Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Matt Sanchez Responds, Sort Of

NEW VISITORS: The first Matt Sanchez post is here.

Yesterday, I emailed Matt Sanchez nine questions. This morning he gave me a very brief response to some of the questions, to which I asked for clarification and elaboration. As of 5pm, I haven't heard back. The last three questions were sent to Matt in a second email yesterday, which he asked that I resend this morning. Those remain unanswered. As I'm sure most of you will be, I'm somewhat disappointed with a few of the answers. I've waited all day, hoping for some elaboration on the responses, but rather than continue to make you folks wait any longer, here they are.

UPDATE: Sanchez has emailed me elaboration on some of the first questions and has answered the final three. I've added the new responses below.

JMG: Thanks for agreeing to the interview, Matt. First of all, can we get some background on your life leading up to joining the Marines and being accepted at Columbia?

SANCHEZ: Tons of stuff, where to begin?

JMG: Why did you leave the porn industry, where you were so successful?

SANCHEZ: Give me a break Joe, we both know that industry is poisonous. The sad part of this whole controversy, is that if your readers had heard that I had died of a drug overdose or some STD, they probably would have written a lot of nice comments, but no one would have been surprised.

JMG: Do you consider yourself gay?

SANCHEZ: Boyfriends: 0 Fiance: 2 Wife: 1. I'd say I'm pretty bad at being gay.

JMG: What do you think of Ann Coulter, especially regarding her "faggot" remark at CPAC? What did Ann say to you?

SANCHEZ: I, personally wouldn't have used the word faggot in public like that. That said, Ann made a joke and that's just what she does. I wouldn't want her right to speak breeched in any way. The complaints from all these pissed off people is hilarious. I know Ann gets a kick out of being a provocateur, and these hissyfits will probably figure in her next article.

JMG: What do you think will be the fallout from this revelation about your past?

SANCHEZ: I'll be relieved. I've moved forward a lot and this past stuff is not something I want to drag into my future. I'll be able to address these issues seriously and with some authority. All in all, it will be positive. MORE: I'm certain I'll take my lumps for a while. It's been a great distraction, as I'm currently studying for midterms, but I believe in the end I'll be just fine. Most of the responses I've seen on your site have been fairly crude and stereotypically radical. But in my reality, the people around me including the many conservatives I've met this weekend have been extremely kind and supportive. They want me to get my word out right away and not let the "other side" frame the conversation. I've also been contacted with people who have similar episodes in their life. People like Rich Merritt a have been extremely helpful.

JMG: Tell me about your forthcoming book.

SANCHEZ: Not yet. MORE: I've got to keep that one under wraps for the moment. You know how it is, you're writing a book. I just don't want to emotionally charge my project with all this melodrama. I want a well thought-out and well crafted piece I won't be embarrassed to show, because the Kristen Bjorn stuff is embarrassing enough.

As noted above, the next 3 questions were in a second email which Sanchez asked me to resend this morning. No response, as yet.

JMG: Do you know Jeff Gannon? Have you ever worked together or socialized at political functions? As escorts?

SANCHEZ: Nope, nope, and nope. I did get an e-mail from Jeff Gannon and I constantly hear the comparison between him and myself. Frankly, I don't think it's the same. I would be more like Rich Merritt, although, from what I understand, he's a flaming liberal. It's funny you ask this question. There's something about the beleaguered gay psyche that wants to prove to the world that everyone is just as messed up as they are. So, they start off with the term hypocrite and work their way backwards looking for signs of deviant behavior in hopes of discovering some type of bastard kinship. That's why I've had the term self-loathing thrown at me so often. The gay community eats its own in a frenzied hope of self-serving fulfillment.

JMG: Are you a registered Republican? Have you donated time or money to the GOP or any Republican candidate?

SANCHEZ: I'm a registered Republican, although I will admit that I voted for Hilary the first time around at Senate, following 9/11. I have donated money and time. There's a Ric Santorum pic running around somewhere, I'm sure your little elves will find it at some point.

JMG: Have you ever visited The White House?

SANCHEZ: No, I have never visited the White House, although I've seen it from the outside. Does that count? Weren't there escorts there during the Clinton administration?

UPDATE: I've been contacted by an MSNBC segment producer for Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann, who will be covering the Matt Sanchez story tonight at 8PM.

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HomoQuotable - Boy George

"I do think it's shocking that somebody who has made so much money out of gay people is now part of an organisation which is anti-gay." - Boy George, speaking against Madonna and her relationship with Kabbalah, about which he says, "I have investigated it and they are homophobic." (YouTube.) In the past, George has called Madonna "a vile, hideous, horrible human being with no redeeming qualities".

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A-list Prada Bears

Above:This was sent to me by Jimbo in DC, who thinks it sums up the NYC bear scene. Seems about right.
Below: A-list NYC bear Gayest Neil slaps back.

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Tech Question

In order to a do an occasional short audio post, I'm looking for a decent microphone and audio editing program. All I've got is the lame mic that came with my laptop, plus whatever recorder came packaged with WinXP. Advice? I don't need anything fancy, just something that a luddite like myself can operate. Is there anything out there that can make me more sound like Vin Diesel and less like Meg Tilly? Cuz that would be cool.


Kryptonite For DADT

Jockohomo tipped me to this story about an Army drill sergeant charged with sex crimes for forcing a male private to dress in a Superman costume and have sex, under the guise of "helping" the soldier with his depression. This is more bad news for the DADT-repeal movement, as surely the fundies will jump all over this, as they did with last week's conviction of an Air Force officer for drugging and raping four servicemen.

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Coulter Dropped By Tennessee Paper

The Mountain Press has issued a statement announcing that they will no longer run Ann Coulter's column.
"When we agree to buy a syndicated column we expect the writer to offer responsible, reasoned opinion on national and international issues," Editor Stan Voit said. "Ms. Coulter's column drew an unusual amount of criticism from our readers when we first started running it, but we felt she was a nationally known writer offering her opinions in her own style. However we will not continue to publish the columns of someone who uses people as a punch line to get a cheap laugh and who so freely uses an offensive term to describe another human being."
Good for them. Coulter has also lost advertisers from her website, including Verizon, Sallie Mae, and Netbank.

UPDATE: The Oakland Press and the Lancaster New Era have also dropped Coulter.

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Libby Libby Libby On The Label Label Label

With all the local drama yesterday, I didn't get a chance to comment on the Libby verdict. So much has been said, all I can add is this: I am dancing. In my underwear. Right now. For real. They hate when I do that at the office. Also, shall we begin a countdown until Dubya grants a pardon?

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Trans Fat Ban Takes Toll (Cookies)

NYC bakers, forced to stop using butter due to the city's ban on trans fats, now use delicious palm oil and margarine in cookies and muffins. Mmm, mmm. Palm oil. Now that's how you make a cookie. Everybody happy now? CORRECTION: Only some of the bakers are avoiding butter, in order to satisfy commercial customers such as Starbucks who want to be able to use the label "trans fat free". Butter is still legal. Thanks to Toby and Gabriel for the correction. Natural trans fat is still legal. Now I'm off to enjoy a Starbucks palm oil muffin.

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Sanchez & Gingrich

[Image removed at request of photographer.]

From an anonymous emailer: Matt Sanchez meeting with possible 2008 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. No further details available.

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Morning View - Bethesda Terrace Arcade

Near the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, we found the restoration of the Bethesda Terrace Arcade Minton Tile ceiling complete, arriving the day after the grand re-opening. The 15,976 encaustic ceramic tiles, weighing a total of 49 tons, had been undergoing an extensive and labor intensive restoration for years. About 25% of the tiles were found unsalvageable, and the Farmboyz were rather disappointed that the new tiles did not precisely match the old colors. Still, the archway was full of delighted fans taking many pictures. Blind item: Yes, the archway would make a lovely place for a wedding. Trivia: The U.S. Capitol floors are paved with Minton Tiles. (Photo: Gothamist.)

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Set Your Phasers On "Hurl"

No, really. The Navy, in partnership with a company called Invocan, is trying to develop a sound weapon that will use radio waves that cause the enemy to get disoriented, pass out, or vomit. Invocan describes the weapon as a "Star Trek hand-held Phaser Weapon set on 'Stun'." Since Paramount probably owns the trademark on "phaser", I suggest Retch Ray. Or Boot Beam. Hey, how about Spew Gun? If the police used it to raid a frat party, would anybody be able to tell?


Jeff Gannon Redux

If you are familiar with Cpl. Matt Sanchez, you probably know him as the handsome 36-year old Columbia University junior and USMC reservist who recently made the rounds of right-wing talk shows like O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes, where he received praise for coming forward and complaining about his treatment at the hands of Columbia's "radical anti-military students" who called him names and mocked his military service. Sanchez was then feted at the CPAC conference where Ann Coulter made her "faggot" remark. Sanchez wrote an op-ed piece on the Columbia experience for the NY Post and began a blog and MySpace page chronicling his media exposure.

Now, if you're like me, you might think, "Hmm, 36 years old and he's a junior in college and only a corporal in the Marines?" Odd, but not totally implausible. But Sanchez' face tinkled a few gay bells out there in fairyland, and last night I began to get emails letting me know that his rather late appearance on the Ivy League scene was because Sanchez has had a lengthy career in gay porn, working under the names Rod Majors (NSFW) and Pierre LaBranche, starring in such art films as Jawbreaker, Donkey Dick, and Glory Holes Of Fame 3, where his "11-inch uncut monster cock" earned him a devoted following.

Now, porn stars are entitled to enter the miliary, although Sanchez obviously had to do it on the downlow. Porn stars are entitled to have a right-wing ideology, even though the very people he supports would love to see gay porn stars strung up by the nuts. (Wait, have I seen that movie?) But, Oh.The.Irony. of Sanchez appearing with Bill O'Reilly who only a couple of days went apoplectic over San Francisco's "Colt Studio Day." And OH, the irony of Ann "Faggot" Coulter happily posing with Sanchez for a photo-op. The right-wing has gobbled this porn hunk up with a spoon, never knowing that tons of men have gobbled up his monster cock ON FILM. I love it, I love it, I love it.

Thanks to those that tipped me to this story. In particular, please visit the blog of Tom Bacchus, who has written a thoroughly hilarious post on Matt Sanchez/Rod Majors/Pierre LaBranche, with many totally NSFW photos. Now let's all watch how Coulter, Malkin, O'Reilly, etc try and spin THIS one. This is gonna be good.

UPDATE: Sanchez also writes Amazon reviews under his own name, where he plugs a book called Facercise, which he credits for changing his appearance. Here's a 1998 interview he did for porn studio Kristen Bjorn.

UPDATE II: Sanchez appears to have commented on this post, below. I emailed him an interview request and he's agreed. Stand by.

UPDATE III: I just had a 35-minute phone call with Matt Sanchez, in which he was very candid and friendly. We spoke about a wide-range of topics: freedom of speech at Columbia, the Marine Corps, the gay porn industry, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Chi Chi Larue, his upcoming book and the CPAC conference. Matt has promised to respond via email to the set of questions that I sent him, and I will post his responses unedited tomorrow. If his responses are as candid and thought-provoking as our conversation, it should prove fascinating. Sanchez is no dumb bunny.

UPDATE IV: Email from Sanchez @ 4:21pm: "Wow, who knew a little award and a couple of pictures would get me all this attention? Death threats, hate mail and plenty of strangers who want to be my "friend"--and it's not even 4 pm!!! I'm going to be writing a piece and posting it on this site by tomorrow. You'll forgive me for the delay, but between this week's midterms, my full-time job and working out at the gym, there's just not enough time in the day." Same message on his blog, Cpl. Matt Sanchez, plus a pic of Coulter.

UPDATE V: I have interviewed Matt Sanchez here.

Bloggers reacting to this post: Advocate, Bay Area Reporter,, AMERICAblog, Think Progress, Max Blumenthal, FireDogLake, Post Modern Barney, Mixter's Mix, Pam's House Blend, Balls And Walnuts, World-O-Crap, Buzz Flash, Unscrewing, Gay Patriot, AlterNet, Democratic Underground, Shakespeare's Sister, Salon, Huffington Post, This Modern World, Atrios, Michelle Malkin Is An Idiot, Michelle Malkin, Citizen Crain, Say Anything, Towleroad, Gawker, Queerty, Daily Kos, Fleshbot (NSFW) , Jockohomo, Mercury Rising, Liberaltopia, Emboldened, All Spin Zone, The Right's Field, Queer Sighted, Boy Culture, Stranger Slog, Michael Petrelis, Pink Dome, many more.

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Jeff found this sketch of me on the Flickr account of a cute Canadian cub who goes by Fuzzbelly. (Blog.) I like it, I look like a bruiser! Nice job, Fuzzbelly!

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Hillary Wants The Gays

On Friday, Hillary Clinton made a keynote speech to the Human Rights Campaign, telling them that she wanted a "partnership" with gays in her presidential campaign. What she did not do, however, was publicize the speech via either her Senate office or her campaign office. Clinton's spokeman said the event was not publicized because the HRC board meeting is closed to the press. Sounds to me like an evasion (and late-Friday announcements are the hallmark of somebody wishing to avoid heavy news coverage), but the HRC did an end-run by posting her speech on YouTube. HRC Vice President David Smith said the HRC has not endorsed any candidate and has no plan to make an endorsement "anytime soon".

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HomoQuotable - Steve Koval

"(Anderson) Cooper refuses to say which team he plays for even though he sees no problem with asking others the same question. I'm sure Cooper has developed some exquisitely fabulous rationalizations for letting all of us lesser gay mortals do the heavy lifting in our fight for equality. But the truth is very simple: Anderson Cooper is a coward." - NY Blade writer Steve Koval, in a March 1st post on NYBlade Blog.


Virtual Fireplace

The wind chill in NYC will be -5 degrees tonight, but warm yourselves up on this panoramic photo of yesterday's Winter Party, sent in by the South Beach Bum. Embiggen makey toasty. Thanks, Gary!


St. Patrick's Gay

NYC's second-in-command, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is flying to Ireland next week to march in Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade, in protest of the continuing ban on gays from New York's parade. The NYC parade is the world's largest, with 150,000 marchers and millions of viewers.

The parade's organizers, the Catholic Church-run Ancient Order of Hibernians, successfully went to federal court a decade ago in order to protect their ban on green homos. Officially, gays are welcome to march as long as nobody can tell they're gay. That means no rainbow flags, no pink shamrocks, no excellent haircuts, etc.

In 1994, Quinn was one of over 100 gay protesters arrested for civil disobedience at the parade. This year's parade is on a Saturday and if ILGO (the Irish Lesbian And Gay Organization) is planning a protest, I'll be there.

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Showbiz Round-Up

Last week I had dinner with Queer Of The Year 2006, Mike Jones, musical superstars Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu, and theatrical producer Jerry Wade. Mike had just arrived from a taping of the Montell Williams show, where he tangled with loony Exodus front man Alan Chambers. I'll let you know when the show airs. Mike is also about to put his infamous massage table up on eBay, to benefit Denver's Project Angel Heart, which delivers free meals to people with HIV/AIDS. I'll post the auction when it goes up. Anybody wanna own a real piece of American political history? Will Haggard's DNA be included?

Steve and Jim have cast replacements for themselves in their off-Broadway hit The Big Voice: God Or Merman?, and will be leaving the show March 11th to begin touring their Ovation-winning Zero Hour, a one-Brochu show about theatre legend Zero Mostel. And Jerry Wade hipped me to a couple of his projects: the monthly George Bernard Shaw series, Project Shaw at The Players Theatre, and Spaulding Gray: Stories Left To Tell, at the Minetta Lane Theatre, featuring a five-person ensemble reading Gray's stories. I was always fascinated with Gray, even his Staten Island Ferry suicide was theatrical.

UPDATE: Mike's Montell episode airs Monday, March 12th.

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No More "Porn Days" For SF

SF Mayor Gavin Newsom can't stay out of the news these days. Marital infidelity, a gay stalker, and now the right-wing is coming after him for designating last Friday "Colt Studios Day", in honor of the 40th anniversary of the legendary SF-based porn studio. Rev. Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition says, "San Francisco has proven yet again why they remain the mocked city of the country." Newsom's office is claiming that proclamations such as "Colt Studios Day" are routinely granted without the mayor's personal involvement and that such declarations will be more closely evaluated going forward. Damn, personally I was looking forward to "Titan Media Day".

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Better The Drag Queen You Know

Is nobody else terrified by the concept of 250 marching Kylie Minogue-impersonating drag queens? Can somebody please send me a picture of this? I want to file it in my ever-burgeoning Signs Of The End Times folder. Similar to my feelings on Madonna, I'm not a Kylie fan, but I'm not not a fan. Got that? Never having attended Sydney's Mardi Gras is perhaps my greatest failing as a professional homosexual. Sigh.

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Morning View - Central Park

Aaron took this shot from the top of Belvedere Castle on Saturday, as we had a nice afternoon strolling through Central Park with the Farmboyz. That's Turtle Pond on the lower right, with the Delacorte Theatre just above, home of the Public Theatre's annual production of Shakespeare In The Park. In the distance is Emery Roth's masterpiece, The Beresford, one of the most magnificent residential buildings in the world.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

HomoQuotable - Andrew Sullivan

"When you see her in such a context, you realize that she truly represents the heart and soul of contemporary conservative activism, especially among the young. The standing ovation for Romney was nothing like the eruption of enthusiasm that greeted her. . . . She is the new Republicanism. The sooner people recognize this, the better. - Andrew Sullivan, speaking about Coulter's reception at CPAC.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Coulter Fallout

The major Republican candidates are distancing themselves from Ann Coulter's attack on John Edwards. A spokesman for Mitt Romney, who claims that although Romney introduced Coulter, he was not in the room when she spoke, says, “It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect.” Rudy Giuliani said, “The comments were completely inappropriate and there should be no place for such name-calling in political debate.” John McCain, who did not attend the CPAC conference, said, “The comments were wildly inappropriate." Contrary to earlier reports, Dick Cheney was not in the audience.

John Edwards is already trying to spin Coulter's attack into a fundraising tool, asking supporters to contribute $100,000 in "Coulter Cash". Coulter herself has tried to downplay her remarks, telling the NY Times that she was joking, saying, "I would never insults gays by comparing them to John Edwards. That would be mean." (Anybody buying that?)

It's satisfying to see the Republicans repudiate Ann Coulter in this instance. What will be interesting will to be to see who hires her next. It seems that any future alliances with Coulter could be seen as a de facto endorsement of her views. That never bothered the Republicans before now, but dare we hope that she's finally crossed the line, even for them?

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Please disregard.

Blarg Noir

Well, at least I seem... um, interesting.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Coulter Calls John Edwards A "Faggot"

"I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot". -Scumbag Ann Coulter, speaking at a conference televised on C-SPAN for the Conservative Political Action Conference. The crowd roared its approval. (Video clip.)

In the audience: Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and other 2008 candidates. Anybody taking bets on whether CPAC disavows Coulter's statement? I'm not holding my breath. And now I like John Edwards even more. HRC has issued a statement demanding that Cheney and the others publicly condemn Coulter's remarks.

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Wednesday, 10PM, E.63rd & 2nd Ave

I was on 2nd Avenue, walking home from dinner, when a young man came running down the sidewalk towards me. We didn't collide, but when he tried to get around me, he slammed into a diner's menu board, sending it flying. The guy kept running, like he was being chased. I watched him nearly wipe out again when he turned the corner at 63rd. When I turned back around, I saw that he'd dropped something when he smashed into the sign.

It was a Ziploc baggie full of white powder.

I picked up the baggie just as a police car roared by, lights but no siren, making the same turn at 63rd. "Oh, interesting," I thought. I walked back to the corner. The cop car was already out of sight. I palmed the baggie, thinking "Blog post!" But what to do? Call 911? I could already see the Post headline, "Citizen Turns In 8-Ball, Cokeheads Vow Revenge." I put the baggie in my pocket and continued walking home.

After a few blocks, my curiosity got the better of me, so waiting until nobody was around, I moved into the bright lights of a nail salon and inspected the contents of the baggie.

It was cheese.


The Tudors

On Tuesday, Little David accompanied me to a screening of Showtime's upcoming series, The Tudors, where we saw the first two of ten episodes. Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII, Sam Neill as Cardinal Wolsey, and a very attractive cast, The Tudors takes a liberty here and there with the historical record, for example depicting Wolsey as a scheming behind-the-scenes manipulator plotting to be named Pope, something which I think has never been proven. (Readers?) I was also fascinated with the circuit-boyish clippered haircuts sported by most of the male cast.

But David and I both thoroughly enjoyed the non-stop alliances, betrayals, infidelities and the lots and lots of fucking. Steven Waddington as the Lord Of Buckingham will definitely please the redhead aficionados out there. I'm quite anxious to see the rest of the series, which debuts on April 1. Highly recommended.

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Florida Town Sacks Pre-Op TG Manager

Largo, Florida, population 76,000, a Gulf Coast town near St.Petersburg, has decided to fire their city manager rather than allow him to transition to a woman. Steve Stanton, 48 and a married father of one, appeared before 500 people at a town meeting listening to residents like Pastor Ron Saunders say, ''If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he'd want him terminated. Make no mistake about it.''

In Florida, one can be fired for being gay or transgendered, unless local ordinances prevent it. There is no such protection in Largo, whose ironic slogan is "The City Of Progress." (See update below.)

The Stanton case is perfect example of the need to press for the passing of ENDA now. Please consider signing an online petition supporting Stanton, for presentation to the Largo city commission. Write letters of complaint to Largo here.

UPDATE: A Florida reader points out that Largo DOES in fact prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, but has decided to ignore their own rules. Thanks to this guy for the update!

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Nail Bomber Gets 50

Dave Copeland, the "Soho nail bomber", had his prison sentence extended to 50 years yesterday, after a High Court judge ruled that 30 years had been too lenient. In 1999, Copeland set off a nail bomb in London's Admiral Duncan Pub in the Soho gay district, killing three and wounding eighty, some of whom had limbs amputated. Copeland chose the Admiral Duncan because it was alphabetically first in a list of London gay bars.

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HomoQuotable - Bevan Dufty

"He is like a cross between Liberace and Hello Kitty. He is out of his gourd." - SF Supervisor Bevan Dufty, decscribing new age author Han Shin, who has been served with a restraining order for stalking San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Shin has been found inside of the mayor's residence when the mayor was not home, and was observed photographing the mayor from the waist down at a recent public appearance. Shin's latest book is Beauty for the World: A Spiritual Odyssey, which is described as "about Rosario, an ugly duckling, who overcomes molestation by her stepfather and other obstacles, to become Miss Universe and help children around the world."

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

I Got The Affirmative Magnolia

You leave in the morning with everything you own in a little black case. The deception with tact, just what are you trying to say? Rhymes that keep their secrets will unfold behind the clouds. Some sick girls must be discreet. Sorry, my sister just sent me her old iPod, since the one she sent me for xmas two years ago is in permanent sadface. Sis is apparently mired in the early 80's, her iPod contains nothing but Culture Club, Yaz, Ultravox and tons of fab one-hit wonders like Wide Boy Awake and Peter Schilling. This iPod is made of win. I think I'll leave it as it is for awhile.

Among the treasures is Bow Wow Wow's 1980 Burundi-beat ode to home taping, C-30, C-60, C-90, Go!. (Stream. Download.) I breeze with the sleaze on my cassette! I interviewed BWW's lead singer Annabella Lwin for my college newspaper, but we had to cut things short when her roadie boyfriend thought I was macking on her when she let me rub her mohawk and he threatened to knife me.

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The Little Queen That Could

San Francisco, 2002

We parked in the Mission Street garage. Pet Shop Boys hadn't played San Francisco in three years and we'd had our tickets for months. It was my first return visit to The City since my move to NYC the previous year and I was almost giddy just to be with my friends again. Just to ratchet up our excitement a little bit more, we sat in the car for one more playing of Home And Dry, then bounded out of the car and headed towards Market Street and the historic Warfield Theatre.

I adore the Warfield, even over the more storied Fillmore. The spectacular Warfield wears her faded grandeur with quiet dignity, a dowager octogenarian matriarch still wearing her tatty heirloom jewelry. Showtime always comes too soon for me at the Warfield, as I'm usually caught in the lobby lingering over her musical history, rendered non-chronologically along the walls, a haphazard photo record of her callers. Dylan. Hendrix. Grateful Dead. Even the rascally Sex Pistols get mantle space, bastard relations who showed once and puked in the parlor.

As we approached the door of the Warfield, I noticed the usual phalanx of security thugs working the door. The Warfield always hired big menacing black men to work the lines. Stoic, imposing men who barked gruffly if you dared pause to greet friends. "No standing! Clear the entrance! Get in line or move along!" You disobeyed at your peril.

On that night, the "line" out on the sidewalk was a swirling, festive, chattering mob of gay men. Muscle men straining the limits of their ribbed tank tops, shivering in the frigid San Francisco summer air, too proud of their traps, their delts, their guns, to shield them from Market Street wind with the coats which they'd stowed under their dashboard before the goose-bumpy dash to the venue. Mixed among the gym boys were drag queens and club kids, all with gigantic electric-hued hairdo's whose height was amplified by ten-inch platform shoes, upon which their owners labored to remain upright, all the while shrieking to announce their arrival.

It was a motherfucking circus on that sidewalk. It was perfect, for a few minutes. The security guards made no attempt to hide their disgust with the night's audience, sharing repulsed looks with each new addition to the growing line, but we were too busy being happy in each other's company to take much notice. But when the line began to be admitted through the doors, as we approached the ticket takers, we came across a group of a half-dozen girls, perched the left of the entrance. They wore matching puffy jackets, the tough-girl fashion of the moment. As each flamboyant patron passed, the girls clutched each other in laughter, pointing at and mocking the queens. It was ugly, it was cruel. I hated them.

As we passed, my friend Robert said acidly, "Are you ladies enjoying the show?" Immediately, one the security guards whirled around. "What the fuck did you say?" Ah. The girls were with the security guards, invited guests for the sidewalk spectacle. I pulled Robert into the crowd at the door and we escaped inside without looking back.

We had balcony tickets. We tried to console each other. Balcony tickets were fine. There was assigned seating in the balcony. We could see the entire stage from the balcony. Nobody blocked your view in the balcony. The balcony was perfect, actually. Down on the floor, it was standing room only. Down on the floor, your legs would be aching before the opening losers finally left the stage, their exit generating the only applause they'd earned. Down on the floor, you couldn't see so well. Down on the could dance. Down on the floor, you could fight your way to the front and make eye contact with your heroes. Down on the floor, you could bounce up and down with your arms around your best friends while singing and cruising and making "accidental" body contact with the muscular hottie you'd been eyeing at the gym all week. The balcony fucking sucked. We tried to console each other.

The show, of course, was wonderful. Pet Shop Boys were trying out an acoustic sound, with Neil Tennant perched on a stool with a guitar for much of the show. Even the classics were given a stripped-down treatment. While not the full-on disco extravaganza of the usual Pet Shop Boys concert, there were enough big productions tossed out to satisfy. When the house lights came up, we eagerly headed towards the stairs to go the lobby for our prize, the unique luxury poster card that the Warfield created for every event.

Often produced on heavy stock paper, the posters always showed up the next day in the bins of Haight Street's Amoeba Records, priced $10 and up, depending on the band's popularity and how rare the visit to San Francisco may have been. To thwart the commercial vending of the posters, the Warfield only dispensed them in the lobby, one per patron. Once outside, those bearing posters were often accosted by enterprising young men making lowball cash offers, knowing they could triple their money at the record shops the next day. Warfield staffers took great pains to make sure that no concertgoer got more than one poster each.

But we were not allowed back down into the lobby. A security guard, flanked by the balcony's concession staff, stood at the top of the stairs, which were roped off. "You must exit to your left," he bellowed, as staffers directed everyone towards the Warfield's exterior fire stairs, which led to the alley behind the theatre. I looked at my friends. "Hey, what about our posters?" Next to me, a little queen wearing red harlequin pants spoke up, "Yeah, this totally SUCKS! I want my poster! When we get down on the street I'm going back around to the front and make them let me back in to get it."

My friends and I decided to follow Little Queen back to the front doors of the Warfield Theatre. It was a decision that nearly got us killed.

To Be Continued......

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Open Thread Thursday

Back in the early throes of my fascination with San Francisco, I buried myself in local history books, learning the origins of the street names, and walking the hills to find the houses of the city's founding families. I learned which buildings once held bathhouses and where SF's famous residents lived. In those moments, I fantasized about working as a city tour guide, leading packs of delighted tourists to one hidden treasure after another, basking in their appreciative applause as I laid one delicious fact after another on them.

Ruling out petty concerns like salary, what's your fantasy dream job, the job that would that the pure joy of doing would have you leaping out of bed every morning, even on your day off? Please don't tell us that you have that job right now. That's just mean.