I shouldn’t really have to tell you to watch the second season of the incredible show Transparent, about newly out transwoman Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) and her ever evolving family, but in case you were locked in a basement, trapped as a sex slave to some Mormon preacher for the last few years, here’s the deets. Created by Jill Soloway, whose parent transitioned late in life much like the fictional character her show is based around, Transparent is easily one of the best shows available to watch at the moment. Season 2 has an extra treat in that it features the wonderful Hari Nef (pictured right) in flashbacks to 1930s Germany. Those flashbacks all come together in the last 2 episodes, and believe me when I say your patience will be paid off in spades. I was bawling like a baby in the final few scenes. And I’m still distraught, but only because I now realize how long I will have to wait for season 3. Oy vey!
Anytime Joey Labeija (pictured) DJs it’s L-E-G-E-N-D-A-R-Y. He played our pride party at the Wythe Hotel this July and it was fucking bananas how good he was. This Saturday is your chance to show some love to Joey and also wish him happy birthday. To help celebrate you can also expect music by Joey along with Le1f, Abby, and Juliana Huxtable. I love how parties are starting later, and later these days, it’s very Spanish of NYC to open the doors at midnight like this one. I mean, nothing really happens at a party before then anyways, so might as well just turn up when it’s time to turn up. This will be the first time this party has taken place at its new location on North 3rd. From what I could tell from a quick google search of the venue it looks like a cool space, with plenty of room for dancing. Which is exactly what we expect you to do. I mean it’s Joey’s birthday, and only a few days before the holiday break, don’t let it be anything but legendary!
The exhibition runs from December 18th to March 16th, 2016
A new amazing exhibition of video and photography opens this Friday, December 18th at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in NYC and it runs through March 16th, 2016. This new show titled ‘Medium of Desire: An International Anthology of Photography and Video‘ focuses on the theme of “desire” and showcases the work of fourteen artists from nine countries. It includes some of our favorite artists such as the Chinese photographer Ren Hang (who we featured in issue 3 of our magazine), Dimitris Yeros, Anthony Gayton, Matthew Morrocco, Tomoko Kikuchi, Jessica Yatrofsky, Joseph Maida, Daniel M. Schmude and others.
This is what the press release says: “Using human beauty, desire, Eros, and sexuality, this new photography based exhibition reveals that cultural differences, whether defined by national borders, sexual orientation, or gender identification, can be simultaneously vast yet familiar. Regardless of one’s sexual orientation or country of origin, feelings of desire, when successfully represented, can serve to minimize our differences and bring us closer.” I had a chance to preview some of the work that are gonna be on display at the show — you are in for a treat. The work is great, there’s also some nudity which makes things more enjoyable for all of us.
Have a look at some images from the show ‘Medium of Desire’ below:
This is some heady shit. Let me hit you with the write up I initially read for the show so you know what I’m talking about. “Curated beside art works loosely organized around the theme of the technofeminist gaze, a transformation of the Venus narrative manipulated through different mediums.” Oh OK... It’s our job to make sense of this shit so let me lay out exactly what this is all about. It’s in a gallery and it seems like the highlight of the night will be the performance by XHOSA. She’s a musician who loves Bjork, especially her song “Venus As A boy,” (I love that song too) so she decided to create a live interactive performance inspired by the song. It all kicks off at 6pm, and she’ll be doing a Q&A before her performance. For those who don’t know anything about XHOSA, she was born and raised in N.Y.C., and is an artist who plays with Hip Hop, R’n’B, and Post Punk influences “to create a unique sound.” I know that last line is vague as shit, but I spent some time listening to her music on Soundcloud and she’s really good. I promise. We don’t promote crap, you should know that by now.
A brand new party always gets us excited! It’s the reason why we started GAYLETTER — to give us new things to do each week. This week we want to introduce you to HUMP, a new bi monthly affair starting this wednesday, December 16th! The party is presented by two lovely people, Hannah Shoshana Fisher & Paul Iacono. I reached out to Paul and he told me how this party came about: “Hosting nightlife can be a lot of fun but having grown up in the arts my heart has always been in creating. So when Shoshana approached me about the Wyndham Garden in Chinatown, I thought: How deliciously random! We assembled a magpie ensemble of our favorite nightlife aficionados: Half fresh meat, half veterans, but all from very different niches. The result is HUMP. The evening guarantees opulence, vulgarity and (obviously, because it's me) a dollop of theatrics in the heart of Chinatown.” For the first week the hosts are Max Ryder, Jacob Brown, Sussi Suss and Slayme Pineshouse, graphics by Nikki Mirsaeid, and music for the night will be provided by DJ Michael Cavadias and DJ DJ DeSe. It sounds like they are all very excited, I can’t wait to go check it out. It’s so close to me I can crawl back home if I get too drunk. Which is very likely.
A peep into England's dancehall scene
“Friends are the family you choose” is a common cliche used by all sorts of people. For some, however, choosing this family is a vital part of survival. Out & Bad, presented by Vice’s Noisey follows some of England’s dancehall community, giving us an intimate glimpse into their found mode of survival through dancing, partying, and camaraderie. This probably sounds like a relatable tale and it is but you soon realize that these boys can dance much better than you. They found each other nearly a decade ago when England experienced a mass influx of Jamaican immigrants fleeing anti-gay laws during the early 2000s. The dancehall scene served (and still does) as a friend based family, which for some, were all they had.
Out & Bad rattles off the statistics that have become all too familiar. We are reminded once again just how many black LGBTQ teens are forced out of their homes and left to navigate the most difficult parts of their youth alone. “We all had a common bond, which was black and gay. When we would come together, for a short moment, nobody could touch us. We were untouchable,” says one of the documentary’s main subjects, Marc.
The film is worth a watch. Marc and all of his friends are vibrant, feel-good people who make every group scene feel like you’ve missed out completely, which, unless you frequented bashment parties like Caribana and Bootylicious, you most certainly did. (Highlights include Deejay educating the viewers on how to stand, watch your liquor and give face at bashment parties.) With that being said, I can’t help but feel like Out & Bad feels like another documentary that is fun and entertaining as much as it is disheartening. …
When I first visited NYC in 2002 I meet these two guys on the platform at Union Square station. I was trying to get directions to a gay bar (I can’t remember which one). When I told them the name that said “oh you don’t want to go there.” Instead they took me to a bar which until today I thought was Eastern Bloc. Turns out E.B. is turning 10, meaning it wasn’t around in 2002. The reason I conflated the two was because the bar the queens took me too was dark and sexy and one of the highlights of my trip. Having moved here in 2007 Eastern bloc has been my second home. It’s run by the adorable Darren Dryden (pictured), who is sucsh a doll that he’s using the bar’s 10th year anniversary party as a way to raise money for the Colombia University Hospital Children’s Cancer Ward. Darren has plenty in store for the night. Music is by Andy Cohen (yes that one!), Austin Downey, Sammy Jo, Frankie Sharp, Darren Dryden and Michel T. There’s also going to be shows by Misstress Formika, Hattie Hathaway, Stephanie Stone, Bobbie and Severely Mame. Bring your coins for the kids and don’t make any other plans for the night! Umm Ok!
We mentioned briefly the new queer food magazine Mouthfeel back in October, they were part of a food event. Mouthfeel “is a limited-edition, bi-annual print and online magazine that launched in April 2015. The magazine explores the complexities of food and the characters involved, written from a gay point-of-view and designed with a hardcore punk aesthetic. Each magazine comes in a collectible package and showcases personality forward profiles, essays, articles and original artwork in its PLATES section. Mouthfeel also features city guides and regular online features.” Sounds great doesn’t it? If you want to get to know the magazine a little better… Go to the launch of the new issue this Saturday at Printed Matter. Our friend Slava Mogutin told us that he’ll be doing “a drawing/reading performance,” he’s one of the featured artists in the issue. They’ll have complimentary Milagro tequila which means you must get there early, it’s a free event and tequila runs out quick. I have a feeling it’s gonna be one of these events where every homo with the fomo will be in attendance. Expect to eat cake, meet the cover boy, chef Gerardo from El Rey, (he knows how to pickle an egg, trust). Go chill with plenty of other food and dick lovers, could be tasty, no?!
Last Friday I attended the opening preview for Hildegard (Vision) presented by the Pioneers Go East Collective. I was on a day date that turned into an early evening happy hour moment, which then transitioned into the boy accompanying me to the performance at the La MaMa theatre. Needless to say there’s nothing like a little live theater and boozy opening night gala following the performance to elevate your night. Upon arrival, we were given our tickets, shown inside the auditorium and told to “explore the space and then choose your seats.” The piece is described as a “meditative performance and sonic installation inspired by the work of mystic, artist and “proto-feminist” Hildegard Von Bingen” who was apparently a bad-ass medieval Lady Lover nun who gave a lot of advice (shade) to the Pope at the time.
The plot of Hildegard had a sparse structure and this made it difficult to follow exactly what was happening. However, the actors, audio installations and set pieces fully immersed the audience into the world of the play. It was like we were plopped right into the center of Hildy’s brain during a really bad hangover. The seats circle the space so as you watch the piece you are literally inches away from the action, which I love! My favorite part was when Hildy had a “divine vision” of a lion, a dog and a pig all destroying the church with sex and power. It really got me in the mood and I think it would do the same for all of you. …
We told you to go to the Guggenheim to sneak into the Grimes show a couple of weeks ago, and guess what we’re telling you to do it again! But don’t sneak in this time, just sign up to a museum membership and you’ll get into this one and all future parties for free! Yay. So what’s up with this event anyway. Well Art After Dark is your chance to see the museum’s current shows, at night, which is so much chicer than seeing them during the day. Plus they have wine and beer and a DJ. The current exhibition includes Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting and Photo-Poetics: An Anthology. “As you move through the galleries, the museum will fill with the sounds of a live set by deejay Ms. Nix. (aka Nicole Lyn).” Doesn’t that just sound lovely? Yes, yes it does.
Starting this Thursday to Saturday there is a dance program going on at Danspace Project in NYC. Patrick Gallagher who’s dancing in it sent us an email as if he was writing a post for the newsletter. I really appreciate when someone knows how to sell themselves and takes the time to write an email that makes sense as supposed to a tedious press release. Here’s what Patrick had to say about the show: “Andy de Groat was the original choreographer of the legendary work Einstein on the Beach. He and director Robert Wilson were lovers. After the first tour of Einstein to Iran in the 1970s, the relationship ended. Andy’s choreography was subsequently replaced by Lucinda Childs, because her company made up the majority of the cast. Andy de Groat, a gay dancer from New Jersey, was erased from the history of the work. Andy moved to Paris in the mid 80s where he developed a huge following in the European contemporary dance scene. But he is unknown to most American dancers, despite his contributions to Einstein.” If you haven’t seen Einstein on the Beach at BAM then you have a chance to get a taste of the original choreography by Andy de Groat. He also mentioned that he’ll be performing in “a sexy yellow jumpsuit which has been hiding in storage in Paris for 30 years…” There will be plenty of other dancers performing with him, but I just ran out of space to mention them all...
I watched this film at 3am, drunk, in a bunk bed, and I still loved it, which should tell you something about how good it is. Based detailed research into Kurt Cobain’s death, filmmaker Benjamin Statler, and detective Tom Grant, who was hired by Courtney Love to find Kurt days before his death (he was in rehab getting ready to divorce her and about to take her out of his will) pretty straight out assert that Courtney had Kurt killed. There’s a lot of interesting evidence, but the most fascinating is probably the fact that Kurt, at the time of his death, had an amount of heroin in him that would kill a large elephant, 10 times the dose needed to incapacitate an average user. How, experts ask, was he able to shoot himself in the head with that amount of heroin in him? Also, he wasn’t suicidal according to his close friends, and why did the handwriting in the suicide note match a writing test sheet found in Courtney’s bag? This is a really well made doco — required viewing for all Nirvana and early 90’s conspiracy theorists!