NY Mirror

And in the meantime, there are junkets—with food, entertainment, and a big bag of poker chips, honey. To keep up with the fabulization of Las Vegas, the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut just opened a nightlife wing, replete with the plush Ultra 88 nightclub, where I did my own reality show, partying all the way till 9:30 p.m.! Over in the casino's gigantic arena, they hosted a concert by the '70s supergroup the Eagles, who apparently despise each other now but are brilliant at burying any potential hostility and seamlessly trotting out the old hits to the sound of much ka-chinging. And the guys haven't even begun to "take it to the limit"; while this is their "Farewell 1" tour, Don Henleyknowingly told the crowd that "you can't do a Farewell 4 until you do Farewell 1."

I said farewell to everyone, but not before taking a side trip to a Target deep in Connecticut, where I loved all the reasonably priced Cynthia Rowley and Todd Oldhamknicknacks, delighted that their ritzy style has collided with the masses' and come up with just the kind of stuff I adore. I sported all of it that night in New London, where throngs swarmed the weekly viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Showoutside the Lobster House, the wannabes dolled up even cuter than the crustaceans inside. The town's two cheerful queer-bar dives, Heroes and Club 251, brought out fascinating types of their own, like a drunken wench who announced, "I hate labels. All right, I'm straight, but I curve!" Well, just in case she didn't, I pointed her in the other direction.

Gay and not curving—or yielding—Rosie O'Donnell's been criticized for queering up Taboo, the Boy George musical she's producing, but it's a good thing she's doing so; as I reported last year, some London critics said the show was a sellout for weirdly putting a fictional straight couple center stage. They even added that, ironically, it would have been more of a hit if it was gayer. If the reports are accurate, Rosie's only making sure the musical is hormonally true to itself. Yay—more freckle-faced mating games.

Speaking of which, on Greta Von Susteren's show last week, one of Kobe Bryant's ex-girlfriends defended him by saying, "He's a very gentle person. He's loving. He respected women." So how did their five-year relationship end? "Upon his engagement," the ex said. Wait—had she known about this other woman? "No. It was shocking. I was upset." Oy. Now back to money and cheap sex.


Special to the Web

The City Hall murder on July 23 shocked no one more than spoken-word artist Emanuel Xavier, who knew both the killer and the victim. On reflection, Xavier put out this statement:

"Councilman James E. Davis was very much loved for his spirit and charm. I remember how excited he was about my performance the night he awarded several members of our community City Council citations for our contributions. I thought of him as the 'political metrosexual' because he was really hip and cool to the gay community.

"As for Niel [Othniel Boaz Askew], I was totally floored to find out he had been responsible. It's bizarre that two people I knew from very different scenes had eventually met and been part of this tragedy. Neil had been an ex-boyfriend's roommate, and I remember him being incredibly smart and sweet. We maintained a friendship even after his roommate and I broke up. I could only say that at times he seemed uncomfortable in his own skin and had issues with being black and, I suppose, eventually with being gay. The last time I saw him, he told me he was looking to go into politics, and I assumed he would be an out politician. Ironically, he praised me for being an openly gay spoken-word artist. He never hinted to the fact he was struggling with his own demons.

"That Niel was so visible within our community and then decided to closet himself for political purposes was what was most disturbing and insane. You can't become a public figure and think that your personal history will not be revealed sooner or later.

"It's a great tragedy to lose two individuals that I will always remember as beautiful. However it unfolds in the media, in the end, no one should have to threaten to 'out' anyone because being out should be a privilege, not a disgrace. And violence, especially with everything going on in the world today, is even more inhumane and intolerable."


More people are crawling out of the aftermath of last week's City Hall shooting to shed insight into the late murderer, Othniel Boaz Askew. New York-based porn star Michael Lucas says he dated Othniel and adds, "This news is really upsetting. We didn't date for very long, mostly because there was something that always struck me as off about him. He subsequently dated a couple friends of mine and apparently physical violence ensued in at least one of those relationships. I never completely trusted Othniel."


musto@villagevoice.com

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