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. …
You the Boxer, is Michael Wynne’s second photographic book in his one-year challenge to produce a new photographic book each month from October 2016 to September 2017. The small 4”x3” hand stitched book explores Wynne’s experience boxing through text and 15 beautiful, intimate photographs.
There’s an image of a sexy Latin boxer, his uncut dick and grown out bush showing off the intimate beauty of the male form. The whole book is an exploration of the raw masculinity and eroticism of contact sports. Wynne’s poetic like text accompanies the photographs, here a favorite example: “The first time I saw you, you were sparring with one of the other coaches. Nimble was the word that came to mind, like one second you were on this side of the floor, the next you’re five meters away on the other side of the mat. You weave in and out of the shadows. You’re here and then not here, somewhere else.”
The palm-sized book allows the reader to have an intimate experience exploring Wynne’s raw and graceful world of athletic male photography. The beauty of the body, and the homoerotic communication between athletes, comes alive in this pocket sized publication.
The one and only Cheryl party returns Halloween night for a blow-out at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC
There’s so much going on this weekend it’s easy to forget that Halloween actually takes place on Monday. We suggest you save some juice for then, especially since one of our favorite parties is returning for a very special Halloween edition. CHERYL (the dance party that will ruin your life) brings us CHERYL: CROW at Le Poisson Rouge with a killer line-up. There’s music by JD Samson, Amber Valentine and DJ Grandma Internet.
“Join CHERYL (artist collective) on HALLOWEEN NIGHT for a celebration of celebrity failure, resurrected goth super heroes, birds, and public transportation wormholes. ***No, this is not a Sheryl Crow concert. Need costume inspiration? Think John Poppers, Big Bird’s moment of angst, bus terminal transformations, Lamps Armstrong, blood transfusions, Woodstock ‘94/’99, and boring hair.
It’s time for CHERYL: CROW, the ULTIMATE and only Halloween dance party worthy of — yet humbled by — your honorable presence.”
The last time they threw this party on Halloween, it was at a Masonic Temple in Brooklyn — It was really something. These boys always turn it out, so we are super excited to see what they come up with this year! Click here for images.
Advance tickets are $15, Get them right……………HERE.
Monday October 31, 2016, from 9:00pm to 2:00am, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. New York, NY.
We have been learning how difficult is to keep a printed publication going since we began creating one of our own 2 years ago. Which is why we do whatever we can to promote other independent printed publications. We’re not talking about Frank Ocean’s latest release ‘Boys Don’t Cry.’ He doesn’t need any help promoting that release.
We’re talking about the latest Pinups. “Pinups is a queer zine—each issue a pictorial of a nude male subject. The zine can be dismembered, and the loose pages tiled to reveal a single, monumental image of the subject. The zine’s two states conflict, resulting in visual and narrative abstraction: a dialogue between its physical structure and its printed content.” Sounds deep, I know, but it’s a beautiful publication/object. Pinups No.20 features Akrum Salem, an actor who is known mainly for his work with Big Freedia. Akrum is a big beefy, hairy daddy, like many of the men featured in the publication. The photos taken focus on “the importance of being in touch with one’s playful side.”
I think embracing playfulness is one of the smartest way to get captivating images. Seriousness gets boring after awhile. You can pre-order the issue right now!
Congratulations to the Stonewall Inn on becoming the first National Monument to LGBTQ rights.
Gay bars are important to the queer community. One in particular, The Stonewall Inn, is where the modern gay rights movement started. Please enjoy our 360 visit to the Inn, with commentary from Tree, who has worked there, on and off, for 47 years. He was there in 1969, on the night the bar was raided, and the patrons decided to finally fight back.
Please congratulate the bar on it’s designation by our President Barack Obama as the first National Monument to LGBTQ rights.
At times like these it’s easy to lose hope. Yesterday’s attack was astounding in it’s brutality. However when I feel myself falling into despair I always remind myself of this stupid, yet insightful scene from Terminator 3 (bear with me). In this particular scene the Terminator has come to rescue a young John Connor, as he is chocking on tear gas. John tells the Terminator to just leave him. He has given up. He hasn’t accepted what his mother had told him his whole life, that he is “the one,” the leader of the resistance who will save them all from the robot army. The terminator, registering his state of despair, grabs John by the neck, and lifts him off the ground:
John Connor: Just leave me here. I’m not the one you want. You’re wasting your time.
Terminator: Incorrect. John Connor leads the resistance to victory.
John Connor: How? Why? Why me?
Terminator: You are John Connor.
John Connor: Christ! My mom fed me that bullshit since the cradle! Look at me! I’m no leader! I never was! I’m never gonna…
John Connor: [is choked by Terminator]
John Connor: Let go!
Terminator: You’re right. You’re not the one I want. I’m wasting my time.
John Connor: Fuck you, you fucking machine!
Terminator: [releases John] Better.
John Connor: What, you were just dicking with me? …
Dirty Looks: On Location is a film series created Bradford Nordeen. Tonight (Wednesday 1st July) he has enlisted Sam Ashby and Ginger Brooks Takahashi to curate the first screening for 2015. Sam Ashby is a London based artist, designer, writer and he has been a long time friend to GAYLETTER and we can vouch that his taste is unique, and impeccable. He has a great talent of sniffing out under-appreciated queer films that are worth re-watching. His film publication Little Joe has been around since 2010 and is a wonderful “forum for the discussion of film around subjects of sexuality and gender within a queer historical context.”
The event takes place at White Columns on east 13th street. If you’re unfamiliar with the space here’s a little backstory: White Columns is “New York’s oldest alternative art space. It was founded in 1970 by Jeffrey Lew and Gordon Matta-Clark as an experimental platform for artists.
Ginger Brooks Takahashi is the “co-founder of LTTR, a queer and feminist art journal, and projet MOBILIVRE BOOKMOBILE project, a traveling exhibit of artist books and zines. She received her BA from Oberlin College, attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, and is a member of the touring musical act MEN.”
The event sounds super interesting, the films being shown are drawn from Ashby’s archive of movies made on Fire Island, and is “activated through Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s live modular synthesizer soundtrack, Fire Island Film + Sound is an audio-visual experience that explores the Island as a site of queer exile, utopia, sexual liberation and trauma.”
We just got back from Fire Island last night. …
See the original director's cut at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
The critically panned (but still hot) 1998 film 54 starring Ryan Phillippe, Mike Myers and Salma Hayek (about the legendary nightclub Studio 54) was waaaaay gayer before power producer Harvey Weinstein got his chubby little hands on it to cut out over 44 mins of queer scenes to make it more “palatable” to mainstream audiences. I remember when this film first came out, thinking there was something missing from the story, that something was being held back. It definitely had a queer undertone, but never delivered much more than a bunch of a scenes with a shirtless Ryan Phillippe (which was greatly appreciated) and Mike Myers rolling around a bed piled with $20 bills. It’s good to finally hear the real story behind the film. Here’s how it went down:
“Writer-director Mark Christopher spent five years researching the disco scene to sketch this authentic portrait of the notoriously outrageous party palace ruled by its founder, unctuous Steve Rubell (Mike Myers, in an acclaimed dramatic turn). When test audiences condemned some of the film’s controversial content (involving Ryan Phillippe’s busboy turned bartender and Breckin Meyer’s husband to club-diva Salma Hayek), Christopher was asked to recut the film and reshoot key scenes, including the finale. Seventeen years later, the filmmaker’s intent, which includes 44 minutes of never-been-seen material, has been restored. “The path of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” claimed Rubell, and Christopher’s director’s cut honors that Dionysian vision.”
Come see the original edit, in all it’s gay glory this Tuesday, June 23rd at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. …
I started “going out” — but OUT when I was 16 was in 1979 when the blood ran thick and cold in the streets of the Meatpacking district and you didn’t want to linger on a steamy summer day, the stench would gag you. But, oh the nights, any season, were truly magical, all the most exciting bars and clubs were there, something for everyone: The Anvil, The Mineshaft, The Lure and even a place I dared to go in called Hellfire. I hadn’t thought about those places in ages until I happened upon this extraordinary show of black and white documentary photographs of the era called, “A Buried Past, Forgotten Stories: The Sexual Underground of the Meatpacking District before Gentrification — The Photographs of Efrain John Gonzalez,” (now on view at the visionary bookstore, gallery and performance space BGSQD in the LGBT Center) I found a succinct quote about Efrain that might clue you into the aesthetic push and content of his photographs: “An internationally published photographer who for the past 30 years has been seeking real life images that tells a story of people finding the paths to their souls, finding their bliss with piercing, branding, cuttings, tattoos, implants, leather and a whole lot of radical sex and sexuality.”
You can’t help but feel a bit like a voyeur peering at these intimate images of the meatpacking district, the streets, the clubs and all the crazy kinky sex people were having in them. …
The eclectic festival is back for another year. Check out the interview we did with its curator from last year.
To many LGBT-identifying people, the word “realness” evokes a very specific image in queer history. It’s the sequence in Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, in which several late 80’s NYC queens display what “realness” truly means: to blend seamlessly into heterosexual culture despite your queerness. It’s about being a walking contradiction, gender-bending your way into what culture has deemed the norm. It’s about being able to pass for something you’re not and subverting the entire image you’re conveying in the process. At American Realness, the arts festival currently happening downtown at Abrons Art Center, creator Ben Pryor (pictured) has adopted this word to perfectly represent a series of new performance, dance, and art events that repurposes “realness” for a newly growing subset of American and international art.
We asked a few questions to Ben about the future of American Realness, doing homework in the BAM Opera House as a kid, and what “realness” means in the context of the artwork and performances on display at this year’s festival. Check out the full interview below.
What is your background in the arts? Are you an artist yourself? My mom was a publicist for contemporary classical composers. David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julie Wolfe, the Bang on a Can scene, Michael Nyman, John Corigliano… I grew up going to atonal music concerts, being seated between critics, forced to behave myself backstage at theKnitting Factory at age 12, or doing homework during sound check in the Opera Houseat BAM. …