We were in Fire Island last weekend and it was super crowded, that wasn’t a good thing as it’s always more relaxing with less people, but I guess if you don’t have to go to the only supermarket there, or the overpriced wine shop or to the “cafeteria,” then you can prob just chill at your house by the pool and ignore the crowds. I mean it was so basic there, this white man yelled at us because we were complaining that there were too many white generic men on the island: “If you’re gonna talk shit about white people in front of me I have to speak up!” he spat at us. I mean what an idiot. Now that I’ve let that out, I am so glad that this weekend BOFFO is throwing their second annual Fire Island Performance Festival on the island — they really need some culture there. Their program is very good. Some of the performers include Tyler Ashley, Xavier Cha with Rafael Reynoso and Adonis Vasquez, Eartheater, Fluct, Fragile (Wolfgang Tillmans), M. Lamar, Pearl (from RuPaul’s Drag Race), Casey Spooner, Ssion and many more. Expect “a weekend of performance, music, and dance made for the island’s unique social and geographic context.” We’re big fans of Wolfgang Tillman’s work and excited to hear about his “live band project” ‘Fragile’. It was founded in 1983 and will return at the festival 33 years later. It “involves musicians from three continents in varying constellations... I’d say if you are not already there, browse the schedule, take a day trip, bring some greens and try to ignore the basics!
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!
If it hasn’t set in that summer is ending, bitch, wake up! Labor day is two weeks away and a lot of queens are already wearing Pre-Fall. Sad, I know. But get over it. New magazines are going to hit the shelves soon, and so is some fresh art. To bring their summer exhibits to a proper-close, MoMA PS1 “opens its doors for a late-night celebration of [their] soon-to-close summer exhibitions. One of the city’s most anticipated art events, Night at the Museum will feature special programming organized by artist Meriem Bennani.” I haven’t been to the museum since the Art Book Fair (I worked one day at the fair and was like, OK, I’m good for another year) but with a Warm-Up every weekend and barely any rain all summer, PS1 has been busy. Their long-ass hosting committee for the event is a testament to the museum’s constant hustle: Alan Cumming, Jonathan Horowitz, Ryan McNamara, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Alexander Skarsgård, Mickalene Thomas, Klaus Biesenbach and many, many more are included. Should be a fun event. The courtyard is such a great place to chill with a beer or a coconut water, so why not check this out for the night? August’s awful humidity seems to be behind us. Wear pants and finally leave your AC’d apartment!
Join the celebrated author Edmund White as he discusses his latest novel, “Our Young Man.”
If you are queer and literate you should know the name Edmund White. If you don’t, at least have the common decency to pretend and make sure you come hear him speak at the NYC’s LGBT Community Center on August 23rd. Edmund White’s career has spanned over 40 years and included 25 books of fiction, nonfiction and memoir. Most notable is the widely celebrated gay coming-of-age story (and my personal favorite) “The Beautiful Room is Empty,” as well as the sex manual turned cult classic, “The Joy of Gay Sex.” The Center is hosting White for a reading and discussion of his latest book, “Our Young Man.” The book just so happened to have been reviewed by Leo Racicot for our latest issue of GAYLETTER. Racicot writes:
“White’s novel is primarily the story of Guy, a beautiful boy from a poor French town. Fortunately for Guy, his perfect face and golden body pull him from what might otherwise be a grim fate. He ascends the shimmering heights of high fashion, first in Paris, then New York, and finds himself in a fast-paced, drug-fueled world where loathsome old toads pay big bucks for a young man’s company, while detractors wait and watch for their friends and enemies to fail. Looks and self-maintenance are everything; gaining so much as an ounce could earn you the moniker ‘Miss Piggy.’
Guy, recognizing all this, reminds us of the classic caveat so popular in those days: ‘If you’re not good looking, you’d damn well better be funny, and if you’re neither of those, you’d better be a slut.’”
The full review and an interview with White by Slava Mogutin can both be found in GAYLETTER issue 4. …
One of the GAYLETTER boys asked me if this was worth a mention in this week’s newsletter and at first I was like nahhhh, but then I saw that the legendary drag queen Lady Bunny was involved, so I went back to give it another look. Lady Bunny was doing drag before I was born. She was involved in the original Wigstock, which was an outdoor drag festival that happened in the 1980s in Manhattan’s East Village — there’s an amazing documentary about it, google it, you must watch it. RuPaul is in it, the film is cunt! This event is presented by Sea Tea - New York’s Gay Party Cruise and it’s one night only. Lady Bunny brings us an amazing line-up of entertainers including Jimmy James, Michael West, Connie Fleming, Glamamore (aka David More), Juanita More, John Kelly as Joni Mitchell (amazing!), Tabboo! aka Stephen Tashjian Dueling Bankheads with David Ilku, Clark Render and “a real blast from the past” Ebony Jett from San Francisco. I mean, yassssssssss. Music will be provided by Johnny Dynell and Ed Bailey. The cruise departs from Pier 40, it boards at 6:00PM, sailing at 7:30PM and returning at 10:00PM — also, it includes a complimentary buffet dinner. Tickets will be also sold at Village Apothecary (West 10th Street & Bleecker). Now that I think about it, this sounds pretty amazing.
Who doesn’t loves a good pool party? Abi, myself and this bitch Wilhelmina Read (Miss Belgrade Lakes 2015) were in Mt. Kisko (pictured) a few weeks ago for Cockyboy Liam Riley’s birthday. The weather was really perfect. Sunny, 90 — the pool was lit and our weed went in deep. Sometimes I forget I’m 21, but let’s just say losing my flip-flops and drinking rosé straight from the bottle helped me remember I’m def full of youth and highly susceptible to an overindulgent experience. Anyway, there is another pool party coming up and I’m thinking of giving my wasted pool boy role a reprise! “It’s gonna be INSANE: hosted by Alessandra Balazs, Joshua David, Andrew Essex, Ariel Foxman, Jon Oringer, Lockhart Steele and Emily Weiss, music by Ben + Callan from Lemonade and Lloydski from Tiki Disco” and more. “The event gathers the amazing artists, designers, architects, environmentalists, swimmers, urban planners, water lovers, government leaders, and social impact investors, working to better our city through projects.” Groundbreaking. All proceeds support the development of + POOL and its free public and educational programs. They’re trying to put a floating pool in the fucking river. It’s an expensive event, but it’s a benefit. Text your sugar daddy!
Efrain John Gonzales (fun name) is a licensed tour guide, and he’s offering a unique experience — the chance to take a tour “of the old Meatpacking District and High Line park when it was the wild and crazy capital of underground clubs from the 70’s all the way to the dawn of the 21st century.” Efrain will show you where “the vanished underground clubs and vaults used to exist and illustrate their stories and legends” with his “personal photographs, taken in places that were famous and infamous, long before it all changed from a sleazy, trashy meat processing block that was home to biker bars and hookers, to an elegant tourist resort with 5 star hotels and exclusive restaurants.” The tour goes for 90 minutes and is sure to be fascinating look at a site of great importance to the LGBTQ community over the last 40 years. Click here for more tour dates.
I spoke to artist DonChristian, who’s presenting this show along with Ashton Agbomenou (Don is also in the current issue of GAYLETTER magazine). He gave me some background information, “I got a grant from Groundswell, the mural organization that I work for to do a long term project with Hetrick-Martin Institute. I worked with several HMI participants to conceive a series of painted works. It has materialized as two triptychs on canvas, that are installed at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem.” For those of you that don’t know the Hetrick-Martin Institute, it’s an amazing institution that provides services, counseling and legal assistant to LGBT youth. This event features artworks by young artists from Hetrick-Martin Institute as well as the Groundswell NYC (who also is helping make this possible). Don added: “I want this to be an opportunity for them to show their work and sell it. The show lasts 6 weeks but is only open to the public on this weekend Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th.” Expect a performance by House of J’Adore at 6:30PM. “Wine and refreshments will be served.” This is an amazing event, go and acquire some art or simply support this cause any way you can, it’s a great organization for us to stand behind. Give the children some love!
I spend hours contemplating hypothetical pros and cons every time I get invited to Brooklyn. Needless to say that usually after x-amount of time spent wasted, my ass always ends up there. When I saw the Facebook event for The Ointment, “a multimedia presentation that introduces ideas and themes from Abdu Ali’s mixtape MONGO,” I thought, hmm, the name of this show alone might be enough to get me over the bridge. I love a good ointment/cream/product. Teen Vogue called Abdu Ali “one of the most fire rappers in the game right now,” and of The Ointment, said it “was inspired by themes such as blacks conquering black oppression through embracing their identity/knowing their past, the ongoing somewhat genetic rage and pain carried through black mothers, and dealing with fuck boy emotional affliction.” It’s also a group show with works from Aurel Haize Odogbo, Devin N. Morris & our lovely, talented friend Elliott Brown Jr. Elliott said he was showing “new photographic works that elaborate on the visual cues that [he’s] consistently interested in - the home, withholding knowledge of the person photographed from the viewer, and emphasizing the spectacular in the banal.” Love it — sounds provocative, academic, and like these up-and-coming artists know exactly what they’re after.
In a recent mega-poll analysis by the brilliant political site 538, they discovered that if the election was held today Donald Trump (I refuse to say the “J” in his name because I won’t play into his desire to sound more presidential) would win! WTF? It’s time all intelligent, sane people came together! I love Bernie, and would have preferred him to be the nominee, but he’s NOT, Hillary is. In the words of Sarah Silverman, all you Bernie or bust people “are being ridiculous.” We have our nominee and she needs our help. Hillary is a terrible campaigner, but I have no doubt she’ll do a much, much, much better job being president than Trumpf. A vote for Hillary is a vote for a liberal Supreme Court for the next 30 years. It’s a vote for LGBTQ, women’s and abortion rights not being overturned, it’s a vote for immigration reform, it’s a vote for a million liberal causes that will be in trouble if the republicans win. This Thursday “Join Hillary Happy Hours for the historic last night of the Democratic National Convention, when we will gather to watch Hillary Clinton accept the nomination for President of the United States. Enjoy 2-4-1 drink specials and the best LGBT Hillary crowd anywhere.” It’s now or never queens.