gay culture

Another London Gay Bar Closing; Nate Berkus and Husband Get TV Show; Pennsylvania Gay Bar Closes

Another London Gay Bar Closing

The Richmond Arms, a gay bar in London, is set to shutter its doors on April 23. This isn’t the first gay bar closing in London, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

In an emotional announcement, the staff of the Richmond Arms in southwest London wrote: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that we will be closing ours doors for good on Saturday 23rd of April 2016.

‘This place is so close to many of us, we have laughed and cried here together for over 30 years.

I know that feeling very well. We’ve lost several long time gay bars here in New Hope, PA in the last decade and it leaves a huge hole in the gay culture of an area. Every time I drive by a place that’s now a bank where a gay bar called The Prelude used to be, I find it amazing that banker people are now parking in the same place where I used to lose my underwear in someone’s back seat.

You can read more here. 

Nate Berkus and Husband Get TV Show

Designer, Nate Berkus, and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, are getting their own TV show on TLC.

The show, to be called Married to Design: Nate & Jeremiah, will air on TCL which in the past has been home to such shows as 19 Kids and Counting and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

‘Design isn’t just what we do for a living, it’s what we do on our weekends,’ says Berkus. ‘So this show is perfect. We get to have all the fun and the homeowner gets rescued from a money pit that is consuming them. They’re lost. We’re not. We know where to save, where to spend, where to shop … it’s what we love most.’ 

I think this might be a good one. I’ve always enjoyed Berkus on HSN…and boy does he have great sheets!!

Here’s the rest.  

Pennsylvania Gay Bar Closes

Here’s another example of how times are changing for gay men, and gay culture. And this particular gay bar has been around for 50 years. That’s an institution for the gay men who live in that area.

The long-running Altland’s Ranch in York County, PA, suddenly closed its doors last week, with a representative for the owner saying the bar and restaurant’s demise was due to a downturn in customer numbers.

I’m not familiar with this bar. York County, PA is miles away from Bucks County, PA. They’re down near Maryland, and we’re on the 95 corridor in between New York and Philadelphia.

I’m starting to think that the only gay venues that will survive are those located in tourist areas like Key West or Provincetown.

You can check that out here. The announcement was made, ironically, via Facebook. It’s ironic because one of the biggest reasons gay bars have been closing is the Internet.

The Rainbow Detective Agency Rancho Mirage


In Print and E-book



The Arrangement


 
 

USA 2,014 years old; Joey Stefano; Tim Tebow on ESPN



USA 2,014 Years Old

Evidently, there are some people in the US who think the US is 2,014 years old. I wish I had something more to start out 2014, but so far this seems to be as good as it gets. (Unless you’d rather I link to Joe Konrath’s predictions on publishing again 🙂 I’m personally going to be making a few announcements later this year, as writer, so I can move forward. For the time being, I still have two contracted books in the Glendora Hill series to finish, I’m enjoying writing them more than anything I’ve done before, and I’ll be indie publishing even more fiction this year. I’ll also post more on wedding plans Tony and I have for later this month. We’re booked to go to Vermont, and the place looks great. I’ll post links soon.

In any event…

According to Twitter, more than a few people believe that the United States was formed 2014 years ago, and that New Year’s Day is America’s birthday. There is so much about this idea that doesn’t make sense.

In an update, it turns out a lot of people were joking around. But it does remind me of a few mock interviews I saw during recent important political elections where reporters went out on the streets, asked people who was running for office, and asked basic general information about the candidates. The answers were surprising. A few people thought Sarah Palin was running for vice-President on the Obama ticket. I’m not joking about that.

This bothers me for more than one reason. These are the same people we have signing up for jury duty, and it seems to be getting worse as time passes. I wouldn’t want them as a jury of my peers.

You can read more here.

Joey Stefano

I don’t think I’ve ever linked to this before in previous posts about Joey Stefano. And it comes with an adult content warning, so it’s NSFW. But it’s an interesting article about Stefano, with NSFW photos, and I wanted to add it to my own list of links that I’ve posted about him previously. If you don’t know who Joey Stefano is, and how much he influenced gay male culture in the late 1980’s and 90’s, you can read more about him here. I tried to do a search on the upcoming film about Stefano’s life that’s being produced by Chad Darnell, but couldn’t find anything newer than last summer so I don’t know what’s up with that.

Immaculate Heart Cemetery in Marcus Hook would seem an unlikely resting place for a power-bottom porn star, but this is indeed where Chester native Joey Stefano, né Nicholas Iacona Jr., lays in perpetual sleep. His final resting place bears no headstone, making his presence in the cemetery derelict if not absent.

You can read more here.

Tim Tebow on ESPN

I find Tim Tebow interesting for several reasons, one of which is he seems to attract a certain amount of attention for no apparent reason. Or at least more attention than other professional sports figures in the US. I’m not the only one who feels this way, because now he has a TV show on ESPN that I would imagine is going to be successful.

 According to ESPN, Tebow’s primary role will be as an analyst for SEC Nation, the network’s traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week beginning Aug. 28, 2014.

The article goes on to mention that Tebow didn’t attract much interest in the NFL. But I think the fact remains that he does attract attention in the mainstream and he’s become a regular name in anything pop culture related.

You can read more here.

Free:Littlest Christmas Tree; Gay New Hope; Tranny Word

Date Drug New Hope

Tony pointed this one out to me early this morning. Evidently, there was a date drugger at a gay bar in New Hope, PA (where I live) and security cameras captured his image in what looks to me like a gay bar on the outskirts of town called, The Raven. (Been there many times.) There was also an alleged credit card/identity theft fraud incident. According to this article, both victim and suspect went back to the victim’s residence…where they were “socializing.”

“Drugged Acquaintance Date – Theft & Credit Card Fraud

“An adult male victim met the pictured male suspect at a known gay bar at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, 11-22-2013. Victim invited the suspect to his residence to continue socializing. When victim uses the bathroom, the suspect “freshens” the victim’s alcoholic beverage, whereupon the victim loses consciousness for approx. 5 hours. Victim awaken nauseous to find the suspect has stolen his wallet, $150 USC, assorted credit cards, and 2 out of sequence blank bank checks.

I love the way they call it “socializing.” So proper and neat (smile).

You can read more here.

Free: The Littlest Christmas Tree

My holiday novella, The Littlest Christmas Tree, is now up for free at the following venues. I don’t have all the links, but I’ll update as they come in.

Here’s a link to the blurb, and a short excerpt. The novella is 21,000 words in length.

I’m doing this as a little holiday present for readers who always remain faithful all year long. This is the second book in the Second Chance series and I’ll be putting future titles in the series up throughout 2014 for .99.

On Smashwords.

Update: On Allromanceebooks.com

At Rainbow Book Reviews: Link

Update #2…The book will be up on Amazon for .99. I wish I could have done this for free, but Amazon will not allow this unless I sign an exclusive for three months and then the book will only be up for free on Amazon for five days, and I can’t put it up for free anywhere else without breach of contract with Amazon. Here’s the Amazon link. Why am I disclosing this? I think readers should know.

Tranny Word

When I spotted this article I was prepared to take a completely different approach to it. But after I read it I couldn’t ignore this even if I tried. It’s an interview with a Brooklyn drag performer, Babes Trust, and one of the most interesting things in the interview I read is how Trust thinks of the word “Tranny.”

This is the question about Tranny as a word:

Some transgender people are critical of drag performers using the word “tranny.” What are your thoughts about it?

Here’s how Babes Trust answered:

I have issues around this wider idea of community; such as the gay “community,” the trans “community” — we are not a generalized generic community or binary. Although we share some basic values, we are many different communities with varying values, speech, meanings, codes and languages.

Tranny means different things to different people. Do I know some people who feel more comfortable with explaining their gender and sexuality as “tranny”? Yes. Its that okay?

By one “community” effectively silencing and oppressing another to “not say” certain words or be so untrusting of people that you believe that everything comes from a place of violence, is sad.

If someone identifies as “tranny,” the people who attack the term as offensive are oppressing the people who have a valid claim over the term.

I agree with Trust, and I find people like that not only oppressive, but bullies.

The reason I find this so interesting is that I once came across a comment thread on romance book review web site best known for its incivility where someone went berserk in a politically correct rampage about how offensive the word “Tranny” is, and frankly I didn’t get that at the time and I still don’t get it now. In full disclosure, ever since then I’ve been terrified to use the word myself for fear of being politically incorrect…or offending someone without realizing it.

However, the word “Tranny” is one I’ve heard all my life in certain LGBT circles, and I’ve never heard it used in a derogatory way. So my point with this is I think Babes Trust makes a highly valid point in being so candid, and those who think they know it all about gay culture don’t even get the tip of what gay culture is really all about. And the only thing that really offends me most as a gay man is when people who aren’t gay start telling me how to be gay.

You can read more of the interview here. Babes Trust is no one’s fool, and it’s been a long time since I’ve read such sharp, intelligent answers. It also shows how Brooklyn is up and coming as its own hot spot.

What’s A Gay Otter? GRL 2013; Gay Marriage NJ

What’s A Gay Otter?

If you’ve never heard the term “Otter” before with respect to gay culture, don’t worry about it. I didn’t even know what it was until recently. I asked Tony what it was; he didn’t know. And at a small dinner party recently I asked  a table of eight filled with LGBT people and none of them knew. Everyone knew the term “Bear,” but not Otter.

And that’s because Otter is actually a term that’s part of Bear sub-culture. Urban Dictionary describes Otter this way:

A fuzzy adorable sexually aggressive and playful sex object that is highly sought after.
 
For those who don’t know what a gay Bear is, the link below has a good explanation. And it also mentions Otter as a sub-culture.
 
It’s titled A Handy Guide to All Gay Men
 
The gay world is often represented as some sort of monolithic whole that has the same culture. That is a lie. It is actually broken down into a handful of substrata to which each gay belongs. Here they are.
 
Here’s what they say about Bears:
 
Bears
Body Type
: Large, hairy, often with facial hair
Description: The bigger, generally older subset of the population is new but increasingly popular both in the community and pop culture. They have their own social calendar that is well populated with events to support the flannel-clad butch lifestyle of beards and beer guts.
 
The article goes on to mention other categories of gay men, but I’m not actually certain where I would fit. If I had to go by the process of elimination and be totally honest I’d probably be what they consider an “Art Fag.”
 
You can read more here. It’s also interesting because in all the categories and sub-categories they mention brief descriptions, and one description is top or bottom. All state bottom. So for those who think top or bottom isn’t a big thing in gay culture…or it shouldn’t be a big thing in gay fiction…you might want to double check to see if the information you have about gay culture is accurate.
 
As a side note, when I was in college, before I met Tony, I met a nice-looking thin guy at The Roxy. We went back to his apartment and to my surprise he removed all his clothes the minute we walked inside. The first thing I noticed was that he had fuzz all over his body. Fuzz on his chest, legs, arms, back, and neck. He even had fuzz at the tops of his shoulders and his knuckles. Just fuzz. So when he asked me if I wanted anything, I smiled and replied, “I think I left the lights on in my car.” And I got out of there as fast as I could, as politely as I could. I guess he would have been considered an Otter.
 
GRL 2013
 
An author friend I’ve known since the early days of e-publishing when I first started writing for the now defunct e-publisher loveyoudivine.com, attended Gay Rom Lit 2013 (GRL), in Atlanta this past weekend and he’s doing a two part blog post series on the events and all things book related pertaining to GRL. His name is Jon Michaelsen and I’ve read and reviewed his gay mystery/suspense books a few times here on the blog.
 

Attendees also got the opportunity to ask questions of the panel, which proved to be very focused on specific series penned by the authors and questions about future releases. I found it personally interesting when JP Bowie described while writing the books in his Portrait series of mystery and mayhem with protagonists Peter Brandon and Jeff Stevens, how secondary characters introduced later in the series grew larger than life and demanded their own series, thus Nick Fallon Investigations was created and now spans four wonderful novels.

 
You can read the first post in full, here. Since I don’t know much about GRL I found it to be a good, fast read that talks about books and publishing, which is what I’ve always been told these events revolve around. I haven’t seen many other articles about GRL yet, at least not with respect to books publishing. If anyone has any links, feel free to e-mail them to me.
 
Gay Marriage NJ
 
Last night, at midnight, Gay Marriage became legal in New Jersey. I saw on my local Philadelphia news channel that only one mile away from me, in Lambertville, NJ, gay couples were gathering at midnight to celebrate at the city hall where there was a big reception. Lambertville, like New Hope, PA, has a large LGBT community. I’m thrilled for them. But imagine the way it would feel to live in Pennsylvania, only one mile away from a state where gay marriage is legal, and not be considered equal.
 
This article discusses some of the confusion they are experiencing in NJ.
 

Several couples planned to marry minutes after the state began recognizing the unions. Yet other said they had not been able to get a license. New Jersey law requires that couples wait three days between obtaining a license and getting married.

“There’s a lot of mass confusion and it boils down to the fact that the state should have issued guidance a week ago,” said Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality.

We should all be so lucky to experience that brand of confusion.

Photo Here 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Review: Docudrama House of Versace by David Aria

Review: Docudrama House of Versace by David Aria

I read a book review by David Aria on Goodreads.com a few weeks ago and really liked his style. So I contacted him and asked if he would be willing to write a guest post every now and then on pop culture or books…on any topic he wanted, with tie-ins to gay culture. This one talks about the docudrama, House of Versace. It’s interesting to read a gay man’s POV for a change, especially when it comes to gay culture. And I’m going to make a point of keeping this as an ongoing process.

“VO sace”…F …O….

 

By Aria David


It’s always difficult when commenting on a docudrama not to make cross commentary on the actual historical figure, and Lifetime’s latest cinematic atrocity House of Versace certainly doesn’t make things any easier. House of Versace premiered last week on the “for women” network, and I often wonder when looking at these films if the LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) puts out these films with the deliberate intention of being campy or if there is supposed to be a genuine presentation of pathos involved. I imagine one day there will be Internet followings of social shut-ins who exalt that sort of thing just as there are now for various other tropes.
 
This was also one of the few times that Lifetime has dipped its manicured toe into the gay pool but still manages to keep from getting wet by making the Versace story not about the great fashion icon himself but rather posing his sister Donatella as some sort of tragic heroine who lived in the oppressive shadow of a gay fashion legend. There are all sorts of contradictory points to this story that are really quite shockingly amazing… I write that with a sense sarcasm.
 
Our heroine does prevail over her own demons but she’s admonished in the process for essentially martyring herself for the good of her own family and saving her children from certain financial ruin with no help from her own husband who we never see do anything in the film other than complain like some nagging housewife of never spending enough time together. Interesting dichotomous role reversal but annoying nonetheless. Though like most things in the entertainment industry there’s a method to this madness: class warfare. The only real reason why a network as mainstream as Lifetime would ever dare reach beyond the common boundaries of middle class American and attempt portray anything to do with the European jet set elite boils down to a simply perception of pain.
 
Donatella Versace is about as far removed from the average American woman as anyone could be but in order for her to be seen as remotely sympathetic to LMN’s demographic audience she has to essentially suffer for her life of European decadence. It’s a tried and true formula the media has latched on to since late 90’s with the passing of Princess Diana (who is a subject we’ll get into later but for now); a beautiful wealthy woman lives a gilded life as wife and mother with maybe some part time occupation, is brought down tragically in or during her own “selfish” plight for independence. This is also evidenced in House’s predecessor Anna Nicole, which while the trailers seemed promising I couldn’t quite bring myself to watch as I’ve tactfully avoided Lifetime throughout much of my adult life.
 
What’s worse is that while most those stories tend to focus on the trappings of the heterosexual male dominated paradigm, Lifetime has the audacity to actually take on the gay male glitterati of the fashion world. While I’m sure that the story of the actual Donatella is far more compelling and interesting Lifetime’s Donatella is somewhat different. Left alone in in the wake of brother Gianni’s death to run an empire for the sake of her family’s survival she commits herself to managing a business that is half commercial economics and half artistic creativity she and is plunged into the lonely world of the working woman. Abandoned by the family that she fought to keep afloat, she’s eventually sabotaged by them and written off as a drug addict. It’s only after a brief stint in rehab that she’s able to miraculously overcome an entire life’s worth of drug usage and unbridled anger issues to calmly stand as head of a fashion house and produce a successful collection.
 
In reality while if any of this were remotely possibly in the time they give in the film Donatella’s resurrection of the Versace brand name wouldn’t have been due to any lacking in her creativity but rather subtle but specific process of a business model. It even stupidly states at the end of the film that the brand’s resurrection was facilitated by an endorsement of ready-to-wear and not an exclusive reliance on couture. All this aside its rather ironic that a network that’s supposedly devoted towards the plight of women actually glorifies their downfall for the cardinal sin of being ambitious and trying to have it all.
 
Which takes us to our next point of discussing some of the more idiotic anecdotes throughout the film. We’re presented with a Donatella who is haughtily confident which we could spend some time talking about LMN’s implied message that women shouldn’t have a sense of self worth? But, we can always write this down to maybe they were trying to depict her as what was known in 1970’s and 1980’s soap operas as the Bitch Goddess. Moving on though we notice that LMN’s Donatella is opportunistically homophobic (by that I mean slurs come out with the anger, you know the type) and she often lashes out at brother Gianni while they’re having one of their more passionate discussions with phrases and labels like “tired old queen” and denigrating him with the cliché pseudo-feminist argument of “you’ll never know what its like to be a REAL woman.” Because the people at Lifetime think that being gay and being a fashion designer of ladies’ apparel clearly translates to secretly wanting to be a woman?
 
Anyway, authentic Versace designs are not seen anywhere within the film with the exception to the occasional actual film footage of Princess Diana who the film likes to really drive the point home that the Versaces were basically BFFs with. Though the emphasis on Princess Di gives the accidental impression that the entire Versace line was reliant on her patronage. Which if it were anywhere near true it would’ve ensured the brand’s survival long after Gianni’s untimely passing; as everything the Princess touched in life turned to tear stained gold, especially regarding the sacred reliquary of her garments. Manolo and Jimmy certainly were able to capitalize on their associations with Di. The truth is that Diana while she might’ve had some social acquaintanceship with Versace and his milieu she wore only a select few of his gowns. She actually tended to favor British designer Catherine Walker, though some variety was introduced after her break from Prince Charles.
 
The film is also unintentionally comedic in several ways for example the dialogue in this film is hilarious to hear. The actors all speak in these weak muddled Italian accents and speak and argue with each other in broken English. As if they all have an unspoken code of agreement for using the lingua franca as opposed to the ease of the mother tongue with occasional terms of affection or curse words in actual Italian. While it probably would’ve looked equally ridiculous if the actors had used plain American English accents or possibly received English it still could’ve been written and executed better than how it was portrayed. Though it does contribute greatly to the camp factor.
 
The LMN’s proclivity for melodramatic kitsch never ceases to amaze/amuse me and this film is chalk filled with it. Just an example the utilizing of Italian opera is particularly hilarious as it tends to play during the most blatantly pathetic attempts at pathos scenes in the film. And whats even more hilarious is that they use the same operatic piece throughout the film and only a certain stanza of the aria which while I don’t personally understand Italian I can hear that the lyrics are singing something about a “donna tella”.
 
So who knows what the song is actually about or what opera it’s from but the fact that it’s Italian and that the one or two lyrics are about a “donna tella” obviously for contextual artistry it has to be thrown in there and played whenever a tear jerking scene comes up. While I must admit it is slightly beautiful when rendered in maybe one scene where Donatella walks off the runway and realizes her grief and solitude it is sort of a cheap trick on the director’s part. Opera really should only be used sparingly in films just enough so that the audience can establish a nexus between a story from old Europe with whatever modern plot they are witnessing. It helps them feel more cultured than they really are. More successful examples of this are Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, Cher in Moonstruck, and (okay, fine, just this once I’ll admit it) Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
 
More melodrama can be seen in a key point in the film where actress Gina Gershon (Donatella) really should be awarded for the most sashay shantay worthy fainting spell to ever be captured on a film reel. I honestly don’t think that Vivienne Leigh could’ve done it better herself.
 
Casting Gina Gershon as the fashion icon may or may not have been the best move on the film’s part. Specifically for the reason that previous to the film Gershon had done a satirical impersonation of Versace on the show Ugly Betty a show which is a light dramedy but a comedy more so. So I’m once again brought back full circle to my question of whether or not these films that LMN releases are really supposed to be taken in seriousness or if they’re made purely for nostalgic superfluous purposes. Gershon to her credit despite the fact that the plot and the premise of the film are just awful she gives an amazing performance. With regard to accepting the script as pure kitsch conjures images of all sorts of equally campy kitschy films of the 60’s and 70’s. Watching Gershon go through the whole film with all that pill popping and ass kicking in a blonde wig it’s almost like instead of channeling the fashion icon she’s channeled Pam Grier as Foxy Brown playing Jennifer North (Sharon Tate) in Valley of the Dolls. While Gershon’s performance is utterly amazing unto itself the decision to cast her without the comedic implication is still puzzling. Its almost would be like if they made a biopic of Bjork and cast Wynona Ryder as the lead. (brownie points to those who know what I’m talking about)
 
Iconic actress Raquel Welch unfortunately while she looks amazing for her age doesn’t really deliver anything noteworthy, however child actress Madison McAleer who plays Donatella’s young daughter Allegra probably give the best authentically dramatic performance of the whole cast. Which I’m not entirely sure if that’s sad or impressive. Nonetheless the girl gets my vote for best actress in drama this year.
To tie things off it seems that we’re entering a new era of Lifetime movies. It appears that the writers over there are finally moving on from those cheap and cheesy stories about the average American woman marrying the wrong guy and escaping with her life and children, or those awful stories about the women of real life court room drama to depicting the forlorn lives of women apart of what Christopher Hitchens once described as “the jet set trailer trash elite.”
 
While these films are so far appear to be benign and at times entertaining in the ironic sense the only thing that we as the viewer should be outraged about is their seeming justification of homophobia.The writer’s of House of Versace clearly think that homophobia is acceptable so long as it’s orchestrated by women towards gay men. The film’s Donatella is never apologetic for the string of homophobic slurs she hurls at Gianni and his boyfriend. Regardless of whether they were said in anger or not. She is never remorseful of the fact that the last thing she said to her brother was a condescending tone of “goplay with your boyfriend.” She never reconciles with her late brother’s boyfriend who she and her family ostracize after Gianni’s passing because they don’t consider him family. Tensions between the surviving Versaces and Antonio (Gianni’s boyfriend) are only aggravated further when its learned that like any two persons who are for all intents and purposes married Gianni remembered Atonio in his will.
 
The real life Donatella Versace has made public clarifications that while she respected her brother’s relationship she never cared for or got on with Antonio as a person. This distinction is never really made in the LMN film and it comes off that the Donatella didn’t respect the relationship for what it was. This is chiefly the stupidest part of the film as its kind of difficult to be homophobic and work in the fashion industry. The writer’s at Lifetime should realize the feminist movement and the gay rights movement has not come as far as it has only to subvert one another.
 
 
In closing the cheap tawdry nature of House of Versace really reminds of a scene in the filmNext Friday where an exchange between two characters asks the spelling the brand’s name in order to establish a sense of authenticity. And this cheap knock off made for TV movie is really just a commercial way of comforting the insecurities of suburban American housewives so that they don’t feel bad about living in the drug rattled world of the Euro-trash fashion elite.
 
 
 
 

  

Gay Marriage Ruling; Tea Dance Gay Culture

Just to be clear on the gay marriage ruling today in the Supreme Court, I wanted to post something short for those who don’t always understand these things at a glance (like me).

The victory means the federal government must recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples married in the 12 states that allow same-sex marriage, plus the District of Columbia, and give them the same benefits that they had been previously denied under the struck-down law, the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA).

This means those who are fortunate enough to live in states where same sex marriage is legal are now protected by the same laws as straight married couples. And what used to be a small victory for gay couples who lived in states that did legalize gay marriage is now a huge victory or them and for equality.

84 year old widow, Edith Windsor, is a new hero of mine.

Windsor launched her lawsuit after getting a bill for $363,000 in estate taxes after her wife, Thea Spyer, died in 2009 – two years following the couple’s marriage in Canada. She noted that if her spouse had been named “Theo,” she wouldn’t have received that bill.

Windsor will now get that money back as a result of this ruling.

Tony and I have known more than a few gay couples who have been faced with these taxes upon the death of a spouse. In many cases it has wiped the survivor out. Unfortunately, Tony and I still live in Pennsylvania where gay marriage is not legal, and if that stands we may be forced to leave our home and move to a state where it is legal. So there’s still a long way to go for most gay couples, and there’s still a lot to do before we are all considered equal. But I think now, after this ruling today, things will move faster in a lot of other states.

Tea Dance Gay Culture

This morning I received copy edits from the publisher for one of my Bad Boy Billionaire Books, The Palm Beach Stud, and I thought it would be the routine revises I’ve come to expect. But this time I noticed something unusual. The book is set in Palm Beach, FL, and I’d mentioned the characters were all going to Tea Dance on a Sunday afternoon, which is still popular at clubs in South Beach…and other gay venues all over the country. I didn’t elaborate on this because I didn’t think I had to.

However, the editor left a question mark in tracker, and then she highlighted every other place I’d mentioned Tea Dance. So I was curious, and I put a question out on facebook to see how many other people didn’t know about Tea Dance in gay culture. And I found out there are many who don’t know. So I figured I would put it in a post and give links right now. I also gave a strong explanation of Tea Dance in the book and sent it back to the publisher with the revise. I probably should have known better, but I thought everyone was familiar with it. I’m just glad the copy editor caught it before it was released. One more reason you need an editor.

This is from Urban Dictionary:

Tea dance, often abbreviated as just “tea”, is a term for “happy hour” used among men and women in the gay community. Not necessarily just one hour.
The term can also be qualified by “hight” and “low” to qualify the time of day it occurs. Low tea typically takes place earlier in the evening. High tea is later. And in some larger gay resorts, such as Fire Island, there is even mid-tea which takes place between the two.

In places like Provincetown, MA, Tea Dance is something gay tourists look forward to…sometimes every day of the week. In New Hope, there’s a Tea Dance at The Raven restaurant/bar every Sunday all year long…even in the winter. We go from about 5 in the afternoon until about 7 in the evening. This link to Wiki also gives a good explanation, and gets into the origins of Tea Dance. I know more than one gay couple where Sunday revolves around Tea Dance…or as they say, “Sunday Tea.”

What Is An Aging Gay Circuit Boy?

In my soon to be released novel, FOUR GAY WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, one of the main characters is referred to, as an aging gay circuit boy. So I decided to explain this for those who don’t know what a circuit boy actually is. I honestly believe I’ve ever heard it mentioned anywhere in the mainstream.

Here’s a definition from Urban Dictionary: “A gay man who attends circuit parties on a regular basis. It is usually a very expensive endeavor, since tickets to the parties are generally around $100 per event, and circuit parties usually take place on three to five consecutive nights in the the same city. The term often has a negative connotation.”

Here’s the definition of Circuit Party from Urban Dictionary: “A large, gay dance party, something like a gay version of a rave, but with a gay-oriented music selection (usually pop, progressive house, and tribal). Events are well-promoted, publicized, advertised and organized, are often attended by thousands, can be big charity fundraisers, and are usually expensive to attend.
Since each circuit party occurs on a specific weekend and in a specific city once a year, and there are many parties on “the circuit”, travel and planning are required. Travelling from party to party becomes part of a circuit boy’s lifestyle of travel, networking and partying.Some examples of circuit parties: White Party in Palm springs (April), Black Party in New York (March), the Black and Blue Ball in Montreal (October), the Blue Ball in Philadelphia (January).These are often all-night and multi-day events, and party drugs such as ecstasy, GHB, ketamine and crystal are frequently taken by partygoers.It’s only August, but circuit boy Dave can’t wait! He has already booked his hotel for his favorite circuit party, White Party Palm springs next April.”

Circuit boys are often referred to as “Circuit Queens,” too. In many cases, from what I’ve personally experienced, the lives of some gay men at one time revolved around the next circuit party. It’s almost a counterculture lifestyle. I went to a few circuit parties myself back in the 1990’s, when circuit parties seemed to have reached their peak. And, I personally wasn’t impressed. I’ve never been into drugs; I’ve never cared about gay peer pressure or competition. And a large part of circuit parties were all about competition. I knew men in New York who were embarrassed to say they’d never been to a circuit party, so they lied to keep up with everyone else.

To be a circuit boy you didn’t have to be wealthy. You just had to be smart enough to know how to work the system and max out your credits cards. I did know a few wealthy professional gay men who often frequented circuit parties, but for the most part the circuit boys I knew weren’t considered well off. I dated a guy for about six months who planned his entire life around the next circuit party…he never missed one…when he should have been planning how he was going to pay his rent.

Around the year 2000 I remember hearing less about circuit parties. They still have them now, but I don’t think they are as popular as they were in the 1990’s. Part of this is because there are a lot of aging circuit queens now. They’ve migrated to places I won’t name specifically because I could get into trouble. But these places are warm all year long, they have palms trees everywhere you look, real estate and the standard of living is cheaper, and there are plenty of younger men around to play with.

A lot are still doing steroids and making daily trips to the gym. You can spot them a mile away. You can’t miss the short salt and pepper hair, the Botox, or the tight Spandex shirts. In some cases it’s a mad attempt to stop the clock and recapture youth. And when I was creating my character for FOUR GAY WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL I wanted him to have something that a smart, professional younger gay man would frown upon.

I just hope I did it objectively. I didn’t want this character to come off as a bad character just because he’s an aging gay circuit boy. He’s a product of his younger days when he was a circuit boy in the 1990’s. And there’s also something charming and endearing about him I hope most people will recognize.