On Tuesday the latest issue of The New Yorker arrived in my mailbox. Naturally, I screamed. Joan Acocella, for those who do not know, is a staff writer for the magazine covering mostly dance, and sometimes other shit, but her dance writing is where it’s at. I breezed through her most recent article on Terrence McNally’s “Fire and Air.” The play follows the mythic relationship between the Ballets Russes’ Sergei Diaghilev and the camptastic Vaslav Nijinsky. “The play has only one set,” Acocella explained. “Two gilt-edged mirrors, a scattering of gilt chairs — and only six characters.” It turns out, GAYLETTER knows one of the actors. James Cusati-Moyer is “much handsomer than the real Nijinsky,” according to Acocella. I can attest to that. James is gorgina. Directed by John Doyle (at Classic Stage Company), Fire and Air explores the “rich history” of iconic-lovers Diaghilev and Nijinsky during their time spent working inside of the iternant dance company. I haven’t seen the show, but I desperately want to. The stage-direction mostly calls for scenes backstage with the characters in the company, so the script details Nijinsky’s past lover, Prince Lvov (there’s a whole other juicy gay-romance there), and his hairy ass. Lord knows I love a furry hole — I guess Nijinsky did too!
News broke in the last week of January that LGBTQ+ acceptance was down in the United States. Part of me thinks: groundbreaking, while another part of me is clearly delusional and feels surprised. (They don’t call New York a bubble for nothing!) For his birthday this year, GAYLETTER’s old friend Ariel Foxman has opened up a fundraiser for GLAAD in his name. “GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively.” At GAYLETTER, we prioritize the community over everything. We do our best not to book straight talent, whether it’s models, photographers, retouchers, or artists. For us, it’s all about pursuing the creativity and value in producing a product that tells the stories we are attached to, or interested in, within the community. “A majority of Americans now report being uncomfortable around LGBTQ people most notably when they learn a family member, doctor, or their child’s teacher is LGBTQ.” What does that mean? We need to be more queer and more brilliant than ever so we can continue to secure our necessary place in society. I shouldn’t have to tell you how important it is to have our voices and narratives shared, heard, seen, and absorbed by the masses. Ariel’s almost reached the $5,000 goal. Let’s help him crush it.
A judgement free space where sexuality and freedom of expression is encouraged.
Love Bailey is an artist of many mediums. Her most poignant work seems to be life itself. On Instagram, she markets inclusion to the highest degree, monologuing through her Instagram-stories and offering advice to live a more open, love-filled life. Her bio reads: “I’m not afraid of my Shenis.”
Besides styling, creative directing and hosting/throwing a number of lavish cabaret-style parties in Los Angeles and New York, she has recently begun a residency program at her coveted and enigmatic Savage Ranch. Sprawling over 45 acres of land, the Savage Ranch Residency is open to artists of every medium: From painting, to sculpture, to performance, to design. Her very first resident was Sinead O’Dwyer, a fashion design student from London exploring everyday perceptions of the body through one-of-a-kind pieces patterned for individual bodies.
“The Savage Ranch Residency is an opportunity for artists to come explore a ranch outside the concrete jungle and get in touch with nature,” Love told me over e-mail. “We offer a judgement free space where sexuality and freedom of expression is encouraged. With 45 acres of land, 7 horses, 4 pigs, chickens, lesbian construction workers, and a weed farm, we offer an experience that is different from anywhere else. We are dedicated to making this ranch a utopian fantasy by giving artists a safe space to create.”
Photographed by Max Runko, Sinead and Love modeled the pieces made over the two-week residency. Sinead offered her own words on the experience for those who want to learn more about their experience. …
I started taking note of Katherine Bernhardt’s work after I saw cigarettes on her canvases. One of her paintings she posted to her Instagram took up the better half of someone’s living room wall, and aside from the lushious palm leaves she has a particular affinity for there were cigarettes orientated right beside the vegetation. I thought, Wow… how stupid! I mean that in the most generous of ways. It takes a certain level of skill to achieve a balance in painting, especially when you’re inserting pop-arty items like Bernhardt does. You can catch the Pink Panther, Darth Vader and Garfield all on display at her most recent show at Canada. Featuring eight canvases and an additional six sculptures, GREEN is what you would expect from a Bernhardt show. I mostly went because the very first canvas exhibited on Canada is visible from the street, and I could not help but laugh every time I walked past. One thing I should mention is that this particular painting, titled “Direct Flight” is fucking 114 x 318 inches — It takes up the entire wall. Not to mention the juxtaposition of cigarettes and pink watermelon surrounding what seriously looks like a flightless bird is just totally hilarious. I’m really interested in her content because frankly it makes no sense, though my best guess — what with all of the American iconography — is that she has a deep interest in what has become banal to the contemporary person. Coke cans, coffee machines, Lisa Simpson, sharpies. This is an artist who loves Capitalism’s detritus and welcomes them into the world of paint with messy strokes, a disregard for reapplication of color, and spray paint. It’s all very cheery in Bernhardt’s world, at least that’s what I’m taking from it as an American in 2018! On view through Feb. 11th.
OK ya’ll, the time has come for something we have all been waiting for — at least, that I’ve been waiting for — a new monthly party is ruvealing her gorgeous Latina face. Her name: Techno Cumbia. Even though this would make a pretty fab drag name, she’s not a new queen; rather, she’s the move this weekend. Created by Joey LaBeija and his boyfriend Spooky Bauhaus, this party has a few “strictly enforced” ground rules. No phones. No social media. No photos. Yasss. Now your date can actually pay attention to your ass. We’re leaving 2018 and going back to 1994 mama, the year the party’s namesake song came out, Techno Cumbia by our reina favorita Selena Quintanilla. Regarding these rules that, by today’s standards are quite radical, LaBeija said, “We decided to have a phone and social media policy because we both don’t go out because parties are boring, everyone’s on their phones, we’re even guilty of it. Everything is so public right now, like everything people wanna upload when they’re taking a crap so like, lets make something sacred and private again. It’s a venue that hasn’t been used before, we worked really hard on finding a space that we could use exclusively.” The space he’s referring to is El Manaba, an Ecuadorian restaurant in Ridgewood. This premiere of Techno Cumbia will be hosted by Sunny Valdez and features Bbymutha, DonChristian (both featured in GAYLETTER Issue 2), Mischa Mafia, LSDXOXO, Larry B, and Byrell the Great. “Baila, baila sin parar, No hay tiempo para descansar!”
When I turned 21 I was really excited to start going to Amber Valentine & JD Samson’s party PAT. This was mostly because I wasn’t really familiar with any other DJ’s and Union Pool — where they’ve thrown the monthly shindig — had a taco truck in the summer, and I was a fan of anywhere you could smoke, meet cute people and have a taco on a Thursday night. Lauren Flax I got into when I had gone out a bit more (like after a month) and saw her name pop up among the usual LGBTQ+ nights I was frequenting. I quickly learned she was cunt. (I can recommend her Good Room podcast on Soundcloud.) Reading all three names on one flyer is not totally unheard of, but it always feels good because it’s suuuch a power-lesbian line-up. And I’m here for that. Le Bain, if you ask me, presents itself three ways: straight, gays who look straight, and boobs. You’re probably thinking: Boobs? But the Le Bain branding is so one-trick-design that when the club’s pool is open I mostly just see flyers with a bikini, a martini and sun-kissed skin. That said, JD Samson, Lauren Flax & Amber Valentine all fit the Le Bain mold albiet for very different reasons. They’ve all DJ’d the space before, so I suspect it’ll be a cozy Friday evening with bold textures coming from the soundsystem and plenty of beautiful women and queer femmes traipsing about the luxurious space. Not much more detail for this party on the event listing page, which is how you know it’s going to be cunt. Only the people that are in the know will show up, and those are the kind of folks that twirl all damn night long.
I used to see Leo Gugu (pictured) often when he used to host a weekly party at the former bar Eastern Bloc (now Club Cumming). It was so enjoyable to watch him have so much fun — I used to think “that’s how you host a party!” The energy was very contagious. I just recently had a brief Facebook group chat with Leo and Ben Manzone who both created this new party at a new club space in Bushwick called Rose Gold. Ben told me about the name of the party: ““On & On” was the name of the first known house music track/record released in 1984, so the name is in tribute…” He even sent me a link to a video on YouTube title Jesse Sauders On and On for me to listen to as reference. Here I am writing this post and listening to this track, It’s keeping me going, I can probably keep typing all night, it’s making me so productive right now, it’s past midnight and this song has taken my mind to the perfect warehouse party and everything is feeling just right... It’s making me want more. Where was I? DJs for On & On are Sean B (Powerhouse, Xanadude, Spank), A Village Raid (Dreamhouse, Spectrum) and Ben who I mentioned earlier. Now I am listening to Ben’s Souncloud, looking forward to spending some time with it. Hosts for the night are Dylan Born (Macri Park), Lady Simon and of course Leo Gugu, I told you that queen can host! Glad there’s a new party like this at a new club space...