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Saturday 07.23.16

Event: Black Lives Occupy Brooklyn

The world is pretty cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs at the moment. She’s losing her shit in more ways than I can keep up with. I realized last night that I need to stop reading the Internet constantly and actually do something positive. This Saturday is a chance for us all to do just that. Black Lives Matter are taking a stand this Saturday to let the world know that it’s time to end violence. Enough with all the aggression. “We will meet at the front end of Barclays Center directly across the street from Atlantic terminal (shopping mall) at 1:00PM we will make our way to BAM, followed by marching on Fulton st toward Fulton mall proceeding to Brooklyn borough hall and ending at Columbus park. We will be calling out the names of those slain by officers so a list will be started and please add names. In addition we are calling to action a change of the laws that govern the prosecution of officers when it comes to the killing of civilians. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A PEACEFUL MARCH!!!!” Amen to that, a little peace and A LOT of action is what we all need right now.

FREE, 12:00PM-4:00PM, BARCLAYS CENTER, 620 ATLANTIC AVE. BK, NY.

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Friday 07.22.16

Party: DRAG LIFE DANCE PARTY

So many fucking parties, please help us! My mother always told me you don’t get tired of partying? Now I am getting older and sort of started to understand what she means, but partying is fun, you know. Why stay home? Socializing is very important for your mind and who needs sleep anyways? There’s an ongoing contradiction in my head right now. To party or not to party… Then I read this promising quote about our pick for Friday: "The Drag Life Dance Party promises to be the most adventurous Friday night extravaganza in NYC as guests are encouraged to flip the script and dive deep into the gender blender of sexual disorientation. The festivities include a pop-up strip club with open pole, make-over station, glamour shot photo booth, ass jazzling, manicures and pedicures,  glam drag, butch drag, daddy drag, and then some!” That sounds kind of fun… Music for the night will be provided by Nomi Ruiz, Carlos Jadraque, the sexy Williams Francis, Din/Void, Exit sense, Derek Piotr and Gerry Visco (that girl, m m m). Free yourself from the jail that is masculinity — that shit is boring — tuck, put a wig on, gender bend it, get free. Click here for tickets.

Free before 11:00pm with RSVP, $15.00 pre-sale, $20, 9:00PM-5:00AM, HOUSE OF YES, 2 WYCKOFF AVE. BK, NY.

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Persons of Interest

Sam Gordon's exhibition offers art sans categorical archiving

Persons of Interest_GAYLETTER

A “person of interest” usually refers to a suspect who has been deemed worthy of further investigation. In Sam Gordon’s exhibition ‘Persons of Interest,’ nineteen artists collectively investigate the queer individual through drawing, video and even a neon glory hole (my personal favorite). Sam refers to the exhibition as a “wunderkammer, a microcosm of books and objects presented without categorical hierarchies.” The exhibition itself strives to be as queer as the art it presents. Unlike most art spaces, there is no pecking order. Here all mediums are created equal.

 

The show is presented by Visual AIDS at the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, located the second floor of the LGBT Center of New York. The Bureau is a “queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space…that seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting readings, performances, film screenings, book discussion groups, and workshops.” Most importantly, you can find every issue of GAYLETTER there.

 

 

Sam explains that the show also explores “the people left behind and the challenges with archives and legacies.” After the AIDS epidemic, exhibiting art was no longer a simple matter of organizing and categorizing. Huge gaps were left both in the canon and in the community. ‘Persons of Interest’ tries to symbolically rectify that loss, while paying homage to those who have passed. Featuring artists such as Raynes Birkbeck, Mark Carter, Chloe Dzubilo and more, the show is on view through September 4th. …

Thursday 07.21.16

Party: BETTE DAVIES

This is the third installment of Bette Davis, a party organized by Markus Kelle and James Twigg. I wanted to go and check out the first week, but didn’t make it. So, I decided to reach out to some of the people involved in the party to get more info — Markus told me more about Bette Davis, he says it’s  “an underground disco beneath the hotel Americano which started out rather organically, in that my group of friends (the shitty kitties; James Twigg, Eric Worsech, Nicholas Phinney and Josh Helman) are rather well know for our excursions and house parties.” Ohhh I’ve seen those queens carrying. “We called it bette Davis because the front room is nearly entirely black and white, and to an extent some of the character she played rather embody the energy of the night. ” Josh told me that this week is gonna be extra because it’s also the after-party for The Hudson boat party. Sure, gtk summer!

$5, 10:00PM-3:00AM, HOTEL AMERICANO, 518 WEST 27TH ST. NY, NY.

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OUR Restroom Campaign

Lil Zee needs your help in making bathrooms accessible for all!

Lil Zee_GAYLETTER

Last night, my date at Rosie’s in the East Village shared his appreciation for the restaurant’s copious amount of unisex bathrooms. I think he said something like, “it makes sense, especially in New York.” He was hinting at downtown’s inability to function within the gender binary, but little did we both know that in New York it is required that single stall bathrooms be unisex! Which, if you drink like me, is amazing, because that line always looks daunting… but it hustles!

 

 

Kristen Ross at Everyone Is Gay, an LGBTQ youth organization, says, “taking those gender markers off of single-stall restrooms creates more comfortable and safer spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming people, as well as more accessibility for caretakers,” which is why her campaign with musician Allison Weiss called OUR Restroom (One Unisex Restroom) is incredibly necessary.

 

 

When someone’s got to go, they got to go. That’s what that old people bladder commercial says. It’s not right that some essentially lose that option completely when out in public, when they’re probably just trying to have a grand old time with their friends.

 

 

OUR Restroom “is working to help educate businesses as to the importance of taking gender markers off  of single-stall restrooms.” Of course some people will not have such an easy time completely losing the strict binary society has set up, but campaigns like OUR Restroom are so, so important to support, as they’re the ones doing the heavy lifting and educating those who have reserves or false information. …

Wednesday 07.20.16

Art: IN THE BEGINNING – DIANE ARBUS

The story of Diane Arbus is not unheard of. She was a Park Ave. girl who fled to the margins of society because, as Arthur Ludlow details in his latest, best-selling biography of Arbus, she “never felt adversity, the outside world was so far from [her family].” While that quote reeks of privilege, Arbus didn’t fuck around. She went after adversity and turned it out with some of the best lighting and portrait work of her time. “Her photographs of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and Fifth Avenue pedestrians are among the most intimate and surprising images of the era.” Not only did Arbus just photograph interesting people, she obtained query-worthy qualities too. It was rumored she had sexual relations with her brother Howard, that began in adolescence and lasted up until two weeks before she took her own life in 1971. The MET Breuer holds her archive and have just opened a new exhibition titled In the Beginning that runs through November. It features over 100 photographs from the first seven years of Arbus’ prolific career. “It was only when the archive came to The Met that this remarkable early work came to be fully explored. Arbus’ creative life in photography after 1962 is well documented and already the stuff of legend; now, for the first time, we can properly examine its origins.”

SUGGESTED DONATION, 10:00AM-5:30PM, Met Breuer, 945 Madison Ave. New York, NY.

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Tuesday 07.19.16

Mister Wallace’s ‘It Girl’

Mister Wallace_ItGirl_GAYLETTER

Last week, Tom, Abi & myself went to check out the OAK SS17 presentation. We liked the clothes — a cute, very New York, and wearable direction for the brand — but the model casting was fucking correct. Abi told me to go up and get in the models faces for our GAYLETTER Snapchat (add us, queen! @gayletter) because I was gagging five feet away, so I guess he figured I had an excuse to be thirsty in their personal space.

 

While we were carrying and reading the fashion queens post-presentation, the models came out in the street clothes and we might have enjoyed that moment even more, considering they all got to serve it in their personal style, and needless to say, they came through. One boy stuck out in particular, because while everyone was sanctioned off in small circles, sipping their vodka tonics, he was throwing it… for his phone! I’m always in awe of kids who can give public performance for Internet content. I mean, he was lip-synching for his life… alone… against a blank wall, but he added so much color to the black and white room.

 

This boy turned out to be Mister Wallace, the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based rapper. His single, ‘It Girl, premiered on the FADER today, and it captured all of that energy and personality we saw at the presentation. ‘It Girl,’ off his debut EP ‘FAGGOT is vibrant and full of envy-worthy looks. There must be like, five or six different looks in this video, each one more gaggable, but my favorite is the cotton, long-sleeve leotard with the cropped white coat to match. …

Boys of a Certain Age

Dan Fingerman's play offers hope amidst our flimsy times

Boys of a Certain Age_GAYLETTER

I never thought I’d be genuinely excited to live out my inevitable fate of becoming a bitter old gay man, but, Dan Fingerman’s Boys of a Certain Age has done just that. In Fingerman’s new play, the breakout star is clearly R. Scott Williams’s “Uncle Ira.” Equal parts sad and sassy, Ira’s bitchy quips and outdated references will instantly make him your new favorite person (fictional or real).

 

BOYS OF A CERTAIN AGE is part of the Fresh Fruit Festival going on right now in New York City. Directed by Dan Dinero, it stars our friend Marc Sinoway alongside Brian Gligor, and Joseph J. Menino. The story revolves around four gay men of different ages as they grapple with their sexual, religious and political identities. There’s something for everyone, and sadly the politically correct hipster who can’t get his writing career off the ground and uses sarcasm to keep people at a distance was a tad more relatable than I’d have liked.

 

The play takes place over one weekend spent at an unnamed beach town outside of the City. The men come to a head as they delve into their collective past and try to make sense of their future. Fingerman does a great job of addressing the generational divide on issues such as the gay rights movement and AIDS. The show also deals with the complicated issues of friendships between gay men and gay self-hatred. BOYS OF A CERTAIN AGE manages to be both funny and heartwarming, which is no easy feat. …

Saturday 07.16.16

Event: BUSHWIG EUROPE FUNDRAISER

In September of 2012 the first annual Bushwig Festival was mounted and the House of Bushwig was founded.”  For those of you that care about drag queens — I mean we really do — here’s a fun event for you. Bushwig is a huge drag festival that happens in Bushwick, Brooklyn. There’s 100s of drag queens performing and lots of people show up in all sorts of drag or half drag or even quarter drag. These bitches are taking the event international, yassss, they are planning to go to Europe and I am super happy for them. You should attend the fundraiser and help them out. “All the money we make from the Door goes to helping out the girls get to Europe!!! We are performing in Berlin at YO SISSY! festival and East London’s THE GLORY!”  This sounds like it’s going to be a super fun night, expect “raffles” including prices like wigs — of course, a look made by the drag queen Chris of Hurr, ballet tickets, and “sicknnning art work.” There’s gonna be a screening at 8pm and expect shows from some of our favorite BK queens, AJA, Patti Spliff, Untitled Queen, Merrie Cherry, Tyler Ashley, Horrorchata, ICKARUS (Giancarlo Corbacho), Hannah Lou and more...

$10, 8:00PM-4:00AM, Secret Project Robot Art Experiment, 389 Melrose St. BK, NY.

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Cherry Grove Outtakes Film Festival

Cherry Grove Outtakes Film Festival_GAYLETTER

In my opinion, you can never have enough queer film. Luckily, the first ever Outtakes Film Festival is going on right now at the historic Cherry Grove Community House and Theater on Fire Island. Cherry Grove has been a bastion of LGBT artistic expression since it began over 170 years ago. That’s a lot of homos making art. The film festival aims to commemorate Cherry Grove’s history while looking proudly into its future.

 

The Cherry Grove Archives Committee (CGAC) has been preserving every type of footage they can get their hands on. From 8 millimeter films to family photo albums, members of the community have generously donated their keepsakes in the name of conserving what makes Cherry Grove special. For Outtakes, the CGAC has put together documentaries, short films, and archival footage to create a truly special cinematic experience. Join in celebrating a place that’s known just as much for activism as it is for camp.

 

FREE (donations welcome), July 16 &17, Cherry Grove Community House and Theater, Fire Island, NY. …