When the good Rev. Troy Perry, and 13-year-old trans activist Zoey were announced as Grand Marshals of the 45th Annual Los Angeles Pride parade in West Hollywood, I’m sure I’m not the only one who barked at Siri to wake up and do a Google Search–pero pronto!
So here’s the deal: No one is going to deny a reverend and a 13-year trans teen their moment as Grand Marshal. No way. No how. Not openly. But this year’s Grand Marshals announcement resulted in a silently sibilant umm, hissy fit. People were not having it—“What!? No celebrity name? Not even an 80’s icon? They couldn’t get a D-list name as Grand Marshal? WTF!”
Which is like so not fair, considering this year’s Grand Marshals follow in the footsteps of last year’s Demi Lovato who filmed a music video while riding a float. And you have other celebrity names like Molly Ringwald and Kelly Osbourne to name a few Pride Parade Grand Marshals in recent past years. LGBTQ activism should stand on its own merit, but how does one compete with Molly Ringwald?
I hate to go there, but expectations tend to be set pretty low when it comes to LA Pride–especially during the parade–and especially for those of us who have been at it far too many times. The lack of luxury at the biggest pride festival in Southern California has been the topic of heated discussions for many years at West Hollywood City Hall meetings, as well as in the comments section of WEHOville, so I’m not just being shady about how–in a creative city like West Hollywood, with citizens who boast tight connections to Tinsel Town (is Tinsel Town still a thing?), the results in celebrity turnout can be a little umm, lacking in the luster department at pride.
How…EVER…the weight of a big name for this year’s LA Pride Grand Marshal did not matter much–not really, because speaking from my own personal experience (and it’s all about my own experience), the parade was a lot of FUN this year. It was seriously the most fun I’ve had at a pride parade in a very long time. Yeah, it’s still heavy on the commercial breaks, but this year, the commercials had some wow factor. There were way more floats than I remember with less sleaze; the crowds marching were larger, the gaps between the floats were still there, but they were tighter, the support from large corporations was broader, and the re-occurring message throughout the day was all about love, love, LOVE! And who can argue with love?
Then the Grand Marshal float rolled by with the reverend, his hubby, and little Zoey, who didn’t really smile like she meant it, as she waved halfheartedly to the crowd (teens these dayz). All three sat to the far left, leaving that pretty float with way too much negative space. It looked empty. Why some family and friends were not included on that float to give it some life, beats the daylights right out of me, but whatevs.
Again, no matter, because the Magic Mike XXL flatbed float wafted by and queens in the crowd lost their panties and then they lost their shit—“Is that him? OMG, it’s really him!”
The “him” they were referring to, as we all well know, was none other than Channing Tatum, who was there with his MMXXL movie mates Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez to show some support for the LGBT community, and plug their new movie. The unexpected surprise (redundant, I know) was THE highlight of the entire parade, in my opinion.
I’m pretty agnostic when it comes to Tatum; I didn’t catch the first Magic Mike to be honest—however, I thought it was way cool that these guys showed up at a gay pride parade in West Hollywood to mingle with the gays, show some support in the name of pride and maybe sell a movie ticket or two. They didn’t have to; the float was sexy and loud and fun on its own, but that extra star effort made a world of difference. Sure, they kept their shirts on and Tatum was quick to cover his behind after his shorts split into a giant slit in his rear (he wears briefs), but he gave us some moves, which gave the movie a shitload of publicity, and it drove spectators on Santa Monica Blvd absolutely nuts. It was a great moment.
Oh yeah, and then this happened…
He didn’t see me coming and he didn’t so much as flinch, when I shamelessly rested my head on his shoulder and took a bunch of selfies. Let’s see, we’re about the same size (I’m leaning in so I look smaller), which means he’s taller than I expected. I didn’t really get a good whiff of him, so can’t tell you what he smells like (sorry to all you pervs who have been asking), but I’ll be damned if he didn’t leave me all moist and with a sudden urge to buy a Magic Mike XXL movie ticket (in theaters everywhere, July 1).
I’ll be damned…
And I had no idea Entertainment Tonight was there to capture the selfie moment, which aired on national TV the following night, which was so funny to me.
So yeah, it was a great LA Pride.
Below are some captured parade moments from yours truly, exclusively for this here hiss fit.
Love is love, and I LOVED IT!!!
Ohmygawd, do you guys remember pride rings?
I totally recall those rainbow colored rings that every openly queer person dangled from their necks back in the early 90s. These rings give me a total flashback to a time when you were seriously messing with your very LIFE whenever you put the rainbow colors anywhere on your person. They were about the gayest thing you could encounter–right next to anal beads, and they were bravely displayed in public during a time when the rainbow could get a bottle thrown at your head…or get you some head, depending on your location (feel the rainbow – taste the rainbow).
I had completely forgotten about those rings until I ran into a guy wearing a set on Santa Monica Boulevard around this time last year. I chased after that guy, and I was like, “Oh. Em. Jee! Where did you get THOSE?” He said he had them since the early 90s. Then he totally creeped out when I asked if I could take a photo of them. He seriously refused to let me take a picture, which was like so dumb (bitch, don’t nobody want you, but you…).
I was a mini diva in training in 1991, so I refused to partake on the gay ring circus when everyone else was doing it, because…well…everyone else was doing it (um, like DUH). I used to give my friend Bruce (that bitch was loose) and Fernando (good ole Whorenando) so much shit for being so uncool with their gay rainbow pride clinking from their necks.
However, I didn’t have the same feelings when I ran into those rings last year. In fact, it was such a nostalgic moment for me, that I immediately went on Ebay to try to hunt for a set. I remember you used to be able to buy these rings at every corner in West Hollywood back in the day, before little rainbow gay boutiques became extinct. I remember they made them in rainbow colored triangle shapes as well.
I finally found a pair just in time for Pride season this year, but they make them a lot smaller than I remember, but still super cute (visit prideshack.com).
I can totally picture Bruce coming at me with, “I thought you said rainbow rings were uncool.” He has a good memory–that one.
To which I would reply, “Um, it’s retro.” But I would say it like it’s a question to pump up the bitch factor.
Anyway, it took me almost over 25 years to get on board, but I love my new rainbow rings. I’m sooo bringing them back. They take me to a point in time when the rainbow colors had some real significance.
HAPPY PRIDE MY DARRRLINKS!!!
I downloaded the gay insta-hookup app Gridr into my phone to enter their Madonna #LivingForLove Sweepstakes, which promised five lucky fans a chance to win a chat with M on Grindr and also receive an autographed copy of M’s latest album Rebel Heart.
The contest rules were simple enough. All I had to do was recreate Madonna’s album artwork for “Rebel Heart” with me as the star, and post it as my Grindr profile picture, along with the hashtag #LivingForLove before the end of Valentines Day.
It’s not easy putting yourself out there as a Madonna gay, especially in a gay app where guys pretend to be straight, but I’m partnered, and way too many bitches know who I am for me to get any ideas that Grindr could ever get me hooked up in the extramarital way.
Now I don’t know about you bitches, but I think I did a pretty good job with my #LivingForLove photo. If the winning submission was based on merit, I thought I had a good chance, on account of I wrapped the cord around my torso and I tattooed my tit in true Rebel Heart fashion—it turns out the winner will be selected at random (air quotes) and “shall be determined by the Sponsor at their sole discretion.”
This is what I was up against, as far as my phone could reach:
I thought my chances were good, but alas…my efforts to get noticed did not pay off. Instead of getting an email announcing that I was victorious, my ass received a pop-up message stating that my #LivingForLove photo was out of line with Grindr standards and the photo was (poof) deleted.
I was like, WHAT!!!??? Too hot for Grindr? You have GOT to be shitting me?
Grindr Guidelines Are as Follows:
I scanned my Rebel Heart photo for any rules I may have broken. I’m shirtless. Does that imply nudity? My hands appear to be bound behind my back. Am I kinda/sorta playing on kinky bondage sex? Are the cords considered a sex toy? Why ask users to recreate an image where cords are binding Madonna’s face? The whole thing made no kind of sense.
I was beyond PISSED! I contacted them immediately.
I braced myself for a number of possibilities and prepared to call foul at the hands of censorship.
However…I should have known a hater was behind my deletion. It turns out some bitter queen got all gels over my super kewt Grindr profile pic, so he reported my photo to have it removed and sabotage any small chance I had of winning a chat with Madonna.
Trip out on this shiiiieettt:
A hateful bitch straight up LIED and said I was using his photo and impersonating him to bump me out of the picture (literally).
I think what he did is evil, dirty, shady and yet–I must admit–brilliant (clever girl).
A hater’s job is to hate. If you know my history, then you know that I’m quite familiar with haters hating on me. I forget they’re still out there, but I still say, well played you hateful bitch. How gleeful this queen must’ve been when he saw my Rebel Heart photo fade to a dark Grinr default screen.
I can’t be mad at a hater for hating, for that is what haters do; they hate—HOWEVER, it REALLY burned my ass UP that Grindr representative Claudio was asking me to jump through hoops to prove that I’m the guy in the profile photo. Wait, you want me to email you a copy of my fucking passport? Are you kidding me?
I sent them a photo of me holding a piece a paper with my email address to humor them. I asked point blank: What are the Grindr guidelines/rules/regulations when a user makes a false accusation that he is being impersonated? Grindr hacked my photo off its database with no questions asked, yet I have to prove I’m me? I have to risk having my ID information stolen by some guy named Claudio who probably lives in the Philippines, or somewhere in India? All that, so I can continue using the Grindr app? Oh…BUT NO!!!
I reckon, if you say “hi” to a guy and the guy doesn’t say “hi” back, you can report him for impersonating you and have him banned–no questions asked.
I’m still waiting for an answer bytheway. It’s been almost a week.
Then there’s the actual Grindr user experience.
I’m partnered. Admittedly, I have no business being in a hookup site for single people (Madonna made me do it). But let me tell you, little has changed since the last time I downloaded Grindr back when I was single over four years ago. I found it a complete waste of time then and I can’t say it generates a feeling of time well spent today. You still encounter lines of headless, shirtless torsos that heatedly demand to see your face while they conveniently hide under a veil of cropped anonymity. You have all these bossy bottoms with all these stupid rules and demands–telling other users how they must conduct themselves around their headless profile pictures—“Send me this. Don’t say that. Must have this. Or you will get blocked.”
And oh how these bitches love the power of the block button. I’m sorry, but they’re basically saying, “Somebody hurt my feelings when they blocked me, so I will not hesitate to distribute the same kind of hurt if you are not what I want, do what I want, or say what I want.”
UGH! Don’t even get me started with the boring bi/straight homobros on the DL who grasp at this dim perception of masculinity, which is nothing more than a caricature of a straight bona fide douche hole (homobro: a gay dude who hangs on the word “bro” to establish his masculinity in the Grindr pecking order). I just—I can’t with these internalized homophobes.
Then there’s the Grindr/Extra App itself…
Exactly what do I get for the $11.99 I paid for one month?
The App freezes and it crashes constantly. And the filters never work. I deliberately say no to anyone under 35 to let these younger fuckers know that the age-discriminating sword cuts both ways, yet I’m continually hit on by 22-year olds…who constantly ask for me for “more photos.”
The whole thing has been a joyless experience. It would have been nice to win a chat with Madonna, but I have my doubts about the fairness of the Sweepstakes. I doubt Claudio will ever respond to my questions. My photo could have been removed for a number of reasons, none of which really matter much to me as I reach the end of this blog.
I mean, seriously, in the big scheme of things, who gives a shit? It’s not real life. It’s only Grindr.
Below is an article I wrote about my fascination with that diva kid (or is it kid diva?) Brendan Jordan, which was published in The Final Fight section of The Fight Magazine last month.
I wasn’t going to, but I decided to share.
BY PAULO MURILLO
Brendan Jordan is that 15-year old diva kid from Las Vegas who shot out of a bedazzled rock and into viral super-duper stardom after he photo bombed a newscaster at a mall. He stood out of a crowd of screaming little girls with impromptu dance moves and various poses that reminded me of Madonna’s Vogue video, but it turns out he was actually channeling Lady Gaga’s “Applause” video (moving along).
A lot has happened since he first introduced us to his stank face last October. The video has had well over 3 million views, he’s nearing 300,000 followers on Instagram, he was a guest on the Queen Latifah Show, and he must’ve peed in his fishnet stockings when the one and only Mother Monster sent him a shout out via Twitter, which catapulted his Twitter followers to 40K.
Jordan ended 2014 with an American Apparel ad campaign after he expressed his undying love for the brand in his youtube video channel, where he uses his video blogs as a platform to raise awareness for LGBT issues and empower LGBT youth not to smoke, not to do drugs, and to love themselves. He uses the word “like,” like a lot in his videos. He talks about fashion, reads fan mail and he really is a ton of queeny fun.
The American Apparel ads feature Jordan looking pretty in pink, wearing tights and there’s even a cute shot of him in a see-through skirt, because he’s not one to conform to boy’s clothes. Again, his poses in the photos smack of Madonna circa 1980s, but in all fairness, the kid hadn’t been born yet, so Lady Gaga can have this one.
They don’t make 15-year-olds like they used to when I was growing up. Jordan looks prepubescent. I thought he was 12. Most would peg this androgynous ginger kid at a disadvantage from a superficial viewpoint, with his big metal braces, fiery freckles, and hints of baby fat, yet he appears to be so comfortable in his own skin, he channels so much positive energy, inner fierceness, and has such a sense of humor about himself, that you can’t help but fall in love with him and root for him, despite his devotion for Gaga (kidding).
He’s honestly the kind of kid I would have naturally gravitated towards when I was little, but I was never allowed playing with, because his gayness was so obvious and my gayness was always under suspicion.
Jordan joins the ranks of modern day gaylebrities who are famous for being famous. What makes his story inspiring to me is the cast of characters in the background who support him for being his big gay fabulous self. Jordan is half Peruvian (I’m not sure what makes up his other half) and according to his video blog, his parents have been very supportive of his gayness. They took him out for sushi and encouraged him to come out of the closet. His father said he was excited for him after Jordan revealed he had feelings for other boys. Dad being Hispanic and pro-gay is a welcoming shift in the winds between fathers and gay sons. I wonder if that video would have ever happened if Jordan had to hide being gay from his folks. Of course, be yourself, doesn’t mean be like Lady Gaga, but what would our childhoods look like if we have been encouraged to be our true authentic selves?
Like Jordan, I was in the nightly news once. My mother caught a glimpse of me standing in line outside the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood to watch Madonna star as Evita back in 1995. Mom was not amused, and I was just standing there with a bunch of men who may or may not have been gay. She would have stuffed me in a bag and thrown me into the LA River had I started voguing and throwing stank faces at the camera, but those were different times and she’s become more accepting in these modern days.
I wonder what gay kids think of Jordan. I wonder if they see him as a beacon of hope, or if they recoil with embarrassment. Does he give gay youth a false sense of security? Are gay kids today really this open about their gayness, or is Jordan a special case? Jordan speaks of how he like, likes boys, but I wonder what his life will look like after he truly discovers his homosexuality in all its homo sex glory? Pink see-through skirts are cute and all–they make a cool fuck-you statement, but I’m forced to wonder, do they get you laid?
Whatever the future holds for Brendan Jordan, 2014 was a fierce year for this unapologetic little diva. His massive popularity tells me that we can relax a little. I think the kids are going to be okay.