Earl Dax (pictured) is someone we have known for at least 7 years. He is the producer of many wonderful performance events, the most famous of which is Pussy Faggot, which is a night of a thousand performers from all walks of life (next Sunday is its 7-year anniversary.) Earl has been travelling for a while now, he was in Mexico and most recently he returned from Cuba. He’ll be celebrating his b’day after Carol Lipnik’s show at Pangea on 2nd ave. Carol is a cabaret singer who’s famous for having a million, trillion octave voice, so she’s def worth seeing. Earl has organized a deal where if you use the code EFFN45 you’ll get tickets to Carol for half price (only $10). See a show, party with Earl, sounds like a pretty nice way to spend a Sunday night. Happy birthday kween!.
I checked out this party a few weeks ago with some multiracial friends. It’s a party that takes place in the basement of the Hotel Americano and I’d say it’s 95% black dudes. The other 5% was me, my Mexican friends, my Turkish friend and Andy Cohen from Bravo. He was in heaven, I guess that queen likes himself some dark chocolate. I don’t blame him, the crowd was hot as hell. The basement at the Americano is not a big space, but it’s perfect for the size of the crowd who showed up when we were there. Also, the DJ was fucking amazing. He was this cute Asian dude with incredible taste. I was dancing my ass off. The Gentlemen’s Event happens once a month. My friend had a text invite and got us in with no problems, but they were acting a little cunty at the door, so as always, be patient and polite. Have fun.
We have made our love of the legendary queer smut zine, Straight To Hell, loud and clear to anyone who is a longtime reader of the newsletter or our magazine (we featured them in issue 3 of GAYLETTER Magazine.) The zine has been publishing smutty stories for decades and is not afraid to share it’s contributors love of cum, piss, cocks, ass and public sex with the world. This Friday the magazine is curating an evening of short films by Straight To Hell contributors “& comrades” including: “Steve LaFreniere (David Hurles — Old Reliable), Justin Spring (Sam Steward), Ryan Foerester, Kristian Kozul, Antonio DeSilva, Brian Brennan (Latino Fan Club), Anthony Viti, Randal Wilcox (Al Baltrop), & others to be announced.” The night is programmed by current S.T.H editor Billy Miller. It’s $5 to attend but know one will be turned away for lack of funds. Fuck everything else you have planned at this event and check it out!
Here’s a new exhibition for everyone who, like us and wasn’t around in the 70s. A lot of young millennials behave like they know it all and they ignore the fact that the older generation dealt with major struggles. Thankfully we have it easier, but never forget… The organizers explain what this exhibition is all about: “The 1970s: The Blossoming of a Queer Enlightenment explores the vibrant and liberating decade between the Stonewall Riots from 1969 until 1980, just before we heard the first rumblings of the AIDS crisis emerging, changing the nature of sexual relationships to the present day.” It’s curated by the staff at Leslie-Lohman Museum and features over 115 works from their collection. There’s photographs, drawings and paintings made during this important period in LGBTQ history. Some of the artists involved in this show are Paul Cadmus, Joan E. Biren (JEB), Jimmy DeSana, Marion Pinto, Amos Badertscher, Harvey Milk, Saul Bolasni, Francesco Scavullo, Diana Davies, Rink Foto, Tee Corinne, Neel Bate, Peter Hujar and many others. “The 1970s explores themes of political activism, body/self, fashion/style, and sexual freedom/expression.” Do not miss it!
With the normalizing of diplomatic ties, visiting Cuba is now an option for Americans. But is it worth it?
In March 2015, my husband and I traveled to Cuba. After decades of crippling sanctions, overbearing state control and relative isolation from the rest of the world, the Caribbean country is changing. You immediately get the feeling on the streets of Havana that things are opening up. It’s just in the air. And that’s true for Cuban queers more than anyone.
Under Fidel Castro, homosexuals were considered “undesirable,” and homosexuality was deemed counter to the spirit of revolution. In the early ’60s, gay men were sent to “re-education camps.” But over the last 20 years, anti-gay laws have been steadily eliminated and the LGBTQ community has enjoyed growing social acceptance. Much of that, particularly in the last few years, has been helped along by the fact that the current Cuban leader, Raúl Castro — Fidel’s brother — has a daughter, Mariela, who is active in the government and a champion of LGBTQ rights.We were excited to connect with Cuban queers to get their perspective on all the changes…and maybe get lucky, too. This proved much easier and more complicated than we expected.
Some things to know about Cubans: 1) They are some of the most friendly and attractive people in the world. 2) Very few of them speak more than basic English. 3) They are very poor. Just how poor? The average government job — which, until fairly recently, was the only kind of job you could get — pays the equivalent of 20 USD per month. Even in Cuba, where mojitos can go for $2 or $3, that won’t get you far, so pretty much everyone is somehow on the hunt for foreigners and their currency.
Card games are generally relegated to wood cabin retreats when Internet and cell service are both unavailable, however we’ve taken to playing them here in the city with a glass of wine on a Saturday afternoon. Perhaps we’re just getting old, but there’s something very satisfying about playing a game in the real world instead of on a screen — it’s grounding and relaxing. The game we are the biggest fans of at the moment is by artist Sigrid Calon. It’s a classic memory game (distributed by Princeton Architectural Press) where the goal is to turn over cards to find a matching pair. Sigrid’s fluorescent, Risograph-print-inspired patterns are gorgeous. She is clearly a cunty artist. The game works with 2 people but is best with 4. Have a puff, pour a glass and settle in for some fun. Yasssss, old people games is so 2016.
Thanks to GAYLETTER I’m constantly learning about new people, artists and things. It’s a nice perk of writing a weekly newsletter — constantly improving my queer education. For instance, I got an email from Brian Clamp from ClampArt gallery about this new show featuring this Venezuelan born artist, who photographs strippers, Jan Rattia, (I trust Brian’s taste in art, so I always pay attention). I was like oh, a Latino photographer for a change, you know I love supporting my people. I’ve never looked at Jan’s work before, but I am so into it. “Jan Rattia spent nearly two years traveling the Unites States — from Washington DC to Atlanta, Miami to Phoenix, and back to New York City — in order to photograph members of a singular and largely misunderstood fraternity: male strippers. Rattia addresses the often-fascinating dichotomy of the men who create fantasy personas for stuffed cash, and those same men who call their mothers for advice, go home to their wives (or boyfriends), and put themselves through college or medical school.” This is the opening day for this exhibition. There’s no opening party for it, but they’ll have a closing party on May 21st — Go and shut her down.
We’re writing this while gagging with excitement. The fourth issue of GAYLETTER Magazine is out right now! We are so thrilled to finally share it with you. We are not gonna bore you with details about all the hard work that went into it, let’s just say it was an enormous endeavour. We are very, very, very thankful to all the contributors who helped us at the house of GAYLETTER. This issue features original artwork, photography and stories by Campbell Addy, Alvin Baltrop, Ricky Cohete, Vincent Dilio, Hal Fischer, Slava Mogutin, Daniel Marin Medina, Lauren Mortimer, Daniel Nicoletta, Daniel Rampulla, Jacob Sousa, Cyle Suesz, Devin Wallace, Chad M. Weaver, Zena Zipora, Austin Dale, Drew Harper, Landon Gray Mitchell, Leo Racicot, Eric Torres and more. For this issue we decided to do two covers: one by photographer Kostis Fokas, followed by his bright and beautiful story shot in Greece, and a limited edition cover by Gerardo Vizmanos featuring 4 beautiful butts, in honor of our 4th issue. Thank you to the hundreds of people who pre-ordered the issue online. For everyone else, go get it!
You all must watch this documentary about artist Robert Mapplethorpe now screening on HBO. If you are new to the artist, then shame on you queen, learn your gay history! But for realz here’s some background. “In 1989, on the floor of Congress, Senator Jesse Helms implored America to ‘Look at the pictures,’ while denouncing the controversial art of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose photographs pushed social boundaries with their frank depictions of nudity, sexuality and fetishism — and ignited a culture war that rages to this day.” Robert was besties with singer Patti Smith. She wrote about their glorious friendship in her award-winning book Just Kids. This doco digs deeper into the life and work of Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989. Even his most “controversial” works (ie. lots of dick and bondage) are shown uncensored in this fascinating film that takes you back to the New York of yesterday. It’s more than a history lesson it’s an important document of one of the most exciting artists of the last 50 years.