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Friday 12.19.14

Performance: A VERY MUSLIM CHRISTMAS

I was reading the description for this show, it starts like this, “America’s most celebrated Hollywood legend, Nicholas Gorham, returns this year with a brand new television special live from Egypt!” My first reaction was “really? mmmkay,” but then seconds later, I realized that they were not really serious — I love crazy shit like this... I am not saying that Nicholas couldn’t host a live show from Egypt, in fact, I can tell you that the boy is very talented and we have loved his nice ass since we first saw him perform, but it’s unlikely. When Tom first saw him, he was like, he’s so good, “I want to have sex with him...” Anyways, I went to Facebook chat and tracked down Nicholas to ask him more about this. “The whole show is crazy,” I was right! “The play’s premise is that we are in Egypt doing a U.S.O tour and are forced to rethink our misconceptions about the Muslim world. I always write a Christmas play that is more about our society and the collective issues...I’ve found that this time of year is when, as an outsider, all of America’s insanity becomes its most epic, so I feel as though it’s the perfect time to showcase how ridiculous we all are about things.” Nicholas will be joined by other performers (and members of the cast) including Enid Ellen, Cynthia Bastidas and David Commander. Click here for tickets!

$15, 8:00PM, WILD PROJECT, 195 East 3rd St. New York, NY.

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Thursday 12.18.14

Party: MY CHIFFON IS WET GRADUATION

All good parties in New York City eventually end. It happens, and if you live in NYC, you should know that sometimes it’s a good thing, because it makes space for a brand new party. I am definitely going to miss My Chiffon Is Wet. I went there lots of times and got wasted, danced, carried and did lots of other things that I don’t remember. This is how we described the party when we first wrote about it: “It’s its energy that makes My Chiffon Is Wet always a fun party to attend…wet chiffon, cheap drinks, dancing drag queens…what the fuck else could you ask for?” We still feel that way, and Leo Gugu is still a great host — she posted this on Instagram: “The moment is here!!! Thank you all for the love and support throughout the years. #mychiffoniswet is coming to a close this Thursday at #easternbloc! I am so blessed to have had so many wonderful nights with all of you!!!” The party is of course hosted by Paisley Dalton, Merrie Cherry and Leo herself. One last chance to get your pussy soaked!

FREE, 10:00PM, Eastern Bloc, 505 E 6th St. New York, NY.

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Wednesday 12.17.14

Jay Boogie Preaches Plush Aggression

Jay Boogie's new album is out now!

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Jay Boogie’s name may sound familiar but it’s time you got to know him better. Maybe you’ve seen his name on a party flyer or in the video for trabajo. Maybe his name rings a bell as it brings together two iconic but unlikely divas — Lauryn Hill, otherwise known as L Boogie and Liberace who gave us the song Boogie Woogie Nights. Getting to know Jay Boogie means getting to know an artist confident in who he is — someone who smoks blunts in Jordans while  carrying multiple Louis Vuitton pieces.

 

It’s in his Louis V duffle bag that Jay Boogie brings the looks for the shoot. He’s working with some pieces from Luar Zepol’s new line and 5 or so pairs of sneakers. Jay takes his makeup and we begin talking about his sound, where it comes from and where it’s going: “My first two eps were laying the groundwork, giving gay kids growing up in the hood the tools they need to survive. For this project, it was more like this is my idea of what living in the now looks like. As a result I got futuristic, Afro, detailed and just a feisty nasty mouth.”

 

Confidence is what propels Jay through multiple contexts, switching codes while maintaining a sense of self built on never sitting still. Moving between East New York and the Dominican Republic, with a history in New York’s vogue scene and an ear for DR’s ‘dem bow’ sound, Jay Boogie carries it all with him. What unifies the disparate pieces is a bravado bred out of necessity. “Anywhere somebody looked at her or said something, it was a rap, I was just that girl: boisterous. Is there a problem? What’s the problem?” Pulling together the driving beats of the DR, the flair of the Ball scene and his own conversational rap style, Jay Boogie’s music flows with a confidence that conceals the need for aggression.

 

When he describes his sound and performance he calls it a plush aggression: It’s the idea that if you carry yourself confidently you can do anything, including move between cultures, languages, regions and genders without losing yourself. “Plush aggression appeals to my perception of progression, it’s very realistic to how I’ve ended up dealing with my experiences. For me, progression is the idea of embracing what you go through and allowing it to be a staple and a building block for everything you do in the future.” It’s by building off a past that lays in so many different places that Jay creates something new. Whether it’s outcast shows in the DR or performing for club kids downtown, Jay Boogie gives softness a layered and serrated edge.

 

JoelCourtneyHavier_2_GAYLETTERThis image and below: Outfit by Luar zepol, necklace by Armour

 

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When you go home to the DR what do you bring back with you? I always bring back my confidence 2.0, because out there to be yourself you have to be so secure. People always ask oh isn’t there gay bashing? and to me it’s so interesting because I noticed in the DR, the community feeds off of your confidence. So when all the straight boys see you loving yourself they have no choice but to love you. Because I’m smiling, I’m laughing, I’m carrying, like why would you be upset with me having a good time? But Americans beg to differ… Boys out here are so insecure.

 

Where does that difference come from? I think it’s because America as a whole has a lack of definite culture, we’re just a melting pot of people’s concepts of culture, people’s concepts of race, and then when you go to these countries or islands and everyone’s just for themselves and for the sun and for the water they just learn how to live with themselves, whereas us in America we’re always just hustling and trying to make that next move and never really taking a minute to breathe so as soon as someone comes in your situation they’re like hold up girl where are you trying to fit in this deck of cards. SO back at home [in the DR], there’s room for everybody, everybody is like come eat in my house come live in my world, whereas the men out here they feel threatened, so if they see me in a crop top they feel like I’m coming for their sexuality, I’m coming for their being as a man.

 

In the DR you don’t feel like being yourself is intruding on anyone else? No, out there it’s like oh you’re happy? I’m happy that you’re happy lets drink this beer. So I’m out there crop top, G String it’s whatever you want.

 

What’s the gay scene like in the DR? Well it varies from town to town because it’s not a cosmo country, so each city has their own little gay set up. So my favorite setup is Santiago because that’s where the cunts are more liberal, you find armies and crop top gangs and extensions, they have this genre of Dembow in the DR and they have the first openly gay Dembow artist down there. My town, it’s very behind so it’s more like if we’re having sex we’re having sex like after dark down by the river behind a tree, you won’t see us. But in Santiago it’s like that’s the men I like, that’s the men I want, that’s the men I love, that’s the men I have. In the capital it’s like pinky up, socialite gay, the elite kind of situation.

 

joel_gayletter_6This image and below: Outfit by Luar zepol, necklace by Armour

 

 

How do you feel you fit in when you go back to the DR? You kind of have this dual place where you’re partially out in Brooklyn and partially out in the DR. I try and leave everything here [in NY when I go to the DR] because my point when I go out there is to get clarity and inspiration.

 

So is the DR your clarity? Definitely, this trip in particular I found a lot of clarity. There was a lot of serenity involved and it helped me put a lot of stuff in perspective about life and the album. And as far as fitting in out there I don’t feel like I fit in. I feel like part of my mission when I go to the DR is to give outcast shows, because it’s my duty as someone that was raised out there to go back and let them know that life goes on beyond what they’re experiencing. There’s life beyond this. One example was when I had on this nike spandex situation, like a nasty yoga pant, and my grandma was like you’re wearing underwear don’t leave the house like that. She was like ‘muchacho que seso’ and I was like grandma, girl this is what I give in America this is it, living healthy.

 

What’s your take on NY nightlife and the kinds of interconnections it has with fashion, art, music and other cultural spaces? Hard to tell, believe it or not I’m not involved in nightlife as much as people think. If my presence is called upon I’m in the building. I have a job and tons of responsibilities as an adult so I can’t just be at functions to be at them. I’m just not that into New York’s nightlife.

 

I saw on your facebook and Instagram that you had a leaked sex tape. Did you get caught up in the recent hacking situation? HA! Well it’s a real goal of mine, however that was just a video to an old song. My confidant Torr Love and I ended up fooling around, got in some looks, stepped outside, I performed, stormed the neighborhood and paid it. The usual. All captured on this sony handy cam from like 2007. Literal sex tape coming soon though.

 

What should we expect from your new album Allure? The sounds of my youth, the sounds of self-motivation and elevation, the sounds of confidence… The mission has been to speak to younger versions of myself and provide them with tools to fight against the GURLZ who try it and how to get by as a young queen. In my music I share my survival tactics, my fitness tactics, my coin getting strategies and face serving techniques. The only thing that has changed for ALLURE is the sonic experience as far as compassion goes. That shall remain a mystery until it ever so gently travels through your headphones. Shout out to my producer Flex Lang.

 

Can you tell me a little about your fragrance? BODY BY JOEL is my signature fragrance designed to celebrate the body a.k.a. a pheromone enhancer. Coins, lust, luxury, dim lights, winter dinners, mystique, million dollar pussy, fab trade… These are all the things that BODY embraces and attracts. Visit www.JOELNEWYORK.com for more information

 

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JoelCourtney_gayletterThis image: Pants by Luar zepol, top by Whatever 21

 

 

Jay Boogie’s Allure is available to stream on December 12 on the Opening Ceremony website.

 

Performance: Christmas with the Crawfords

Let me set the stage — we’re in Joan Crawford’s living room in Hollywood and famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper is there to do a live Christmas broadcast with Joan and her children... then the shit hits the fan. Gary Cooper lives next door and there’s a steady stream of guest’s ringing the doorbell thinking they’re going to Cooper’s party that continually interrupt the broadcast. Joan is played by none other than Joey Arias, who delivers a beyond stellar performance, Chris March (yes the Project Runway former contestant) plays the beloved daughter Christina, Connie Champagne is Judy Garland, Flotilla DeBarge is Hattie McDaniel, and a flawless Sherry Vine plays Hopper and cinema’s Baby Jane Hudson. There’s a parade of other Hollywood luminaries that stop by including Carmen Miranda, Liberace, Ethel Merman, The Andrew Sisters and a hilarious Gloria Swanson. It’s really a technicolor wonder beautifully staged and performed with the perfect ironic dose of holiday cheer. Come one, come all, just make sure you come! Get tickets!  

$45, 7:30PM, Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St. New York, NY.

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Tuesday 12.16.14

Hi, Paul

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Paul was born and raised in Oakdale, Long Island — he’s a senior in High School. He’s so far the youngest of our selfie boys but he’s already dating and all of that, sweet right? Paul is not a virgin, he even dated a few girls to experiment, but never had sex with them, so that makes him a gold star gay. He found out that he was gay when he was 15 and that’s when he told his parents — he couldn’t deny his attraction to Zayn Malick any longer. Shortly after that he meet his first boyfriend. He’s now single.

 

He’s hoping to become an english teacher when he “grows up.” His favorite part of his body is his butt “it’s nice lol” and in other guys he love arms. His idea of a perfect date “would be going to a coffee shop and walking around NYC.” He told me he prefers dating guys that are a few years older than him. “I like spanish guys. brown hair, brown eyes…I don’t like blondes or light eyes at all.” Interracial! His only beauty routine is dealing with his hair, which takes him a lot of time to get right, “some product, blow dry and hair spray.” He hates working out, “I go sometimes,” he prefers sleeping, it’s one of the things that makes him the happiest. I don’t blame him going to the gym can get boring.

 

We asked Paul to take a few selfies wearing our GAYLETTER t-shirt — here’s what he came up with.

 

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Monday 12.15.14

Black Lives Matter: Millions March NYC Protest

Sunday 12.14.14

Event: LOWER EAST SIDE ART DRIVET DRIVE

Just like the protests for injustice that are going on at the moment, this is also a very important issue. There are thousands of people with no homes and food out there, and that’s not only because they lost control of their lives, but also because the rent is so damn high. The Bowery Mission continues to serve the homeless and hungry in New York City. This year, The Bowery Mission provided more than 392,000 meals to men, women and children, 98,000 nights of shelter and 45,000 articles of clothing, as well as showers, haircuts, and expert medical and optometric care.” They do a lot, which costs money. This Sunday they’re hosting the annual L.E.S. Art Drive. It’s a one-day silent auction and their first fundraiser of this kind. Basically a bunch of artists with ties to the neighborhood will donate art for you to bid on. The event will be hosted at the New Museum’s ground-floor space at 231 Bowery. This is a great opportunity for you to acquire some new art, you can turn up on the day or bid at their online auction, If you are not into art or auctions just go to the mission and help however you can!

BID PRICES VARY, 1:00PM-6:00PM, The New Museum’s ground-floor, 231 Bowery NY, NY.

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BABY TEA :: SAT.12/13

A new monthly with the Dauphine of Bushwick and Guest DJs. December featured DJs Yackez and Charlene and birthday gals Arantxa Araujo and Larissa Velez-Jackson

Saturday 12.13.14

Do: MILLIONS MARCH NYC

Let’s be honest, young black men are unfairly targeted by the police force in this country at an alarming rate. Let’s just say it happens enough that even white people have started to notice it. And it’s really starting to piss everyone off. “Protect and Serve” is starting to sound as ludicrous as Fox’s tagline “Fair And Balanced.” Justice shouldn’t be an illusory thing like unicorns or cheap Manhattan apartments, it should be available to all of us. When a cop chokes an unarmed bystander to death they should be held accountable. When a cop kills an unarmed teen there should be consequences. This Saturday, December 13th tell the world that BLACK LIVES MATTER. That ALL LIVES MATTER. Head to Washington Square Park and let your voice be heard. Protest peacefully and send a message to those in control: enough is enough. As the organizers say: “This is not too ambitious. This is possible. This must happen in every major city, so spread the word. From west to east. Invite as many people as possible.” Times they are a changin'.  

FREE, 2:00PM, Washington Square Park, New York, NY.

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A Murray Little Christmas

Featuring Bridget Everett, Perle Noire, Trixie Little, Mr. Gorgeous, Carmine Covelly & The Craig's List Quartet

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The “reigning patriarch of downtown performance,” Murray Hill kicks off the festive season on December 13th with his annual sold-out show, A Murray Little Christmas. A staple of the New York comedy and the burlesque scene, he’s performed, emceed, hosted and cameo-d across the world, accruing rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times, Time Out and New York Magazine — and of course he’s a GAYLETTER favorite.

 

With his signature blend of comedy, music and heart, this one night only performance is an absolute must. And no cocktail holiday party would be complete without the riotous Bridget Everett, one of this year’s VIP guests, who will join Perle Noire, Trixie Little, Mr. Gorgeous and Carmine Covelli (a.k.a. Sebastian the Elf) in ensuring this is a night to remember (or not, depending on how free flowing the booze is).

 

A Murray Little Christmas’ home this year is (Le) Poisson Rouge, and doors open at 6:30PM. Tickets — if you’re lucky enough to find any left — can be purchased here. So get your dose of holiday cheer, and have a gay ol’ time.