Gilty Pleasures

Stopping, looking, and glistening at the Maria Felix bash; wondering what colors Michael Moore will paint on his rainbow.

The LIZ TAYLOR of Mexico, Maria Felix had fabulous eye make- up, a fascination with cocks (and other barnyard animals), and an opulent sense of home decorating, rarely commission- ing an ordinary triptych of herself unless she could also get the frame gilded. At the gala Christie's bash unveiling her stuff, jaws dropped at the surreal gorgeousness of it all, as well as at the shirtless bartenders in shiny Aladdin hats they couldn't quite explain. ("It's an Egyptian theme party," one of them ventured to me, poignantly.) Everyone else wore leopard prints, flowing robes, and sombreros, but they still couldn't compete with the sumptuous hanging costumes Felix wore in films like Cafe Colón (Without the accent, it's even gayer-sounding.)

"Was Felix really the Mexican Liz?" I ran around wondering in between dramatically draping my butt across the cushy divans. "I have no idea," replied Broadway legend CHITA RIVERA. But looking around at the stuff, Chita gushed about Felix, "You must feel so good about yourself to have all these things!"

By another display area, publicist GREG CALEJO told me he feels good about his own glittery object—namely Queer Eye's TOM FILICIA, whom he's been boyfriends with for three years now. His secret? "Every morning I bathe myself in Vaseline, so it all slides right off," said Calejo, intriguingly.

Open, sez me: Arabesque bartenders at the Christie's bash
photo: Patrick McMullan
Open, sez me: Arabesque bartenders at the Christie's bash


Probably wanting a hot shower, Christie's own JASON PRESTON told me that having the same name as MARC JACOBS's sometime boy toy is not always a joyride. He said he once educationally went up to Jacobs and told him his name and even showed him an ID, at which point the beau stepped in and snarled, "You'd better back off!" "I think he saw my name in a club magazine and stole it," said the auction-house Preston. But couldn't it be the ex-rent boy's real name, too? "No. It's extremely WASPy," said the real Jason Preston with the confidence of Maria Felix.

But back to Latin culture, por favor: The imminent biopic El Cantante bizarrely tells us that salsa star Hector Lavoe (played by MARC ANTHONY) died of AIDS, specifically from drug use. But in the movie they show him having intimate encounters with both sexes. How could they possibly know exactly how he got it? Even a doctor wouldn't know!

But back to the bar rags: Next magazine upped the ante with its pride issue, which profiled various gay men who shatter stereotypes and signal our true diversity. Now that the dust is cleared and everyone's gone back to their circuit parties, I asked editor JUSTIN OCEAN if that issue represented a new direction for the weekly. Yes and no, he said. There will still be go-go boys and slutty fun in their pages, but Ocean is open to things highbrow and wants to try harder to reflect the changes in gay culture. "We're becoming less ghettoized and more diverse," he said, "and the big bastions of gay identity, such as mega-clubs like the Roxy, are disappearing. We need to evolve and become more of a lifestyle magazine that's relevant to the way gay New York is living now, where gay is part of the identity but not the only thing." So bring on the diversity! And bring on the slutty fun, too! And then let's all bathe in Vaseline!

A big chunk of fun and diversity went on life support when Kino 41, the SUSANNE BARTSCH/KENNY KENNY night at Arena, pulled the plug for the summer, supposedly to return in September. In place of the zaniest, sexiest Thursday-night event in ages, we now have the gnawing experience of wondering why the fuck it left me. The official reason was that the hosts were going to be busy doing parties in Europe, but sources have offered some other rumors: One of the hosts had a family illness; "indecency" on the final night caused problems (don't look at me); one of the hosts wasn't getting paid; and—most believably—Bartsch and the owner had a disagreement over bottle service. And once again an overpriced bucket of vodka may have destroyed my fucking nightlife.

Always fizzing, showgal CANDIS CAYNE has been shopping a reality show, backed by William Morris, about the fascinating life of a trannie in the suburbs. Alas, there already was the one starring VICTORIA GOTTI!

The next hot documentary topic will be those very good friends of mine, the gays. MICHAEL MOORE says he might make a doc that waves the rainbow flag—Synchronized Swimming for Columbine?—and now, I hear, KIRBY DICK (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) will tackle the political closet in his next film. I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Everybody!

A raucous rainbow of gender-licious high kickers, the DAZZLE DANCERS have long purveyed the art of high-camp cavorting while wearing nothing but glitter and an occasional swatch of feather duster. At the incredibly festive Deitch Projects party for their "Love Boat" video, I guest-DJ'd, which meant handing CDs to the real DJ, BILL COLEMAN, and murmuring stuff like, "Track five and skip the intro, kid." As the Dazzles writhed in formation onstage, a drunken choreographer friend of theirs was dragged out by security moments after he told me he loves my column. I didn't realize that was illegal.

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