Earlier this week we attended the Ballet Hispánico at the Joyce Theater (that’s running from April 18-23, 2017) and the show slayed. The legendary Latino dance organization founded by dancer and choreographer Tina Ramirez in 1970 carefully celebrates the vibrance of Hispanic dance and the rigor of traditional ballet with their breathtaking performances. Their current showing features all-female choreographers, including Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Michelle Manzanales, and Tania Perez-Salas. “Our Joyce program this year showcases the talents of three exciting Latina choreographic voices,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico. “Ballet Hispánico’s commitment to presenting diverse perspectives has never been stronger or more necessary.” The Joyce theatre is a fabulous place to unwind and be entertained — the night promises a bold mix of technical precision, thoughtful reflection, raw passion, and irreverent humor, all fitting together to deliver something unique. Expect silky white caftans which flow extra wide with their stilted arm extenders, male on male dancing, slicked back hair and tight buns.
Many of the dances are centered around the drama of Latin fashion — the first of three short but dynamic acts begins with a single female given a powerful presence in a red dress with a long train which she throws from one muscled male dancer to another. We gagged! In another, the performers wear orange and yellow sombreros with a tongue-in-cheek nod to Cheech Marin‘s song Mexican-Americans. The range of the performers is stunning. They effortlessly move from flamenco to contemporary between steps — from one style of movement to another to without hesitation. …
Until you’ve been to the /r/rupaulsdragrace subreddit, you may not know how far a carry can go. These internet children go in really deep to get a gag. As I’m writing this, an image from our Katya story, in the latest issue of GAYLETTER, is trending in the “hot” section. The magazine isn’t even in stores yet and we’re pretty sure we never posted this spread online. Yet, there she is. Every member of the subreddit chooses a queen from the current season to appear next to their username. Before Season 9 began airing, the community was feeling Nina Bonina Brown (duh), Shea Couleé (sure), Sasha Velour (I see it), and, Charlie Hides. These kids clearly know everything, so I’ve been leaning on trust for that last one. However, I’m not confident the show has done her justice. Luckily, this Saturday, Charlie Hides is performing for the second installment of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Brooklyn Rusidency at Metropolitan Bar. Can’t stand to watch another queen lip sync? That’s fine, gal! Charlie Hides decidedly, defiantly, and demonstrably does not lip sync. She sings live. And she’s funny. And she’s very sweet. I’m excited to shed her edit and meet the Charlie that built up her decades-long reputation. Drag shows at Metro are about as intimate as it gets — you see it all. It’s the perfect chance to begin a reddit career with some exclusive footage of the Dame herself. Then for the rest of the night, Frankie Sharp and La’Fem Ladosha will be DJ’ing. Hopefully the back patio will be open and bumping too. So stay all night, they’ve got what you need.
Shannon Michael Cane from Printed Matter is always looking for ways to shine a spotlight on queer artists that never got the acclaim they so rightly deserve. And bless him for that. We do the same in our magazine. It’s amazing how many brilliant queer artists have been overlooked by the mainstream art community because it’s clearly filled with a bunch of homophobes. This week Shannon is bringing to Printed Matter “an exhibition of self-published serial publications and ephemera by late New Yorker John Dowd, a key if often overlooked figure in the correspondence art movement of the early 1970s.” John Dowd is an artist made for GAYLETTER. Like us, John was fascinated with printed materials, popular culture and queer politics. His work was often described as having a “xerox aesthetic” (I love that term), he also had a “perverse sense of humor” which is evident in much of his work, like his pieces featuring Disney cartoon characters. “The John Dowd Fan Club traces Dowd’s collaborative output through a near-complete overview of editioned publications and folded broadsheets, accompanied by extensive archival material including unique zines, xerox ephemera, promotional inserts, collages, mail art, correspondence, and original stencils.” The opening reception is on Friday, April 21, 6:00-8:00PM. There’s always a cute crowd at Printed Matter’s openings, and free beer! It’s time to join the John Dowd fan club.
It’s 4/20 so you know what I’ll be doing today. The past few years we have done some fun celebrations on 4/20 from baking a variety of THC infused gourmet sweets to frying tempura with a group of friends, we even had the food magazine Put an Egg On It come to my small apartment to photograph the whole thing. Fun right? I am a bit annoyed that 4/20 falls on a Thursday this year, but whatever, anytime you can take a puff on that day, please do it, your mind and body needs it. I spoke with JT Almon about this party (he’s DJing), here’s what he had to say: “it’s one of those — if you happen to peel yourself off the couch and have a cup of coffee come out to dance — parties...we are just starting it on 4/20. I wanted to start a less gendered party than Bromo to have women and femmes feel more welcomed, but mostly my goal is to provide a free party in Brooklyn with great music where they gays can hang and feel comfortable — accessibility is a really important thing to me.” The party is at Bossa Nova in Brooklyn which JT describes as a cute and intimate space. Other DJs joining him are Bearcat and Physical Therapy. Plus hosts for the night are Patti Spliff (she’s lovely), Jason Scott Rosen (lovely name) and Gio Rgi Mjavanadze (also lovely). For god sakes, please, please, please don’t forget to get high.
When you have a budget like Harper’s Bazaar, you can really carry. The legendary glossy is giving New York what editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey is calling “the world’s greatest fashion show” by projecting some of their favorite covers – from Audrey Hepburn to Gwyneth Paltrow – on the north facade of the Empire State Building. If GAYLETTER had two million dollars, trust we’d plan the same, but this is inspiring, nevertheless. Running from 8:30pm-midnight, the 500 foot tall, 186 foot wide projections will grace 42 floors of the midtown skyline.
Last week I turned 22 (#youth) and Abi & Tom gifted me Harper’s Bazaar: 150 Years: The Greatest Moments. I was thrilled. They know I want nothing more than endless amounts of things to read and clothes to clock. So, once we were done questioning what the fuck had just happened on Ru, we got to flipping through the pages. As America’s first fashion magazine, they’ve worked with literally every name; Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn.
Bazaar has been crafting some of the best fashion imagery with the industry’s top contenders since 1867, and yet my favorites are the illustrated covers from the late 19th century. They’re as timeless as they are chic — just like a magazine should be.
Photography by Terry Richardson. Gwyneth Paltrow, March 2012 Harper’s Bazaar.
Illustration by Erté. November 1920 Harper’s Bazaar.
Photography by Alexi Lubormirski. Reese Witherspoon, February 2016 Harper’s Bazaar. …
It’s no secret that we love Marc Jacobs — the man, the brand, and the carry that Marc brings to the world (check out his Instagram) — Check out some of some of the epic images from GAYLETTER Issue 5 photographed by Terry Richardson, here and here. Also, remember “It’s yours to try”? For this very reason, I was thrilled to find out from a very close friend that there’s a massive, goldmine of a sale taking place this week in NYC (Soho). Some of the categories included are Marc by Marc Jacobs men’s + women’s ready-to-wear and accessories (for those of you looking for a cute, contemporary throwback), and (I’m the most excited about this next part) women’s collection RTW and accessories (runway…yas hunty). It’s 2017 — if you can’t clock a women’s show and find at least five items you’d wear yourself, the sartorial part of your brain needs an update, and Marc can give it to you!
You’ll also come across some Little Marc product and tons of special items on the cheapizi — cashmere socks, underwear, belts, umbrellas, graphic tees, scarves, and more. Prices are up to 90% off retail, so run, don’t walk — we all know the next best thing to a dick reset may very well be a fashion reset. Happy shopping and a la inti!
I am obsessed with the 1978 film ‘Eyes of Laura Mars,’ set in NYC, and directed by Irvin Kershner. It stars Tommy Lee Jones and Faye Dunaway (Laura) as a fierce fashion photographer that somehow has the ability to see visions from a serial killer’s perspective. The music and the fashion in this film are fantastic, not to mention the carry is strong in those photoshoots. I strongly recommend you to go watch this film if you haven’t. It makes sense that they are throwing a queer disco party inspired by this film. It’s the third party that Alÿ Sálem is hosting at the Hotel Americano, he did two other themed parties there before: an “Egyptian” and a “Weimar Berlin” one. For this one he’s encouraging you to wear “seventies chic… Wide lapels, bell-bottoms, platform shoes, Laura Mars style fur coats over lingerie, Jerry Hall side-swept Hair, Farah Fawcett hair, sequins, Gold Lamé Turbans, Patti Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army gear, Rollerina Chic, Platinum Records as Head Gear, Grace Jones Butch Realness, Bianca Jagger riding in on a white horse and sky-high stilettos.” Music will be provided by Carlos Jadraque. I’d say watch the film then go out, you deserve it homo.
Much to my discontent, I still haven’t gone to this party! GAYLETTER has hosted before, and Abi is always raving (no pun intended) about Analog’s light fixtures. It’s a grid that hangs above the dance floor that will either keep your pussy in check or push your senses over the edge. I guess it depends on how lit you’re feeling. Hopefully it’s the latter! Abi is always telling me the sound system can carry, and because of the music, the boys, the lights and the drinks, you get an atmospheric boner. Actually, my sister, Christy Burlington Coat Factory, was so “overwhelmed” last time she was at Powerhouse she stepped outside with a friend for some “fresh air.” One only wonders what they did, but she felt relieved soon after. Last time we hosted I had to miss it on account of my mom’s birthday, but had major fomo for obvious reasons. I am always loving the stories the boys give me after a night out with Sean B. & Tad Haes. Expect the music to keep your heart pumping and your skin wet. Spring has motherfucking sprung so leave your windbreakers and jeans at home. Trust, you’re going to want to dress light. The space is intimate and the bass is deep. If I haven’t sold you yet, there is an open vodka bar from 11pm-12am. What more do you really need?
I have some memories of this space, where the former G Lounge used to be. It brings me back to my “prostitution” years. I was going to FIT in the neighborhood, I was 22 with a curly afro and I used to wear tight, over designed Diesel jeans. I would go to EVERY gay happy hour in that area, between classes, in the middle of class, after class… I mean, I was thirsty. One day I was at G Lounge with a friend and this older man put $50 in my jacket pocket and smiled at me. I sort of smiled back and used the cash to pay for drinks for me and my friend. Later the guy came over and asked me what I was doing after and I told him I wasn’t sure… And then he put in my pocket some more cash. My friend told me, “You know you look like a prostitute right?” I was like “Really?”
A few weeks after that, at the same place, a man waved some money at me in the bathroom area and was like “Come with me I’m close by…” Hey! I used that money to take my friends to Benny’s Burritos the next day.
The other day, I was walking by that block and some of those memories came back to me, I wondered where are all the fun local bars in Chelsea now? Well, a new bar called Rebar NYC is opening in the same space on April 13th, 2017. …
I’m recommending a new podcast! Shocker I know, but this is a good one, and it’s gay! Like really gay. It’s called Nancy, lol, and it’s got some serious pedigree behind it. Produced by WNYC, the station behind the esteemed Radiolab, Nancy is hosted by alums of that show, “BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low.” According to the bio I found on the WNYC website for the duo they are both “super queer, super fun and ready to take over your podcast feed.” I listened to episode number two “Like Two Ken Dolls Being Smashed Together.” It was an exploration of the career of Brandon Lee, who is considered the first Asian top in gay porn. It was a fascinating look into the way Asians are portrayed in gay porn and how stereotypes continue to linger. I’d never really thought about it, but Asians in porn are pretty much always the submissive bottoms. Which is ridiculous, ‘cos there’s plenty of Asian gays who top. It just makes you realize how cliched most depictions of non-white people in porn are. If you’re in the need for a new podcast to add to your feed, Nancy is it! It’s frank, fun and thought provoking. Subscribe!