7 Larry Kramer #LoveWins Quotes, or Why He’s the Smartest Gay in the Village

Larry Kramer New Book
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Larry Kramer, photo via Wikipedia

Writer and activist Larry Kramer is the subject of an upcoming HBO biopic and author of a new book. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting both, Kramer shows why the fire in his belly that started ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) hasn’t been extinguished yet.

In a totally unapologetic manner, he talks about everything from Abraham Lincoln’s homosexuality, to Alexander Hamilton’s homosexuality, to Katharine Hepburn’s homosexuality, to Spencer Tracy’s homosexuality, to…well, everybody’s homosexuality. Below are some highlights that show why he’s the smartest gay in the village:

On the next generation of gays:

I’m happy that this new generation of kids won’t be condemned to the same unhappiness as I was.

On his new book:

I was tired of reading history books written by straight people who seem unaware that homosexuals ever existed.

On a queer perspective of history:

…[H]istorians always assume the heterosexuality of their subjects, sometimes in direct contradiction of available facts and evidence.

On Alexander Hamilton’s sexual orientation:

During the war, he wrote lots of love letters to a fellow officer whom he was very much in love with, a man who got killed during the war.

On Hollywood:

The truth is, Hollywood has always been a gay town. Even in the ’30s and ’40s, there were plenty of famous gay actors and directors who partied and socialized together. Cary Grant. Randolph Scott. Barbara Stanwyck.

On the tensions between art and politics:

In countries like France or Germany or South America, novelists regularly write about society and politics. And they’re not shut out of the mainstream because of it. It’s different here in America.

On if the recent SCOTUS decision gave him closure:

This has been an astounding week, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

Read the whole interview at The Hollywood Reporter.

Who Owns NYC PRIDE?

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Brandon Voss

As Pride approaches, there is trouble. Apparently the trademarked NYC PRIDE can only be used for Heritage of Pride official events. This has gone to court where a judge has granted a temporary restraining order to prevent promoters of gay parties like Brandon Voss from using ‘NYC’ and ‘Pride’ together in any of his promotional material. The restraining order will be honored, but this case will be decided in court long after the last parade or party –official or not. Brandon Voss has a weekly Saturday party promoted to and attended by the LGBT community year-round. It seems silly to me that there was no way found to include his soireé into the celebration as a whole. It seems unconscionable that something so profoundly based in unity could wallow in this divisiveness. I asked Brandon to elaborate (he’s a great elaborator). 

What is going on here? Pride is upon us and I’m reluctant to use the term NYC Pride in fear of a lawsuit. Instead of unifying, there are lawsuits dividing. I read that you said, “Pride is an inclusive, fluid and intangible movement, especially in its birthplace of New York City. Pride is for everyone and is the property of no one.” Please explain this whole mess.
Sure, Ill try to give you the abbreviated version.  Heritage of Pride (HOP), the organization that, to their credit, organizes the annual pride parade, recently filed for a trademark on “NYC Pride” claiming a date of first use in May 2011. Surprisingly the mark was granted in April of this year. As soon as they received the mark, they demanded we remove the words “NYC Pride” and “New York Pride” from all of our Saturday advertisements as we were infringing on their trademarks. We, as you know, refused and last week were slapped with this lawsuit as a result. Coincidently HOP expanded their “official” events this year to include their first ever Saturday night event, putting them in direct competition with our long running party slate. They claim we were trying to trick the public into thinking our events were official Heritage of Pride events, so they had no choice but to sue us, but if that was the objective we would have used the name Heritage of Pride or its logos… Instead we used NYC Pride and New York Pride as descriptors since we believe those terms to be in the public domain. If we were trying to trick people into thinking we produce the official Heritage of Pride events, I probably wouldn’t be giving you this interview either.

You also stated that with all the “official” events, only a meager amount of money is going to charity. Can you elaborate?
Yes, they give about 10% of net income to various charities (which amounts to a few thousand dollars). The rest goes to operating expenses and salaries. I point this out because they tout themselves as a charitable organization that we are trying to take advantage of. What they are is a non-profit that uses the funds from their events to produce a series of “official” pride events and the parade. Besides the fact that I haven’t self-anointed my events official, their business looks rather similar to mine.

What events are you hosting? Is the beef that your long running party is competition to their special event?… and while we are here, inquiring minds want to know, are you donating part of your proceeds to a charity?
I have an entire weekend of events. Our popular Berlin party Friday night, Saturday afternoon’s Matinee party on Governors Island, Supreme at Capitale with Azealia Banks and DJs Chus and Ceballos, a Sunday afternoon with one my favorites Candis Cayne performing at the Dream Downtown, and a closing party Sunday night at Liberty Theater with a surprise performance by a Grammy award winning artist. Details on all these events can be found here www.VossNYC.com

A percentage of our profits from both the Matinee and Supreme parties go to Life Ball. I can’t give the exact amount until after the event, but suffice it to say it will most certainly be more than the few thousand HOP gave last year.

This is a temporary injunction and the dispute will be settled in court long after the last Pride party of this year. Are you going to fight this ruling?
Yup.

New York City Pride has been celebrating since 1970. Why is this an issue now?
That’s precisely my point. HOP has no business claiming ownership of NYC Pride. It’s a holiday that the community has celebrated for 45 years. To me it’s akin to claiming ownership of Black History Month or St. Patrick’s Day.

Internet Love and Distanced Sex in Jem Goulding’s “Goodnight London” Art Film

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“Goodnight London,” the new short art film by director Jem Goulding, will strike a chord for any millennial who has deeply questioned his or her identity. Whether tangled in a heap of bed sheets or wandering through a rave, disconnected to fellow partiers, the question of one’s “true” character occasionally arises and clouds the mind.

We see Olivier Barthelemy, recently featured in a Saint Laurent campaign, wandering through urban streets to the melancholic track “Goodnight London” by MONEY (Bella Union), eventually finding himself in a midst of various juxtapositions and uncertainties. He walks under a neon-lit “Unisex” sign, signifying the ambiguity of sexual orientation–a theme later continued through his participating in gay video sex via the Internet. There is a play on intimacy, not only in the film’s depicting distanced sex, but also the main character’s insistence on wearing a mask throughout the streets, hiding his true face.

“As a director, the track was a dream because it was emotive enough to carry a weighted story, but gentle enough to act as a kind of score for moving imagery,” says Goulding. “We didn’t want anything too literal, so I devised a story that drew on elements both the band and I felt were relevant to now: internet personas leading to confused identity, disposable friendship, the negative effects of artificial light, and how it interfere with more than we realize. The light omitted from this light is a metaphor for the artificial promises we are sometimes fooled by.”

In discussing the music choice, Goulding is very honest with her intention. “I had been waiting for a track like this for a while, something truly soulful and so very sad, because I’d posed myself the challenge that the next music project I undertook, it would be a piece that made people want to cry. I’ve noticed in general that music videos rarely get there. If this thing moves one person to tears out there, I’ll have satisfied my aspirations for it entirely.”

Fashion Prize Cancelled: Dorchester Retaliates Against the Industry

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In case you’ve been willingly ignoring it, you know by now that the Sultan of Brunei is terrible (he’s thisclose to instating laws that would call for the stoning to death of gays and adulterous women, including women who have been raped). Editors in chief like Glamour‘s Cindi Leive and Vogue‘s Anna Wintour have stated that no editor of theirs will be booking rooms at any of the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection hotels during fashion week travels in Paris, London, and Milan.

The fashion leadership isn’t the only crew denouncing Dorchester; pretty much the whole industry is following suit. The Human Rights Campaign officially condemned the decision of the Sultan in late April.

Duh.

Now the Dorchester Collection is feeling the pressure (or just feeling spiteful,) and has gone ahead and cancelled its Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, an annual competition and gala event. Score one for fashion? or no winners until the Sultan of Brunei backs down?

Two Cuties Check Out Gay Night at Beauty and Essex

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Last night, models and frequent BlackBook contributors Carlos Santolalla and John Tuite (aka @jarlos420) popped by Beauty & Essex in NYC to check out the scene for the restaurant’s new gay night.

The meal was great, as was the scene. Check out what they ate, below.

photo 3Favorite cocktail of the night? Definitely the Emerald Gimlet made with Grey Goose vodka, basil, lemon nectar, and fresh lime.

photo 5 Favorite appetizer? The Duck Pizzeta with tamarind, queso fresco, and salsa verde.

photo 7 But the Chile Relleno Empanadas, with poblano, manchego, and jalapeño-lime creme, were a close second.

photo 8 Yummm Pan Roasted Scallops with smoked tomato and sweet pea risotto.

photo 9Major. The Beauty & Essex Burger with roasted garlic aioli, beefsteak tomato, goat feta, and bbq fries. The vinegar fries are actually better though.

photo 11
Very sexy grilled salmon with sherry vinegar glaze, pearl couscous, red chard, and sunchoke puree.

photo 12
All the desserts looked good, but being gay night, the Passion Cream seems like the winner!

Upstairs at Beauty & Essex on Mondays. Beauty & Essex is located at 146 Essex Street, NYC.

Does Your Date Have an STD? Find Out With Eli Dancy’s Chec-Mate App

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The great fear of the technological era is Big Brother watching you. That fear has largely given way to acceptance of our fate. The boss knows what we are saying, knows where we are, knows where were going, and through devices like Facebook knows our favorite everything and who we sleep with. The powers that be can theoretically know more about us than we know about us. With all the negatives we give up, we gain speed in communication and new ways to do business. We can keep in touch with friends who years ago would have become long lost. Now comes yet another positive…I think. Big Brother is now looking out for you if you let it. A new application by Chec-Mate allows you to find out about the sexual safety of that person sitting across from you at the bar who is looking better after every cocktail. Chec-Mate makes obsolete the throwing-the-dice aspects of sexual relations. Your phone will tell you whether or not that hottie is STD free if you decide to opt in. It’s for smart people with smart phones. It’s an iPhone app for $1.99 and is available on Android as well. Eli Dancy came up with this fancy idea and the Safe Sex License which is recognized by the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and The New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I asked all about it.

Explain how this works.
The Chec-Mate application can be downloaded now via the Apple App Store for a limited time at a retail price of $1.99 for a (1) year activation. Users simply download the app, register, and upload a photo. A confirmation email will arrive with the user’s personal "Screening Verification Form" (SVF) attached. The user can use the app to locate an authorized screening facility and then take their form and have their screening administered at the facility of their choice. After the screening is completed, the facility will return their screening verification form and screening results to the User. Users can follow the instructions on the (SVF) to submit your results for final verification and full activation of their Chec-Mate™ application.
 
In a way, this app enables worry-free multiple partner safe sex. Is there a disclaimer or encouragement for users to still use condoms?
Yes, members must agree to our User Agreement each time they choose to share their screening information, we also encourage all users to use alternative methods of protection in conjunction with the Chec-Mate application. Like anything, the Chec-Mate App should always be used responsibly, just as one is responsible for going the speed limit even if their vehicle allows them to exceed it. We expect users of Chec-Mate to continue being responsible when engaging in sexual activity with any and all partners they choose to become intimate with. The responsibility to use the Chec-Mate application responsibly will always be the end decision of the user.
 
How will you expand your market? How will you get people to sign in?
We are excited to have the opportunity to continue providing a service that is truly needed via the Chec-Mate mobile application. Now that users have worldwide access via their smartphones. We plan to continue sharing our excitement via mediums such as yours and other appropriate outlets looking to share new ways of living a safer, smarter, and healthier lifestyle.
 
How accurate is the testing?
All of our users are referred to have screenings conducted at Center for Disease Control (CDC) certified screening facilities via their facility locating portal www.hivtest.org.
 
If you are wildly successful, won’t it be impossible for a person suffering from an STD to get laid?
We look forward to the Chec-Mate application assisting millions in continuing their responsible sexual practices. We feel that, regardless if one chooses to use the Chec-Mate application or not, individuals should always make an informed decision before they engage in sexual intercourse. Individuals who carry an STD have, if not a legal responsibility, then a personal responsibly to inform a potential partner of any known infection before becoming intimate with them. What Chec-Mate brings to the table is not a change of responsibility to share information with ones’ partner, but a practical, safe, and secure platform to do so.
 
How will a person’s negative information be protected from public disclosure, or is that not done as it’s the reason for this?
The Chec-Mate system services those who are fully negative and also those who have been infected with an STD. All users have 100 percent full control over who they share their personal screening information. Additional security features have been integrated in the Chec-Mate application that protect users’ information from being freely view by unauthorized individuals. STFree does not share ANY of our user information with third parties, ever.
 
Are males and females separated into gay or straight categories? Someone I spoke to said this would be huge in the gay community rather than the hetero world. How do you react to this?
No, we do not categorize any of our members. The Chec-Mate application provides a variety of benefits to its users equally, regardless of their sex or choice of lifestyle.  STIs do not choose who they infect nor is there an accurate way of gauging who one chooses to become intimate with. We believe that sexual responsibility starts with self-responsibility. The Chec-Mate application is a platform for one to conveniently promote their personal awareness and dedication to protecting their sexual health.

Talking to Carmen Electra About New Single, XL Nightclub, & Photographer Mike Ruiz

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Tonight they will be celebrating the birthday of photographer extraordinaire Mike Ruiz. over at XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd Street, Carmen Electra, Martha Wash , The Ones, Janice Robinson and Jason Walker will perform. The event  will be hosted by the luscious Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio and the cast of HOT MESS. DJ Escape and Whitney Day will provide the sounds. The whole shebang will benefit the Ali Forney Center (AFC).  Admission is $15 for non-members. They are trying to raise $15,000 for the Center which provides shelter and care for homeless LGBT youth. The center was particularly damaged from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

Carmen Electra will perform her new single “I Like It Loud” which was produced  by Grammy-nominated producer Bill Hamel. Carmen will do the media rounds with appearances on The Wendy Williams Show, VH1 Morning Buzz, and Anderson Cooper before scooting over to XL. I asked her all about it.

Why did you decide to be part of this benefit for the Ali Forney Center at XL Nightclub? 
When I heard the center was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, I could not help but to be part of this amazing night.

How did it come about? 
I am friends with Mike Ruiz; he called me and asked me to be part of the benefit.

Have you worked with Mike Ruiz as a model? 
Yes, he’s shot for a few magazines.

You have a diverse career. What are your career goals? 
To continue entertaining my fans and touring the world.

XL Nightclub’s Director of Operations elaborated:
How do you think Carmen Electra will energize your crowd? What makes her work?
She is a versatile entertainer; she’s been on MTV, Baywatch, and she now has a singing career. Gays respect a hot woman continually reinventing herself.  She’s working with Mikey Minden (Pussycat Dolls), and the act is pretty over the top. I saw a couple rehearsals and know the crowd will love it.  She’s come a long way from slow-motion jogs down the beach.

XL Nightclub is no longer the new club on the block. How would you define it and compare it to the dominant gay clubs of other eras… say the Roxy, etc.
XL isn’t just a big dance club; we’re a full-service, 200-seat cabaret and lounge.  In any given week, we’ll have artists like Alan Cumming perform in the cabaret, DJs like Danny Teneglia spin for 2,000 people in the nightclub, we’ll produce a rock concert on our 32-foot stage, host a young-professionals mixer in our front lounge, or host a full sit-down charity dinner. We do it all.

Besides this, what is planned as far as performances and events that you think will be the highlights at XL this winter? 
We have loads of new programming that we’ll be rolling out in the winter. I’m most excited about our new lounge concept.  We’re completely gutting our front lounge and creating an exclusive new “club-within-a-club.”  It’s a high-end exclusive, “gay Bungalow 8”  concept that we think is missing from our community.  The goal is to have it open by the end of January to coincide with our one year anniversary.  More details on that soon.

Boldface Publicist R. Couri Hay On the Next Week’s Black Party and His Book “Secret Lives”

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Someone once told me that, with rare exceptions, the sign of a great rock and roll drummer is that you don’t notice he’s even there. He is there to keep things sure and steady. Usually, publicists are like that: rarely the center of attention, although they are always around keeping the place in the news, controlling uncomfortable situations, being an honest steady ear and an independent but inside-voice. R. Couri Hay is a boldface name that handles and sometimes creates boldface names. I have known him for decades, and adore and respect him as one of the top guns of PR. I asked Marie Assante who works with Couri to tell me a bit about him and got this:

 "R. Couri Hay specializes in media relations and image/brand development. He is a creative strategist, image counselor, and campaign and crisis manager. Known as a social commentator with a focus on Hollywood, high society, and philanthropy, he has been featured on The Today Show, CBS Early Show, Extra, VH1, Fox News, CNBC, CNN, ET, and ABC World News Now. 
In print, his experience is vast. He started his career as one of the original contributing editors of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, and went on to help create the chatter column for People magazine and write for Town & Country. He currently is a Society Editor and Columnist for Gotham, Hamptons, and Avenue Magazines."
If the party is good, Couri is there either working or mingling. He has a sharp wit and tongue to go with it – I have been on the good and bad side of it. He is always a gentleman, a concept that has great meaning for me. He has always been there for me, often the voice of reason in unreasonable situations. He is the consummate professional and can be found on every major players’ list of potential PRs. With the infamous Black Party looming, I caught up with him and asked him about his involvement and other stuff.
 
Five thousand gay men are converging on Roseland Ballroom for the Black Party, and you are the publicist? How does one do publicity for this world?
To clarify, the publicist for the Black Party is Dan DeMello. My only involvement is that SaintatLarge.com is generously and bravely excerpting the last chapter from my novel Secret Lives. The reason they’re doing this is that the last chapter takes place on March 21, 1981, the day of the inaugural Black Party. I take the reader back in real-time to that night and my friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, who was the party’s official photographer. I bumped into Stephen Pevner, who is Bruce Mailman’s cousin and now owns The Saint, at the LGBT Center’s Art + Sin Black Party Poster Party last week and he told me all of the statistics on the March 24th event, which I was happy to share with Emily Smith at Page Six.
 
Because Stephen Pevner allowed me to excerpt my novel Secret Lives on SaintatLarge.com, it’s getting the party some additional attention, which it deserves.  It was the first gay circuit party on Earth and remains the gay world’s premiere S&M "convention."  Pevner has published a special magazine about the Black Party and has a major advertising machine in GLBT publications around the world, which have been covering the event since its inception. Their website has a series called Stories from the Saint, in addition to video testimonials. My observation is that you publicize this circuit party in the same way publicist’s publicize the Oscars, only it’s targeted to the gay press rather than the mainstream media. In essence, the Black Party is the Olympics of the S&M world.
 
You have been a publicist for a good minute. Tell me about your clients over the years. What boldface names stick out and which were the easiest to work press for?
I’m very proud of the work I have done for the children of my friends. I helped launched the careers of Amanda Hearst (the daughter of Anne Hearst the publishing heiress), Lydia Hearst (the daughter of Patty Hearst one of John Waters’ favorite actresses), Lauren Bush (the daughter of Sharon Bush) who I helped when she became the UN’s spokesperson for the world’s hungry children, and Sarah Bradford, the half sister of Matt Damon who became Page Six Magazine’s #1 It Girl.
 
I represented Harry Winston, Bergdorf Goodman, and opened the Prada, Bulgari, and Chopard stores in Aspen. I had a lot of fun representing the champagnes Krug and Vueve Clicquot where I got to giveaway tens of thousands of glasses of champagne to celebrities ranging from Catherine Deneuve to Naomi Campbell.  While I was the publicist for Grand Classics at Soho House and Cinema Society, I did screenings with dozens of movie stars ranging from Gwneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman, to Signourney Weaver and Dennis Hopper. This week (March 13th), I did publicity for Paper Street Films producers Austin Stark and Bingo Gubelmann around the screening of their new film Detachment, starring Adrien Brody, Lucy Liu, and Blythe Danner.
 
In nightlife I’ve worked with Studio 54, Tatou, Nell’s, MK, Red Zone, Pink Elephant Club, M2, and most recently Pacha, District 36, Hudson TerraceViktor & SpoilsSway, Snap, and STASH, which have played host to an endless stream of boldfaced names.
R. Couri
 
These days, many clubs are not looking to get traditional press as a way to protect their clients privacy. Is this really new or was it also sometimes your job to keep things quiet?
It was always my job and is still my job to keep 90 percent of what I know under wraps. It’s the other 10 percent that ends up on the front pages of the Post and the Daily News, in Page Six, GatecrasherPeopleUS Weekly, etc.There’s always a fine line about what’s acceptable to write about a celebrity, such as a sighting, and what’s unacceptable, which would be brawls and other naughty acts they wouldn’t want to see in print.
 
Tell me a damage-control story.
Most of my damage-control stories have been on behalf of victims. I worked with both women that ended up letting Oscar De La Hoya talk them into their underwear.  Both of these stories ended up on the front pages around the world. I did my best to control the public’s perception of these women. I also represent George Soros’ ex-girlfriend Adrianna Ferrera who is now suing for $50 million.
 
Tell me about the book.
The novel Secret Lives is about a bisexual designer, partially based on my ex-lover Halston and other designers I knew in the ’80s. The fictional Rodney Sparrow marries Blandy Bradford, the debutante of the decade, who shoots him in the first chapter after discovering that she’s pregnant and that he infected her with the AIDS virus, which he contracted during his secret gay sex life. The book then flashes back to both of their personal and family histories. The lead characters are based on composites of real people that I knew intimately. Secret Lives is set within real events including the Oscars, Grammys, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Galas. The book has cameos by virtually every boldfaced name that mattered from the ’80s. Secret Lives is a first-hand diary of the times that I lived in.
 
Are you attending the Black Party and, if so, what are you wearing?
Sadly, although I’ve attended 27 of the 31 Black Partys, I’ll be skiing in Courchevel France with my family and goddaughter who is on spring break. The last one I attended was in 2009 where I danced alongside Marc Jacobs and his then-lover Lorenzo Martone. 

God Save the Queens: Star-Studded Benefit for Russia’s LGBT Community

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The new Secretary of State at the Vatican, Pietro Parolin, said the other day that the subject of celibacy within the church is open to discussion. Responding to a question during an interview with Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, the man regarded as "the most powerful official at the Vatican after the pontiff," said, "Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss [it] because as you say this is not a dogma, a dogma of the church."

"The efforts that the church made to keep ecclesiastical celibacy, to impose ecclesiastical celibacy, have to be taken into consideration," added the 58-year-old prelate from Italy. "One cannot say simply that this belongs in the past." (Now if i can only get this guy to talk to my girlfriend.)

The world is changing. Amid the usual doom and gloom, skirmishes, war and all the tragedy our media shows us, there are movements forward. I was the best man at a wedding between two women the other day. Rights and fair play are at least discussed. Society is more forgiving. Lindsay Lohan will get another chance. And we almost forgave Weiner and Spitzer—which is destined to be a talk show…OMG a reality show! How fun!

But then we have Russia. Vladimir Putin—who looks like the gayest man alive in every photo I’ve seen him in—is leading a regime of oppression against LGBT citizens of his beloved homeland. An event to raise awareness and loot to support our oppressed friends over there entitled "God Save the Queens" will light up XL Nightclub on Saturday night beginning at 7pm.

Lyle Derek and Noah Valentyn have put this shindig together and they should be rewarded for their efforts. By all means attend and tell everyone you know about it. Things can be done! I mean is any gay bar or club selling Stoli anymore? Shouldn’t all the clubs take a stand on this? I say fuck ’em in the wallets…It always works with my girlfriend.

A star-studded benefit for Russia’s LGBT community, God Save the Queens! To Moscow, With Love, will feature performances by Katrina Darling, Joey Arias, Miss Guy, Sherry Vine, Mistress Formika, Tina Burner, Dallas DuBois, Maddelynn Hatter, Michael Cavadias and Cher Noble.

Miss Guy will also DJ. I am assured there will be some surprises as well. It’s $20 at the door, shows at 7:30 and 9:30. The gala is hosted by Mudhoney Salon and Any Old Iron. Your door dollars will benefit the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, which is working to stop the violence in Russia.

Lyle sent me this:

Hi Friends:

I hope this finds you well. I am producing a party next Saturday that is a real labor of love! This party is supporting a friend’s organization called the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance which is working on the sad situation in Russia for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Of all my events over the years I am so proud of this one. And it really needs your support and I would love it if you could join us and get tickets for this wonderful group who are taking direct action. Let’s all come together on this night and celebrate and send Moscow lots of love!

I would truly appreciate it if you would get tickets to this one and if you cannot go please spread this around on Facebook and emails, etc. Let’s show Russia some real New York love!

And the show is one of the most exciting NY line ups in ages—and we have some real surprises in store too! I hope to see you there and share a Pink Russian with you!

xoxox

Lyle

I had a chance to ask Lyle some questions.

What is the situation for LGBT people in Russia?

We have spoken to some of the queens in Russia and as we all know, it is rough for them, but they have a thriving gay scene and drag scene despite it all. Russians are a very strong and resilient people, but I am by no means an expert on this issue. Like many, I am just concerned and this is a sad state in this day and age. We have come so far and had such a great year here and it’s like the dark ages there.

What do you hope to accomplish with this event?

We hope to raise awareness for the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, and some funds would be great too. They are friends of ours and we want to help them. They are from Russia and working in Washington now on this issue directly. They will be at our event Saturday and will speak about what is going on and they know much more about what is going on than I do, so we hope everyone comes, we all get the facts and the night makes an impact.

What is going to happen at the event?

"God Save the Queens" is really a drag spectacular with Mistress Formika doing a rare drag appearance. We have the legendary Joey Arias and Sherry Vine and many more who will do numbers in the theme and spirit of our event. The scandalous Katrina Darling who ruffled the real queens’ feathers last year with her Playboy spread will open the show with a sexy burlesque number and Miss Guy is going to close the night with his new track "God Save New York," which he did with Debbie Harry.

Are you excited about doing this at XL?

Doing this at XL made so much sense as they are the epicenter of gay culture and are doing it with such class. A lot of venues wanted this show but XL at The Out Hotel just made perfect sense to us and we will be doing another God Save the Queens right before the Olympics and in London and Los Angeles to continue to help the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance. The one thing this is doing is bringing the global LGBT community together and that is good. It’s going to just grow before the Olympics.

Is there hope?

Of course there is always hope. Look at the great year we had with the Supreme Court. It was a long road to that victory. And Russia will be next.

What do you feel is appropriate regarding the Olympics in Russia? A ban? A boycott of advertisers? An armband of solidarity?

We need to take our anger to the Olympic Committee and the government, not companies that have nothing to do with Putin or his policies. I think the blogger Dan Savage was very irresponsible by putting false information about Stoli out there and started this boycott. All of our performers find that a waste of time and Stoli has been supportive of LGBT events for decades and continue to be. We should all stand together, not have this animosity for folks who our on our side.

Are Russian gays eligible for political amnesty in the USA?

I am not sure if they are, but after Russia took in Edward Snowden, I hope our country would welcome the queens from Russia. Gays never give up secrets.

Get "God Save the Queens" tickets here!

 

image of Joey Arias via