By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Weinstein
By Tessa Stuart
Almost as gay as the Tonys, the HX Awardshosted by the long-running bar magbrought some of the most exuberant lowbrow cavorting to Lincoln Center's plaza since Bialystock and Bloom krumped around the fountain. As one of the esteemed presenters handing out plaques to promoters, trannies, and SANDRA BERNHARD, I got to witness the zhooshing egos and whooshing fabrics up close. Backstage, I asked ZULEMA GRIFFINanother presenterwhy she failed to be the big Project Runway winner. "That show has nothing to do with anyone's work," she responded. What does it have to do with? "No comment," Griffin replied, with a welcome hint of bitterness. Is it because she's not a gay man? "Well, I'm a lesbian," she said, "but they didn't want me to talk about that on the show. It became a side issue. An article came out on the show's 'gay seven.' It was actually eight!" Or 80 if you tally up the new season.
An out TV personality, radio host, clinical nurse, and HX presenter, WILL WIKLEtold me that his pal CYNDI LAUPER is trying to set up her son, Declyan, with Madonna's daughter, LOURDES. Did you ever imagine rival chantoozies Cyndi and Maddy becoming in-laws one day? I couldn't have predicted that in my deepest '80s K-hole. Wikle himself was preparing to get comfortably set up with Logo's JASON BELLINI. "We're moving in together tomorrow," he told me, as I seethed with jealousy. Have they smoothed out any potential rough edges? "Let's hope so," he said, warily. "The therapist bill says so!"
In another corner, a lot of peoples' imaginary boyfriend, porn guy MICHAEL LUCAS, was showing off his accessories and elegantly crowing, "I sucked so many dicks to get these." Later on, he more pensively confided, "I want to be whatever people want me to be." Except for a fuck bottom? "People don't want that," he related, educationally. "My ass is too skinny." That's better than the usual reason: "My ass is bigger than the Lincoln Center fountain."
Cheeky Sandra Bernhard and I hadn't seen each other since we both graciously agreed to participate in a reading of J.T. Leroy's work a few years ago. As her publicist squawked, I grabbed Sandra HX's Entertainer of the Yearto ask if she feels as burned by the skanky scam as I do. "I never had anything to do with Leroy except that reading," she fulminated. "I thought, 'This person is full of shit.' I had a throw-up feeling. What a fucked-up mess." Otherwise, he/she/they/it was an utterly delightful piece of literary excrement and whoever is really writing this column agrees with that too.
Come showtime, Sandra glanced around the cultural center and told the crowd that she was once refused admission to an opera school. ("They called me 'nigger lips' and said I was a skinny, ugly bitch!") And PEPPERMINT GUMMIBEARthe Best Drag Queen winnerdid a peppy dance number, complete with spinning male backups, that was gleefully Britney-esque except for the large tucked penis. But the biggest balls belonged to HEDDA LETTUCE, who, when asked to stretch, addressed KEVIN AVIANCE's gay bashing, but not in the chest-thumping manner expected. "Kevin gave a speech at the anti-violence rally," deadpanned Hedda, "and he said [unintelligible mumble]." Pause. "His jaw was wired!" The crowd of queens and other slumming royalty started to boo. "Shut up," said Hedda. "I'm stretching, you stupid faggots!" That prompted co-host Kiki ( JUSTIN BOND) to lift her cocktail glass from the sidelines and murmur, "Hedda, I just want to thank you for making Herb and I look so classy."
In other mumblings, I hear ERIC MCCORMACK had been asked to accept the HX award for Will & Grace, but his people said he doesn't want to do W&G-related publicity. Unfortunately, the mag didn't seem to want to give him a plaque for Some Girl(s).
IN A PRADA-DA-VIDA
Let's move on to next year's certain winner, The Devil Wears Prada, which turns out not to be about ANNA WINTOUR at all. Meryl Streep's character has gray hair and an American accent and she sometimes doesn't wear sunglasses, so how the fuck can it be Anna Wintour, OK? Anyway, at the post-premiere bash, the insidery guests were either murmuring, "They should have shot some real fashion events for authenticity's sake" or "Thank God they didn't shoot any real fashion events. That would have been so cheesy!" Either way, the movie romps along with zingy lines and fun fashion insightI'm stretching, you stupid faggotsbut the result is thinner than a model with damaged gums.
ANNE HATHAWAY is supposed to be a total chubbetteWintour must have cast this thing tooand much more weirdly, her after-office life is duller than a plaid jumper. Whenever she's sitting around conversing with the boyfriend about integrity, you're inwardly screaming, "Go back to the office, honey!" There, Meryl's a scream (if vaguely Manchurian Candidateesque) and STANLEY TUCCIas one of those snappy but wise gaysplays it down, I guess so as not to come off like the kind of stereotype that really works there. Overall, we're talking a mixed (Prada) bag, but fortunately, the scene in the Parisian limo, with Hathaway and Streep trying on some pathos, makes it all come together as if adding the right clutch. Disclosure: I had to take a quick bathroom break in the middle of the flick, but at least it helped me lose a few ounces.