Friday, April 25, 2008

Bring It! April 25, 2008

I've been back from the White Party Palm Springs for days now, and my ass STILL hurts! Not for the same reason as all the other boys, of course, but doesn't that sound fun?

Fun doesn't even begin to describe my first time at one of the hottest dance parties on the planet. It was so major on so many levels that I can only describe it by chanting the lyrics to the Kim English anthem "Unspeakable Joy," which has been a relentless earmworm in my brain ever since I returned from my epic pilgrimage to the disco desert.

The nearly 20-year-old White Party might sound like a tired circuit cliché, but it is still very much a rite of gay passage. And as with anything in this big gay world of ours, it's all about what you bring to it. I brought my 2 best girls, 8 of my best gays, and enough glitter to sink a bathhouse. The joy flowed from there, and it was highly contagious.

Bringing the Pussy Posse to the White Party transformed it from just a crazed blur of beautiful boys – not that there's anything wrong with THAT! – into a life-affirming celebration of freedom and friendship. Together we anticipated our arrival, stormed every party as a united front of fabulosity, widened our circle of friends as we went, and shamelessly infused our positive energy into everything.

We shared in the dancefloor’s climactic release every night, and we shared in the pain of post-circuit recovery upon returning to reality, but we brought the white-hot enthusiasm of the weekend back with us and, to quote Kim English "they did not give it, they cannot take it away."

The indelible memories made along the way remind me that even though the circuit is evolving and maturing and (sigh) mainstreaming, it’s still possible to create community on the spot under the disco ball, and to feel that strong sense of connection you just can’t get anywhere else.

The moments of unspeakable White Party joy were many. I loved performing circuit community service when I lined up boys at The Underwear Party to do handstands in their manties, convincing them how important it is to get blood circulating away from your feet when you’ve been dancing on them for days. A private, acapella performance from Frenchie Davis after we arrived late for her poolside show was another unforgettable highlight. Later that night, the White Party itself was fantastic in its scale, though the glitz and grandeur was most impressive because it really made us appreciate the intimacy of the smaller clubs that keep our circuit alive today.

Still, intimacy was never out of reach, with familiar San Francisco faces everywhere and regular reunions with boys from Atlantis cruises past. I even got to throw a leg over Blatino heartthrob Wilson Cruz. I’m still swooning!

At the X-treme T-Dance, by far the favorite party of the weekend, the pussies bonded over shared bruises when we threw ourselves down the bouncy slide every way we could think of until we collapsed into a pile of giggles. (My ass is still covered in rubber burns, and I'm loving letting people wonder just how, exactly, they got there.)

Celebrity sightings and impossibly perfect Southern California boys in bikinis aside, we never lost sight of our mission to fully represent for San Francisco, even as we took our fruity, flowery, friskiness on the road in search of new homo horizons. As the sun set on the White Party, there was never a doubt that there’s no place like home, where we need no excuse to be happy and gay every day, and in every way!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bring It! March 7, 2008

San Francisco hosts at least one superstar DJ every single weekend, which is a beautiful thing to be able to take for granted, especially when you rely on regular dancefloor sweat sessions the way most people rely on regular psychotherapy.

The fact that any weekend can turn into a world-class circuit party is another thing to love about our supposedly sleeper city. We may get written off as a backwater Babylon, but our nightlife scene is over the top even for a non-sleeper like me.

Holiday weekends like the International Bear Rendezvous (I hear it was Presidents Day, too) do tend to be more happening, but I was damn impressed by the massive influx of massive men, and all the around-the-clock action between SOMA and the ‘stro.

Ghetto Disco with DJs Ted Eiel, Blaine Soleau, Hawthorne & Sean Greene, the first of three Sweat parties, delivered on its promise of “Big Men, Big Music, Big Night.” It was as gay as I’ve seen The Endup in years of fag Fridays, which warmed my heart, and warmed up the bear boys and the porn boys alike before the next night’s GAYVN Awards. I had the pleasure of sitting at the Titan table with some highly aroused hotties who were ready to keep the party going at the second Sweat. Thinking I was pacing myself, I instead did a drive-by at “a filthy underground house party” called Salon Nights, but didn’t even call it a night after that because all my boys ended up at Adonis with DJ Josh Peace and I couldn’t stand the thought of not joining them.

Sunday was crazier still, and the frisky, woofy energy carried through three more parties, any one of which would have made for a memorable weekend anywhere.
Fresh’s 6-year anniversary with DJ Manny Lehman was predictably packed with smiling, glistening muscle mans. I had to tear myself away to check out Play with DJ Susan Morabito, but the third Sweat was the charm for me, as Sanctuary with DJ Phil B blew the roof off of one of my favorite venues in the city, Club NV. The party went full-tilt all night long, and the back rooms were in full swing!

It took me nearly all week to recover from that debaucherous danceathon before I was back at Ghetto Disco for my favorite DJ, Jamie J Sanchez. We laughed about carefully strategizing our disco naps before the next night’s Industry with Rosabel, with Jamie and the second half of our hometown dynamic DJ duo, DJ Luke Johnstone, hosting circuit celebrities DJs Ralphi Rosario and Abel.

I need to keep weekends like these in mind the next time someone tells me San Francisco’s club scene is dead. If anything’s dead, it’s me every Monday morning, when I finally get to take a break from our “dead” club scene in my corporate cubicle!

Coming up on Friday, March 7, I’ll be bringing it at Ghetto Disco with DJ Chris Cox. Saturday, March 8, I’ll be backup dancing for larger-than-life drag queens at The Classic Divas Monster Show with Cookie Dough & DJ MC2 at Harvey’s, before heading back to Adonis, this time with DJ Matt Consola.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bring It! February 22, 2008

One of the many things to love about San Francisco is how worlds collide in a big glittery pileup.

We’re all suffering from multiple personality syndrome in the best way possible, constantly proving that you can’t make assumptions about anyone in this freedom-loving town full of people who live up to the poetic words of one of my fag hag heroes, Deee-Lite’s Lady Miss Kier:

“Your groove I do deeply dig. No walls, only the bridge.”

Lately I’m deeply digging on my beloved gay boyfriend Steven Satyricon, who redefines the term crossover artist. A member of Boylesque and a resident gogo dancer at Bootie, he also gogo dances with me at Bebe Sweetbriar’s Castro T-dance, The Launch Party at JET. At the most recent Launch, he fiercely transformed from scary drag queen to jockstrap-sporting stud in a swoon-inducing solo performance to Madonna’s “Like it or Not.”

I love how Steven’s groove defies categorization. Circuit boy? Yes. Faux king? Sometimes. Punk-flavored Powerpuff girl? Yeah, he’s that too.

Recently, he joined me in playing the role of belly dancer (one of my many multiple personalities), when I crossed another bridge at an underground party called Bibi Love, a not-for-profit event for the queer South West Asian, North African, Middle Eastern (SWANA) community and their friends.

I always assumed that two of my worlds in particular, first-generation Turkish-American and hard-core club hag, would never crossover. I celebrated being proven wrong by dressing up the Pussy Posse in gypsy couture and shimmying all over the Bibi dancefloor. It was a special experience, shared by many others at the packed party, which was closed to the press to allow for maximum freedom of expression.

Another great thing about San Francisco is having the freedom to vote for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on our own terms. While the rest of the country is talking about Hillary and Obama, we’ve got our own fabulous form of imperialism, and our very own election season with The Royal Court.

I was honored to support democracy by performing at a campaign kickoff event at Marlena’s for Mercedez Munro’s Empress run. Faux king Johnny Cocksville did a moody number about dancing away heartache and pain. As founder of the Mother of Invention Acting School, he knew that theme would highly motivate myself and my ever-faithful gay boyfriend Joanna Parks as his backup dancers/lip-synchers, and he dubbed us The Flaming Gardenias in honor of the flowers we always wear in our hair to show our San Francisco spirit. Special thanks to Urban Flowers for keeping us in fragrant gardenias year-round.

Just a few numbers later, Joanna and I were back at it, this time as Kit Kat Girls in Charisma Glitterati’s adorable number from Cabaret, “Don’t Tell Mama.” Ultra-glamorous Mercedez won me over when she invited us all to enjoy the buffet she provided for those “singing for their supper,” and Erykah Day√© Munro became the patron saint of fag hags everywhere when she (in boy) gave us girls a shout-out for playing supporting roles in what sometimes seems like every other number on the drag circuit. Loves her!

Lots of love in the house at Lucky Pierre, which hosted “Wet: A Birthday Bash for Miss Trannyshack Pollo Del Mar” at The Stud. The Glitterati gang arrived in silly swimwear and Super Soakers to drench the party in festivity despite winter weather. Afterwards we warmed up at Ghetto Disco, the Endup’s Friday night party hosted by DJ Hawthorne, who, along with Aaron Marxmiller providing choice beefcake on the gogo box, never disappoints the dancefloor.

The first party of the year at Temple was everything a T-dance should be, with DJs Wayne G and Luke Johnstone serving up the happy and then giving it away at the door on CDs. Membership has its privileges at Industry & Matinee, and I proudly purchased my 4th Boy Badge. I’ve got no problem paying my fag hag dues when they come with discounted entry all year long, plus discounts all over the Castro, including at circuit soundtrack headquarters, Medium Rare Records. London’s Wayne G wasn’t content to stay in headphones all night, and joined us on the dancefloor at the Matinee afterparty, Thick at Club Ei8ht, where DJ Frank Wild celebrated his birthday by giving us all the gift of deep dark house music.

Here’s where I’ll be bringing it coming up: On Friday, February 22 I’ll be waving my hands in the air for DJ Jamie J Sanchez at Ghetto Disco, and on February 23 I’ll be doing double-duty performing at Bootie then stomping the circuit with double-your-pleasure Rosabel, AKA DJs Ralphi Rosario and Abel, at Industry. Sunday February 24 I’ll be working the positive vibe at Revolution at Club Ei8ht with sugar-sweet DJ Robbie Martin.

I hope our multiple personality paths cross somewhere along the way….

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bring It! January 4, 2008

Life is SO much better now that I have a gay hairstylist again!

When you’re trying to get the right cut for your corporate-whore-by-day/circuit-whore-by-night lifestyle, a date at the salon shouldn’t be a chore, but an intimate, therapeutic sistah-session that puts a spring in your step.

As much as I love the rocker girls at the salon my former hairstylist (and fairy godfather) entrusted me to when he and his partner left the city to become homeowners, I was uninspired. A homo-free hair experience is simply unacceptable for the Original Fag Hag!

In San Francisco, I knew it was only a matter of time before serendipity did its thing. It happened on a double date in which the hag actually scored! (Well, a hairstylist, anyway.) I fell in hag-on-fag love with him at first sight, and swooned when he invited me to a party at his Castro apartment. He was a flawless host, and when I complimented him on his culinary artistry, someone said I should see the magic he works with hair.

Our next date was at Barber Lounge on Folsom between 4th and 5th. The salon is immaculate and tasteful, and highly fabulous. So was my cut from the sweet and multitalented Gib, who also happens to be HOT.

It was just what I’d been missing. We gabbed about everything, philosophical to frivolous. We reflected on how things never stay the same, whether it’s with hairstylists or our club scene in the city. (Gib also loves to dance. Swoon again!) I know I reduce everything to a dancefloor metaphor, but it works, so here goes: Change is inevitable, whether it’s about where to cut your hair or where to shake your ass, so there’s no choice but to embrace it.

Now that I’m in love with my gay hairstylist again, I’m reminded that change can be a good thing. Sometimes it’s just a matter of acknowledging that the time for change has come, and then working it.

Here’s where I’ll be working it coming up: I’ll be dancing between drag queens at The Industrial Strength Monster Show at Harvey's on the 12th, and on the 13th I’ll be dancing on the gogo box and supporting my girls Charisma Glitterati and Bebe Sweetbriar at the cutest Castro T-dance ever, The Launch Party at JET.

Next weekend will be huge on the dancefloor, with Industry at Club Mighty on the 19th featuring DJ Jamie J Sanchez and DJ Rob Kaftan, and the first Fresh of the year at Ruby Skye on the 20th with DJ Brett Henrichsen.

Please join me and my Pussy Posse and help us make the best of whatever changes this shiny new year will bring!


From MASS at 1015 Folsom this past Sunday night, 12/30 (photo taken by Gus himself):

Gib Bolton, The Barber Lounge:

And from my recent photo shoot with Michael Smith:
(kind of fits the New Year’s flavor of the column?)