Pride Goes East unites Fourth Arts Block (FAB) theaters with Lower East Side (LESBID) businesses as they celebrate Pride in the way that only such a unique, diverse, culturally-rich neighborhood can! Theatres will be presenting a variety of LBGT performances while shops and restaurants offer hot deals and special events in support of fundraising efforts for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk School.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
After a day of fantastic shopping with Pride Goes East's Gentleman's Night Out store stop by Dixon Place to see the BTGay band perform this Thursday, June 24th from 9pm-11pm. See this youtube clip of the band's previous performance.
Read this statement from the band about the performance and performers not to miss this Thursday, June 24th from 9pm-11pm.
The BTK Band got its real start at The Stonewall Inn. I'd done a drag show as an experiment in character development and met the owner. We bonded over our Philadelphia sports tattoos and when the time came for the band to play, he gave us a spot. It was a lucky break for me, as I look like a post-menopausal Russian bride in a dress. Management gave us free reign, as long as their bar sales went up. That was no problem. Our shows at The Stonewall gave us the freedom to try new things, to implement different kinds of songs, to invite storytellers onstage and create a new type of music: improvised storytelling rock and roll. We slowly built an audience, many of whom had never had the occasion to go to The Stonewall. They all came back for more. It didn't hurt that there were lesbian jello wrestling matches downstairs. When our first June show came around, we wanted to do something different. We became The BTGay Band. We brought our best gay friends to tell their stories of Pride onstage with us. It just felt right. Our rhythm guitarist, Ian Dunn, whom we call The Tennessee Senator, drafted a BTGay Marriage Bill and passed it, effectively legalizing gay marriage (non-legally binding outside of the show). We married two gentlemen in a ceremony during our song "So Says The Lord." In that song, volunteers pick random bible verses and we explain them. Two verses were chosen, both happened to be about love and tolerance. The air in the room lifted. People were all together. The music was loud. The love was flowing. It was beautiful. We are proud to have the friends that we do. We are proud to provide an environment of chaos and acceptance. Come as you are to The BTK Band show. When we are BTGay, you better come fierce.
Check out FAB's homepage to see the video of the route that the King of the Lower East Side took to win Pride Goes East's Scavenger Hunt. Check out David B.'s (the King) blog on the event and his youtube videos with Tamara Greenfield, Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block, and his winning statements as King of Lower East Side. Great job David and we are honored to have you as out King!
Pride Goes East is excited to invite all the men (or women who are buying for men or like male clothing) to an event filled with fashionable and rare shopping, liquor and an after party at Dixon Place with the BTK Band, NYC's improvised storytelling rock band who in their celebration of Pride will be known as the BTGay Band! Gentlemen's Night Out starts at 6pm and goes until 9pm on Thursday June 24th. Prizes will be given out to the first few individuals who buy $50 or more at each store.
Get a head start on your fall wardrobe at Gentlemen's Night Out with my selection of some of the most fashionable jackets from the Lower East Side.
One of the stores participating is well-tailored designs By Robert James who "aims to make every man feel who wears his clothing feel as handsome as the clothes themselves" which means that every man who shops here will be leaving looking extremely handsome. Check out this photo of Robert James' The Washington jacket.
Another store is Any Old Iron which specializes in rare and UK-specific mensware clothing. This store is the first of its kind in Manhattan. Check out this Green Tonic jacket, I know it is on my wish list for the fall! I love unique clothing stores like this. Come and help bring Euro fashions to the city and the Lower East Side at Gentlemen's Night Out.
If your style is more punk rock check out The Cast who specializes in denim, leather and t-shirt designs with a harder edge. This store is cutting edge with an '80s punk influence. Check out this hot vintage leather jacket.
Vintage-inspired Kai D Utility offers designs that he says are inspired by "wisdom". Every pocket and accessory are placed in the exact and most logical location. This store is perfect for the intellectual and philosophical man. Clean lines and cool colors offer a pristine look well suited for any chic man. Check out this sophisticated jacket from Kai D Utility.
Whether you are shopping for a well-tailored design, Euro fashion, Punk Rock/Vintage clothing or clothing for the sophisticated and wise attend Gentlemen's Night Out to meet your fashion needs. Visit all the stores and get drink tickets for the BTGay show at Dixon Place for the after-party. Make this event a must-do to kick off your Pride weekend.
Peace, Love and Fashion,
Friday, June 18, 2010
Recently, I, a fabulous gay man from New York, was standing in a sparse dressing room at the Nordstrom Rack in Salt Lake City – my mother’s favorite outlet store. She was taking me on a good ole’ mother/son shopping spree for my upcoming birthday.
I stood under the unflattering florescent lights trying on various shirts that had been on the rack for too long and contemplating turning 40…
…I looked at my round belly in the mirror and the hair on my chest which is turning white. White. Chest hair.
I’ve stood in this dressing room before. With my mother knocking on the louvered door. “How’s it going in there? How are the pants? Do you need a larger size? Aren’t you going to show me?”
I looked at myself and thought: how am I here again? Who AM I? Who is this person? I moved to New York to become someone else. Someone fabulous. Who doesn’t need his mother to buy him clothes.
I need the clothes.
Outside the Nordstrom Rack, Salt Lake City was about to burst with gay pride. June 6. One day before my 40th. I would drive past the bustling festival preparations - rows and rows of white tents and rainbow flags, right there at the City & County Building – right in the center of town!!
20 years ago there in Salt Lake City I experienced my first gay pride day. It followed my first gay pride parade –really more a march – down Main Street – sticking close to our fellow marchers– because unlike in New York where throngs of well-wishers cheer as you walk by – you would be scowled at, or worse, spit on, or called a faggot. And young fellows like me trembled in fear that the news cameras might catch us and all our aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents would see what we had been so carefully keeping from them. The truth.
The festival was held at Murray Park – the third-string Park in Salt Lake. Sorry, Ms. Murray. In the part of town which boasted the largest number of auto dealers and pawn shops they could hide us, to do whatever it is we might do, far from the eyes of the moral majority.
I had never been in a gathering of so many gay people before, there must have been over 800 people. And I was astounded. There were men AND women! There were OLD people! And mothers with children! Freaks sharing snow-cones with “regular”-looking people! And everyone seemed so happy together!
The drag queen on the stage had just introduced a butch lesbian singer-songwriter when there was a disruption from the rear of the crowd. The piano stopped and a hush befell the assembly as we watched with horror, a truck crawling menacingly close, overflowing with tough-looking men and women wearing swastika armbands and proudly waiving a Nazi flag. Yes. A Nazi flag.
They didn’t look invited.
Instinctively the crowd contracted and some began to flee. But the drag queen did not withdraw. She stepped forward, took the mic and said “It looks like we have party crashers.”
“Well. There are more of us then there are of them.”
And the Queers, naturally possessing great timing, took each other’s hands right on cue, We reached out, and grabbed each other, and the mothers and the leathermen and trannies and dykes and freaks and the “regular”-looking people…and the queer little Mormon theatre majors…became one. And en masse we moved towards the lil’ truck o’ Nazis. There may have been some shouting and some name calling and there was definitely some chanting(“were here, were queer, were proud of it, get used to it”) but most of all, there was this quiet, awesome POWER. Power. And peace.
Because we knew, for sure, right then, that it was all true. That the redundant rhetoric of unity, and inclusiveness and community had a real and tangible…point! When we became one, for that fleeting moment, we were unstoppable. And we gathered speed and moved toward the truck, and the little band of Nazi’s, having realized they had underestimated their target, jumped back in their truck and drove away. And at that moment, the rules changed. We had scored one for the queers and we were, legitimately and profoundly…proud.
I think we changed gay pride in Salt Lake City forever that day. I do. There were over 25,000 people at this year’s gay pride festival. In the city’s center.
And for a fleeting moment in the florescent-bathed mirror at the Nordstrom Rack, I looked…proud.
I feel so lucky. To have been born in these times in this country. Take a country like Uganda. The estimated 500,000 LGBTQ persons living there are forced to hide. Because those who are caught face arrest, detention, beatings, and even death at the hands of the authorities, or even their own communities.
On June 25 and 26 the New York Neo-Futurists perform their fourth annual gay pride benefit: “Too Much Pride Makes The Baby Go Gay” with proceeds benefiting LGBTQ activism in Uganda through the Fund For Global Human Rights. It will be an evening of raucous comedy and unbridled celebration of love. We’re doing it for the freedom of those in Uganda and around the world. I invite you to come. I couldn’t be more proud.
Come to the FOURTH annual Pride benefit show:
Too Much Pride Makes the Baby Go Gay!
(30 gay plays in 60 straight minutes)
June 25th & 26th @ 10:30pm
Proceeds to benefit LGBT Activism in Uganda!
For tickets: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/698325
Friday, June 4, 2010
On January 3rd 2010 we began rehearsing LAVA Loving & Daring at our Brooklyn studio. On June 3rd 2010 we will begin performing LAVA Loving & Daring at Dixon Place. LAVA is celebrating 10 years by creating a show that has highlighted, remixed, and revived some of our and our audiences' favorite material from the past decade. It has been really interesting to look at all of our past work and to try to assess what has withstood the test of time.
We are including many of our most acrobatic and virtuosic pieces: double trapeze, human pyramids, hoop diving and team tumbling. All are done by a cast of women who are amazingly strong and synchronized, some new to the company, some veterans with 10 years under their belts. Also a good dose of geology and earth sciences with duets inspired by volcanoes and plate tectonics, a semi-accurate geology lecture that involves audience participation, swing dancing that combines with wrestling to point to the complexity and humor of socially-dictated gender roles, and a section from Tides inspired by the sounds and rhythms of ocean waves. We will be showing some of our site-specific video collaborations with Nancy Brooks Brody from residencies that we did in California, Hawaii, and New York. And a parade of props that refer to the heroics and inanities of scientific knowledge.
I am hoping that audiences will get to see the unusual combination of aesthetics, politics, and physicality that is unique to LAVA: our feminist resistance embodied in female strength and intimate relationships, our connection to the natural world, our movement vocabulary that spans from the virtuosity of acrobatics to the simplicity of pedestrian movements that anyone could do, and our commitment to a humanity and accessibility in our connections with each other, our community members, and our audiences.
Get a preview of the show here.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
A large part of Pride Goes East is supporting the LGBTQ organizations within our community. This year we are working with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, fundraising and providing enrichment opportunities for their students. We asked a group of Hetrick-Martin Students "What does Pride mean to you?" and you can see their responses below.
To me, Gay Pride is the celebration of gay people. It is a time of year where there is a parade for people who identify themselves within the LGBTQ community. Pride represents the whole LGBTQ youth community and it is a hype event that celebrates the diversity and existence of the LGBTQ community. It is a safe space for people to rejoice in the positive aspects of their identity without anyone telling them that being who you are is wrong.
Sigh. Pride means to embrace yourself and other people. On Pride we are all proud to be able to express our sexual nature. We are celebrating a sense of freedom. Pride means to unite as a community and celebrate. We are all marching for a purpose. We are all created the way we are for a purpose and on Pride we should be proud of it. Pride means love comes in many forms…embrace that!
Positive Free will
I feel pride is a symbolism for accepting where you come from and who you are. If people have a safe space to go somewhere they’re accepted, then they should take pride in where they are. Also, pride in a safe space can bring a person’s confidence up and encourage them to have pride in themselves.
For me Pride this year doesn’t have much of a meaning personally. I’ve been through this every year for so long that it’s just become a ritual. So, I guess it’s really about tradition. And keeping that tradition alive. It’s funny, I’m really glad I’m writing about this b/c otherwise I don’t think I would have a very good pride this year. But understanding that sense of tradition makes me a little more hopeful. Like, I’m thinking about all the friends I know that have never been to Pride or don’t know what it’s like to walk in the parade. And I think I wanna share that with people. I wanna spread that joy and ring in a day for another year of what it means to be a proud individual supporting other proud individuals. And besides, I can’t wait to take the train with my rainbow flags and all those others riding to head to church.
Pride could be a very good thing or a very bad thing. Too much Pride can be hateful and blinding. Just enough pride is beautiful and empowering. I’ve had encounters with both. Negative pride could be hearts keep beating despite the pains that literally have made it stop, many times over.
Starting with a Kick-Off at the ETHYL EICHELBERGER AWARDs and continuing with multiple discounted performances, a Twitter-based scavenger hunt, a Ladies Brunch, a Gentlemen's Night Out, a special performance by the BTGay Band, a shop-a-a-thon at over 15 LES BID boutiques and restaurants, and much more, Pride Goes East is here to help you celebrate Pride on the East side till the end of June and beyond.