With the Supreme
Court’s landmark ruling on June 26 striking down state
sodomy laws, the gay community truly has cause to celebrate
this year. The Lawrence v. Texas decision is also a major
victory for privacy rights advocates, but it was members of
the gay community who were out in full force the following
weekend celebrating at Pride festivals here in New York City
and across the country.
Hey, it’s one less archaic, unreasonable law for us
to break. But more importantly, it further legitimizes our
existence and is a monumental step forward in our fight for
equality. Thank you Lambda Legal for all your hard work in
making this a reality!
In lighter legal news, the pressure is on the Bloomberg administration
to finally abolish (or at the very least modify) the controversial
77-year-old cabaret laws that effectively regulate when and
where revelers can dance in the city. A public hearing was
held on June 24 before a panel of city officials that included
Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra of the Department of Consumer
Affairs (DCA), the agency responsible for issuing cabaret
licenses, and Anthony Borrelli, District Manager of Manhattan’s
Community Board 4.
After several hours of testimony, City Council Members Alan
Gerson and Leroy Comrie offered encouraging words of support
before turning the floor over for public comment. In her July
2 Village Voice Fly Life column, Tricia Romano summed up the
proceeding as, “Everyone (and that includes the DCA)
seemed to agree on one thing: Dancing itself is not the problem
and shouldn’t be regulated. Hopefully new legislation
will address the real culprits, namely noise, loitering and
You can track this issue’s progress at LegalizeDancingNYC.com.
Exercise your party rights
In anticipation of this most valiant effort’s success,
why not get out there and cut a rug yourself to show your
support? In addition to the many options we regularly enjoy,
there are a few upcoming special events that warrant your
On Sunday, July 13, Heartbeat Records’ Louis Morhaim
returns to Cielo to spin his next tea dance at the cozy Meatpacking
District glamour vacuum. If his last event is any indication,
expect an evening of fiercely mixed grooves punctuated by
random dance floor flirtations and friendly conversation.
Beware: The party begins at 6 p.m. and peaks early. Call
212-645-5700 for information.
Two weeks later Don Turner presents his annual pier/tugboat
party on Pier 63, Soakin’ Wet 3. The July 27 afternoon
soirée starts at 2 p.m. and provides the perfect summertime
You can dance to the musical styling of DJ Tony Moran without
sacrificing a gorgeous day in the sun. Tickets are available
If you haven’t checked out the little gay resort that
could yet, then head down to Asbury Park in New Jersey the
weekend of July 18-20 for “Road Trip 2.” The Asbury
Park Marketing Fund, a non-profit group created by local gay
and lesbian homeowners, is staging its second weekend retreat
just 90 minutes south of Manhattan.
As you’ve probably heard, gay folks have been snatching
up homes and revitalizing the area over the past few years.
Spearheading this massive undertaking has been renowned DJ/producer
(and original Madonna remixer) Shep Pettibone who owns the
famed Empress Hotel and Paradise nightclub, both situated
directly on Asbury Park’s beach.
Pettibone is refurbishing the Empress and anticipates a grand
opening sometime in 2004. The property’s nightclub,
however, which includes a massive sound system, two dance
floors, six bars and a pool, has been open for several years.
The venue has attracted some of the best DJs in the business
as well as artists like Cyndi Lauper, Taylor Dayne and Lonnie
Gordon. And Road Trip 2 promises a blowout of epic proportions.
On Friday night, Pettibone’s one-time protégé
and world-famous DJ Junior Vasquez will kick off the weekend
in grand style when he takes the Paradise decks at 11 p.m.
Joining Vasquez fresh from her dazzling performance at the
HX Awards just a few weeks ago is Ultra Naté who will
perform her new single “Brass In Pocket.” Naté
is one of the most amazing live performers you’ll ever
see, and she never fails to energize an audience while belting
out such classic anthems as “If You Could Read My Mind”
The weekend really sounds like a lot of fun with a wide variety
of activities planned, including a block party, lesbian bowling,
and a beach-umbrella-decorating contest. Check out GayAsburyPark.com
for more info.
Speaking of ultra unique performers, don’t miss larger-than-life
tranny Amanda Lepore’s debut dance record, “Deeper.”
A sexy collaboration with DJ/producer Gomi and the legendary
Lady Bunny, the breathy single is reminiscent of Madonna’s
“Justify My Love” and “Erotica.”
I wish I had enough room to share the story of David LaChapelle’s
muse because it’s truly remarkable. Thank you, Amanda,
for my new motto:
“ Posing’s my drug.”
Until next time — Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Yourself.