NYC fights back
Two days ago hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK members rallied in Charlottesville, VA to “protest” the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, chanting racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBT slogans, praising Tr*mp, and committing violent acts of domestic terrorism against counter protesters. One of these terrorists rammed his car into a group of people on a crowded street injuring at least 19, and murdering one. Many politicians, activists, and celebrities denounced these actions of white supremacy, while our pig-in-chief, in his first statement about the terror, blamed “both sides” for the violence. This is all happening in 2017 — and it shouldn’t be shocking.
We are living in a time where racism and many other systems of oppression are thriving in the United States, and it has always been this way because these systems are institutionalized. It’s crucial that we take accountability for this display of white supremacy. We need to ask ourselves daily what we are doing to combat it while taking note from Kimberlé Crenshaw and recognizing our individual privileges on an intersectional level.
If you’re in NYC, there’s a protest at Tr*mp Tower on 5th Ave. today (August 14th) at 4:30PM, and he’s going to be staying there —so show up. And if you can’t show up physically, show up with coins and donate to organizations like the Charlottesville Chapter of the NAACP. Kamala Harris said, “If you’ve ever wondered what you would have done during the Civil Rights Movement, this is your opportunity to find out.”
Silence is violence people — figure out what side you’re on and come out and protest. …
Hell hath no fury like Adore reborn
Released with an accompanying music video last Monday at midnight, “Negative Nancy“ is a loser anthem by our grunge goddess in residence, Adore Delano. This über well-edited video is another production by Geek Mythology (the team behind “Hello, I Love You“ and “I Adore You“), and it’s clear by now that they know how to help Adore shine. Or, in this case, rage.
The video depicts a baseball game between a bunch of norm-resistant cuties and a gang of ultra-standard white boys. As pitcher and captain of her squad, Adore channels the type of vengeful spirit born in sissy boys who are forced by their fathers to go outside and buck-up for some sport and bat. Deliciously, she opts to rebel, totally untucked in a teensy black banana hammock and a punk take on drag that is all body, face, and filth. (I mean that literally—her socks are super dirty, and you can tell she loves it.) She later goes full-on locker room Botticelli, tightly gripping a wooden bat while glam-fans blow out her hair. She faces the camera head-on like this right here is the Emancipation of Nancy.
The song itself is totally divorced from the electro-pop spirit of her previous releases. Its grungier sound is a bit left field for the RuGirl scene, but so is Adore. It’s pretty exciting to hear a drag superstar wrestle this Guyville-founded genre to the ground. With American masculinity in a state as juvenile and spittle-mouthed as our shellfish-in-chief, Adore going so tomboy-fish feels like a fresh corrective. …
class="s1">Oh honey... oh bitch, you know they did that. “You’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you look like Linda Evangelista, you’re a model. Everything about you is perfect. Did you stone those tights? Oh, you’re smiling! They eat her up every single time she’s on that damn stage...” As part of Frankie Sharp’s summer series at his weekly shindig, Metro*SENSUAL, Miss Congeniality (fan favorite) of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Nine, Valentina will be performing. I remember hearing about this event early on in the summer, and I’m dripping because now it’s finally approaching. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of Valentina on her season, but I’ve come to be such a fan of hers because she knows she’s glamorous and can be kind of cunty about it. Makes me think of a certain queen from season three. The Latina Goddess is going to turn the house inside the fuck out down boots and you better be there to see it. Also it’s my birthday next Wednesday, just saying if you want to buy me a drink or something I probably wouldn’t say no.
There is one place I would rather be this weekend than on Fire Island and that’s at the Metrograph cinema on the L.E.S. If you’ve never been, then really, what’s wrong with you? I don’t mean to cinema-shame you, but it’s kind of a must for every cultured young man (or woman.) This weekend, the theater is hosting a Fire Island cinema series and I want to let them tell you about it in their own words (cos they’re pretty great words.) “Fire Island acts as a calming tonic for those (mostly queer) folks looking for an escape during New York’s balmiest months. Former residents and visitors included Greta Garbo, W.H. Auden, Calvin Klein, Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams. On screen, this 30-mile-long utopia has served as the setting of a filthy two-act play, the backdrop of a cruel coming-of-age story, an environment for sexual discovery, and a place of contemplation for a man dying of AIDS.” There’s 5 films screening over the weekend, but my picks are Bill Sherwood’s ‘Passing Glances’ starring a young Steve Buscemi and Andy Warhol and Chuck Wein’s ‘My Hustler.’ I mean, who needs the hassle of going to Fire Island when you can be transported there while sitting in a super chic, air conditioned movie theater with popcorn in downtown Manhattan?
In last week’s letter I was promoting Thursday night drinking. This week, I am pleased to be back again doing just that! Yasss thirsty Thursdays. Don’t let your little brother tell you it’s just for him and his frat bros. I might be a 2017 graduate but I’ll be partaking in Thursday cocktails until I’m 40. Truzzzzt… In June, when I was partying four out of seven days of the week and dabbling in one too many uppers, my friend Jonny introduced Jordan Alper to me because, in a moment of nightlife ego, apparently they think I have some kind of platform? Thanks GAYLETTER? I mean, I do get into most parties for free. Teehee! Anyways, Jordan let me know he was throwing a new party in August that was for the queer community and specifically geared for those of us that fuck heavy with techno/electronic music. (Like, sober.) He didn’t say that exactly, but that’s how I chose to interpret it. Most people just let the music tickle through their toes when they’re at Holy Mountain or something but a lot of us queers are traversing through Mixcloud on our Monday morning commute. Myself and Jordan included. “I’ve been disappointed that a lot of house music-centered events in New York don’t really represent the largely queer, intersectional history of the genre,” Jordan told me. “The idea of this party is to celebrate that history, and dance. It’s difficult to create a party that feels queer enough, open enough, safe enough; I think it takes a lot of fine tuning and willingness to take in feedback to create nightlife ventures worthy of the folks seeking them out.” Featuring a late, but sure-to-be-stellar, set by Jenifa Mayanja and opening vibes by NYC newbie Phoneg1rl, this brand new party, I cannot recommend enough.
I think I said this before, but I gotta say it again, every time Brian Clamp (from ClampArt) emails me about an exhibition I look into it because I trust his taste. His gallery and Ward 5B are presenting an exhibition that opened last week and it’s running until Sept. 23. It’s called Screaming in the Streets: AIDS, Art, Activism. It “focuses on the meaning of radical spaces for sexual minorities and reflects upon a generation of lost artists, while illustrating the interconnectedness and collaborative working relationships among them.”
The AIDS epidemic reached its peak around 1995, by which time there were about 48,000 annual AIDS-related deaths. “The story of the artistic and activist responses to this medical crisis were marked by intergenerational, communal, as well as individual associations…. Linked in this way within the context of the exhibition are Kenny Burgess, Haoui Montaug, Keith Haring, Ethyl Eichelberger, Jimmy De Sana, and many, many others.” The exhibition also celebrates the launch of Ward 5B, which is a service that specializes in the archival and curation of “late 20th-century urban ephemera and art, with a focus on punk aesthetic, radical spaces, performance art, drag, experimental theatre, camp, queercore, and guerrilla/street art projects.” I’d say, don’t miss it.
FREE, Tuesday-Saturday, 10.00 am-6.00pm, ClampArt, 247 West 29th St. NY, NY. …
After 12 years, Eastern Bloc threw its last party, featuring performances by Severely Mame, Bible Girl, Daphne Sumtimez, and DJ sets from Cameron Cole, Frankie Sharp and Darren Dryden.
Nan Goldin's romance glimmers through reality
The breathtaking work by photographer Nan Goldin in her most recent book, Diving for Pearls, seems to point towards contextualizing the life within the inanimate, the intrinsic within the universal, the beauty within the mundane, and the ephemeral within the eternal. Like golden sunlight draped over your boyfriend’s sleeping head, this hauntingly intimate book struck me as an exploration of the ignored beauty that lies in the most well-lit corners of reality. Three image series are interspersed with essays by Glenn O’Brien, Lotte Dinse, and Goldin herself, exposing varied subject matter in the spirit of unintentionally stumbling upon beauty.
Goldin’s remarks, although printed last, seem to frame the first section of images. The thread that unites the two is a celebration of mistakes and the effort put into one’s work; the images presented are akin to those often discarded for their lack of distinctive focus and Goldin’s text reiterates the struggle to glean one beautiful shot from myriad shots taken.
Loosely organized around hazy landscapes, portraits fashioned through double and triple exposure, and still lives of statues and taxidermy, the first section of images in Diving for Pearls translates as a tender hug in the midst of a thunderstorm.
In his essay, O’Brien refers to Goldin as a rebel and a romantic. “Beauty in art is not just rare today, it is practically taboo, banished from the show it dominated for centuries.” O’Brien contests that Goldin’s photos may operate as subversive for upholding standards of beauty that have been largely left by the wayside. …
Eastern Bloc holds a special place in our hearts. It’s the kind of timeless neighborhood bar that never goes out of style, and its mere existence is comforting. When we first started writing the newsletter, we would finish each letter by walking over to Eastern Bloc to get more drunk (pictured). Back then we were wasted, before, during and after we’d written the letter. The newsletter started under the influence, so the only thing that made sense to us was to keep it going and since we live so close to Eastern Bloc, we would always go say hi to it’s owner Darren who was more than willing to get us drunk. I remember when I was younger I used to hit on Darren, lol. It never led to anything, but points for trying. Hey Daddy Darren, let’s finally do it! Eastern Bloc, as you might have heard, is closing, only to reopen as Club Cumming. They’re planning to renovate the space before it reopens, and Darren tells us that when it does reopen we should expect “a lot more. Daniel Nardicio and Alan Cumming are buying into the business so there will be a lot more going on. A lot of performance events, still gay.” This Sunday they are celebrating the last night of Eastern Bloc, with performances by Severely Mame, Bible Girl, Daphne Sumtimez and DJs for the night are Cameron Cole, Frankie Sharp and Darren Dryden himself. Come have a drink and give Darren a kiss. Congrats on an amazing 12 years. See you in September for Club Cummings.