With a performance from Nina Bonina Brown and, on the roof, LINDA with the Misshapes
Sean Ford, CockyBoys newest exclusive model, thinks “entering porn is entering politics.” While that may sound unbelievable to some, Sean’s idea captures the progress made by our LGBTQ forebears. Without their fighting at the Supreme Court and rallying year after year on the streets all across the country, Sean probably would have grown up in fear like so many other queer youth who are still afraid, ostracized, lonely and uncertain in regards to their inherent sexuality.
We took Sean’s super cute, super proud self to be photographed by Gerardo Vizmanos (who photographed one of our past covers — He sure knows a thing or two about butts) to celebrate Pride Month with messages of strength and support. Sean was very comfortable with being nude on set, and we found that very refreshing. (It was much appreciated, Sean!) It also made him super easy to work with. Considering how pleased we were, we’re going to release some of those beautiful nudes in our next printed issue (GAYLETTER Issue 7 coming soon). You’re welcome!
Being proud doesn’t come easy to everyone, but the statements written on caps and t-shirts encourage us to remember those who we are fighting for this month: our trans, bi, two-spirited siblings, the queer youth and each other.
We are here and we are queer. Be proud for one another.
Honorees include Edie Windsor, Masha Gessen, Tyler Ford, Patricia Field, DeRay McKesson, and others
The RPDR S9 top four contestant is more confident than ever
Here we are on the eve of RuPaul’s Drag Race Christmas and a top four contestant, and my personal favorite on season 9, Shea Couleé, has released her new video for “Cocky.” For the three of you not on Grindr, Shea premiered it on the app exclusively. It features trans rapper, Lila Star, and Chicago queen, The Vixen. “Why y’all gagging so? She bring it to you every ball?” Shea raps on the summer bop that has me yaaaasing just in time for another glorious pride weekend in New York.
With clear inspiration from vogue beats, the trap track professes a message of unapologetic confidence that would have had the iconic Pepper LaBeija wagging her finger.The release is impeccably timed and sure to be played on repeat for the rest of the summer. Unlike a lot of music released by drag race alumnae, this song is not only bearable, but it’s actually… good. Not to mention Shea’s fashion in the video feels like a natural continuation of the looks she’s turned out each week during the show.
You can really carry during this song as long as you shake your ass (or whatever else you want to shake) with plenty of cockiness. The track speaks for itself, and she can be sure we’ll keep a strong eye on her if this is the post-drag race direction Miss Couleé is headed in. We’re still curious about the Shea we met on the reunion special — it seems she’s given us more to chew on. …
We have to admit it — Pride Month this year a little bit strange! The parade is being televised for the first time on ABC for one thing, and then there’s Facebook with their new pride rainbow reaction emoji, Urban Outfitters is doing some half-assed rainbow t-shirts, McDonald’s is making fries gay. Honestly, we’re a little upset the crosswalks aren’t rainbow colored! What the fuck, NYC?!
That said, we’re back with our GAYLETTER PRIDE GUIDE to offer a little consistency to the now ever-so-trendy pride. While cruising our emails and Facebook events, it seems as though everyone working in queer nightlife is ready to hit the ground running. There are a few brand new parties premiering this week, along with some very fresh ones and of course the super great recurring ones.
The New York Times is reporting that queer nightlife is back. There are a ton of new queer communities popping up in every borough and it’s really exciting to be partying considering there are spaces being started or taken over for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community.
Let’s not forget why this month started and that we should celebrate every day after June 30th. We’re just entering the thick of the next four, orange-hued years. Let’s keep our heads up and our skirts hiked even higher.
PARTY: THE LAST BABY TEA
Tyler Ashley has been throwing Baby Tea for three awesome years, but it’s time “to take a break.” It’s actually coming back two times this summer on Fire Island, so watch out for those event postings. …
The feature-length film features Bob The Drag Queen, Detox, Latrice Royale, and Tempest DuJour
An intimate peek into Mickey Aloisio’s latest work.
In GAYLETTER Issue 5, photographer Mickey Aloisio told us about his photo project Gay Wildlife. For that project, Mickey photographed men — particularly those belonging to the “bear” community, as Grindr, and the like, label them — in their homes around New York City. Since then, Mickey has traveled across the United States further developing the project into what he now calls American Wildlife.
A lot has changed in this country since Issue 5’s launch (just last fall), greatly impacting the LGBTQ+ community (and other minorities) — so I had a conversation with Mickey about American Wildlife; the journey he took, and how this project fits into current affairs.
I see that transitioning from Gay Wildlife to American Wildlife, you’ve begun to include yourself in your images. For that project, I actually included myself in some of the images too, but they never made it to my final edit. I wasn’t sure exactly how to fit them in. However, when I look back, I feel that as the photographer, I was distant from the work, despite feeling very close to it throughout the entire process of creation. With American Wildlife, I wanted the journey to be something more.
There’s something to be said for what happens when the photographer and subject are both on the same playing field, when the power is evenly distributed between the two. I think it’s about getting close to another person. Some of us need people, or the experience of another — more than we know or would like to let on — that we’ll go to what seems like great lengths to get the chance to see or learn just a little more about someone. …
The photographer Benjamin Fredrickson contributed to GAYLETTER Issue 5, last year, with a provocative portfolio of photographs from the Fetish-themed street fair, Folsom Street East in NYC. The street fair has been taking place in NYC since 1997 in West Chelsea (27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue). Folsom Street East is a spin-off of the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair which is the world’s largest celebration of leather and BDSM subcultures. Benjamin emailed me to let me know that this year he’s going to be photographing people that are attending the Fair from 11am - 6pm — “I’m looking to photograph anyone and everyone. I will be wandering around with my large format camera shooting portraits of people. I’m really happy with how the last 2 years of photographing Folsom Street East has turned out.” I can confirm that his black and white photographs are powerful. Wear your best kink look, leather, harness, jockstrap, puppy tail, or just show up naked with leather boots...Just make sure you impress Benjamin and beg him for a photo. He'll be working with a large format camera with a tripod, so it should be easy to spot him in a crowd.