Get Out! GAY Magazine – Issue 412 April 3, 2019

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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“Night of A Thousand Gowns”<br />

The celebration and spectacular<br />

extravaganza of <strong>2019</strong>, the 33rd<br />

Annual Night of a Thousand<br />

Gowns, will be presented on<br />

Saturday, <strong>April</strong> 6, <strong>2019</strong>, at Marriott<br />

Marquis in New York. Hosted<br />

by the Imperial Court of New<br />

York, the event will be bursting<br />

with color, sparkle and majestic<br />

royalty, and will include dazzling<br />

entertainment, gourmet food and<br />

flowing drinks.<br />

The Imperial Court of New York<br />

has provided service to the<br />

LGBTQ community for 32 years<br />

and will benefit Trinity Place<br />

Shelter this year. The coronation<br />

will include the red carpet, cocktail<br />

reception and silent auction. The<br />

entertainment includes Debby<br />

Holiday and Skyla Versai.<br />

<strong>Get</strong> <strong>Out</strong>! shared questions and<br />

answers with monarchs Empress<br />

XXXII Gayle Banter and Emperor<br />

and Regent Emperor XXVII Rob<br />

Hunter de Woofs.

When will Night of a<br />

Thousand Gowns take<br />

place, and what charity<br />

will it be considering<br />

this year?<br />

Empress: Night of a<br />

Thousand Gowns will<br />

be happening at the<br />

marvelous Marriott<br />

Marquis Hotel in the<br />

heart of Times Square on<br />

Saturday, <strong>April</strong> 6, <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

The festivities kick off at<br />

6 p.m. This year, we’re<br />

supporting Trinity Place<br />

Shelter, a wonderful<br />

organization that we have<br />

a long relationship with.<br />

Their mission is to help<br />

homeless lesbian, gay,<br />

bisexual, transgender and<br />

queer youth and young<br />

adults to safely transition<br />

out of the shelter<br />

system and grow into<br />

independent, positive<br />

and productive adults.<br />

They’re amazing!<br />

What guests will be<br />

featured?<br />

Empress: Well, we’re still<br />

finalizing our guest list,<br />

so there will certainly be<br />

some surprises. But I’m<br />

very excited to share that<br />

we have as a headline<br />

entertainer Billboard<br />

Top Ten international<br />

recording artist Debby<br />

Holiday! We’ll also have<br />

veteran drag performer<br />

Skyla Versai, as well<br />

as special command<br />

performances by some<br />

of the superstars of the<br />

Imperial Court System.<br />

Tell me a little about<br />

yourself.<br />

Empress: I started with<br />

the Imperial Court of New<br />

York about eight years<br />

ago, but attended my<br />

first Night of a Thousand<br />

Gowns long before I<br />

joined the court. I’ve<br />

served on the Court’s<br />

Board for a number of<br />

terms, three years of them<br />

as treasurer. In my secret<br />

identity, I work for an<br />

arts philanthropy service<br />

organization, and I’m very<br />

active with HRC, both in<br />

New York and nationally.<br />

What else would you like<br />

to know?<br />

Emperor: I am Emperor<br />

XVII and Regent Emperor<br />

XXVII Rob Hunter de<br />

Woofs.<br />

I joined The Imperial<br />

Court of New York in 2003<br />

and was Emperor XVII<br />

during the years of 2008-<br />

09 with Empress Charlene<br />

Chivoe and now Regent<br />

Emperor with Empress<br />

Gaye Banter.<br />

I have been a resident<br />

of Asbury Park, New<br />

Jersey, since 1996 and<br />

consider this city my<br />

home. I was introduced<br />

to The Imperial Court<br />

of New York while I was<br />

the general manager<br />

at Club Paradise, also<br />

in Asbury Park, by<br />

one of our customers<br />

and court members,<br />

former Empress Twinkle<br />

Montgomery.<br />

For many years involved<br />

in the New Jersey bar<br />

business, I have also<br />

volunteered my time<br />

and efforts to many local<br />

New Jersey charities, and<br />

since being introduced<br />

to The Imperial Court of<br />

New York, I have found<br />

many good friends that<br />

are like-minded and<br />

hard-working people for<br />

different charities in the<br />

NYC and surrounding<br />

areas that need special<br />

funding that The Imperial<br />

Court of New York can<br />

help provide.<br />

When I reigned as<br />

emperor the first time 10<br />

years ago, I had a blast<br />

representing the court<br />

and said I would not do<br />

it again, simply because<br />

I didn’t think I could do<br />

better. However, last<br />

year we did not have<br />

an emperor candidate<br />

running for that position,<br />

so I was appointed by<br />

our College of Monarchs<br />

and Board of Directors<br />

to fill the vacancy, thus<br />

giving me the regent<br />

emperor title. Being<br />

this is my second time<br />

around and 10 years<br />

later, I’ve come into the<br />

regent emperor role with<br />

a lot more confidence<br />

and experience of what<br />

my job is as emperor<br />

and maximizing our<br />

fundraising efforts for<br />

our chosen charities<br />

to support with new,<br />

larger events as well<br />

as maintaining our<br />

traditional events.<br />

I’ve served on the<br />

Imperial Court of New<br />

York’s Board of Directors<br />

for many years, traveled<br />

extensively supporting<br />

other courts and helped<br />

in the effort to raise tens<br />

of thousands of dollars for<br />

a lot of charities over the<br />

years, because I believe in<br />

the work and fundraising<br />

our organization can<br />

uniquely provide. The<br />

Imperial Court of New<br />

York, although sovereign<br />

in our fundraising for the<br />

New York area, is one<br />

Imperial Court among 70<br />

that are spread across the<br />

U.S, Canada and Mexico.<br />

United, all courts are<br />

under the International<br />

Court System’s umbrella.

Is there anything new to<br />

expect this year at the<br />

event?<br />

Empress: There always<br />

is! But I’ll tell you what<br />

will stay the same… it will<br />

be the same glamorous,<br />

glittering evening, with<br />

more sparkles and<br />

rhinestones than you can<br />

shake a stick at! We’ve<br />

added more dancing this<br />

year, so that everyone<br />

can join the party. And<br />

we’re working on a special<br />

something that I’m not at<br />

liberty to talk about, but<br />

that will generate a lot of<br />

heat, I can tell you that<br />

much!<br />

Emperor: The Imperial<br />

Court of New York is<br />

always evolving to make<br />

Night of a Thousand<br />

Gowns bigger and better<br />

each year to try and<br />

maximize our fundraising<br />

efforts for our chosen<br />

charities—this year’s<br />

beneficiary, Trinity Place<br />

Shelter for homeless<br />

gay youth, as well as<br />

making our event highly<br />

entertaining for our<br />

guests. We encourage<br />

our guests to go way<br />

over the top with their<br />

formal outfits like our<br />

membership does. Our<br />

entertainment is always<br />

top notch, an extensive<br />

silent auction, the threecourse<br />

dinner is always<br />

delicious and we offer a<br />

five-hour open bar in the<br />

gorgeous Marriott Marquis<br />

Grand Ballroom. A feast<br />

for the eyes and a place to<br />

be seen!<br />

For those who aren’t<br />

aware, can you explain<br />

why Night of a Thousand<br />

Gowns takes place every<br />

year?<br />

Empress: The Imperial<br />

Court of New York is<br />

governed by a Board<br />

of Directors, but is also<br />

led by monarchs, an<br />

emperor and an empress,<br />

who are elected by the<br />

membership and serve for<br />

a year as the figureheads<br />

and spokespersons of<br />

the organization. New<br />

monarchs are crowned at<br />

the annual coronation ball,<br />

which we call Night of a<br />

Thousand Gowns. It’s also<br />

a great opportunity for us<br />

to showcase the important<br />

outreach and fundraising<br />

work that the court does<br />

throughout the year, and<br />

to highlight a particular<br />

cause or charity near and<br />

dear to our hearts, as<br />

we’re doing this year with<br />

Trinity Place Shelter.<br />

Emperor: Night of a<br />

Thousand Gowns is The<br />

Imperial Court of New<br />

York’s largest fundraising<br />

event of the year. Each<br />

year the court membership<br />

elects an emperor and<br />

empress to be the<br />

court’s ambassadors for<br />

the year. So, this ball<br />

is a celebration of the<br />

reigning monarchs and<br />

membership’s year of<br />

fundraising, and at the<br />

climax of the night, there<br />

are the coronation walks<br />

and swearing in of the<br />

next year’s emperor and<br />

empress, and the year<br />

begins anew!<br />

How can people<br />

purchase tickets?<br />

Empress: Tickets are<br />

available through our<br />

website, www.icny.tix.com.<br />

Is there anything that<br />

I didn’t mention that<br />

you would like to make<br />

people aware of?<br />

Empress: I’m not sure<br />

there is, but I’m probably<br />

forgetting something!<br />

Emperor: Although Night<br />

of a Thousand Gowns is<br />

our biggest event of the<br />

year, we are fundraising for<br />

different charities almost<br />

every week of the year.<br />

Some of the charities over<br />

the past year, besides<br />

Trinity Place Shelter, were<br />

for Hudson Pride Center,<br />

Tyler Clementi Foundation,<br />

Thursday’s Child, The<br />

Asbury Park Police Local<br />

6 PBA, Save-a-Pet USA<br />

in Port Jefferson with the<br />

outreach program Gays for<br />

Strays, MCCNY Homeless<br />

Youth Services, CitiLeaf,<br />

Coco LaChine Scholarship<br />

Fund, God’s Love We<br />

Deliver and so many more.<br />

We hold many of our<br />

events at Stonewall Inn,<br />

Industry Bar and Pieces.<br />

The Imperial Court of<br />

New York also provides<br />

outreach programs like<br />

Hearts and Voices that<br />

visit and perform at HIV/<br />

AIDS shelters throughout<br />

the boroughs and potluck<br />

dinners at homeless<br />

youth centers like Trinity<br />

Place Shelter. Refer to<br />

our website for upcoming<br />

events at www.icny.org.<br />

The ICNY is a very<br />

diverse and welcoming<br />

organization inclusive of<br />

our GLBTQ and straight<br />

allies. We are always<br />

looking for new members<br />

to join the Imperial Court<br />

of New York! We invite<br />

everyone to come join in<br />

the fun, network and find<br />

a place where you can<br />

make friends, perform or<br />

help in the background<br />

and be part of an amazing<br />




SHE/HER<br />


SHE/HER<br />

JUNE 22, <strong>2019</strong><br />

6PM<strong>–</strong>10PM<br />







5 0 0 W 4 8 T H S T .<br />

N Y , N Y 1 0 0 3 6<br />

Cover: The Night of a Thousand Gowns<br />

Photo by Steven Menendez<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> - APRIL 4 <strong>2019</strong><br />




(646) 761-3325<br />

DESIGN<br />






(908) 232-2021<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 />

get the best prices in the tri-state area.<br />




(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 />





@ianmichaelinwonderland<br />

For my birthday<br />

in February, my<br />

photographer Steve<br />

Brennan gave me a gift<br />

card to Coach.<br />

Anyone who knows me<br />

knows that I love Coach,<br />

and that I’ve always<br />

loved Coach. My first<br />

designer bag was Coach<br />

(a black C-monogrammed<br />

messenger bag that my<br />

Mom bought me when<br />

I was accepted into<br />

college), and one of my<br />

first boyfriends bought<br />

me a brown and beige<br />

C-monogrammed tote<br />

bag that I used all through<br />

college (and still have,<br />

somewhere in the back of<br />

my closet).<br />

I took my gift card<br />

to 5th and 54th, my<br />

favorite Coach store. It’s<br />

my favorite for several<br />

reasons: 1, the revolving<br />

display window; 2, the<br />

leather monkeys on the<br />

staircase; and 3, most<br />

importantly, the giant<br />

t-rex made entirely out of<br />

leather Coach bags.<br />

I didn’t know why I loved<br />

the t-rex so much, but ever<br />

since Coach introduced<br />

their 3D t-rex bag charms,<br />

I’ve been obsessed with<br />

them.<br />

My boyfriend in tow, we<br />

looked around the store.<br />

“Do you like this?” James<br />

asked, holding up a quilted<br />

crossbody.<br />

“Eh, a little feminine,” I<br />

said, scanning the room<br />

for a bag I’d had my eye<br />

on: a little blue crossbody<br />

covered with leather<br />

flowers. When I finally<br />

found it, I flagged down an<br />

associate to bag it up.<br />

“That’s not too feminine,<br />

but the other bag is?”<br />

James asked, perplexed.<br />

I shrugged: I’ve always<br />

had an odd idea of what<br />

I thought looked good<br />

on me and what didn’t,<br />

and what I consider<br />

“too feminine” and “too<br />

masculine” alike.<br />

Waiting to be rung up,<br />

looking at a gold necklace<br />

charm of a t-rex, a memory<br />

of me at five years old<br />

flashed before my eyes:<br />

My dad left me alone to<br />

play, and when he came<br />

downstairs from working,<br />

I’d taken all of Barbie’s<br />

clothes (cocktail dresses in<br />

obnoxious shades of ‘90s<br />

primary colors) and<br />

put them onto my<br />

plastic dinosaurs.<br />

It appeared they<br />

were having the<br />

time of their lives<br />

at a cocktail party.<br />

My dad grabbed<br />

his camera:<br />

Somewhere, we<br />

have dozens of<br />

photos of my<br />

dinosaurs at their<br />

first dance.<br />

I’d been mixing<br />

feminine and<br />

masculine roles<br />

since I was a kid,<br />

and I hadn’t even<br />

realized it. In my<br />

mind, it was always<br />

clear that I was gay<br />

because of all the<br />

Barbies. But there<br />

were the dinosaurs,<br />

the Batman action<br />

figures and the Hot<br />

Wheels (and, again,<br />

my favorite Hot<br />

Wheels were hot<br />

pink and sparkly<br />

purple).<br />

I smiled at the<br />

memory, not just of<br />

Cocktail<br />

PARTY<br />

myself playing with<br />

dinosaurs in Barbie<br />

cocktail dresses, but of my<br />

dad. He loved that I put<br />

the dinosaurs in dresses so<br />

much that he made sure to<br />

photograph it, made sure<br />

to have a memory of it<br />

forever. Both of my parents<br />

made sure to let me be<br />

whoever I wanted to be,<br />

even then.<br />

“I’m so sorry,” I told the<br />

employee as she brought<br />

me the receipt, “could I<br />

get this necklace too?”<br />


The average length of<br />

a marriage nationally<br />

is 8.2 years, but for<br />

New York City alone,<br />

it’s 12.2 years. I<br />

wonder how much of<br />

that extra four years<br />

has to do with not<br />

wanting to give up the<br />

great apartment.<br />

THOMAS<br />

TALKS<br />

I’m getting married<br />

this summer, and<br />

my sister just told<br />

me that she isn’t<br />

bringing her kids,<br />

because her and her<br />

husband don’t think<br />

it’s “appropriate” for<br />

them. Part of me had<br />

been anticipating<br />

this from them,<br />

because they’re so<br />

religious, but I didn’t<br />

think they’d actually<br />

keep my niece and<br />

nephews away.<br />

They’ve all met my<br />

fiancé, and the kids<br />

love her. They also<br />

know we’re together,<br />

so I don’t see what<br />

the problem is. I’m<br />

considering just<br />

telling my sister to<br />


not come at all. I’m<br />

really hurt and very<br />

angry. - Female, Gay,<br />

27<br />

One of the pros of<br />

being queer is that<br />

you can pick who<br />

your family is; they<br />

don’t have to be the<br />

ones you were born<br />

into. You don’t have<br />

to just accept her<br />

bigoted views. If you<br />

tell your sister that you<br />

don’t want her there<br />

without the kids, it<br />

could potentially put<br />

a wedge between<br />

the two of you that<br />

can’t be undone. I<br />

don’t know if this is a<br />

single incident, or if<br />

there are other times<br />

where she’s told you<br />

she objects to your<br />

life, but tell her to<br />

knock it off or she’s<br />

not going to be a part<br />

of your life at all. Tell<br />

her how you feel, that<br />

it hurts your feelings<br />

and you want the<br />

kids there. Ultimately,<br />

they’re her kids, and<br />

you can’t force her to<br />

bring them. However,<br />

you can also be the<br />

best aunt ever and<br />

make sure they love<br />

you no matter what<br />

their mom says about<br />

you, which is great<br />

revenge!<br />

I don’t live in NY,<br />

but I had to write<br />

you, because I can’t<br />

tell anyone around<br />

here or risk them<br />

seeing it. I love my<br />

boyfriend very much,<br />

but I don’t want to<br />

marry him. A month<br />

ago he made a huge,<br />

grand gesture—all<br />

of our friends and<br />

families were there,<br />

and he asked me.<br />

I couldn’t say no. I<br />

panicked. I said yes.<br />

Now we’re making<br />

plans, getting<br />

invitations ready, and<br />

I don’t know what to<br />

do. I’m freaking out,<br />

and there’s literally<br />

no one I can talk to.<br />

I’m afraid this is a<br />

huge mistake. - Male,<br />

Gay, age-?<br />

Do not go through<br />

with this wedding. I<br />

know you’re afraid of<br />

hurting him or letting<br />

everyone down, but<br />

if you keep this inside<br />

it’s eventually going<br />

to come out and do<br />

much worse damage.<br />

This is not something<br />

you can just sit by and<br />

let play out. If you’re<br />

not ready to get<br />

married, that’s fine,<br />

tell him. If you never<br />

want to get married,<br />

tell him that too. You<br />

might lose him, but he<br />

deserves to be with<br />

someone who wants<br />

the same things as<br />

him. Good luck.<br />

Sex/Love/Relationship advice? Send your questions to: ThomasTalksAbout@gmail.com<br />






APRIL 11<br />

DOORS AT 9PM<br />

SHOW AT 9:30PM<br />


NEW YORK, NY 1003<br />



Tell everyone that CeCe says: “I<br />

can’t wait for everyone to come out to<br />

Joe’s Pub to see me, and remember to<br />

always give back. The organization that<br />

is putting on this event is always giving<br />

back to the community. Make sure you<br />

come out—it’s important!”<br />

Celebrated R&B/dance powerhouse<br />

CeCe Peniston opens the prestigious<br />

17th Annual Downtown Urban Arts<br />

Festival with a one-night-only, orgasmic<br />

performance at Joe’s Pub on Thursday,<br />

<strong>April</strong> 11, at 9:30 p.m.. The festival,<br />

directed by Reg E. Gaines and Creative<br />

Ammo Inc., showcases music, poetry, live<br />

theater and film and runs from <strong>April</strong> 11 to<br />

May 18.<br />

Billboard sensation CeCe Peniston,<br />

recognized for one of the most anthemic<br />

hits on the planet, “Finally”, has enjoyed<br />

a titanic career, at times turning the music<br />

industry inside out. Dazzling fans with<br />

her animated live showcases, CeCe has<br />

performed in front of the pope, President<br />

Clinton and at the late and legendary<br />

Aretha Franklin’s birthday party.<br />

After being commissioned to sing<br />

backup vocals for a rapper set to release<br />

an album on A&M Records, she was<br />

discovered by record executive Manny<br />

Lehman, and her earth-shattering single<br />

“Finally” was conceived. She quickly<br />

became a vibrant, international superstar<br />

and was considered to be one of the<br />

most successful dance club artists in the<br />

history of the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance<br />

Music/Club Play Charts.<br />

The Downtown Urban Arts Festival<br />

was originally conceived as a theater<br />

series in 2001. It was curated by artistic<br />

director Reg E. Gaines, a Tony-nominated<br />

playwright and Grammy Awardnominated<br />

lyricist. Later on, the addition<br />

of poetry and music and international film<br />

was added.<br />

I had the supreme joy of speaking to<br />

CeCe Peniston, and from the second the<br />

conversation began I found her vivacious,<br />

high-spirited and effervescent, and that’s<br />

an understatement. Aside from her<br />

artistry, she shines as a person, and was a<br />

regular blast.




I understand you just got back to the<br />

States.<br />

Actually, I just got back from the<br />

Bahamas, and I’m getting ready to go<br />

out again to Atlanta. I have Europe<br />

coming up, including Baltic Sea Pride.<br />

I have Ibiza coming up. So I’ve got a<br />

couple of different things.<br />

You are really busy. That’s exciting.<br />

Thank you. I thank God for that, too.<br />

He didn’t have to give me all those<br />

blessings. I’ve been doing it for 29 years<br />

now, so I keep moving and doing what I<br />

love.<br />

You are being featured at the<br />

Downtown Urban Arts Festival.<br />

Yes, I can’t wait. It’s <strong>April</strong> 11 in New York<br />

City. I like that it’s a charity-based event. I<br />

always like that, because I have a charity<br />

of my own. Just the fact that I’m able to<br />

give back to the community with what I<br />

can do, and I give out scholarships for<br />

the kids—being a part of it is great. Then<br />

I get to perform and do what I love, and<br />

then, hey, who doesn’t love New York<br />

City, right?<br />

For sure. It’s going to take place at<br />

Joe’s Pub, and you’re actually opening<br />

up the entire festival.<br />

Yes. You know what, I’m thankful to be<br />

doing that. I did that at Woodstock a<br />

while ago. Just being able to open up<br />

everything—the opening ceremony<br />

means to me that I trust you, you’ll be<br />

good for the crowd. I’m going to have<br />

two background vocalists, a DJ and<br />

make it fun for everybody. I’m going to<br />

try and have a live vibe without it actually<br />

being live. I like that feel.<br />

You said you’ve been doing this for<br />

29 years. Have you had your ultimate<br />

stage fantasy?<br />

Oh man, I’ve had several. After<br />

CeCe Peniston Opens<br />

the Downtown<br />

Urban Arts Festival<br />

at Joe’s Pub <strong>April</strong> 11<br />

Apartheid, I was the first artist, even<br />

before Whitney, to go to South Africa.<br />

So that was great. I performed for the<br />

pope in a private audience, and Andrea<br />

Bocelli was there. We had a private<br />

audience with the pope, and he gave us<br />

rosaries. It was great. Woodstock, I had<br />

the opportunity to be there with Thelma<br />

Houston. President Clinton, I performed<br />

for him several times, and Hillary<br />

Clinton at the inauguration. I’ve had a<br />

lot of blessed events. Aretha Franklin’s<br />

birthday party… I said, “Aretha wants me<br />

to perform, hello, yeah!”<br />

Wow, that is such an honor. I was<br />

going to ask you what your favorite<br />

experience performing was, but I bet<br />

you can’t even answer that.<br />

I really can’t. When you get to this period<br />

of time, the thing that makes you epic<br />

is the crowd and the people that you<br />

get to perform with. As a child there are<br />

people that you admire, who you’d love<br />

to share the stage with. I don’t know how<br />

much more epic you can get performing<br />

for Aretha Franklin. She wanted CeCe<br />

Peniston to perform at a birthday party!<br />

I love her too. I admired her work and<br />

loved her!<br />

That’s the best when you’ve<br />

connected with one of your iconic<br />

heroes in that way. So do you think<br />

music can change the world?<br />

I do. I do feel that music can be healing.<br />

I feel like music can be comfort. Last year<br />

around October I was going through<br />

dealing with the death of my mom. I<br />

would say definitely not my own music<br />

but other people’s music really helped<br />

me get through that time, and still does.<br />

I remember that I didn’t have the<br />

strength to deal, I remember thinking, “I<br />

can’t do this,” but “you can help me do<br />


I remember feeling the comfort by<br />

hearing certain songs, and there<br />

are still certain songs that I will<br />

hear that throws me a curve and I<br />

have to turn it off. But at the same<br />

time there is something beautiful<br />

about hearing them, because it<br />

brings you back to a time and<br />

place that you otherwise may<br />

forget. We should never forget<br />

loved ones or home memories,<br />

because there are very few that<br />

you can cherish.<br />

So tell me, are you doing any<br />

new projects musically?<br />

Oh, absolutely. I just put out a new<br />

song called “Are You Ready.” It’s<br />

out now on Amazon, TuneCore,<br />

all of the digital platforms and<br />

being played on satellite. I also<br />

did a song called “Hot” that I did<br />

with Antonio Dixon. We are doing<br />

some movie licensing. There’s a lot<br />

of new things that I’m doing as an<br />

artist.<br />

I’m also doing some stuff with<br />

fitness as well. I’m back on my<br />

fitness journey for women who are<br />

over 40 and looking to be 50 and<br />

fab. People have to know it’s never<br />

too late to get on that journey and<br />

be healthy and to change your<br />

lifestyle. How about that? Even<br />

with my mom, I had gained weight,<br />

because of grief and just different<br />

stuff. You think, “I don’t care<br />

what I eat right now.” I think the<br />

redemption is working back into<br />

that place when you go, “Ahhh… I<br />

want to be healthy.” I think people<br />

like that redemption, especially<br />

after being heavy: “That big coat<br />

was just keeping me warm.”<br />

I need to come down and see<br />

you, because you are just a blast!<br />

Oh, thank you. I’m like this on<br />

stage too. I’m like real out of the<br />

box—my God, here we go again.<br />

You know how I am now, come on.<br />

I was at this show with this guy who<br />

wouldn’t sing with me.<br />

The whole crowd was yelling, “Sing,<br />

sing!”<br />

Well, did he finally sing?<br />

Yes, he did.<br />

You are a huge gay icon.<br />

I love the LGBT community.<br />

Visit DUAFNYC.COM to<br />

purchase tickets. The show<br />

takes place Thursday, <strong>April</strong><br />

11, at 9:30 p.m.

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Michael<br />

Musto<br />






Famous celebrity journalist, TV and nightlife personality Michael Musto will<br />

be starring in a hysterical spoof on the game show “Hollywood Squares,”<br />

which will be called “Times Squares.” Seems as though he will become the<br />

new Paul Lynde as he will be enjoying the center square. The show will<br />

be presented at the Laurie Beechman Theater beginning Friday, <strong>April</strong> 12,<br />

at 10 p.m., and will continue to run every other Friday after that for six<br />

shows. Each week he will be joined by different guests, including Everett<br />

Quinton, Flotilla Debarge, Julian Fleisher and Ben Rimalower. The guests<br />

will perform in between the actual game, making it a night of comedy and<br />

cabaret.<br />

Aside from that, Musto will also be helping in the promotion of Saks Fifth<br />

Avenue’s and Stonewall’s collaboration on sales for the LGBT charity. He as<br />

well as other queer personalities will be photographed for the publicity.<br />

I spoke with Musto regarding both events, and as usual, it was a blast.


So, are you going to sit in levels as<br />

though it was the real “Hollywood<br />

Squares”?<br />

Well, I think it’s only going to be three<br />

people, instead of nine people. So we<br />

don’t have to worry about different<br />

levels, and worry about it collapsing.<br />

It’s basically me as “center square,”<br />

and then two guest stars, which will be<br />

different every week. It could be Flotilla<br />

Debarge, Ben Rimalower and so on.<br />

Then in between the rounds of playing<br />

the actual game the two guest stars will<br />

get up and do their numbers. So you get<br />

a full variety show-type entertainment.<br />

It’s not just a game show. I always<br />

wanted to be<br />

center square;<br />

I wanted to be<br />

Paul Lynde.<br />

Only I’m out of<br />

the closet.<br />

I think you<br />

are the<br />

reincarnation<br />

of Paul Lynde.<br />

Paul Lynde<br />

was hilarious<br />

and very<br />

groundbreaking<br />

for his time, and<br />

he made a lot of<br />

innuendos. Even<br />

on “Hollywood<br />

Squares” he was<br />

making a lot of innuendos about being<br />

gay. For example, the one about, “Why<br />

do Hell’s Angels wear leather?” His<br />

answer was, “because chiffon wrinkles.”<br />

That’s a pretty gay answer. But he never<br />

came out on the record and said that<br />

he was gay. It was a different time; there<br />

really weren’t out celebrities. Still, he<br />

paved the way, and he was hilarious.<br />

Years later Whoopi Goldberg was a<br />

center square, Joan Rivers was a center<br />

square, and these are all my idols.<br />


So that’s so cool for you.<br />

So I’m stepping into those shoes… on a<br />

smaller scale, I would say. I always lived<br />

for that show. You always lived for seeing<br />

how those kooky celebrities are going<br />

to come up with a one-liner to answer<br />

the question, and then they had to give<br />

a serious answer. Then you would see<br />

if they had any actual knowledge, and<br />

usually they were pretty smart.<br />

They have that TV channel where they<br />

just play those old game shows now.<br />

Yeah, “Buzzers.”<br />

Charles Nelson Reilly on the “Match<br />

Game” was pretty gay.<br />

He was the flip side of Paul Lynde.<br />

He wore polyester and would flap his<br />

arms around—it was hilarious. Those<br />

were my gay<br />

role models<br />

growing up,<br />

even though<br />

they never<br />

said they were<br />

gay. Then you<br />

always have<br />

these fag-hag<br />

types like<br />

Brett Somers<br />

on “Match<br />

Game.” I loved<br />

her.<br />

It’s the only<br />

channel I<br />

watch aside<br />

from weather.<br />

I watch Carol<br />

Burnett. It’s like a new show. I call my<br />

friends to tell them who is on, and they<br />

ask me if I’m aware that it’s a rerun. I<br />

say, “Oh, it is?” I’m still living in the<br />

60s. Well, we will see how witty I am on<br />

the spot. I hope I can pull it off.<br />

So how did the idea originate?<br />

This guy named Tim Cusack is the one<br />

who contacted me. He’s promoting the<br />

show. He’s promoted shows for Bionca<br />

Lee and Linda Simpson. He asked me<br />

if I’d want to be the center square, and<br />

I told him it was one of my dreams on<br />

my bucket list.<br />


I actually thought it was gonna be a<br />

whole “Brady Bunch”-type situation with<br />

the nine people. Then it turned out it’s<br />

me and two guest stars.<br />

Who are the contestants going to be?<br />

The contestants are going to be from the<br />

audience. Tim Cusack is also the host.<br />

Just for clarity, it’s going to take place<br />

at the Laurie Beechman Theater—<br />

when?<br />

It’s every other Friday at 10 p.m. starting<br />

<strong>April</strong> 12. So there will be six of them,<br />

unless it gets held over. I’m going more<br />

for the feeling of the early “Hollywood<br />

Squares” with Peter Marshall. That’s<br />

when it was really fun. It wasn’t as fun<br />

with John Davidson. I’m scared for myself<br />

that I even know<br />

that John Davidson<br />

eventually took over.<br />

I shouldn’t know<br />

things like that. It<br />

will be called “Times<br />

Squares” instead of<br />

“Hollywood Squares.”<br />

I love that you do,<br />

though.<br />

You do too. At least I<br />

know whether these<br />

people were gay or<br />

not.<br />

Well, I know now.<br />

You just got the memo. Brace yourself,<br />

Eileen, Liberace was gay too.<br />

Also, you are doing something<br />

regarding Stonewall that seems quite<br />

exciting.<br />

Yes. It’s World Pride and the 50th<br />

anniversary of Stonewall. Stonewall<br />

of course was the legendary revolt in<br />

1969 when the queer community said,<br />

“We’re not going to take the oppression<br />

anymore,” and we fought back. That<br />

changed everything. It was the beginning<br />

of the modern Queer Movement where<br />

our community organized even more and<br />

fought back and became recognized and<br />

proud. We weren’t afraid to hold hands in<br />

the street anymore. So Saks Fifth Avenue<br />

is doing “Windows for Pride,” and they<br />

were also doing a line where different<br />

designers are contributing, like Marc<br />

Jacobs. They are designing clothing that<br />

they will sell and raise money for the<br />

Stonewall initiative. They have people<br />

like me and other queer personalities<br />

to be photographed, and they will use<br />

that to promote. They will have digital<br />

promotion of this sale and raise money<br />

for queer charities.<br />

That is so cool.<br />

Yeah, it took a while for retail to come on<br />

our side. Half a century.<br />

I always say to artists, anyone<br />

that doesn’t strive to get the gay<br />

community on their side is crazy.<br />

Yeah. There are going<br />

to be two parades this<br />

year, the regular one<br />

and an activist march.<br />

There is going to be<br />

the regular Heritage<br />

and Pride Parade, which<br />

is very corporate, and<br />

then this other thing<br />

called “Reclaim Pride.”<br />

That’s going to be a<br />

march at the same time.<br />

I’ll be running backand-forth<br />

all day like a<br />

lunatic. Twenty-five years<br />

ago it was the same<br />

situation for the 25th<br />

anniversary of Stonewall. There were<br />

two marches, but this year the alternate<br />

march is much more angry in a reaction<br />

to the main parade, because they think<br />

it’s too cooperate. They feel that only<br />

businesses get plugged because of the<br />

way it’s televised and promoted. It will be<br />

interesting. I’ll be covering both. June is<br />

going to be off the hook; I feel it in the<br />

air.<br />

I’m sure you will be asked to get<br />

involved in everything.<br />

I’ve earned the right… I’m the original<br />

“gay.” I’m the original club kid. My birth<br />

certificate is in hieroglyphics, and my<br />

Social Security number is 3.


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MISFIT<br />

BOYS<br />

In his second collection of humorous<br />

essays, Greg Scarnici recounts some<br />

of his most shocking and scandalous<br />

experiences over 25 years of<br />

summering on New York’s Fire Island.<br />

From tea dances in Fire Island Pines<br />

to drag competitions in Cherry<br />

Grove, nothing is sugar-coated in<br />

his new book, “Dungeons and Drag<br />

Queens.”<br />

“If I were to explain Fire Island to<br />

someone who’s never been there, I<br />

would describe it as a bathhouse on<br />

the beach,” Scarnici explains. “Or<br />

Provincetown with more meth.”<br />

He spills all the hot tea from riding<br />

aboard a ferry of drag queens for<br />

the annual Fourth of July Invasion<br />

to getting innocently lured into<br />

a sex dungeon. He discusses his<br />

adventures in the notorious Meat<br />

Rack and dancing until the sun<br />

comes up at the island’s annual<br />

beach celebration, Pines Party.<br />


We spoke with him from his<br />

Manhattan home.

Does any place on earth compare<br />

with Fire Island?<br />

Hmm. Fire Island really is its own<br />

unique, gay paradise. The closest<br />

towns to compare it are obviously<br />

Provincetown or Key West, but<br />

they’re more of real towns with actual<br />

streets and cars, unlike the secluded<br />

hamlets of Fire Island, which makes it<br />

so special.<br />

Where do you stand on Pines<br />

versus Cherry Grove?<br />

Both towns have their merits and<br />

detractions, and to be honest I feel<br />

like the two towns are starting to<br />

seem a lot more alike. While I love<br />

the housing stock and the finely-built<br />

men in The Pines, there is something<br />

to be said for the carefree, fun-loving<br />

vibe of The Grove, which is why I’ve<br />

made it my home the past 10 years.<br />

As a full season share renter,<br />

what are the rules for being a<br />

houseguest on Fire Island?<br />

Don’t show up with a half-drunk<br />

plastic bottle of Georgi vodka.<br />

Can you recall your best and worst<br />

summers?<br />

I actually loved the summer of 2018,<br />

because we finally got an inflatable<br />

hot tub, which has changed my life!<br />

As for the worst summer, I’d have to<br />

say that summer I didn’t place in Drag<br />

Attack!<br />

drag that just makes people laugh,<br />

which is why Drag Attack!—which<br />

has crowned me the “Worst Drag<br />

Queen” four times—is so important<br />

to me. It’s more about wit and fun and<br />

having a good time.<br />

Of all the colorful characters<br />

we meet in “Dungeons and<br />

Drag Queens,” who is the most<br />

memorable?<br />

I’d have to say China. What’s not to<br />

love about an 80-something drag<br />

queen who can still werk, serve and<br />

turn it?<br />

Why did you feel the need to<br />

dedicate the book to every drag<br />

queen who has ever graced the<br />

boardwalks of Fire Island?<br />

I did that to honor all of the drag<br />

queens who have come before me,<br />

because I don’t want people think,<br />

“Who’s THIS bitch showing up late to<br />

the gig?!”<br />

How would you like the island to<br />

remember you?<br />

As the prettiest, most convincing<br />

female impersonator to ever grace<br />

the boards of Cherry Grove.<br />

“Dungeons and Drag Queens”<br />

is available on Amazon and at<br />

select bookstore retailers. Visit<br />


You’ve been named<br />

the island’s WORST<br />

drag queen four<br />

times, yet you<br />

seem to wear the<br />

title like a badge of<br />

honor.<br />

So many drag<br />

queens—especially<br />

pageant queens—<br />

try so hard to be<br />

perfect and browncow<br />

stunning, and<br />

I think there’s a lot<br />

to be said for fun

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