Get Out! GAY Magazine – Issue 304 – February 22, 2017

Featuring content from the hottest gay and gay-friendly spots in New York, each (free!) issue of Get Out! highlights the bars, nightclubs, restaurants, spas and other businesses throughout NYC’s metropolitan area that the city’s gay population is interested in.

Featuring content from the hottest gay and gay-friendly spots in New York, each (free!) issue of Get Out! highlights the bars, nightclubs, restaurants, spas and other businesses throughout NYC’s metropolitan area that the city’s gay population is interested in.


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Model<br />

Behavior<br />

The second of six New<br />

Yorkers we’re profiling who<br />

can be found on the world’s<br />

premier gay social network,<br />

Hornet, Jean Arsirii just<br />

wants to be seen<br />

Jean Arsirii is pretty easy to<br />

look at. You may have seen<br />

this 24-year-old aspiring<br />

model slinging drinks behind<br />

the bar in the Upper East<br />

Side at Townhouse, or<br />

working for party promoters<br />

Brandon Voss and Brian<br />

Rafferty. With not a bad<br />

bone in his body, the sweet<br />

and mild-mannered Arsirii<br />

has high hopes of becoming<br />

New York’s next top model.<br />

Luckily for us, we have<br />

Wilsonmodels’ photography<br />

as proof that he has what it<br />

takes to be on top.<br />

Where can you find him? You<br />

can find him on Hornet,<br />

of course!

When did you move<br />

to New York City, and<br />

what’s your favorite<br />

thing about the gay<br />

community here?<br />

I moved here from the<br />

Ukraine when I was 19<br />

years old to model, so<br />

it’s my fifth year here<br />

in New York City. My<br />

favorite thing about<br />

the gay community in<br />

New York is that we<br />

have a community here<br />

at all, and people can<br />

be themselves happily<br />

and freely. Where I’m<br />

from there’s no gay<br />

community at all!<br />

You’re an aspiring<br />

model?<br />

It’s the artistic process<br />

in modeling that I enjoy<br />

so much. And for one<br />

thing, I’m always trying<br />

to improve myself to<br />

do a better job, and I’m<br />

always up for new and<br />

interesting projects.<br />

What are some of the<br />

brands you’ve already<br />

worked with?<br />

Surprising to me, I was<br />

called to work with<br />

both Nasty Pig and<br />

Slick It Up. It was a<br />

pleasure, and I’m very<br />

grateful to those<br />

brands that paid<br />

attention to me<br />

and gave me the<br />

opportunity to work<br />

with them.<br />

As a model, what do<br />

you want to do next?<br />

For me as a model,<br />

I’m up for interesting<br />

artistic projects. I’d<br />

also be interested in<br />

working with more<br />

underwear and fitness<br />

brands.<br />

What do you love<br />

most about Hornet?<br />

Honestly, my favorite<br />

thing about Hornet is<br />

the Explore feature. I<br />

can pick any location in<br />

the world and talk to<br />

Find Jean Arsirii on Hornet: @jj5417<br />

guys in that area. It’s so<br />

easy to use.<br />

Hornet is currently<br />

available on iOS,<br />

Android and the web.





(646) 761-3325<br />

DESIGN<br />



(347) 776-9568<br />





(908) 232-2021<br />





ISSUE <strong>304</strong> - FEBRUARY <strong>22</strong>, <strong>2017</strong><br />

Cover: Jean Arsirii<br />

Photo Credit: WILSONMODELS<br />


WITH<br />

___________________<br />


EN<br />

The right price, the right distribution, the right<br />

size, the right quality, the right quantity, the right<br />

service 24/7 - everything is just right! Call us to<br />

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(646) 761-3325<br />

mike@getoutmag.com<br />

The publications of MJT/GOOTH <strong>Magazine</strong>, getoutmag.com or any related<br />

print or Web publications or social media accounts, their images, quotations or<br />

articles, should not be construed to be an indication of the sexual orientation<br />

of anyone portrayed therein.<br />

All content © 2016 MJT/GOOTH Entertainment LLC.<br />

MJT/GOOTH Entertainment LLC<br />

47-16 67 St. Woodside, NY 11377<br />



classifieds<br />

>> BY GET OUT! <strong>Magazine</strong><br />


Imperial Court of New York<br />

will mark 31 years of service<br />

to the LGBTQ community<br />

with the 31st Annual Night<br />

of a Thousand Gowns, a gala<br />

event studded with royalty,<br />

pageantry and dazzling<br />

entertainment. This year’s<br />

event will feature a casino,<br />

a galleria of shops and a<br />

fabulous silent auction!<br />

Saturday, March 11 - More<br />

info: www.ICNY.tix.com<br />

The 19th Annual Folsom<br />

Street East Street Festival<br />

Sunday June 19th - Folsom<br />

Street East, Inc. celebrates<br />

and inspires participation<br />

and pride in fetish, kink,<br />

and LGBTQ communities<br />

through the creation of safe<br />

spaces for public expression<br />

of our sexual identities.<br />


SHOW! will open on Wednesday,<br />

<strong>February</strong> 15th at 8pm;<br />

run every Wednesday night<br />

until March <strong>22</strong>nd at the<br />

New World Stages, 340 West<br />

50th Street New York, NY -<br />

Off-Broadway!<br />

Downtown Urban Arts<br />

Festival (DUAF) announces<br />

the playwrights accepted for<br />

the 15th Anniversary season<br />

of its Theater series to run<br />

at the Cherry Lane Theatre<br />

and Joe’s Pub at The Pubic<br />

Theater, April 8 to May 20,<br />

<strong>2017</strong>. For more information<br />

about DUAF visit www.duafnyc.com.<br />

GET OUT! TO<br />



Singing Auditions - Feb. <strong>22</strong><br />

Wed. @ The Stonewall Inn<br />


Manhattan Barber<br />

261 W 21st St. Chelsea<br />

GET A<br />


Mikhail Torich<br />

mtorich@gmail.com<br />

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Wilsonmodels Photography<br />

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Rick Stockwell Photography<br />

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Strength & Conditioning<br />

Gymnastics & Breakdancing<br />

Flexible schedule for<br />

beginners to elite - Call Mario<br />

for details at 917-496-0375<br />


TAGG - 720 9th Ave<br />

Hells Kitchen - Hip menswear<br />

outpost with designer<br />

fashions, plus an array of accessories<br />

for a gay clientele.<br />


Visit Eva’s Kitchen for salads,<br />

eggs, brown rice/protein<br />

dishes, sandwiches & protein<br />

shakes and more. This casual<br />

spot is located at 11 W 8th St,<br />

NY, NY 10011 (212) 677-3496<br />

GET OUT! TO<br />

BRUNCH<br />

LIPS - Lips Drag Queen Show<br />

Palace, Restaurant and Bar<br />

The Ultimate in Drag Dining!<br />

<strong>22</strong>7 E 56th St (212) 675-7710<br />


Unleash your inner diva<br />

at our world famous Drag<br />

Brunch at Highline Ballroom<br />

with wild performances by<br />

NYC’s top female impersonators<br />

and special guests<br />

from the hit television series<br />

RuPaul’s Drag Race.<br />

ADDRESS: 431 W 16th St<br />

www.vossevents.com<br />


Peppermint<br />

Monday @ Rise Bar<br />

Tuesday @ Therapy<br />

Thursday @ The Ritz<br />

Honey Davenport<br />

Tuesday @ The Ritz<br />

Thursday @ The Monster<br />

Saturday @ The Monster<br />


SHOW HERE ...<br />



Queen of the Ride -<br />

Saturday Nights<br />

www.vossevents.com<br />

Cafe con Crema, Saturday<br />

nights, Boxers HK<br />

Alegria Musica,<br />

Webster Hall<br />

Feb. 19<br />


Hotel Tides - 408 7th Ave,<br />

Asbury Park, NJ 07712<br />

info@hoteltides.com, Call us<br />

now to book:​ 732-897-7744<br />

Visit www.getoutmag.com/MyAd to submit your business.

stories<br />


After my breakup with<br />

Q, I started seeing The Ex<br />

Fiancé again.<br />

I had to admit, it felt<br />

strange. I didn’t feel like<br />

it was before, but it also<br />

didn’t feel like something<br />

new. We went out for drinks<br />

in SoHo with his friends;<br />

we went to see movies<br />

at the Bow Tie Theater in<br />

Chelsea; we’d stay in and<br />

make dinner. (Well, he<br />

would make dinner, and I<br />

would eat it.) I felt like we<br />

were finally back on track,<br />

but it also seemed stale.<br />

In an attempt to make our<br />

relationship feel new, I<br />

decided to buy a bike.<br />

Just Like<br />

Riding a Bike<br />


The Ex Fiancé loved riding<br />

his bike around the city:<br />

He even had a bike rack<br />

on the wall of his office,<br />

where it hung like art when<br />

he wasn’t gallivanting<br />

around. I figured it would<br />

be something we could do<br />

together, something we<br />

could bond over.<br />

Disclaimer: I had not been<br />

on a bike since I was 15. I<br />

rode my bike to and from<br />

Godfather’s Pizza, where<br />

I was a cashier and salad<br />

bar cleaner, until I saved<br />

up enough money to buy<br />

a used 2002 Ford Focus. I<br />

never looked back.<br />

I ordered the bike, had it<br />

delivered to a nearby bike<br />

shop to be assembled by<br />

professionals and picked it<br />

up one Saturday afternoon.<br />

The Ex Fiancé came with<br />

me, his bike in tow—we<br />

were going to jump right<br />

in and ride across the<br />

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge<br />

into the city, then through<br />

Central Park.<br />

@ianmichaelinwonderland<br />

you’re shorter than me, so<br />

this should be perfect.”<br />

He got on his bike, and we<br />

rode over to the bridge.<br />

The phrase “Just like riding<br />

a bike” when referring to<br />

picking something back up<br />

easily is bullshit. For me,<br />

literally riding a bike wasn’t<br />

just like riding a bike. In<br />

high school I rode my bike<br />

every day. Now, I swayed<br />

left and right, breathing<br />

heavily, barely keeping up<br />

with The Ex Fiancé ahead<br />

of me, convinced my seat<br />

was too high.<br />

The bridge wasn’t too<br />

stressful, since we were on<br />

a bike path the whole time.<br />

It was after the bridge, on<br />

the way to Central Park,<br />

that things went awry. Cars<br />

honked at me the whole<br />

way, and just when the park<br />

was in site, a red doubledecker<br />

sightseeing bus cut<br />

me off. I drove up onto the<br />

sidewalk, almost taking out<br />

an entire family of Asian<br />

tourists.<br />


I tried jumping on and<br />

immediately fell over,<br />

scratching the hell out<br />

of my ankle. “The seat is<br />

too high,” I complained,<br />

trying again, barely<br />

maintaining balance.<br />

The Ex Fiancé tried it.<br />

“It’s actually low,” he said,<br />

“for me anyway. But<br />

I picked up my bike,<br />

looking around: The Ex<br />

Fiancé was out of site,<br />

speeding ahead without<br />

me.<br />

I wondered if I had made<br />

a mistake, and then I<br />

wondered if I was thinking<br />

about the bike or The Ex<br />


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week in pictures<br />




Emerging from the<br />

inside of a sparkle<br />

and a rainbow, this<br />

refreshing, high-energy,<br />

punk/pop, all-girl,<br />

puissant and compelling<br />

new faction has taken<br />

audiences by storm as<br />

they open for pop icon<br />

Adam Ant on his North<br />

American tour.<br />

The glittery members<br />

of the band include<br />

Ali Cat, the vivacious,<br />

outgoing and sexy<br />

lead singer; Veronica<br />

Volume, the colorfully<br />

adorable guitarist<br />

(whose dad just<br />

happens to be one<br />

of the members of<br />

Hollywood Vampires<br />

with Alice Cooper,<br />

Johnny Depp and Joe<br />

Perry); Millie Chan, the<br />

beautiful bass player;<br />

and Cassie Jalilie, the<br />

pretty and energetic<br />

drummer.<br />

With a very special<br />

energy, unique only to<br />

them, the girls spoke<br />

to <strong>Get</strong> <strong>Out</strong>! about their<br />

new release, “Glitter<br />

City,” their experiences<br />

thus far on their first<br />

big tour and about<br />

their dreams, hopes<br />

and desires.<br />

What kind of<br />

experience are you<br />

having thus far on your<br />

first huge tour?<br />

Ali: Fun. We’ve played<br />

several shows with Adam<br />

and one on our own, but<br />

we love to travel, on the<br />

road, meeting people.<br />

We’ve been having an<br />

amazing time. We all<br />

love each other. We’re all<br />

friends, and that helps.<br />

Cassie, you’re the<br />

newest member. How<br />

did that happen?<br />

Cassie: Millie and I have<br />

been long-time friends.<br />

We’re both from San<br />

Francisco. We moved to<br />

LA to pursue music, and<br />

she joined this band. So<br />

they needed a drummer,<br />

and we were friends, so...<br />

Veronica: We are all in<br />

an all-girl cover band,<br />

and my dad heard us<br />

rehearsing in his studio.<br />

Then we were talking<br />

about this tour, and he<br />

heard that we needed<br />

a drummer, and he<br />

said, “Well, what about<br />

Cassie? She sounded<br />

great that day when you<br />

were practicing.”<br />

What is the most fun<br />

experience that stands<br />

out for you so far?<br />

Millie: Meeting Adam.<br />

Veronica: Meeting all<br />

of the woman after the<br />

show, because we had all<br />

these cool women [with]<br />

empowering signs. They<br />

wore hot pink, and we<br />

brought them with us.<br />

Then all of these women<br />

started coming over<br />

to and wanted to take<br />

pictures with us.

Ali: The best experience<br />

for me was after the<br />

show, getting to meet<br />

all the new fans and<br />

supporters. It felt wild<br />

signing dozens of<br />

autographs on the album<br />

that we worked so hard<br />

to create. It’s great to see<br />

that “Glitter City” has<br />

made such a powerful<br />

impact.<br />

Cassie, you’re the only<br />

gay member in the<br />

group? How does that<br />

work for you, traveling<br />

with an all-straight band<br />

who just happen to be<br />

girls?<br />

Cassie: Yeah. What’s cool<br />

is that they’re all really<br />

supportive, plus they<br />

know I won’t try to make<br />

any moves. [laughs]<br />

Ali: We all identify with<br />

the gay community.<br />

Cassie: It’s a lot easier<br />

for straight<br />

people. But I<br />

love these guys.<br />

I feel totally<br />

comfortable.<br />

Millie, when is<br />

the last time<br />

that you did<br />

something for<br />

the first time?<br />

Millie: I just<br />

got back from<br />

Sweden, so<br />

seeing the snow.<br />

I’ve never seen<br />

snow in my<br />

whole life, being<br />

from California.<br />

I went hardcore,<br />

midwinter in<br />

Sweden. I’ve<br />

never been in<br />

snow. I’ve never<br />

gotten hit by<br />

snowball. It was<br />

my first time.<br />

Is there a<br />

particular song<br />

that raises some<br />

kind of emotion in you?<br />

Ali: Any Queen song. I<br />

get very emotional. My<br />

favorite Queen song is<br />

“It’s Late.” Whenever I<br />

hear Freddie sing, I cry.<br />

When I first found out<br />

he died, I bawled. I was<br />

watching a documentary,<br />

and at the end of it they<br />

said he passed away a<br />

long time ago. I said,<br />

“WHAT!”<br />

Cassie, who do you<br />

envy?<br />

Cassie: I wouldn’t say<br />

that I really envy anyone.<br />

I look at that as kind of<br />

a bad thing. For me, my<br />

whole outlook on life is<br />

you have to go for it, and<br />

you have to work for it.<br />

Musically, I want to be<br />

the best that I can be. I<br />

always strive to just get<br />

better. I strive to keep<br />

learning and to never<br />

Glam Skanks will be<br />

performing at The Monster on<br />

Friday, <strong>February</strong> 24, at midnight.<br />

stop. I never want to limit<br />

myself as a drummer.<br />

There’s definitely people<br />

that I idolize, and I want<br />

to be like, so I think to<br />

myself, what do I need to<br />

do to get there?<br />

Who’s your idol?<br />

Cassie: Travis Barker.<br />

Aside from music, I read<br />

his book, and I love his<br />

motto: “Can’t stop, won’t<br />

stop.” That’s what I pretty<br />

much live by.<br />

Veronica: Definitely<br />

David Bowie! He’s been<br />

a huge influence on us,<br />

and we definitely tried to<br />

channel his glam energy<br />

into our album “Glitter<br />

City.”<br />

What kind of impression<br />

have you left thus far on<br />

the Earth?<br />

Veronica: I definitely<br />

left more glitter across<br />

this country at<br />

this point than<br />

probably anybody<br />

else has! Also<br />

probably pieces<br />

of my hair. I leave<br />

a lot of hair dye in<br />

bathtubs. I leave a<br />

lot of color around<br />

wherever I go.<br />

How do you<br />

deal with your<br />

mistakes when<br />

you’re live?<br />

Ali: I don’t make<br />

mistakes! What are<br />

you talking about?<br />

I just hair flip or<br />

do a movement.<br />

People don’t<br />

know. If I’m in the<br />

moment and I<br />

forget lyrics, I’ll just<br />

make something<br />

up.<br />

Visit getoutmag.com<br />

to read the full<br />




Michael Longoria<br />

“The View Upstairs”<br />

‘The only way to get through this is by loving each other in any way we possibly can’<br />

Michael Longoria, the audaciously talented and strikingly handsome star of<br />

Broadway, television and New York City nightlife, will be appearing in what<br />

promises to be one of the most sparkling and glittery sensations to hit Manhattan.<br />

The View Upstairs will be at The Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker Street, NYC)<br />

on <strong>February</strong> 28. This glam rock musical production is based upon the real life<br />

gay bar in New Orleans, in the 1970s, which unfortunately burned to the ground.<br />

Written by Max Vernon and directed by Scott Ebersold, it includes an all-star cast<br />

including Longoria, Jeremy Pope, Taylor Frey, Nathan Lee Graham, Frenchie Davis,<br />

Benjamin Howes, Ben Mayne, Nancy Ticotin and Randy Redd.<br />

Longoria himself has an impressive array of credits, consisting of the starring role<br />

on Broadway as Frankie Valli in the Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys, in Hairspray as<br />

well as performing solo in Times Square for thousands for Broadway on Broadway.<br />

He has also appeared on various television shows including “Broadway Under the<br />

Stars,” “A Tribute to Harold Prince” and the finale of “America’s Got Talent” season<br />

nine.<br />

Having recently released his new album, “Broadway Brick by Brick,” Longoria has<br />

also performed at “Joe’s Pub,” “The Cutting Room” and “Carolines on Broadway.”<br />

He is also in The Midtown Men and performs nearly every summer at Cherry Grove.<br />

Although I have interviewed hundreds, Longoria’s words were some of the most<br />

expressive experiences I’ve ever had. His answers painted the most vivid pictures<br />

and feelings, and he caused me to feel what he was feeling.<br />

What role will you be<br />

portraying in The View<br />

Upstairs?<br />

I play Freddie, who is also<br />

the bar’s drag queen. As<br />

a drag queen, my name is<br />

Aurora Whorealis. There<br />

are a few generations<br />

in the bar when we<br />

flash back in time, into<br />

1973. I play a young and<br />

rebellious drag queen,<br />

and my storyline is really<br />

about a mother and the<br />

love for her child. You<br />

meet my mother in the<br />

middle of the play, and

you find out that although<br />

her son being a drag<br />

queen wasn’t necessarily<br />

her dream for her son,<br />

she’s comes to love him,<br />

and love the gay bar,<br />

and comes to frequent<br />

it. You see this woman<br />

from Puerto Rico, who<br />

came to America with her<br />

husband, who wanted<br />

this American life, and<br />

has all these challenges<br />

because she has a gay<br />

son, which is a challenge<br />

that many parents have<br />

to deal with. Obviously<br />

we as gay people go<br />

through so many trials<br />

before we realize that<br />

we have the strength to<br />

come out to the people<br />

that we love, because we<br />

are afraid we’re going<br />

to lose them. But, as an<br />

adult, I look back, and I<br />

think about my parents<br />

and what they had to go<br />

through. The fear<br />

of the unknown,<br />

and the knowing<br />

of your child all<br />

of a sudden, but<br />

really getting<br />

to know them<br />

deeply in a way<br />

that they didn’t<br />

know them<br />

before. Their sexuality all<br />

of a sudden, and what<br />

that means. For me, I was<br />

a Mexican American. My<br />

parents were Catholic<br />

Mexican, my father was<br />

machismo, so coming<br />

out to my parents was<br />

similar to Freddie. My<br />

father didn’t accept me<br />

right away, and Freddie’s<br />

father doesn’t accept<br />

him because he’s gay,<br />

and he leaves his wife<br />

and Freddie. So with<br />

all that drama in their<br />

life, you see the joy that<br />

they get from coming to<br />

this place, where they<br />

meet these characters<br />

and these friends from<br />

different generations.<br />

Nathan plays this wise,<br />

fabulous, crazy queen<br />

of the bar. He sits there<br />

in judgment and tells<br />

everybody about the<br />

way it was. Freddie is the<br />

kind that wants to moon<br />

everybody outside and<br />

wants to be who he wants<br />

to be, no matter what.<br />

Even though Stonewall<br />

happened, they were<br />

still living in a lot of<br />

oppression in the South.<br />

I think there still is to a<br />

degree.<br />

Absolutely. Even now, I’m<br />

sometimes challenged<br />

on the street by some<br />

asshole who wants to<br />

feel manly. That definitely<br />

still happens now. The<br />

sensation that you get<br />

when you first go to a<br />

gay bar, I remember<br />

“Obviously we as gay people<br />

go through so many trials before<br />

we realize that we have the strength<br />

to come out to the people<br />

that we love...”<br />

that very well. I was a<br />

teenager. Even though I<br />

was underage, being in a<br />

place that all of a sudden<br />

you know you’re not<br />

supposed to be in, but<br />

you want to be in, and<br />

you know you belong.<br />

All of a sudden all that<br />

hunger and fuzz, without<br />

even having a drink,<br />

because I was underage,<br />

but the feeling and the<br />

high of being yourself, of<br />

saying anything you want,<br />

being anything you want<br />

and having everybody in<br />

the bar not give a shit.<br />

Of course, those times<br />

aren’t that true anymore,<br />

with the shadiness that’s<br />

around in our days. But<br />

for a young queen who<br />

doesn’t know about that<br />

shadiness, being able to<br />

go to a space that’s like a<br />

utopia. You can really be<br />

who you are inside. For<br />

Freddie in this play, this is<br />

his playground. Not only<br />

can he prance around in<br />

his bellbottoms, but he<br />

can get in his dress and<br />

be fabulous, and look<br />

like Marilyn Monroe, and<br />

really live who is inside,<br />

which is this woman, this<br />

inner being. So that’s who<br />

I am, and I get to put on a<br />

fun drag show within the<br />

show.<br />

I just bet you do...<br />

It’s really fun, and I’ve<br />

never done drag. It’s an<br />

amazing experience, and<br />

a learning experience<br />

too.<br />

Did they assign you a<br />

drag mother?<br />

No, not yet. I’ve had a<br />

lot of drag inspirations<br />

from going to Fire Island<br />

and hanging out at the<br />

Ice Palace. You see all<br />

of those drag queens<br />

perform, and throughout<br />

the summer I’ve gotten<br />

to know them both in<br />

and out of drag. What’s<br />

interesting about playing<br />

a drag queen now, I’ve<br />

had crushes on drag<br />

queens for the past five<br />

years. Interesting, weird,<br />

like “Why do I like you?”<br />

I really admire them,<br />

especially the funny<br />

ones. The ones that are<br />

beautiful, and then all of a<br />

sudden they are hilarious.<br />

You have to admire<br />

someone that can make<br />

a crowd laugh, especially<br />

in times like these, when<br />

we’re laughing and crying<br />

at the same time. Cont.

It’s like that nervous<br />

laughter that turns into<br />

tears. The message of<br />

The View Upstairs, is that<br />

ultimately, you had these<br />

places in the ‘70s that were<br />

secretive for a community,<br />

and it was everybody,<br />

everybody within each<br />

other, and they had<br />

each other’s back. That’s<br />

what we really need to<br />

remind each other of now,<br />

because in the eight years<br />

with Obama we’ve made<br />

so much progress and<br />

have felt very liberated<br />

in a sense. The fact that<br />

we could get married to<br />

“I fall in love with<br />

these drag queens, because<br />

I see both sides...”<br />

anyone we wanted, and<br />

now all of a sudden it’s<br />

like, psych, just kidding.<br />

It’s like the carpet being<br />

pulled out from under<br />

you and your heart being<br />

ripped out of your chest<br />

from an America that<br />

you thought was finally<br />

understanding you. We<br />

have to remind ourselves<br />

that we have each other,<br />

not just in gay bars, but we<br />

are all around. We have<br />

each other on Facebook,<br />

we have each other in<br />

these magazines that I’m<br />

talking to right now, in<br />

these relationships that are<br />

forming, and the only way<br />

to really get through it is<br />

by loving each other in any<br />

way that we possibly can.<br />

That’s by supporting each<br />

other, going to the drag<br />

shows and telling them<br />

they’re fabulous, even<br />

when sometimes they<br />

might not be.<br />

Rule one, never insult a<br />

drag queen. Too much<br />

work goes into it.<br />

Ever, ever, ever. It takes a<br />

lot of balls...literally...and<br />

it takes a lot of courage<br />

and heart. Those people<br />

have a lot of heart. Those<br />

drag queens that I know<br />

have both sides. They are<br />

evil in a sense; they have<br />

to have that hard shell of<br />

protection from bullies<br />

while growing up a lot of<br />

times. But they also have<br />

this enormous sensitivity<br />

that is very loving in<br />

nature. Maybe that’s why<br />

I fall in love with these<br />

drag queens, because I<br />

see both sides, and both<br />

sides are beautiful. They<br />

bring out the best in all of<br />

us, because they make us<br />

laugh.<br />

I love drag queens more<br />

than life itself. I used to<br />

own a gay bar.<br />

So then you know the<br />

community that can<br />

form, the drama that<br />

can happen and all of<br />

the relationships that<br />

happen. These characters<br />

are loosely based on<br />

some of the victims that<br />

could’ve been there. Like<br />

me: If I was living at that<br />

time, I would’ve gone to<br />

that bar. In fact, this was<br />

the biggest killing of the<br />

gay population before<br />

Orlando. I’ve been to<br />

Pulse, I’ve been to Latin<br />

night, I tour, and I’ve been<br />

to those specific parties.<br />

So, it could’ve been<br />

me. So to know that it<br />

happened, and those souls<br />

were not allowed to be<br />

grieved for, a lot of those<br />

parents couldn’t claim<br />

those kids that were in<br />

the fire because they were<br />

afraid that they would get<br />

blacklisted or lose their<br />

jobs because they had gay<br />

family. It was so weird and<br />

so heartbreaking. One of<br />

the characters is based off<br />

of someone who might<br />

have been one of the<br />

three unidentified bodies<br />

that was buried in a mass<br />

grave. So it’s sort of a story<br />

that needs to be told,<br />

and it’s very bold of them<br />

to be bringing this right<br />

now. It’s scary, but it’s also<br />

liberating.<br />




Nathan Lee Graham<br />

“The View Upstairs”<br />

The vivacious and very friendly stage and screen<br />

actor, singer, writer, director and cabaret sensation,<br />

Nathan Lee Graham, answered his phone with a<br />

tantalizing “Good morning,” well prepared to speak<br />

about his role in the new off-Broadway hit, The View<br />

Upstairs. That is, after he turned off his classical music.<br />

Graham was extremely well spoken and a magnificent<br />

personality.<br />

Graham is known for his role as Todd in Zoolander and as Miss Understanding in<br />

the original Broadway cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Amongst his many<br />

other credits are his roles in “Absolutely Fabulous,” “Scrubs” and “Law and Order.”<br />

He also has accepted awards including the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award<br />

for Best Feature Performer in a Musical in The Wild Party and a 2005 Best Classical<br />

Album Grammy Award for “Songs of Innocence and of Experience.”<br />

Having started his career at seven years old, the handsome actor portrays Willie, a<br />

role created especially for him by Max Vernon, writer of The View Upstairs, which<br />

will open on <strong>February</strong> 28 at The Lynn Redgrave Theatre at The Culture Project on<br />

Bleecker Street in New York City.<br />

I want to know all<br />

about the character<br />

that you play in this<br />

fabulous, flamboyant<br />

musical.<br />

I play the character<br />

of Willie. I like to call<br />

him the Dolly Levi of<br />

The View Upstairs,<br />

because he’s a little bit<br />

of a matchmaker, makes<br />

things positive. He has<br />

a lot of effervescence.<br />

He’s the life blood of<br />

the musical. He brings<br />

people together. I’d<br />

even go as far as to say,<br />

sometimes to a fault,<br />

he really might be in a<br />

constant state of denial.<br />

One might call it alter<br />

affect if you will, but he<br />

does it for all the right<br />

reasons. So that’s who<br />

he is, and that’s what he<br />

does.<br />

How did you get<br />

selected for the role?<br />

Actually, Max Vernon,<br />

the composer and writer,<br />

actually wrote this part<br />

for me. He was in the<br />

last stages of getting<br />

his degree at NYU in<br />

composing, and that<br />

wonderful program is<br />

one of the few programs<br />

like that in the country.<br />

They always ask people<br />

who are professionals to<br />

come and help out with<br />

the graduate students,<br />

if they have time. As a<br />

matter of fact, I’m doing<br />

it again while I’m doing<br />

the show. So that’s how<br />

that started. Thankfully,<br />

and gratefully, he was<br />

a fan of my work, and<br />

he wanted me to do<br />

this role. That’s how it<br />

happened. I said if it<br />

ever came into fruition,<br />

and if it ever went<br />

into production, that<br />

I wanted to be part of<br />

it, and every reading<br />

that it had, and every<br />

workshop, I tried very<br />

much to be available to<br />

play the role of Willie.<br />

It’s a role that I have a<br />

long history with the<br />

past several years, and<br />

it’s just a fabulous role in<br />

the truest sense of being<br />

fabulous. At the same<br />

time, it’s such a

celebratory role in a very<br />

dark period of LGBTQ<br />

history.<br />

What time period did<br />

this take place?<br />

In 1973, New Orleans, at<br />

The Upstairs Lounge.<br />

Does the bar still exist<br />

in some way?<br />

The bar, I believe, does<br />

not still exist, but there<br />

is a marker where it was.<br />

It did burn down, and<br />

I don’t believe it was<br />

ever replaced. There is<br />

a marker there to mark<br />

where it was and how it<br />

happened.<br />

How long will the<br />

musical run?<br />

We have previews<br />

beginning on <strong>February</strong><br />

15, and we open on the<br />

28th of <strong>February</strong>, which<br />

happens to be Mardi<br />

Gras, apropos for a show<br />

that takes place in New<br />

Orleans, and then we<br />

have an open run at least<br />

until June.<br />

That’s fantastic. Nathan,<br />

I just have to tell you<br />

that you sound so<br />

Broadway. How long<br />

have you been acting?<br />

Well, that’s what I am.<br />

When I got into the<br />

business I was<br />

about seven<br />

years old. I<br />

started out in<br />

Los Angeles,<br />

and I was the<br />

glorified extra in<br />

“The Bad News<br />

Bears of Japan,”<br />

then I was a<br />

munchkin in the<br />

national tour of<br />

“The Wiz.” When they<br />

came to Los Angeles<br />

they would hire kids<br />

locally. So that’s when<br />

I started. I’m 48 now.<br />

I’ll be 49 in September,<br />

and I’ve been doing this<br />

a very long time. I’ve<br />

been very fortunate to<br />

keep working in films<br />

and stage off-Broadway<br />

and on Broadway. It’s<br />

not an easy ride, but it’s<br />

fulfilling, and if I didn’t<br />

love it and didn’t think I<br />

had something to say, I<br />

certainly would’ve quit<br />

many years ago. It’s been<br />

a wonderful ride.<br />

Aside from the musical,<br />

is there anything<br />

else that you wish to<br />

promote or talk about?<br />

I am working on an<br />

album. It’s going to<br />

be called NLG, my<br />

initials, “NLG Le Jazz<br />

Classique.” I’m doing a<br />

classic Jazz album. It’s<br />

going to be mostly Cole<br />

Porter, but there will be<br />

some Irving Berlin in<br />

there, George Gershwin.<br />

So that’s on the horizon.<br />

That will be my debut<br />

album actually. After all<br />

these years being on<br />

everyone else’s albums,<br />

finally I’m going to be<br />

doing a solo album.<br />

There are a couple of<br />

projects that I wish I<br />

could tell you about. I’m<br />

always doing stuff.<br />


week in pictures >> BY WILSONMODELS / wilsonmodels.blogspot.com<br />





TURNT @ RITZ<br />

STRUT @ ACME<br />



@ SLAKE<br />


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