALREADY! + Bernie's Mistake + Bareback Like Me + Ending The Gay-Male Blood Ban? + China Not Gaga Over Dalai Mama's Pitch For Kindness + RuPaul On Gay Pride, Drag, Anonymity & What To Call Him! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureHillary Clinton responds to anticlimactic Benghazi report: “It's time to move on.” Slain ambassador Stevens's sister doesn't blame Hillary.

*widget boy cultureHow Bernie Sanders apparently overplayed his hand, squandering the real power he'd accumulated.

*widget boy cultureDoes watching condomless porn lead gay men to engage in more condomless sex? Will you see condomless porn at the link?

*widget boy cultureFind out who wants the FDA to end the ban on gay male blood donors.

*widget boy cultureLady Gaga meets with Dalai Lama to discuss kindness (tell some of your monsters, lady), gets banned from China? She did right. More power to her.

*widget boy cultureRuPaul has been going mainstream in a big way lately! Check him out matching wits with Stephen Colbert (plus, his take on Gay Pride):

 
Jun 28 2016
Finger On Pulse: NYC Pride March 2016 — With 100s Of Pictures! Comments (0)

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IMG_7509*All of the above! (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)

My day at the NYC Pride March was a beautiful reminder of my experience in life and of the fact that I'm always having new experiences in life ... and proof that my little body's slowing breaking down. Oh, my aching gay back!

READ: 100+ Sizzling Pics from the Adonis Lounge Go-Go Boy Float!

I was tapped to follow the stripper-drenched Adonis Lounge float, photographing the guys and the gays' reactions to them as we tooled through Manhattan, Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.43.40 PMbut was told the night before—at a nude party, which are great fun when only the strippers and not the patrons provide the nudity—that I wouldn't be meeting then until 3 p.m. That blew my mind, as anyone marching in the parade usually meets up in the morning. This year, organizers seemed to get more realistic about when groups should assemble on the side streets in the 30s and 40s along Fifth Avenue to cut down on congestion and fatigue, but there was no way I wanted to miss the parade itself just because I was going to be in it, toward the end. [Pictured: Me with Angel (Image by Angel Jimez), me with Edward (Image courtesy of Edward Thomas)]

So, I woke up early, fed myself, pulled on my beloved Mildred Fierce T-shirt and hauled camera over to W. 41st St., which I picked IMG_7475*
because I read that was where a group featuring teen trans star Jazz Jennings would be meeting up and thought she'd be fun to shoot again. I never found her, but did find my pal Edward Thomas and his sister.

It was a great block on which to hang out, filled with plenty of beauties, interesting faces and spirited coppers—I was mixing it up with the Gay Officers Action League, where I met a lesbian couple in love with Varla Jean Merman (my shirt provided the conversation-starter), was handed my first NO when asking to take someone's picture (an all-but-naked man in a leather jockstrap, who apparently wasn't seeking attention) and fell in love several times.

IMG_7495*Copping out!

I don't have official press I.D., which isn't technically needed to cover a public event, but I'm always worried I'll be stopped when walking from float to float. Once our group poured onto Fifth, there was no turning back and I was able to march forward pretty far, to within a few groups of the very beginning of the parade (I had fun with the Hillary marchers, unaware that had I just stuck with them a few more blocks, I would've encountered the woman herself—oh, well, I did get Chelsea last year).

IMG_7470*The first one I fell for: The adorable Zico boy and his hairy legs.

Once I'd gotten way down from the 40s to the teens, I simply turned around and began slowly moving back against the tide in order to see as many marchers as possible.

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IMG_7555*Now cheer this!

It was a beautiful march—colorful, exuberant, and sunny—but it surprised me that it didn't feel as pregnant with purpose as I'd expected in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. To be sure, there were countless expressions of solidarity and sorrow over the event, most prominently in the inclusion of Pulse owner Barbara Poma and the many WE ARE ORLANDO signs, but the parade didn't have a different vibe—it was just much, much longer. Maybe that was the Pulse effect, a rush to be a part of the bigger picture, even if more than a few moms back home were wishing their LGBT kids were not going to be quite so LGBT, quite so out in the open; I guess a lot more people wanted to send the message that they were deeply affected by Orlando, but wouldn't let that stop them from being themselves in public.

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IMG_7612*Many 49ers in the crowd

The other thing I noticed more so than ever, and that drives at least some people away from the otherwise energizing event, is the relentless corporatization of it. I have argued before, and it is still my belief, that big business marketing to us is not demonic, and that if we live in a capitalist society and are the target of marketers, that is a sign of respect for our importance, our power. Also, it's psychologically vastly important that everyday brands go out of their way to support the LGBT cause openly—even if I'm not sure whether Kiehl's is a top or a bottom (probably bottom), or in what stage of transitioning Facebook may be.

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IMG_7606*Case in point: Delta Airlines had human billboards ... and yet these two pics were among my favorite due to the marcher's joy.

I appreciate that the captains of industry understand that LGBT people are there customers and are not afraid to have our back on our biggest day of the year. Frankly, we'd have to buy from them anyway.

IMG_8674*The only thing they were selling was love.

That said, it's more and more of a killjoy to see so many marchers who were casted to walk attractively alongside and while wearing a logo. This fatiguing omnipresence of big business first hit me when I heard a team leader giving what sounded like shareholders speech before his company group's step-off, was compounded by running into a young friend who was being paid to participate (would he have even gone otherwise?) and was hammered home when, at the end of the draining day I was handed three rainbow bracelets—and upon closer inspection, discovered they advertised Wyndham Rewards. Womp-womp.

IMG_7436*Whether the message is from MasterCard or Harvey Milk, it's true: Acceptance does matter.

It's not moving, this businessy side of the parade, but on the other hand, I suppose it's the biggest pie in the face of every Anita Bryant ever that Walmart's with us, and that MasterCard is telling the world #AcceptanceMatters. Because it does, but who knew MasterCard would one day care?

I think what would help me get over the $$$ aspect is if the march could somehow encourage much smaller groups to have floats (at a discounted rate?) that were being judged for creativity and messaging. That way, I think people would be less inundated with pitches (including political ones) and the parade itself would only be more fun.

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IMG_7716*Their bodies are not your enemy.

In the past, I've also read a lot about people thinking the parade is too sexy, too about perfect bodies. I really don't get that at all. I hunted for those sexy IMG_7777*bodies, and while there were plenty on display, it sure didn't feel excessive. I recall other parades in decades past that felt far more decadent. (I later wound up on the dirtiest float in the entire procession, and it suck out like a sore thumb-job.) I also just unfriended a very intelligent but ridiculously politicized writer whose posts obsess over racism and sexism and homophobic in ways that are more self-parody than self-help. The straw that broke the homo's back was his declaration that he “hates” Gay Pride, partly due to a wrenching experience he had once (which I get) but mainly due to his feeling that all the lovely bodies are shaming him and telling him he isn't good enough.

I fully understand that twinge one can get when one sees a gaggle of ostentatiously sexy, mind-bogglingly muscled gay dudes in Speedos IMG_8111* acting like they were born that way, and there are definitely a lot of boys who, like too many girls have always done in order to seem less threatening to men, fake air-headedness and flash skin until it becomes who they are. But they are not the ones telling you you're not good enough by having great beauty, you're the one telling yourself that. Get over it, enjoy their beauty and—you know what?—enjoy what you've got, too. We are all born and we all die and any one of us can get shot in a club or get cancer or get gay-bashed or anything else you can imagine, so celebrating our fleeting sexiness should be an act of pleasure and defiance, not something to make us binge-eat a bag of doughnuts and declare our hatred for gay pride.

IMG_7754*Don't ever hate Pride.

All that said, I did have a blast playing photojournalist (surprising that I had about a half dozen people I asked for posed pictures decline), taking portraits, candids and landscapes of the gigantic, throbbing event from noon to 3. Ultimately, there is nothing else quite like a big-city LGBT parade, even if someone, somewhere is making a little cash off of it.

IMG_7543*See change!

By 3, I had made my way back to where the floats were waiting to make their way down Fifth, and found the Adonis Lounge's station. I spent several hours there—we didn't step off until something like 6!—and then spent another few slowly, ever so slowly, marching the entire route. But that's for another post.

IMG_7577*Looking at these women, who wouldn't wanna be a lesbian?

Enjoy some of my favorite photos, SHARE on social media and feel free to chime in if you see anyone you know ...

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Jun 24 2016
We Got Dragged!: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Love Party Powered By RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE Stars Comments (0)

IMG_6988*#ImWithPurse: Bob the Drag Queen was all kinds of cute. (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)

Last night was more proof why I'm glad I never got too serious about leaving NYC just yet, starting with the way-too-fun annual Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Love Party (#BarefootWineLoveParty) thrown by promoter Chip Duckett, benefiting NYC Pride.

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IMG_6833*The ladies were on-point.

Held at Arena on W. 41st, the party had a long line of people waiting to get in, every last one of them cute and playfully stylish. It was like they'd been cast, and not at all like they were the result of a bunch of people hearing about a free party. I think the reason is that the party has a solid rep, so word of mouth leads to fun people telling other fun people to rush-RSVP.

IMG_6825*IMG_6813*Cool 360-degree photos were on offer.

My friend and I mingled so I could capture some atmosphere shots (and by atmosphere shots, I mean pictures of cute boys whom I've asked to photograph for a change) before we settled front-and-center by the colorful stage. Beautiful space, great appetizers served by jazzed drag queens, and so, so many well-fitting summer shorts.

IMG_6801*Middle hottie asked me to make him thin, which was as necessary as asking me to make all three of them cute.

IMG_6805*Ironic to ask someone tucking to hand out meatball sandwiches.

IMG_6807*My pal David, of Passport Magazine, made it a family affair, inviting his cousin from Latin America.

IMG_6809*As the kids would say when faced with so much beauty: UGH.

IMG_6815*Actually, boys do make passes at boys who wear heart-shaped glasses.

IMG_6819*Looks like they read a Grindr profile that said “be good-looking” and complied fully.

IMG_7025*Hugging it out.

Mimi Imfurst was an inspired DJ—the playlist was a healthy mix of classics and neo-classics that had everyone mouthing the words so everyone else would see them and realize they were cool.

IMG_6867*The Mimi generation

IMG_7023*That place was crowded!

Up behind the stage, beyond a pane of glass, we could see a blonde drag queen being made up as flashes went off, but none of us could tell who she was. Turns out she was a she: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Girardi aka Erika Jayne arrived in a hot, black, form-fitting bodysuit and hair reminiscent of the mane sported by Madonna for her Prince tribute.

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IMG_6860 copy*Erika Jayne stands with all LGBT people ... stands, and pats the puss right along with us.

I doubt anyone will accuse Jayne of queer-baiting, but she essentially showed up, told us she loves us, said her name so we'd remember it, and left. No complaints here—it was lovely of her to come, and people were excited to see her.

 

Great Snippets of Bob the Drag Queen & Latrice Royale at Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Love Party 6.22.16 from Matthew Rettenmund on Vimeo.

Killing time while RuPaul's Drag Race fave Latrice Royale prepped, Jayne even came back out to give us a quick sample of her (in)famous dance move—the patting of the puss. You can imagine exactly what it looks like.

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Jun 23 2016
Jasmine Masters: Fix Ur Breath Comments (0)
 
Jun 21 2016
Ground Control To Major Diva: My One-Stop Book Tour With Alaska Thunderf*ck Comments (0)

IMG_6503* copyA Lammy? We're aiming for the National Book Award! (All images in this post courtesy of Matthew Rettenmund)

Uncharacteristically, I haven't written about my recent quick trip to L.A. to promote the book I wrote with Alaska Thunderf*ck (or Thunderfun, as she is called  PEG store for newsletterfor the sake of marketing the book to people still living at home). For some reason, I kept putting other stuff in front of writing this up, maybe because it wound up being an unexpectedly warm-and-fuzzy (if frantic and fleeting) event.

I went out two weekends ago—business class. I've never been in business class, so far as I remember, and found it ultra-comfortable and immediately took it on as my new normal, so that when I fly coach next time it will feel like being evicted from a gated community.

I'd planned to work from the plane, but the WiFi was out, meaning I did nothing but sleep. I wasn't sure what I was doing as far as promo for the book—Alaska Thunderfun and the Inner Space Odyssey—so being well-rested was a step (in a high-heeled shoe) in the right direction.

Working with Alaska had been a breeze. She has an insanely fun creation story that involves intergalactic gender-bending and the early '80s, and she knew pretty much what she wanted me to do, so I simply did it and she offered her input where needed and it was finished. I think it wound up being pretty funny and hopefully will surprise people with its mission of gender fluidity. I think of it as a Choose Your Own Gender book, or like Goosebumps with lovely lady lumps.

IMG_6492* copyJiggy Caliente was on hand to interview the ladies who launch

I stayed in Little Tokyo, which meant I was sick of Japanese food—which I love!—within two meals, but since I was working all day from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., IMG_6508* copythat really only left me time to eat at offbeat times and squeeze in a couple of meetings with friends I hadn't seen in forever and, of course, to explore my popularity as a new face on the locals' Grindr feeds.

Again, I must thank the parents who continue to raise their young men to have no morals at all.

IMG_6494* copyGlamtr0n philly

The event itself was a lot of fun, once I had a solid handle on what was expected. It was celebrating the opening of the first all-drag retail store at Arts District Co-Op (453 Colyton St., L.A.), where the merch of such drag luminaries as Jinkx Monsoon, Adore Delano, Sharon Needles and—of course—Alaska would be on sale. The space was chic, beautifully designed and 100% conducive to lots of impulse-buying. I was eyeing some Violet Chachki wear, and I'm not even a big fan!

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Iowa City Pride Photo Album! Comments (0)
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My buddy Alan Light takes great photos, regardless of whether the subject is an old-time movie star or a gay teenager.

Check out his wonderful series of images from Iowa City Pride 2016 in the gallery above—inspiring shots, cute guys, fun poses. And for anyone who feels like I post too much New York/L.A. stuff, this is how I branch out—you send it to my attention. Thank you!

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.21.49 AM(All images in this post by Alan Light)

 
Jun 17 2016
6-PACK —RuPAUL'S ALL STARS DRAG RACE Lineup RuVealed + Shooter's Bathroom Texts + Warren Warns Team Clinton + No, The GOP Isn't Better For LGBTs + RIP Prince Be + Hairy Hotness! Comments (0)

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*widget boy cultureRuPaul's All Stars Drag Race Season 2 queens are revealed ... and it's a doozy of a crop!

*widget boy cultureOmar & Noor Mateen exchanged texts during his shooting rampage. Man, I hope this woman is imprisoned for the rest of her life.

*widget boy cultureElizabeth Warren visits Hillary's Brooklyn staffers. Her message? “Don't screw this up.”

*widget boy cultureGOP is trying to appeal to LGBT voters by saying Democrats are choosing Muslims over them. Trump re-tweets pic with anti-gay pastor.

*widget boy culturePrince Be of PM Dawn (“Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”) fame dies @ 45.

*widget boy cultureHair today:

 

A photo posted by share your body (@men_hairy) on

 
Jun 15 2016
Drag Star Kenya Michaels Recalls Final Number At Pulse Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 1.07.08 PM(Image via Instagram @kenya_olivera)

Kenya Michaels, who appeared on Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race, was one of the featured performers at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, which became the scene of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

She's related her emotional story on Instagram, where she wrote, in reference to a video of her last number before the shooting began:

How to forget that night. Just minutes before the shooting. My last performance to all my best friend that were in front row, now all of them are gone. My heart is broke. They took everything from me.

Michaels hid in the club during the shooting and later escaped. My heart breaks for her and all the others—the ones who escaped, the ones who didn't.

12153003_1465838327.414_funddescriptionLeroy Valentin Fernandez (Image via Facebook)

Via Facebook, Michaels has asked people to give generously to the family of her slain friend, Leroy Valentin Fernandez

 


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