I suited up and showed up accordingly in my red semi-sheer tank top with The Hiss Fit.com stenciled across my tits for a cheap shot at self-promotion at a Gay Day at Disneyland on Saturday, October 1.
I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been before. My friend Dan got me a ticket to celebrate his birthday, so I was ready to get down with a cluster of gays and witness whatever it is that gays are supposed to do when they take over a theme park.
Were gays supposed to bust out into some flashmob dance moves? Take over Fantasyland and create their own t-dance? Or put up a curtain and create a dark room in the darkest corner of the Pirates of Caribbean ride (I’ll say it again and again: If there’s a gay, there’s a way)? Did I think gays would hi-five each other, exchange a secret handshake or give each other a hug and squeal with delight every time they saw a flash of red turn a corner? I guess not. Not really. My point is, I didn’t know how to behave.
A Gay Day at Disneyland is sort of redundant in every meaning of the word gay, whether it’s in the happy or homo sense, or even when you talk about it being gay in a bad way for those who like to hate on this happiest place on earth.
I’m sorry, but Disneyland is SOOOooo gay.
Turns out, Gay Day at Disney really is just another day as far is Disney Inc. is concerned. The real link to the events is a weekend called Gay Days in Anaheim, which are three days packed with a kick off party, pool party, gatherings, live performances, celebrity appearances, group photo ops, scavenger hunts, private meals, and much more at Disneyland and the surrounding areas in Anaheim. At a cost, of course.
According to folklore: Many, many years ago, Disneyland used to have a private party one night of the year for gays and lesbians. I believe it was called Gay Night at Disneyland. When the event was canceled in 1998, Gay Days Anaheim was born, which is based on a similar theme in Orlando, Florida that is known to attract over 100,000 gays and lesbians from around the world each June. Like the Orlando event, Gay Days Anaheim is a “mix in,” meaning gay people force themselves upon unsuspecting straight people, who have no choice but to mix with the gays, because how could they know that the day they chose was marked red? Yep, the park is open to the general public. Also like Orlando’s Gay Day, everyone wears RED shirts to identify one another for a show of numbers.
So unless you sign up for Gay Days Anaheim (which we didn’t), you show up in your gay color and that’s pretty much it. You stand in line and ride the rides, you acknowledge this homo and that homo over there, and you try to stay out of judgement and restrain yourself from giving a queen the the side-eye and screaming, “Bitch, that’s not RED! That’s MAROON!”
And speaking of wearing red, you can’t help but pity the straight fool who showed up at Disneyland wearing a whorie red shirt that day.
We met one while we waited in line at The Haunted Mansion. He was a youngish dad with his wife and two daughters. He was kind of sexy in his red shirt. He leaned into me and said, “I never wear red. Ever. And of course the one day I decide to wear red is the day when red is gay. I called my gay bud and he was making fun of me.”
I thought it was hilarious.
Dan was not impressed.
I thought the guy was being friendly.
Dan thought he wanted to make it clear he wasn’t gay, like it was a bad thing.
I thought he had a sense of humor about him looking like a big gay.
Dan thought he was secretly gay.
Whatever the case, aside from this young lady who offered me her french fries at California Adventure (inwardly I was offended—“Do I look hungry bitch?”–0utwardly I say, “yes, thank you…” just to be polite), that straight guy in the red shirt is the only man who went out of his way to speak to us that entire day.
Anyway, I had a real blast. It’s Disneyland! How can you not?
Of course, it would’ve been nice to see every employee at the Disney park wearing a red Gay Days shirt, but there were still a number of employees walking around the park with rainbow props and offering to take people’s photos, as if to say, “We see you. We acknowledge you. We love you. And we love your money. You disgusting, DIRTY homos.”
Just kidding about that last line.
For more on Gay Days in Anaheim, visit: gaydaysanaheim.com.
It’s been two months since the Orlando murders at the Pulse gay Nightclub in Florida. And it’s been just about that long since I last posted on this here hiss fit.
The blood from the murdered 49 was probably not completely dry yet when we woke up on Sunday, June 12, to get ready to celebrate Los Angeles Pride 2016. Outlandish outfits that had been planned for months were good to go, gym bodies had been meticulously sculpted and ready for a big reveal, and if we’re going to be for reals here, some knives were sharpened and aimed at Christopher Street West (CSW)–the non-profit organization responsible for putting pride weekend together–because the LGBTQ community was not happy with CSW for a laundry list of reasons. You know the drill, people were mostly up in arms about the jacking up of ticket prices from $25, to $35 at the festival gate and–insult-of-all-insults–this year’s Pride was branded as a “music festival” to cater to millennials, which made some older gays feel too old for Pride. Pride was also being called the Gay Coachella, which I guess that’s supposed to be a really bad thing. Bitches were not having it.
I for one, was mostly annoyed by the return of the VIP section at the festival, which is the exact opposite of inclusion and blatantly meant to separate the upper crust gays from the lower undesirable ‘mos, which I find so damn disgusting at a pride event. I know how these VIP sections work. I bet half of the bitches who walked around with their VIP badges didn’t pay the $150 to get it.
All eyes were on CSW, ready to dissect any misstep during Pride weekend. But then there was the horrible news of yet another mass shooting in America early Sunday morning. Then there was the update that it took place at a gay in club in Orlando FL (we would later learned that it happened during a Latin themed night). Then there was the body count. Then there was the alarming news that a man had been stopped in the city of Santa Monica with bombs and guns and semi-automatic rifles while on his way to West Hollywood for the LA Pride parade, and the whole thing felt like the 911 attacks, where it was one thing after another and all you could do was brace yourself for more horrible updates.
We all know how it went down, but I post this because despite the horror, there was absolutely no question; the massacre of these young people who were killed during a Saturday night of dancing would not stop Los Angeles Pride from happening. Yeah, we were sick to our stomachs with grief and we were nervous. I decided to leave my dog at home in case I had to make a run for it, but my partner and I were hell bent on going despite the warnings from friends and family who thought we should stay at home—and I know plenty of people who skipped the event, because they were too heartbroken or too scared, but thousands, upon thousands of us put our best gay face forward and showed our enemies who want us dead, that we are not afraid.
So yes, we attended the Pride parade in West Hollywood. The police presence was massive, and although I didn’t see them, I hear there were snipers camping out on rooftops to keep an eye out in case of a terrorist attack. It was definitely one of the strangest Pride parades I have ever experienced, because on the one hand it was a party as usual, but on the other hand, the Orlando signages–most of it handmade at the last minute–were everywhere in solidarity with the Pulse victims and their families.
And nope, I didn’t make it inside the festival grounds after the parade this year, because I’m no millennial, but I don’t have to be one to tell you that Carly Rae Jepsen was like sooo four years ago and also it’s like, why pay $35 to get into the festival, when I had already experienced the party for free that Friday night (grin)?
Anyway, for the past many years I like to go out and take pictures at La Pride and post them here for your viewing pleasure. And this year should be no different. I know it took me two months to do so, but in case you have forgotten, let me remind you that this is how we show up in the face of the most vicious and deadliest acts against our LGBT existence in U.S. history. This is what it looks like when you attack us, try to scare us, and snuff out our light. We set aside our differences, we let SCW off the hook (for the moment anyway) and we celebrated our pride in complete protest of the heinous crime. Yep. In your face.
Of course, the next day, we would mourn for our dead.
I rounded up my partner, his niece, and as many of my friends as I could to answer the call to rally and hold a candlelight vigil at Los Angeles City Hall to protest and mourn the 49 people that were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, which is being called the deadliest mass shooting in United States history and the worst terrorist attack in U.S. soil since 9/11.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center hosted the vigil.
“Police are calling it ‘a domestic terror incident,'” stated the event’s Facebook page “Whatever it is called, it is all too familiar to the LGBT community. Last year nearly two dozen transgender women were murdered nationwide. In the most recent report in Los Angeles, the 2014 Los Angeles County Hate Crime Report, hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation grew by 14%, and their level of violence surpassed the last 13 years.”
“We cannot allow this hateful, murderous incident to silence us,” the statement continued. “Yes, we must express our grief and anger. But we must also make it clear that we will NOT be deterred by hate and violence, and that we celebrate in defiance of bigotry and fear. We stand for peace. We stand for community. We stand for Orlando.”
Lorri L. Jean, the CEO of L.A. LGBT Center spoke about being angry.
“We are angry because some of the people responsible are not being held accountable,” She told a crowd of over 2,000 people at the footsteps of the City Hall building. “Don’t be mislead. Yesterday’s attack was not done at the instigation of ISIS. It was carried out by an extremist who was born and bred in the U.S of A.”
“Where do Americans learn this kind of Anti LGBT bigotry and hate? she asked. “They learn it from fundamentalist Christian leadership in this country…who preach hate from their pulpits.”
Jean called out Republican Presidential candidates Trump, Cruz and Rubio for their divisive Anti LGBT rhetoric and lawmakers who pass discriminatory laws to demean LGBT people and permit U.S. citizens to discriminate against us. She also called for the impeachment of Texas Lieutenant Dan Patrick who quoted the Bible via a tweet to state that the people who were killed in Orlando deserved it. “He should be impeached,” Jean yelled. “He is not fit to hold public office in this country!”
“As long as politicians and religious leaders continue to slander LGBT people; as long as they continue to say that we do not deserve the same protections as other Americans; that we’re a danger to children, or that somehow our oppression is justified by their personal view of religion; it permits the kind of violence that happened yesterday in Orlando and it endangers all of us. These leaders have blood on their hands. They might not have pulled the trigger. But they certainly loaded the gun.”
“Tonight we issue a guarantee to the bigots,” Jean continued. “We will not allow this hateful, murderous incident to silence us. We will continue to express our grief and our anger, just as we will celebrate in defiance of fear and hatred and violence. We stand for freedom. We stand for peace and love. We stand for Orlando.”
Other speakers included Oscar De La O: President, Bienestar Human Services, Vallerie Wagner: Chief Operating Officer, APLA Health & Wellness and former COO, Black AIDS Institute), Justine Gonzales: Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council, API Equality-LA, Maria Roman: APAIT advocate and counselor, Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula: Latino Equality Alliance Co-Founder & Advisory Board Chair, Rabbi Denise L. Eger: Founding Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami and John Jude Duran, West Hollywood City Council.
People showed up from all corners of the greater Los Angeles area. Signage expressed love for Orlando, calls for peace and protests for gun control now.
Oh yeah, the mood took a weird yet pretty awesome turn from where I was standing when singer/actress/fashionista/superstar Lady Gaga’s name came up and she stepped up out of nowhere to say a few words. The crowd went from somber to frantic as they tried to rush the footsteps of City Hall to get a closer look. There was screaming and shoving and people being told to step back.
“This is an attack on everyone,” a tearful Gaga told the crowd. “Tonight, I gather humbly with you as a human being in solidarity to take a real moment and mourn the tragic loss of these innocent people. let’s all today pledge an allegiance of love to them and their families. They are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers…everyone here, we represent the compassion and the loyalty of millions of people around the world – you are not alone. Orlando, we are united with you and we are here to remember.”
It was amazing having the star-stature of Gaga’s caliber at the vigil in Los Angeles, specially after Nick Jonas made headlines for speaking at a vigil at Stonewall in New York City. But if people were excited by the presence of Gaga, they were pulled back into the harsh realities of this past weekend, and why she was really there, when the singer removed her hat and started reading some of the names of the murdered victims followed by their age. Most of them were in their early 20s. It was very emotional. A lot of people lost it.
These are the names and the ages of the human beings who were taken out by a military semi-automatic riffle–a riffle that was legally licensed and purchased by a suspected terrorist thanks to the efforts and Republican political influence of the NRA.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Stanley Manolo Almodovar III, 23
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Eric Ivan Rivera Ortiz, 36
Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Kimberly Morris, 37
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Amanda Alvear, 25
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Pink, 35
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Oscar to aracena-Montero, 26
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Cory James Connell, 21
John p. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Luis Daniel Count, 39
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
Yilmary Rodriguez Sullivan, 24
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
Angel L. Candelario-Mast, 28
Frank Hernandez, 27
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Antonio Brown, 29 of them
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles closed the evening with the civil rights song “Singing for Our Lives.”
My brain is so fried right now, I can’t EVEN. My heart aches. I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m tired, but I felt a lot of love for my brethren last night. Life is a gift and a luxury.
Here are some photos I took at the event. Thank you all who were able to make it at such short notice. I tried to look for familiar faces in the crowd.
ORLANDO, WE ARE WITH YOU!!!
Mother Nature’s vexing warnings of heavy rain did not deter the gaggle of gays from attending White Party 2016 in Palm Springs this past weekend.
I read somewhere there was an attendance of 30,000 homos spreading themselves thin (literally) and doing a balancing act to try and hit up as many of the seven events that party promoter Jeffrey Sanker lined up all weekend long.
I also heard there was a human sacrifice at the top of San Jacinto Peak, which overlooks PS, to ward off the rain. Whatever the Powers That Be did to keep my coif set and dry for the weekend worked, because aside from a tiny sprinkle here and there, the heavy showers were a total dud.
I got caught in the rain one White Party weekend some time back in the late 90s. We had no choice but to skip the first pool party because there was thunder and lightning and heavy winds making them pretty palm trees lean back over the streets. We stayed at our cheap hotel miles and miles away from The Marquis and we crammed into a jacuzzi full of other thrifty/thirsty boys who were guests at our motel no-tell. We were lucky we didn’t get struck by lightning.
I remember the rain didn’t last. The sun kept poking its head in and out of some dark clouds when we attended the second pool party that Sunday morning. The sun would shine and queens would scream and go nuts and bust some dance moves from wherever they were standing. Then there was darkness upon the face of the earth and human groans filled the dark skies. It was wild. I loved it.
This year, I attended White Party with some fetish and kink royalty from the leather community, which included Mr. LA Bear 2014 and 1st runner up (meaning the 1st to lose) of the Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2014 contest, Gabriel Green, as well as the 1st and 2nd runner-ups (yes, 1st and 2nd to lose—just kidding–too soon, I know) for this year’s Mr. Los Angeles Leather contest, Mr. SoCal Leather Eric Slayton and Mr. Sister Leather Joe Gregory (he got a super cute one-of-kind leather crown that I was dying to snatch for a selfie).
The so-so weather was good enough for some slipin’ and slidin’ at the Wet ‘N’ Wild water park, which was exclusive to WP guests not too far from the Renaissance Hotel. We didn’t really make it out of our luxurious La Residenza San Lorenzo flats (visit rslpalmsprings.com) until the last hour of partying at the water park on account of we didn’t want to get wet. The water park was pretty much closed, but the dancing was still in full swing when we got there, so we got the gist of how the shit went down and we could say that we did it.
Then there was the White Party: There was no up-and-coming or quasi famous headlining performer at this year’s main event, which has featured the likes of Lady Gaga, and J-Lo in the past and in more recent years, Ariana Grande, but no matter, the production was en punto (meaning on point). I mean, the screens were massive. It was like you were in a different planet, or inside a video game. There was thunder and lasers and lights and half men/half beasts on stage. The setup was incredible. The most impressive White Party scenery I have ever experienced.
I thought I was letting bitches HAVE IT with my 2-xist mesh tank top that I embellished with stencils and studs, but my see-through getup was conservative compared to the over-the-top creations that were meticulously planned that night. Bitches straight up gave you costume. You had white beasts and angels and drag queens and of course some guys walked out in their white underwear…because, well, they could. Oh and you had pretty buff boys wearing fanny packs to make a statement that they could make anything look cool, but that lesbian accessory looked like the opposite of cuteness or coolness–even on their perfectly sculpted bodies. I’m sowwy.
And speaking of cool: Was it me, or was the crowd younger this year? It used to be that only the grown folks could afford WP. There were moments when I felt like the old bitch at da club, but let’s be for real here, there is no such thing as one ever being THE old bitch at da club where the gay community is concerned. You can only be AN old bitch at da club amongst MANY old bitches at da club. That’s just how we roll.
Then the moment we were waiting for was upon us. Offer Nissim finally happened. The entrance was pretty ferocious. The bitch rose from the ground like an extra terrestrial promising to let us have it with a set of dance music that was hell bent on making our backs hurt (and knees for those of us with more mileage), however the impression I got from the crowd was that they were not impressed. The buildup was so high for weeks that there were bound to be disappointments.
Honestly, I don’t claim to know what DJs do nowadays in their DJ booths. They don’t spin records anymore, do they? I imagine they have a bag full of tricks where they pull plugs, mix beats and sounds depending on the crowd’s response to the music that particular night, and if they get the mood right and keep the flow going, then that’s how they get their following and DJ star status and hefty paychecks. Or so I imagine. I’ve never been a DJ groupie, so I’m not certain.
I saw a guy make his fingers like a gun and pretend to blow his brains out after a good twenty minutes of Nissim. And people stopped dancing when the Pet Shop Boys came on singing about being Pop Kids.
However, the biggest complaint I heard regarding O-Nissim is that he basically popped in a mix-tape and waved his hands in the air to a pre-recorded set. He has himself to blame for this assessment, because well… his hands were in fact up in the air the entire time he was on that stage when he should’ve been spinning or pretending to scratch a needle on a record. I don’t know what the deal is, but if you’re gonna lip sync, then you should probably move your lips–especially on account of I hear his presence there did not come cheap.
He played Madonna’s Living for Love, the Offer Nissim mix we’re all familiar with, of course, so I wasn’t mad at him.
Let me leave White Party 2016 at this: It did not disappoint. It was a scene. There were all shapes and sizes and races and mixes and ages and a far cry from the cookie WeHo cutouts I used to stack myself up against many, many moons ago and walk away never feeling like I was enough. It’s a whole different ball game. I fucking loved it.
The next day I showed up starved and spray tanned at the pool party on Sunday with my leatheriti royalty in tow. There were enough sunny patches throughout the day to strip down to a Speedo. The music was jumping, but I kept my shorts over my bikini the entire time, because I was not in the mood to partake in the cocks-on-parade where poor penises get strangled, manhandled and forced to bloat into bulging proportions that only deflate when the cock-rings are removed. I let my huevos be and didn’t lose my shorts.
If I had to pick one party out of the seven parties for White Party weekend, I’d definitely choose the T-Dance without a doubt. T-Dance has to be the most fun event of the entire weekend. You get your second wind. The drugs have either worn off or they are kicking in again. You get to wear whatever you want. The mood is casual. Shirts don’t stay on for very long. And then you add two ferris wheels a dance floor, great music and performances. I wedged myself up close to catch party legend Inaya Day sing Movin’ Up, one my ultimate favorite songs from when I loved to get high–“Take me high, take me high, take me higher. I take my problems to the dance floor and let the music make my spirit soar…”
T-dance was the best way to waive goodbye to WP in Palm Springs. I didn’t stick around to catch Erika Jayne of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills do her song and dance. I swore I was gonna do the Farewell party this year, but I know my limit. I know when I’m asking for it. I was supposed to stay an extra night at La Residenza San Lorenzo, but I decided to jet my ass out while my sobriety was still intact.
I told my leatherati royalty that it was nice meeting them and hanging out with them, but things would have to go back to normal once we went back to Los Angeles. “I’m West Hollywood and you’re Silverlake,” I informed them in the cuntiest tone I could muster. “The two worlds can’t co-exist. I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules.” I was just getting back at them for selfie-shaming me the entire weekend.
I told them not to get mad if I pretended like I didn’t know them when I saw them in WeHo, but I was kidding of course. I’ve known Gabriel for almost 15 years. Eric is part of The Fight magazine family, and Joe, I met that weekend and he was a lot of fun. His was the only live penis I saw that entire weekend on account of he shamelessly undressed in front of us facing forward, instead of modestly turning his back like a lady. Que puta, no?
Anyway, this blog was supposed to go up much sooner, but after I got home, I woke up the next morning with THE most massive cold/cough/flu symptoms ever. All that threat of rain, one moment it was hot, the next moment it was cold, and lack of sleep caught up to me. It was like the consequences of boozing and using without the pleasure of using and boozing. Ain’t that some shit. My entire body hurt. Like. Hell.
I’m glad I went to White Party 2016. I’m happy I can do it sober.
Here are some pics I took this past weekend. Gabriel took a lot of these as well–mostly of me.