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!