Throngs of snazzy gays, female admirers and a handful of gender-benders lined up outside of Gotham Hall for Out magazine’s Out 100 awards ceremony last Friday. At a cursory glance from the outside, this shindig looked important; the bow-tied aesthetes and Chelsea boys eyeing the august old fashion fruits enviously as the latter were whisked past the hulking security guards.
But inside the capacious rotunda, as 15,000 bottles of donated liquor flowed, it might as well have been a bathhouse. Guys in tuxes in the men’s room—which had been switched with the ladies room for the night—complained about having stage fright to the bathroom attendant. A highly Botoxed gentleman, looking exactly like Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, began rubbing my thigh with his man-purse. Um, yeah, I’m going to go get a drink…
That was where a 7-foot-tall blond transsexual and her shorter sidekick were standing. “I can get any straight boy I want,” the taller gal—who introduced herself as Hyacinth—said. And what do you do, when you’re not dressing up? “I’m an artiste,” she gushed, preening. “Oh, she’s just a professional cocksucker,” Hyacinth’s pal spat out.
Not everyone was such a camp archetype. Brooding Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear had put a little pomade in his hair and thrown on a nice jacket to please his boyfriend. “There is no homophobia in indie rock,” he said. “It’s so under-the-radar because everyone’s a little gay.” What sets the Williamsburg homo apart from his West Side brethren? “We have a little more heft,” he said with a smile, patting his slight paunch.
On the street, hundreds of copies of the new issue of Out were piled near the Dumpster. The awards hadn’t even been given out. Dragging on a cigarette, I watched a smartly dressed, twenty-something fag hag slide one of the cleaner copies out and brush it off on her leg. Hyacinth, who was perched on the Dumpster, pointed and laughed.