NY Mirror

Once again exploring the subtle whoring that costs too much to be free, I agreed to be a keynote speaker at Spin, a student journalism conference at a Holiday Inn a whole hour away in Toronto. I was anxious for a chance to not only stay at a Holiday Inn, but to appear at one too—and maybe even drop by the Laugh Resort comedy club in the lower level in between inspiring young minds and raising the literacy level of an entire nation.

Amazingly, I managed to practically turn this into a visitation from the queen. Thanks to PR man GRANT RAMSAY, I had The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Fab magazine all chasing me around for features, brag, brag—a situation I could get used to, especially since in New York I generally get major doses of "What was the name again?" or, more poignantly, "Die, fag!"

And the speech was pure gravy. It lasted all of two minutes, after which I fielded such heavy-duty journalistic questions as "How did TINA FEY get her scar?" and "What's your favorite song to slow dance to?" (It's "Don't Cha" by the PUSSYCAT DOLLS, naturally.) After that, Ramsay and artist DAVID HAWE corralled the local elite to a frothy loft party—everyone from a transsexual dominatrix professor to a drag queen who keeps e-mailing OPRAH WINFREY because they're on the same Trivial Pursuit card.

Canadian bacon at the 20 Club
photo: Cary Conover
Canadian bacon at the 20 Club

En masse, we moved on to Screww, the retro queer night at Buddies, where a fresh-faced piece of jailbait was begging the DJ for late-period WHITNEY HOUSTON. (I guess for certain age groups, two years ago is really retro.) For the grown-ups, the Remington's club gave good love via male strippers who—this not being New York—are actually allowed to bare every last inch and a half. But they talk to you for 10 whole minutes before popping the big question—no, not the one about Tina Fey, but "Do you want a private dance for $20 per song plus $2 admission to the upstairs V.I.P. room?" Sure, if the song is "Don't Cha." Actually, before a hairlessly intoxicating dancer even broached that bargain bonanza, he tried to engage me in a different offer by letting on that some extra-well-hung guys were stationed in the back. "But I'm not a size queen," I said smirking. "Don't you have anything smaller? "I don't know," he said, gratuitously adding, "I did once sleep with a hairy customer who had a small dick and it was kind of cute." Eew, not that small. As for himself? "I'm a grower, not a show-er," the dancer crowed. Well, I eventually turned down the lap dance; I don't bite wad, I'm a tightwad.

As I left Toronto, throngs of queens announced that they'd see me in New York because they were flying themselves in to catch the Grey Gardens musical, which obviously has some serious international pull. After that, I'll no doubt run into them again when I send myself back north to finally experience the Laugh Resort.

The night I came back home, Canadian strippers were shipped to our shores for the opening of the 20 Club—a weekly gay event at V.I.P.—but they had to be on their most skittish behavior; disrobing entertainers only come to Gotham nowadays in order to taste the perversity of keeping their undies on. (Branson's where the real fun happens.) So there was more tease than strip at this place, and besides that, the spotlight operator must have been epileptic because rarely did the spinning lights settle enough on the ecdysiasts so you could see what they looked like. (Thank God, in one case.) Add $14 cocktails—for others—and straight goombahs at the door saying "How ya doin'?" and the result was uniquely weird—but I loved the chance to inspire young behinds and raise the literacy level in our own fine country!


AN OFFER HE COULDN'T REFUSE

Marlon Brando is stripped bare in the new book Brando Unzipped by DARWIN PORTER, which has all the goods on the late legend's affairs with everyone from Rock Hudson to Monty Clift (and some real women too). But it's worth it alone for having printed the photo—which Porter says is completely authentic and was done on a dare—of Brando sucking on his aptly named roommate Wally Cox's large penis in tight close-up. If it's true, Cox was clearly a grower and a show-er.

As for gay sodomites, Brokeback Mountain is now being used as a moral weather vane to determine how brave and liberal straight people are. "She went with her husband to see it!" someone recently gushed to me about a professional type. Ooh! Bravo! Well, guess what? I saw The Color Purple!

I have another tidbit about a gay who got screwed: In case anyone's way prematurely preparing a glowing eulogy for GERALD FORD, let's not forget that, though ex-Marine Oliver Sipple saved Ford's life by helping deflect a bullet aimed at him, Ford adamantly refused to meet Sipple or invite him to the White House and wouldn't even send him a thank you note until a huge fuss was made by politico Harvey Milk. Why? Because Sipple (who later killed himself) was gay! Charming! Let's have no more gays helping presidents, OK?

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