If Brooklyn is the new Manhattan, then Williamsburg is the new Berlin. Makes no sense? Who cares. Just take the amazingly short trip there, to Luxx, the wildly publicized medium-sized club where a refreshing batch of bohos and just plain ‘hos have forged a concentrated world of drink and dance. Ah, the irony! After spending my entire early life trying to get out of Brooklyn, now I’m a bridge-and-tunnel person who’s kicking and scrounging to get back in. Mutants—Luxx’s gayish Friday night event—is particularly worth descending on, except for the fact that every single person goes up to everyone else and says, “What are you doing here?” I’ll tell you what I was doing there. Amid the boppy music, there were cute guys, one very good female-to-male transsexual, some straight people, and a riveting queen saying about his ex-boyfriend’s emotional problems, “He told me he was a Mariah, but he was really a Whitney!”
Onstage, Sophia Lamar—who’s really something—MC’d with such well-oiled attitude that she made promoter Larry Tee keep introducing her until she got the desired response from the audience. Come showtime, the gay-lesbian rap duo Morplay projected a playful anger that seemed kind of sweet, and then Tobell Von Cartier snarled through a dissy song (“You are useless . . . “), and even she seemed a little lemon-scented about it. Finally, I saw some real hate when a drunk in the audience started bitching about Tobell, then turned to me and screamed, “She’s almost as bad as your writing!” I’d be hurt except for the fact that he’d been reading the ingredients on his beer bottle all night like they wuz Dostoyevsky.
Magnum, the Sunday-night gayathon at the Park, continues to pump, and though the go-go hard-ons are still raging, after a few double takes they become secondary to the more exalted task of getting someone to go home with you and be your personal bitch. Meanwhile, the cruise bar Urge has an ambiguous downstairs room where two guys were self-consciously groping each other in the chiaroscuro lighting the other night. When I walked in to take a peek, the two trollops looked horrified, as if I’d destroyed the sanctity of their private moment in public. Sor-fucking-ry!
Sex talk prevailed at Out editor Brendan Lemon‘s Food Bar party for his novel, Last Night, thanks to my own pervy prompting. I asked author Edmund White if he really had sex with a grown-up when he was 12, and White said, “What people always leave out of the story is that I did the seducing. I went with my father to Acapulco, and I used to do a pianist at the bar. He wasn’t coming on to me at all, though. I felt I had to do all the work!” Here’s where I’d normally inject some uproarious “pianist envy” joke, but for once I’ll rise above the opportunity.
Lemon (who wisely hires me) told me his book’s “dirty enough to hold your interest, but not so dirty to shock your grandmother. It’s full of baseball, but it’s still fiction.” Hey, I got that one—Lemon famously dates a ballplayer, though he still won’t say which goddamned one. All he’d tell me is that the guy’s with an East Coast team “and he’s probably going to start coming to these things.” I won’t blow his cover, mainly because I don’t know who any athletes are except Cathy Rigby!
New York magazine brought out some heavy hitters for the Beige bash promoting their “Gay Life Now” issue, which observed that gay culture’s gotten so big it’s become massively appropriated. (True—though the day the issue came out, the Daily News front-page headline was “Priest Blasts Gays—Links Abuse Scandal to Homosexuality,” so I guess there’s still some crap left to fight for.) In more good news/bad news, the mag’s cover boy, Queer as Folk‘s Randy Harrison, is openly gay, but costar Robert Gant—when Larry King kookily called him straight the next night—would only go so far as to mutter that “the jury’s still out.” If only everyone was. Anyway, at the party, the ever-chickeny Harrison—who’s living in the East Village now—told me he broke up with his boyfriend some time ago and minimally added, “Life happens.” How Zen. How not like me.
Jack Wetherall—the show’s beleaguered yet dignified HIV patient, Uncle Vic—was more gabby, telling me that people always gush to him about how good he looks in person. “I’m shocked that they recognize me,” he said, “because I think I look hideous on the show. They make me up to look older and sick. Sometimes, depending on the lighting, you can see all the makeup caked on me. But I really like Vic. He’s touched me very closely. He was somewhat lost in the shuffle this year, but they promise this coming year will be different. He needs some companionship!”
Lea DeLaria has no such problems, honey. The life-loving singer-comic was carousing nearby, so I asked for her take on Queer as Folk and braced myself. “If I knew Pittsburgh was such a hip town,” she smirked, “I would have moved there years ago. The last time I went there, the only gay area was a rest stop on I-80. But if that lesbian couple is ready for a three-way, I’d volunteer. Those bitches are hot!” So is DeLaria; suddenly, she was being accosted by a panting queen exclaiming, “You’re Lea . . . Lea . . . ” We watched in bemused horror as the guy tried to finish his foofy thought. “Lea . . . Lea . . . ” he whinnied, repeating even more than my last meal was doing. By now, we were woefully embarrassed, yet still held captive by his Obie performance. “Lea . . . ” he screeched, turning pink in delight. “Lea Salonga!” he finally concluded. Oh yeah, this fabulous big dyke debuted as a Vietnamese waif in Miss Saigon and now sings “Chop Suey,” with lots of hand gestures, in Flower Drum Song. This guy must be friends with that beer-bottle cretin.
The crazies all came out for Susanne Bartsch‘s first weekly Wednesday bash at BK’s in the West Thirties, but they knew their ass from their shoulder pads. Drag queens, trannies, studs, and sirens poured into the two-level place—a seedy marvel of wood paneling and mirrors—and it was refreshing to have even the most annoyingly aggressive have-you-listened-to-my-CD-yet? ones back. These people crawled under a rock when Rudy cracked his whip, but now they’re all flouncing again, and they’re nuttier and more desperate than ever. In fact, there were so many clowns at this party that Puffy would have been scared! From the downstairs tableaux of living, big-titted glamazons to the posing and networking wackos upstairs, the nabe’s threatening slogan, “I’ll cut you!” morphed into the much friendlier “I’ll cut your hair!” (Thank you, Flotilla.) The result was reminiscent of Bartsch’s old Savage parties, and in fact I love that she, Larry Tee, and Dean Johnson (Magnum)—the class of ’86—are the hot promoters of the new millennium. One of the bouncers at the door, though, has got to be sedated. He’s a Mariah and a Whitney.
In really sad diva news, can you stand the way all the press are saying that Robert Blake‘s shot-dead wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was a complete nightmare, then they add, “not that she deserved to be murdered or anything”? Gee, how generous!
Meanwhile, Diana Ross may be a ‘mare, but she’s still a living legend in her own behind. I hear that at the Democratic event at the Apollo last week, the super-duperstar sat (I’m sure inadvertently) in Bill Clinton‘s seat and, when told of that, said, “I’ll move if I have to,” but simply didn’t. Oh, well, she’s way more important than any president—no, really. In fact, she’s the new Williamsburg.