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.