So my friend Sienna is a die-hard Britney fan. Naturally, as a faggot, so am I. She and I live 15 blocks from one another, so nearly every night we get together to listen to a 2000s playlist and hit her pink bong named Carly. We seat ourselves on her roof and unceremoniously pass Carly back and forth while harmonizing to the sweet, sweet music of years past until we’re either post-verbal or just too tired to keep going. My contribution in disseminating the gay agenda includes making everyone listen to Britney Jean Spears whenever I can, so it’s really something like an echo chamber when another staunch fan and I get together. This weekend I have no plans other than to prepare for the odious midterms that are about to ruin my life, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than shave my head and then run to China Chalet to celebrate Britney’s iconic album Blackout. Presented by DJ Ty Sunderland is Heaven On Earth, your escape into a simpler, more glamorous time guided by hits on hits from one of the most legendary pop icons to grace us with her vocal cords. With shows from queens Biblegirl and Wench, you know you’re going to be dazzled, and hosts Youvegotnomale and Linux will make sure to keep everyone lubricated. Since I can’t go and mingle (I’m unavailable) with like-minded individuals who have AMAZING taste, you should! I’d like to be able to vicariously live through this one, so please incessantly post on your insta stories about it. Thanks in advance!
I don’t know a lot about cognac, but I do know that it’s liquor, which is pretty good place to start with me. I have yet to meet an alcoholic drink I don’t like, well besides port, but that’s only because I had a bad experience as a 15-year-old getting drunk, home alone on the stuff. I spent the evening watching Bill Hicks’ stand up, then I tried to write my own jokes, I thought they were hilarious, but then I was wasted on port. I ended night by vomiting, and was sick for the next 24 hours.... Back to cognac. This Thursday, October 12, is your chance to get to know cognac, “the spirit that started it all.” For $50 you’ll get one cocktail at each location, along with a custom tote bag and information on how Cognac came to be the backbone of the classics.” The bars you’ll visit are “Amor y Amargo, Boilermaker NYC, Mace, Nitecap, and Pouring Ribbons.” I can attest that Mace is a great East Village bar, so you’ll be in good hands there. It’s getting to that time of year where a nice strong drink is exactly what we all need. But who am I kidding, a nice strong drink is needed all year round, especially in these dark times. So drink up, and learn something. It’s OK to get sloshed when it’s educational. Right?
The rainbow flag, which was designed by Gilbert Baker, whose life and legacy we honor in Issue 7, is going up permanently at the Stonewall National Monument. For those of you who may not know — which is totally okay, you learn something new everyday — Stonewall is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ+ liberation/rights movement. It’s only fitting that queer activists have succeeded in giving our community’s symbol of pride a home there. Also significant is that this is the first time that the rainbow flag has flown on federally funded land, “under the permanent stewardship of the National Park Service.” Cool, but what a contrast that our flag flies above federal ground for the first time less than a week after the US voted against a UN resolution condemning the death penalty for homosexuality. Michael Petrelis, the AIDS and LGBT activist who spearheaded this initiative, says, “It is a victory for our Community to have these symbolic colors flying majestically over our Stonewall, designated as a National Monument by President Obama, even as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are under attack by the current regime in power…. As we gather today, we are reminded of another October 11, thirty years ago, when the names of our fallen comrades were symbolically celebrated on another national monument — the AIDS Quilt — during the reign of another President who waged an attack against us.” The other October 11 that Petrelis is referring to is that of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian Gay Rights. October 11 “also marks the annual National Coming Out Day, a day celebrating the idea that all members of the LGBTQ community should be able to live their lives openly, honestly, and with pride.” The flag is to be unveiled at noon via a nice ceremony, but it’ll remain flying with unwavering courage, so make that pilgrimage to Greenwich Village and see it when you can. The weather is supposed to remain gorgeous — just like you — throughout the week, so you really have no excuse, love.
Before you rush out to see the highly acclaimed new film Call Me By Your Name, we suggest you first read the book. Written by American writer André Aciman (who is, shocker, straight) the book tells the story of “a love affair between an intellectually precocious 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy and a visiting 24-year-old American Jewish scholar in 1980s Italy. The novel chronicles their summer romance and the 20 years that followed.” Aciman’s writing is super engaging and erotically charged, immersing the reader in our 17-year-old narrator’s mind and world. Set in a small town outside Rome, Elio Perlman is the son of a professor at a nearby university. Each summer the family takes in a visiting fellow as a writer in residence. Elio resents the program because it means giving up his room for the time the writer is there. When Oliver shows up for the program however, Elio has no complaints. This handsome American with his aloof charm is all that twinky Elio can think of. He is obsessed with this man and his every move. How a straight novelist is able to describe the sexual longings of a young gay boy so insightfully is an impressive feat. Call Me By Your Name is a captivating read, and a wonderful break from the world we’re currently absorbed in. Try something new, read a book!
Earlier this month, Abi invited me to a screening hosted by Netflix. He sent me the invite that he had received and it looked interesting; the invite described a documentary about Marsha P. Johnson. I recognized the name but couldn’t quite pin down how I knew her (a shame, I know). I accepted Abi’s invitation and we headed to the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, got our free popcorn and drinks, and settled in for the film. Within about 15 minutes, I think we were both shocked at the caliber of the doc’s storytelling, production, and quality. As the film progressed, so did our amazement. The documentary follows three separate but concentric narratives. The main plotline, focuses on the strange circumstances surrounding Marsha’s death (Was she murdered? Did she commit suicide? Was her death an accident?). The second narrative arch is about Sylvia Rivera, a contemporary of Marsha’s, who fought for trans rights for most of her life. These two narratives are both told almost entirely through archival footage, which, coming from a critical perspective, is quite a feat to accomplish; most docs rely on interviews to fill in events that happened in the past. The third plotline — which unravels almost entirely in verite footage — is perhaps more surprising. It follows Victoria Cruz — a fierce queer trans activist who worked alongside both Marsha and Sylvia — as she attempts to reopen Marsha’s case, as it has been cold for 25 years. We get a glimpse into Victoria’s life through this narrative, but it’s more about what she unlocks from others. I can’t think of anyone fiercer than Victoria. After the screening, Abi and I attended the reception at Stonewall — where the modern LGBT-rights movement began — and we met Victoria personally. She’s got something to say to all of us, and it’s our obligation to her, and to our history, to listen.
A conversation with the photographer about his recent book
Over the course of the last year, Argentinian photographer Lucas Castro Pardo has been making intimate portraits of men that he sleeps with. Having studied photography in Buenos Aires and then having moved to New York by way of Europe, Pardo has been able channel his life and experiences into his work. His most recent book — his second book — Eroticum is clear evidence of that. Within its pages lies a photographic diary, almost verging on documentation, of Pardo’s sexual encounters. Artful images of penises large and small, cut and uncut, but all handsome. Faces. Beautiful faces. Delicate sinews of precum.
I got to ask Lucas a few questions about his book — read his responses below.
How did this project come to be? One day I realized that I had a big collection of photographs of people I slept with, before, during or after sex. I believe my photographic work is normally very intimate, not referring only to this specific project, but in general. So was that day when I decided to photograph guys for this project and somehow reflect my struggles with sex addiction.
You mentioned that Eroticum is a photographic journal that helps you navigate through your sex addiction. Can you elaborate a bit more on this addiction? My sex addiction started when I was around 17, same time when my substance abuse issues started. It’s certainly related to the way I grew up, so we could talk a bit of psychology here. I had a very bad relationship with my family since I was a kid for several reasons that I’m not going to mention right now. …
As I write this, CNN is on and my parents just landed in Vegas. Yes, landed. Prior to Sunday night’s atrocity, they were looking forward to two nights in the city that a survivor of the Las Vegas Massacre called “adult Disneyland.” Blech, so yeah, this news is terrible. Wolf Blitzer just reported that while semi-automatic weapons are legal to sell there, they are illegal to use. How does that make any sense? The demographic that supports and surrounds the debate around the 2nd Amendment is perverse. All of the facts shoved in our face every few months or so, and all of the American civilians that have been buried are more than enough proof that something must change. How many times have we said this? After I spoke a great deal about this with my parents, who are off to have some cute trip through picturesque Arizona, my gays at the office, and reading a shit ton on the internet, I realized: I am a gay against guns. This Thursday, GAG asks you to join them for another meeting to help them plan a rally in direct response to Sunday’s terrorist attack and other ways to motion for better gun legislation. News also broke that the US voted against the UN’s proposed (and passed, thank god) ban on the death penalty for homosexuality. Time to stop saying the shit needs to change and do something about it; it’s time to mobilize.
On a perfect mid-summer day, we traveled to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn to shoot a story for GAYLETTER Issue 7 tittled ‘TV’ — the story was very simple, we just wanted to recreate what we often do with our friends: gather at someone’s house to watch TV, usually with some nice blankets, comfortable looks, snacks, smokes and lots of wine, beers or whatever is available after 5 hours in. It became a joke to us that we would go watch TV at a friends’ house and then end up sleeping on the floor until 4:00am. It’s prob the best thing to do while it’s cold in NYC. It’s like Netflix and chill but without the sex.
We headed to our shoot with photographer Cody Chandler (who scouted the location), a groomer (Boswell from Best Barber), a stylist (Christopher Rao) a few models and our small team. During breaks we hung outside — the breeze was right, the sun felt perfect.
Cody took a few behind the scenes pics of Alex, Elvis and Chris during a smoke/vape break…We thought we’d share them with you here.
Alex, Elvis and Chris wear pants by Marc Jacobs.
You probably all heard about the hurricanes that have hit the Caribbean so far this year. Irma and Maria, were probably the meanest ones so far, those bitches have not been very nice to the islands, especially what Maria did to Puerto Rico. The country is not in a good shape and as we all know the Cheeto-faced imbecile in the White House doesn’t really care, it seems that he learned that Puerto Rico is part of the United States just last week. Earlier this week he said “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack...” I mean what a dick? As if Puerto Ricans had any control over this natural disaster. He’s the most insensitive, disgusting man alive. I am stating the obvious, but I just had to let it out. Now let’s focus on something that we can do something about — here’s an event that we should support in any way we can, it’s a hurricane relief and fundraiser taking place at MoMa Ps1. “Continuing our efforts to support Puerto Rican relief initiatives and aid communities that have been affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria, MoMA PS1 is hosting a fundraiser organized in collaboration with MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach and NYC City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer.” You must RSVP — click here, there’s a minimum donation of $20, you can pay there or in advance via mariafund.org. “All proceeds will benefit the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund.” Let’s come together and do what we can to help. If we don’t, no one will!