Friday, October 30, 2009

Bring It! October 30, 2009

I am not a lesbian. Not that there’s anything wrong with being lesbian, but my recent cruiseliner gaycation is making me suddenly feel the need to protest a little.

As one of 16 women on a floating bathhouse packed with 3,100 hot homos, my journey was quite eye-opening. Of course I can see exactly why there would be confusion and curiosity about what the hell I was doing on board.

The fact that I was sharing a cabin with my best girlfriend, dance partner, and circuit sister Joanna only added to the misperception. This despite the very clear signage I posted on our door explaining that we are gay men and San Fransexual drag queens, at least as much as anyone else on the dick deck.

I just couldn’t help but be surprised at how often we were unintentionally treated like circus freaks. Kind-hearted boys repeatedly introduced themselves by offering up that their lesbian sister/friend/neighbor would love us, or by offering to have children with us (ew!). Basically, it was “some of my best friends are lesbians” all over the place.

Totally understandable, and ultimately quite sweet, although it did get me to thinking about how difficult it is to leave behind the bubble of San Francisco (even to go on a big gay boat, which is only just barely a departure from San Francisco). The whole mistaken-lesbian-identity thing made me appreciate yet again how much I love living over the rainbow, where it’s much more rare that anyone puts my box in a box.

In San Francisco, we’re free to be you and me. We’re free to fly our freak flags high and proud, and we’re free to live anywhere and everywhere on the Kinsey Scale, and it doesn’t even have to be the same place day-to-day. Hell, we don’t even have to choose between being male and female in San Francisco, which is where I got off correcting so many seamen by insisting that I was a gay man just like them.

San Francisco has afforded me the privilege of losing all perspective when it comes to what’s gay or straight and where I fit in. The point is that I do fit in, and I’m so grateful to be that kind of freak.

In San Francisco, such ambiguity and fluidity isn’t just tolerated, it’s celebrated. That’s a beautiful thing, even if – sadly - it’s too chilly here for boys to rock Speedos around the clock like they do on the big gay boat.

Here’s where I’ll be getting my San Fransexual freak on coming up…

Friday, November 6:

Nasty: A Filthy Fun-raiser for the AIDS Emergency Fund
Special Night: Get your gothic leather glam on!
Nasty Girl Suzan Revah hosts; Nasty Boys play STICK IT IN!; Special performance by Glam Electro Pop Duo Ejector; with dirty dancing & dirty demos; free massage by Alex of Club EROS
10pm-1am at The Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom, $5

Saturday, November 7:

Bearracuda Underwear Party with DJ Pete Savas and Medic
Bears, cubs, and pups free massages, great tunes, tasty snacks, and friendly guys.
9pm-3am at Deco, 510 Larkin at Turk, $5/$7 after 10pm


The Low Hat Saloon
An evening of dancing, drinks, and a spectacular show set in a mythical San Francisco Gold Rush era saloon, starring some of the world's top pro Latin/ballroom dancers, immediately following the California Dreaming Dancesport Festival.
7:30pm-midnight at The Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market Street

Friday, November 13

Mister and Miss Gay Pageant: "Down the Rabbit Hole: A Night of Fairy Tales"
7pm doors/8pm pageant at Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market
$15 advance/$20 door, premium tables of 10 $250. Advance tickets at Marlenas, 488 Hayes

Sunday, November 15:

PLAY: Military Furlough T-Dance with DJ Ted Eiel
Flirt. Frolic. Dance. Sir!
Gear: CasualMilitary.Army.Navy.AirForce.Marine.CoastGuard
5pm-midnight at DNA Lounge, 375 11th Street
$20 advance tickets from PLAY-Pals, $25 advance tickets retail and online, $30 door

Immediately followed by…

Thick with DJ Frank Wild
11pm-3am at Club Eight, 1151 Folsom, $10

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bring It! October 10, 2009

Going on a big gay cruise boat probably doesn’t sound like a vacation from San Francisco. It’s actually more like San Francisco on steroids, or on acid, or on the most perfect trail mix of party drugs.

Which means for this Original Fag Hag and self-proclaimed cruise director, it’s a sun-soaked slice of heaven. Blazing sunshine is really the only thing the “Dick Deck” has that San Francisco doesn’t have when it comes to a perfect gay world. Setting sail on an Atlantis cruise is like living in a biosphere where the only concerns are whether you have enough sunscreen on and what to wear to the next party.

Living in the bubble of San Francisco feels like gaycation a lot of the time. We work really hard to play really hard, but hedonism is really our full-time job. The rest of the gay world looks to us to set the standard!

On the boat, the hedonism is more intensified, and the agenda more compressed. Instead of 3 parties a weekend, it’s 3 parties a day, and instead of the occasional weekend in Speedos on Boy Beach, it’s a nonstop parade of underwear models in banana hammocks. It’s like a weeklong reality-show challenge, in which one’s skills as a homosexual are put to the ultimate test.

Coming home from a gay cruise ain’t pretty, even when you’re coming home to Oz. I’ll be back just in time for Halloween, a holiday that reminds me yet again how special San Francisco is. Costumes are practically our uniforms here over the rainbow, and there’s a pagan ritual going on somewhere every night of the week.

October 23

Queens Are Wild: StopAIDS Project and Elbow Grease invite you to roll the dice
A Halloween casino event and dance party, hosted by Bebe Sweetbriar, plus a special appearance by Kristine W
Casino games, pornstar dealers, and a costume contest from 8pm-midnight; dancing until 3am at Mezzanine, 444 Jesse Street at 5th, tickets start at $25 or 415.575.0150 x260


GhettoDisco: DJ Hawthorne’s Birthday Bash, wth Shawn Perry & Cuervo
11pm-11am, featuring an extended crazy-funky afterhours set beginning at 2am, no cover before midnight
Endup, 6th and Harrison

October 24

Pornstar returns with music by producer/remixer DJ Escape
Featuring Rascal Exclusive Jeremy Bildingmusic; Host Michael Brandon and Gogo studs Damian Rios, Race Cooper, and Darren Summers
With 2 floors and 3 bars of Manly Mayhem, with a Perky Booty contest in the 70s soul/disco lounge
9pm-3am at Club Eight, 1151 Folsom, $15 before midnight/$20 after


Memory/Healing Party: HIV Era Veterans Celebration
Celebrate the everyday heroes who have survived and thrived in the HIV era, with music, dancing, workshops, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
1pm-5pm, War Memorial Veterans' Hall, 401 Van Ness, free

October 25

Church: Celebrating 10 years of Our Love!
Go to church with Bebe Sweetbriar; Free brunch with soul food, old-school gospel, hip hop and R&B spun by DJ Olga T; special guest performances by the Black Men of the Castro Calendar, with dancing and mimosas
1pm-5pm at The Café, 2367 Market Street

October 26

Defying Inequality: A Celebrity Benefit for Marriage Equality at San Francisco Palace of the Fine Arts
Join the cast of Wicked San Francisco, Broadway stars, members of the San Francisco Arts Community, and a variety of celebrity guests for an evening of song and dance in support equal rights.
Entertainment includes Patty Duke, Bruce Vilanch, the Cast of Wicked San Francisco, Matt Alber, Clifford Banagale, Boylesque, Connie Champagne, Carmen Cusack, Ava Garter, Judy Gold, Selene Luna, Meg Mackay, Scott Matthew, Billy Philadelphia, Laughing Pizza, Empress XXX Donna Sachet, and Suzanne Whanghunter, Las Vegas).
7:30-9:30 pm VIP Reception (Show only, $100; Show and VIP Party, $250)

October 31 – Halloween

Colossus: A Celebration of Lost Idols with DJ Manny Lehman
Major dead celebrity costume contest with cash prizes
10pm-4am, high atop the Metreon at the corner of 4th & Mission, $50 advance/$60 door
FOLLOWED BY: reLOAD Afterhours at 525 Howard with DJ Pornstar, $20 door


Halloween: A Party! Presented by Trannyshack & Midnight Mass
Hosted by Heklina as "Dragula" & Peaches Christ as "Tran Helsing"; Featuring Putanesca, Holy McGrail, Lady Bear, and Syphilis Diller, Raya Light, Holotta Tymes, Cookie Dough and More; Co-Starring Jackie Beat, with DJs Pinky Ring & Silencefiction
9pm-3am, midnight show at The Cat Club, 1190 Folsom St. at 8th, $15 cover/$25 out of costume


Big Top: A Homoween Disco Circus
With DJs Kevin Graves (NYC) and Marcus Boogie; a midnight show featuring Oxana Olsen, Miss Rahni and Tess Tickle; Juanita MORE’s annual Halloween costume contest; Booty Call portraits
9pm-3am at Club Ei8ht, 1151 Folsom, $10 door


Social Club: Halloween Fun House with DJs Lee Decker, Luke Fry, Pornstar and Joshua J
Sideshow freaks, spectacular live acts, Ringmaster Hostess Lady Lumpia, Psycho Circus Clowns
9pm at Lookout, 16th and Market in the Castro

November 1

Come see the Original Fag Hag on the gogo box at:
Halloween Fresh with DJ/Producer Tony Moran – his Fresh debut!
Benefiting World Bike, 6pm-midnight at Ruby Skye, 420 Mason Street @ Geary, $20 advance/$25 door

November 6:

Nasty: A Filthy Fun-raiser for the AIDS Emergency Fund
The Black Party: Get your leather goth on!
10pm-1am at The Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom, $5
Nasty Girl Suzan Revah hosts; Nasty Boys play STICK IT IN!; Special performance by Glam Electro Pop Duo Ejector; with dirty dancing & dirty demos; free massage by Alex of Club EROS

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bring It! October 2, 2009

San Francisco has its own way of doing everything, and it’s particularly apparently this time of year, our peak season.

I’m not just talking about our Indian Summer. Much like the Jewish calendar has its own timeline and its own set of holidays, San Francisco’s calendar doesn’t quite synch beyond the bubble.

While the rest of the Western world cues its seasonal stress to Thanksgiving and Christmas, our “high holidays” in Oz are marked by Pride and Folsom, with the Castro Street Fair feeling something like New Year’s Eve. Much like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, our major holidays give us the chance to celebrate another year of glitter while atoning for our “sins.” (I don’t know about you, but I’m still licking my wounds from Folsom!)

While “normal” people are storing away their beach blankets and going through crates of Christmas ornaments, San Franciscans are wondering if their rainbow flags are in good enough condition to fly proud through the rainy season. We’re planning our gaycation budgets, and we’re repairing our leathers so they’ll be in good condition for the next “formal” event.

I never cared much for Easter before I moved to San Francisco, but it’s now among my favorite holidays. It’s perfectly irreverent, and a perfect tribute to the birth of spring. Our rites and rituals take paganism to a whole new level, and the significance of gathering San Framily to “observe” holidays like The White Party or even Fleet Week - gotta have an excuse for sailor suits! - is no less real than any church meeting.

Our need for fundraisers, support groups, and booster clubs is no less real, either. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted from the fabulous blur of parties and parades by this time of the year, and Halloween is just around the corner!