Gay blogger and activist (and what would we do without him, look at butt pics all day?) Joe Jervis did something he almost never does over the past few days—he banned some commenters and deleted some of their offensive words.
With so many controversial gay issues that lead to spirited debates of hundreds of comments on many of his posts, what finally led to such a crackdown?
“I very rarely ban commenters or even delete comments as my long-standing policy has been that we should own and confront the haters among us. But reading some of the reactions to the suicide of Leelah Alcorn makes me feel hopeless and depressed about the future of our movement. If some of our own people cannot summon a shred of sympathy and solidarity for the most tortured and abused members of our family, I don't know WHAT we're all in this for. The most vicious of the messages that poured in overnight were from guest accounts or non-regulars. These people are NOT part of the JMG community that I've loved and respected for the last decade.”
I share Joe's contempt for these attitudes, and his genuine disillusionment that they exist in such numbers in our community. It felt to me, growing up, that gay people were often more worldly and progressive and just plain smarter. There is a common joke in the culture that gay men have better taste, so much so that our stamp of approval is often sought in making things cool. I haven't felt that way in a while. Perhaps it's one unfortunate side effect of equality—gay people are just as likely to be small-minded and hateful as the next person.
Arrived late to Big Ang's launch party for her book Bigger is Better: Real-Life Wisdom from the No-Drama Mama (Gallery, $21.99) only to discover I'd missed a chance for a one-on-one with the reality sensation. The book looks like a breezy read. On the page I flipped to first was the header, "A Friend Today Could Be an Enemy Tomorrow."
Ang was holed up at the new Cutting Room on E. 32nd, surrounded by a, uh, mob of well-wishers. Everyone was grabbing her for photos. When it was my turn, she said no because she was heading out to smoke. Not being an avid Big Ang watcher, I miscalculated the near-total devotion she inspires in others, so I said something like, "Fuck her if she can't wait for me," only half-seriously. Two guys who were going to help me get the photo looked like I had just wished Kylie Minogue dead. Mea culpa! Fabulous publicist (aka fabulist) Chip Duckett introduced us and she graciously posed for the above shot between puffs.
I guess I'm easily shocked! Seen here with Joe Jervis.
Ran into some drunken friends, one of whom was sober enough to take the lovely photos, the other of which was feeling no pain so had no problem loudly saying things of the crowd like, "These people aren't putting it on...they're really like this!" His buddy—tall, strapping, bearded, in plaid—overheard an attendee saying, "Who the fuck is that? He looks like a lumberjack!"
But the best overheard moment was—imagine this shouted from a waiting white SUV—"Angie, get in the cahhhh, I'm stahhhhvin'!"
As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.
Had a blast with my buddy Jason last night at the party for Michael Musto's new book Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back (Vantage Point). I guess as I get to know more people and they get to know me, I'm less of a fly on the wall than one of the happy maggots feasting on the fame, quasi-fame and frivolity.
With the man who helped inspire my move to NYC 19 years ago!
A Russian doll, an Italian-American princess and a Countess go into a bar...
Murray Hill at the precipice of Dirty Martini
Michael's a New York institution, like the Empire State Building or that weird smell you keep telling tourists you don't notice. He's also a fabulously funny writer, and his new book has fresh stuff in it, making it a must-buy. (No, really, I must buy it—it wasn't given away for free at his party unlike the Bacardi.)
I'd never been to the Copacabana on W. 47th, but I loved it. It felt like a throwback to the disco era—like 54, or maybe 47—and was oozing with cheesetastic outfits, semi-boldface names and genuine merriment. The love Musto engenders from certain circles is shocking considering his ability to cut a bitch with his words. He's embraced because he's unafraid to cut deserving bitches but is generous to those who haven't earned the scythe yet. He's authentic, and if his book is anywhere near as fun as this party was, you should check it out. (And not ...of the library.)
We arrived and ran into my friend Kenneth, who was waiting for artist and designer Scooter LaForge. They'd both turned on Madonna during (actually, before) HydrangeaGate but I have to stick with my gays even over my diva, so I was looking forward to chatting with them more later on. When I caught up with Scooter, he confessed that Madonna's response to HydrangeaGate had won him back. He met Madonna during the American Life era and said she'd been really nice, which is saying a lot since that was the era of, "I'm hot!"
Inside, the low lighting and kitschy decor helped to distract from the fact that most of us were dreaming we were 40 again, and the alcohol made quite a few of the attendees act like 20-year-olds. Mike Diamond, who doesn't need to have lighting on his side in order to make a splash, was interviewing as well as dancing with the kinda-stars.
The awkward moment when you both shriek, "I love your drag!"
Geri and I meshed well
My first celebrisighting was Geri Reischl, who dubs herself "Fake Jan"—she replaced Eve Plumb when Plumb refused to return for those godawful/gotta-love-'em Brady specials. She was decked out in the fishnets she'd worn at Chiller Theatre, when I first met her, and was traveling with her personal publicist/photographer. Nice chick! She'd apparently originally met Musto bar-hopping one night.
It was also a pleasure seeing Eddie Rabon, one of (one of???) Broadway's finest dancers. (And he dances well, too.) He was there with a friend, enjoying his last month or so as Mr. Gay U.S.A. I then spotted Paul Iacono from (the new) Fame and The Hard Times of R.J. Berger (on which he played a horse-hung nerd), but he was chowing down on the amazing food so I didn't want to give him indigestion by introducing myself over a meat course.
"This old thing???"
What were they thinking in this moment?
Then things got nuts when hostesses Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and Lisa Lampanelli arrived. The clusterfuck around these women and guest Jerry Springer was a nightmare! I mean, Downtown groupies with cameras were unselfconsciously elbowing me to get their shots. But it was unnecessary as all of the stars were beyond accessible and gracious, posing for like an hour, even when they got frighteningly cornered on the second floor.
I just returned, with my at-gunpoint cameraman José, from the 25th annual Night of a Thousand Gowns, a benefit thrown by the Imperial Court of New York to honor LGBT activist David Mixner and Princess Boy author Cheryl Kilodavis that raises cash for the Trevor Project and the Ali Forney Center.
As you know, I have done drag—I made a right camp Sam Fox. However, the Imperial Court is not bullshitting around when it comes to drag. They're a serious (and seriously regimented) org; camp was in short supply even if half the sequins on the East Coast were in the Marriott with me.
We arrived to find a larger-than-expected area for the press line. However, as guests began arriving—I'm not sure why some queens did the photo call and others didn't—it was apparent that NO print press showed up and very few online outlets, leaving me as the first person on the line. It was awkward, so we just began grabbing interviews where we could, either as attendees arrived or after they'd posed for the photographers. I was especially interested in (my new pal) Ally Sheedy, Honeymooners legend Joyce Randolph (who later received an award for which she was asked to kneel—not cool to ask of someone cruising toward 90, girls) and Carson Kressley...so of course not one of them did the carpet. Still, the people who did were quite diverse and easy to grab and I was able to chat with Joe of Joe.My.God. and more formally meet Mr. Broadway, Michael Cusumano.
Bill Cunningham (and Matthew Rettenmund) New York
I was most excited to meet and chat briefly with Bill Cunningham, the legendary octogenarian fashion shooter for The New York Times. A new documentary on him (Bill Cunningham New York) is getting lots of good press, something he seemed a bit shy about when I mentioned it. "I haven't seen it," he told me, "but I understand the filmmakers deserve a lot of praise." He remembered my name when thanking me. It was fascinating to watch him work the line; so many of the queens had no idea who he was and seemed bemused when he would hand them a pad to write down their names. (This old-school method is fail-safe, though, if you want to avoid being Miss Identified.)
Mike Ruiz of The A-List: New York and his partner Martin Berusch are supernice and supersexy each time I meet them. Ruiz noted that two more A-Listers are on the way for season two—and that the show was seeking supervillains. Super!
Don't ask—we won't tell
I grabbed Dan Choi—with a new friend, as in, a drag queen he met at the elevator, on his arm—and asked him a bit about marriage equality. He's a nice guy to talk to always. I feel like he has his regular personality—a little shy, nervously joking around—and then when he speaks about serious subjects he kicks into his activist persona. It's nice that he has a sense of humor; he needs one considering the schism in the community over whether he is our new Harvey Milk or is just milking every opportunity for attention. I don't think he's a messiah (and I don't think he thinks he is, either), and I occasionally disagree with him, but I like him and there's no denying he's had a major, grassroots impact on DADT and other gay issues. And he's hot in a suit.
As a bonus, I finally got to meet LGBT activist David Mixner, a gracious dude with a righteous sense of conviction about getting 'er done, rights-wise.
Amanda LePore walked right past me as I asked to take her picture. It felt like there was no way she didn't hear me, but she was as methodical as a glacier if a bit faster about it. It was...odd.
Ari Gold knows how to make an entrance...
...but his slaveboys know a thing or two about making an exit!
Ari Gold—who released his new single as "Sir Ari Gold" thanks to being knighted by this group last year—made an entrance that would have had Lady Gaga gagging with jealousy: He waltzed in clad in a gold Arabian number with two boyslaves on leashes. I hope he curbed them. I wish I'd seen the reaction of the gorgeous hospice dog that was in the house! (Dude brought his parents. He's one of the lucky ones who could do such a thing.)
He looked sexy in his version of drag, but it was soon back to the more traditional, can-I-pass-as-a-flamboyant-chick style of drag.