I first laid eyes on the work of David Armstrong when I was 14. His book, The Silver Cord, which is filled with portraits of beautiful young guys, quickly became one of my favorites. Armstrong rose to fame in the 1970’s and went on to become an influential force in the world of photography. A year has gone by since his passing and in remembrance Nowness.com has released a short film created by Armstrong himself, GAYLETTER contributor Jack Pierson and Ryan McGinley. Entitled We Three, the film reveals an up close and personal look at a weekend in 2008 when McGinley and Pierson visited Armstrong at his home in upstate New York.
All three artists are shown creating together, their laughter and smiles suggest they are enjoyed every second of it. One of the best scenes is of a shirtless Ryan McGinley treading through the snow in heels and a pink tutu. But, what is most eye-catching is a snippet of what appears to be a moving photograph on the wall of Pierson drawing McGinley. The film is accompanied by a voice over by McGinley talking about the weekend and several other memories he had of his time with Armstrong. Spontaneous and intimate, We Three, is a sweet recollection of not just the artistic talent of David Armstrong, but also his kind character. May he rest in peace.
Conversations between an Evangelical theologian and his gay son
Drew Harper has long been a friend and contributor to GAYLETTER for all the right reasons. He is well articulated, quick-witted, handsome, funny and this I report having only met him once.
In early June of this year, Drew stopped by an issue 3 meeting before departing to his parent’s where he would finish up writing Space at the Table, with his father, Brad Harper. Space at the Table is the tale of Drew’s own coming out and his gradual but temporary departure from his Evangelical Christian family and upbringing. The book came about after Brad found himself meeting with multiple Christian university students “who really loved Jesus, but had their own trans or gay story to tell.” It was here that Brad saw the opportunity to open up the conversation between religious views and the LGBTQ community
“My dad and I have been able to preserve our relationship, actually to even strengthen it, and deepen it, in the midst of our totally conflicting world views, but that’s not common,” says Drew. “Speaking from experience to parents and children, Christians and gays, individuals and communities, Brad and Drew offer hope for loving relationships in the midst of opposing convictions. Brad and Drew’s relationship showed us that there is a way for people who believe very different things to love each other, and we knew we had to help them share their story.”
They are asking for your help with publishing costs to bring their book to the marketplace and the conversation to national level. …
The only reason I’m recommending this hot mess of a “docu-series,” that premiered in May of this year on Showtime, is because it features so many god damn people I know and so many bars I’ve spent many drunken nights in. 3AM tries to appear “real” but is noticeably not. It follows the lives of 5 New York nightlife personalities including an escort, club doorman, deejay, party photographer and social media personality named Josh, who you might know as the Fat Jew. The character I was most interested in was Markus (pictured), the doorman who’s thrown shade my way many-a-times when he worked at Westgay at Westway. Markus, as I learned from the show, is trying to make his name as a stand-up comedian. He is probably the most entertaining character, the others (beside the deejay and escort) range from obnoxious to out-right disgusting.
I loved watching the obviously scripted scenes featuring Markus and a few GAYLETTER regulars. At one point he’s seen picking up, and making out, with Max Ryder at a Chelsea bar, which I can promise you was strictly for the cameras. Our friend Eric Worsech is also in many scenes as Markus on-again-off-again love interest. Eric is an exhibitionist in the most wonderful way so I got such a kick out of watching him act out for the cameras. There’s plenty of great TV on at the moment, so I’m not suggesting for a second you put this show before any of your favorites, however if you find yourself one rainy Sunday afternoon with nothing to watch, give 3AM a shot, just fast forward the scenes with the Fat Jew, he’s exhausting. …
With the help and talent of many, The Dauphine of Bushwick X Wise Men celebrated their trans sisters and brothers by donating to FIERCE NYC. The event was sponsored by Purity Vodka
Bring Your Own Body is a brilliant exhibition “focusing on transgender artists and archives, from the institutional and sexological to the personal and liminal” that features work by Justin Vivian Bond, Vaginal Davis, Zackary Drucker, Pierre Molinier and many other incredible artists we love. This Saturday the exhibition presents “a free, public screening of The Queen, (1968) followed by a conversation with the artist, producer, activist, and cultural icon Flawless Sabrina.” The Queen “follows a cross-country drag competition organized by Flawless Sabrina that concludes in the Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant held at Town Hall in 1967.” After the film Flawless will speak with artist Zackary Drucker and archivist Diana Tourjée “about the collaborative process of cataloguing Sabrina’s 57-year archive.” This is an incredible opportunity to get to know Flawless, a true queer icon and learn about the trans world from last century. The screening and conversation are both free, so you have no excuse not to attend. Plus it’s at Cooper Union so there will undoubtedly be plenty of hot art school boys for you to cruise! Win win.
Opening this week at the Museum of Modern Art, Jason and Shirley is director Stephen Winter’s fictionalized retelling of Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Shirley Clarke’s 1967 film Portrait of Jason. In the original film, Clarke brought Jason Holliday, a charismatic black gay hustler and aspiring nightclub performer, into her penthouse at the Chelsea Hotel for a marathon film session that climaxed in Holliday’s intense onscreen breakdown. Winter’s politically charged reimagining stars the New York queer performer Jack Waters as Jason, and the downtown doyenne of art and politics, Sarah Schulman, as Shirley. Both performances are phenomenal, and Jack conjures and channels Jason’s spirit uncannily. In addition, the film is a visual treat, shot on vintage Super VHS and edited to perfectly evoke a druggy, frustrating, 12-hour film shoot. Be prepared for a searing reversal of the original film’s invasive focus on Jason’s life that asks important questions about exploitation, art, and power.
I’m sitting in a Chelsea coffee shop crying. My Tinder date is late, I just got a mediocre haircut, and it’s raining, but I’m on this bar-stool sipping a late afternoon cappuccino with tears of pride running down my face. I’m reading One Teacher In Ten In the New Millennium and feeling like a real queen.
OTITITNM has been around for a while, but she just got reset for the millennials. Kevin Jennings, founder of GLSEN, has edited together an updated and expanded collection of autobiographical coming-out stories from gay, queer, and trans educators around the world. Each chapter follows a different teacher as they weigh the burden of invisibility against the dangers of honesty in their decision to do what’s best for students, colleagues, and most importantly, themselves. Why do students need to know a teachers’ sexuality? What does queerness have to do with curriculum? Where are the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in the classroom? This book begins to answer some of those increasingly complex questions.
“Voices largely absent from the first two editions — including transgender people, people of color, teachers working in rural districts, and educators from outside the United States — feature prominently in this new collection, providing a fuller and deeper understanding of the triumphs and challenges of being an LGBTQI teacher today.”
While we must remember those that remain silenced and without access to the resources that made these success stories possible, this book is a powerful read none the less. …
When a party runs for a whole year in NYC it’s a big deal, it’s a similar dating the same guy for more than 3 months, it’s a big deal — it’s hard in this city, with all the sluts! I am so happy for Straight Acting for making it a full year, it’s a lot of fucking work, trust me. The reason our party only happens when we want to is because it’s a full time job to promote a party. I spoke to Rify Royalty who’s one of the organizes via F.B. chat. He reminded me what the party is all about, “it’s about sexual and gender expression. It’s also fem celebrating. A party where people can get creative with their looks, drink and dance to some of the best local DJ’s. The idea behind Straight Acting was to have different guest performers every month. So in the year it’s been running we’ve never repeated performers or DJ’s, a brand new cast every month, except this one.” For the anniversary party they had to bring some folks back, they must! Some of the performers and hosts are Charlene, Mark Dommu, Manifestany Squirtz, Bombazeen bean, Amber Alert, Chad LeClair, Molly Rhinestones and more. Also they said that the event is “powered” by Scruff, I wonder what that means? Hopefully they’re getting some nice coins! They’ve worked hard, they deserve them!
Berghain's Sexiest bartender is also a fresh DJ
Nicolas aka Ädgår is 25 and originally from Vienna. He has been living in Berlin since 2013. He studies Art History, Jewish History and Italian, and works as a bartender at the famous techno club Berghain and is also a DJ. In 2009, he started organizing the Sodom & Gomorrha Parties in Vienna, and now he finally wants to get back to the event management business and so, together with a friend, he’s planning the first Herrensauna, a very special, queer techno party. We had the chance to chat with Nicolas about the party, among many other things.
What makes your Herrensauna project special? Well, the Herrensauna will be a unique experience since it’s connected with the sauna concept. That means that this will be a place for sexual freedom, for any gender, every intention – where everyone should be able to feel comfortable with his body and sexuality.
But is there really a need for another techno party in Berlin? It should be more intimate. Not like all the big events here which are very crowded at the moment. We rather like a party that’s smaller and to keep the underground feeling with it.
Where does the title come from? As I told you above, it’s about sexual freedom. We welcome a lot of naked skin, surely of both, women and men. So don’t get discouraged of the title, please!
On your Facebook page of Sodom & Gomorrha, a strong connection to art is noticeable. A lot of Hieronymus Bosch and also other classical artworks with an homoerotic focus. …
Last weekend I did some pumpkin carving with some of my dear friends for the first time, it got very competitive (because all of my friends love a competition) but we had a blast. We found it very therapeutic to create something with our hands that didn’t involve our smartphones (we only did a couple of quick Snapchats) Now that it’s getting a little cold, it’s nice to just do something chill and creative with a group, which is why we suggest you attend the Queer Collage Party at the Bureau of General Services - Queer Division.“Everyone who attends should bring at least one magazine or book or a bunch of pictures that you’ll contribute to the group. Each person can make their own collage(s), or team up with others!” They suggest you bring a snack to share, they’ll have beer, wine and soda to purchase by donation. The boys that run the Bureau are lovely to be around so I’m sure this event will be filled with good vibes. I’d suggest you avoid getting competitive like our friends did with their pumpkins, nobody wants to get snatched over a collage. Collaborate instead of of being cutty, well except with your scissors, you can cut with them...paper not people.
About his film Jason and Shirley, the moment, and how things have changed since 1994
I met Stephen Winter at an Independence Day party in Brooklyn in 2008. I was new to the city, 19 years old and — as Stephen recently reminded me — wearing a scarf in July (it was John Varvatos and it was cunt). Since that day, Stephen has been to me Consigliere, Mentor, Guardian Angel, Radical-Sex-Positive-Public-Makeout-Partner, my Yenta, my Boss, and one of my most treasured of friends. For all of us blessed enough to know Mr. Winter, this year has been a season of celebration as we rejoice the mainstream acclaim being heaped on his recent film, Jason and Shirley. The general feeling is “it’s about fucking time.”
Winter’s last feature film was in 1994. Chocolate Babies, a roaring epic about a gang of HIV positive “Black Drag Queens with a political agenda” wreaking havoc on conservative politicians, that won a best feature award at SxSW that year. That smashing debut was followed by two decades of the behind-the-scenes workhorse career that earned this handsome man the respect of everyone who’s anyone in the world of queer and indie filmmaking, but never the kind of mainstream recognition that those around him have enjoyed.
With Jason and Shirley, everything’s changed.
J&S is Stephen’s re-imagining of Shirley Clarke‘s 1967 documentary classic Portrait of Jason, wherein Clark, a successful Jewish independent female filmmaker, brings a charismatic black gay hustler named Jason Holladay into her Chelsea Hotel penthouse apartment for a marathon film session, culminating in Holliday’s spectacular onscreen breakdown. …
We’ve showed images from this party on our website a few times now. You can always spot Tyler Ashley’s ass all over the party in the pics, sometimes she’s even spreading it. It’s her party, so she can really do anything she wants. That’s the T, but the real T is that this is a very special edition of Baby Tea, presented by The Dauphine of Bushwick and Wise Men. It’s a fundraiser to benefit the amazing organization FIERCE. Tyler posted on facebook: “It’s simple. I want to use this platform as a way to celebrate my trans sisters and brothers and raise money for a local NYC LGBT organization that fights for trans rights!” All ticket sales and Purity vodka sales will be donated to Fierce! WOW! Hosted by lots of people: Lina Bradford, Iman Le Caire, Quay Dash, Franco De Marco, Maria Jose, Katy Pyle/Ballez, Devynn Emory, Mickey Molly McSherry, and more... DJs Macy Rodman, Frankie Sharp and Horrorchata, plus a performance by Charlene. It’s gonna be very Fierce! You can pay between $10 to $50 to get in depending how rich you are, I am sure if you pull your pants down and hand over a fiver they’ll also let you in.