Peru is a hot tranny mess. In fact, South America as a whole is chock-full of transexuals, all waiting to get to the United States to surgically reassign their gender and then become extra fabulous members of the gay pride parade, which took place this last weekend in NYC. The entire affair was everything a gay man could hope for- long, in public, and coming for hours and hours. However, a rather long (yellow brick) road led up to all that was Pride 2008.
While that transition would be perfect to explain the historical significance of Stonewall, or even a chance to explain the penny versus thong incident at the Yankees game (my bad), I will instead focus on the historical significance of an underground band known as the Janice Dickinsons- who began my personal long road to pride. As a founding member of the JDs I was thrilled when 2/3 of the other JD veterans schlupted their lazy asses all the way to NYC via piss-stained buss. The Janice Dickinsons are known for a lot of things- liquor, projectile vomit, lying, amazing live shows- but we’re not well known for traveling without incident. Fiftydollarbill and Gretchiepoo both made it to NYC without causing a raucus, so it was left up to me to drop the ball. Thus rookie NYC mistake #26: Broadway does not become East Broadway… ever. East Broadway is in Chinatown, with the noodles and delicious coffee and the 2 JDs who waited patiently in the rain for me to arrive.
Myself angry and soaked, Fiftydollarbill and Gretchiepoo both happy and a bit tipsy, we headed immediately to McKenna’s once I collected them from a seedy Chinatown hotel. At McKenna’s we drowned our problems and bludgeoned our braincells with the world’s strongest rum and coke and I was well on my way to becoming a Blackout Betty until she appeared…. or maybe he…
The week of the Hot Tranny Mess officially began when Sheman introduced her/his self to us (always with the female pronoun in front, as I learned from the legos). Not quite a drag queen so much as a hideously pock-marked woman who likely had a penis, Sheman was very drunk and very eager to make our acquaintance, though we were quitely partaking in not-so-barely-legal drinks in a tiny booth. No booth is too large or small for Sheman, though. With her powerful badunk and ugly mug she was able to clear a swath right through the bar and stumble over to our booth, where she chatted with us, grabbed Gretchiepoo’s ass, and planted an extremely wet one on me.
My first kiss in New York and it’s from a (supposed) woman. Fantastic.
I’m not positive what happened the rest of the night, but I awoke with two friends asleep on my living room floor and pizza in the refrigerator… which leads me to believe I was healthy enough to walk home on my own power that night! Well done.
After such a trashy perfect evening with the world’s best band mates, we decided to spent an evening on the other side of class and got dressed up (except for Gretchiepoo, she doesn’t dress up, she instead wore shorts and accessorized with a blow-dryer burn mark) and headed to see Phantom of the Opera. Broadway, not the East Broadway bitch street, but the real Broadway. 42nd street. Phantom, the longest running musical in Broadway history. And three liquor soaked midwest kids sitting in the nose bleeds. Needless to say, it was perfect.
An evening atop the Empire State Building, an afternoon at the Met, and a day spent drinking 5 HOUR ENERGY DRINKS on the equally classy Staten Island provided for quite a bit of amusement. For the first time in this city I had friends to play in my ball pit o’success.
And then they left.
No worries, though, as KGB came to the rescue in less than a day. Korea Going Blonde arrived in Manhattan immediately after I got out of work (a television network that is still being vague about full time employment opportunities) and we whisked around the city for quite a few days. Which is to say, we went to see a Broadway play, visited McKenna’s quite frequently, and left quite a few people confused about what to expect. One highlight would include her visiting friend, who met the same fate that everyone of my friends meets at McKenna’s… only this tag-team black out lead both KGB and her friend to train to Jersey for the night. You know it’s a rough night when you wake up confused in Jersey the next morning. Even more rough when you wake up alongside a brand new 50 dollar vibrator that you can’t recall purchasing. That little dolphin will make itself memorable in no time.
Another moment which explains my relationship with KGB quite well (aside from the meaningful conversations and actions we participate in, because those don’t count) is the night I took her out to Little Italy for a dinner with the other media fellows that I’m in NYC with for these few months. Most of them are incredibly smart and excel in media (aside from Mormonzo and Preacher Man, that is), which means they are well behaved. Thus why I keep a safe distance.
Somewhere between laughs about scary transexuals and the hilarious homeless man who sang “Ain’t too proud to Beg” on the metro- one of my fellow fellows leaned in to listen to our chat and was forced to ask “Why are you guys discussing circumcision at dinner?” Aside from the obvious answer, Italian restaurant, we had to nonchallantly explain that this was standard conversation, this particular topic is one often on our lips. The rest of the group was not as interested in fleshing out the details of preference on this one, but it’s no surprise that KGB is quite comfortable with either variety- she’s had a slew of foreign boyfriends. I explained that it was an area I wasn’t familiar with yet.
And then Nelly Furtaco came to visit. Nearly a year after having been told “I love you” by Nelly at the MOST inappropriate time in history, our relationship has recovered and we seem to have agreed that it’s best we forget he said it and that I didn’t react so well when he did… Awkward. Anyway, nearly a year has passed and Nelly looks better than ever, which was a large motivator to come to NYC for pride weekend. I was excited for him to meet KGB so that she could put a face with the story, and as soon as I introduced them I remembered our conversation in Little Italy. I have had that experience.
A lovely night spent gawking, dancing, and sipping at a Middle Eastern club (Pride Habibi!) tuckered us out on Friday night and after getting massively lost for a bit of the day on Saturday (5th ave and 1st street don’t intersect… ever… rookie mistake #27) we arrived at a small Indian restaurant named Milon. Milon is on the second floor of a building and directly across the porch is a competing restaurant that offers the exact same menu, two men calmly wait for you to approach the restaurant and then forcefully convince you to come to their side of the porch to enjoy their restaurant’s entirely unoriginal food. These two men will split up your dinner party if you are not prepared.
Siding with the cuter of the two pushy Indian restauranteurs, KGB, Nelly and myself entered Milon, which looks less like the similarly pronounced Italian city and instead much like you would imagine a dollhouse decorated by a tranny who wanted to give her/his dolls epilepsy. It even makes that much sense. Peppers hanging everywhere, inexplicable blinking lights, wrapping paper, and a few inflatible dinosaurs in the canopy. At 7 dollars a plate, this is perhaps the most underwhelming food and overwhelming visual stimulus that you can get in the city without eating left overs in a crack den. The place is fantastic, and I will be frequenting often. The food isn’t too remarkable, but good home cooked Indian food served with delicious garlic naan and a decor that would give your retinas A.D.D.
After MIlon and a bout of Rick & Steve (rent it, be violated by it, love it) the three of us headed out to a birthday party for a friend that I’ve made in the city… the whole one friend I’ve made here in the city, actually. Half of the Harlam Harem (a kind group of media kids who now live in the city), Fozzy is a cute girl who knows how to throw a party… a party that was attended by the woman who used to be the head of the program that is footing my rent and living expenses while I work with the network… a party in which I blacked out with this woman who used to be the head of my program, and apparently a party where I started talking- A LOT.
Glossing over the blurry night (and the fact that I told a story and then immediately unknowingly retold it until a friend cut me off), life began to come back into focus when KGB, Nelly and myself all wandered out of a diner at 6 am and noticed that it was light out. As we poured ourselves into bed KGB revealed another surprise, we would soon be pouring caffeinated vodka into our gullets, as the former head of my program had unknowningly gifted us a bottle of PINK. KGB may have woken up in Jersey with a vibrator that wasn’t there the morning before, but I went to bed with a 5th of go-go vodka that wasn’t there the night before… I win. A buzz beats a buzzer for any guy in town.
Raising myself from the living room floor a mere 5 hours later was rough, but the ebbing headache demanded early morning Jamba Juice… and who am I to resist the headache throb that demands juice? No one. So I trekked my swollen brain to the nearby faux-health store and purchased myself some vitamin boosted brain freeze before heading out to the main event- pride parade!
As a midwest transplant, there was really no way to prepare for the over-the-top gala that took place, drag queens still scare me and crowded places are distinctly unlike the cornfields of my undergraduate days. However, the spectacle was everything I could’ve imagined it was, only with more glitter. It had all the colors of a dinner at Milon, all the boisterous celebration of a Janice Dickinsons concert and none of the morning after apologies, and it was spent with friends. For the first time I’m beginning to understand what a gay community is- more than the shallow sex we’re all warned about and instead a network of people who really just care about loving eachother. Not just physically, but as friends and neighbors, as gay soccer teams and color guards (self-proclaimed Flaggots, no less) and churches and parents and teachers and motorcycle enthusiasts (naturally) and politicians and foreign immigrants and stray straight folks and even a few st-st-stutterers… and just about everything else. And the event is not just for the gays, even my former academic adviser came to the event from Ohio and invited me to dinner afterwards. Pride is for the family… except the exhibisionist leather people, they’re not for the family. The parade lasts for hours and is a giant party.
But then it rained… It rained for quite a while and everyone was soaked. People responded by cheering everytime there was a thunder clap and parade floats responded by blasting “Its Raining Men” and taking off more clothes. PFLAG kept marching and old women kept passing out condoms, just to people who were wet. And it was encouraging, with a straight friend and gay friend, a friend from home and a friend from city life, and with New York, that I felt content for once. No striving for the ball pit o’ success, no more hangover, no more choosing words carefully, no more running around the city nonstop, just lots of good friends and supportive folks.
Except the Peruvians. They were busy applying waterproof mascara. All of them.
[so the day Noah’s ark floats down Park my eyes will be simply glazed over]