by Eric A. Crabtree
Gay Community Deserves Better Exposure
In a recent dual cover story entitled "Mighty Real," the Austin Chronicle featured a report on the death of Lauren (Scott Fuller) Paige's murder and tied it into another feature on Austin's Drag Underground. It is this reporter's understanding that murder is one thing from a jealous lover. Drag and divas are not the same. But what happens when the two come together? Bad publicity happens. Not one mention of the Austin drag divas' community efforts was listed in the feature, "Austin Drag Underground."
Instead, these features listed the murder issue and then tied it into issues from hormones, sex, mother figures, bodies, street whores, isolation and shows.
Austin drag is not underground. Many drag divas like the Austin Babtist Women (ABW) are very present in the community making "Miracles Happen" by raising over $4 million for charities. Other divas from the United Court of Austin with reigning diva, Emperor VI Dee Dee Davis, have raised over $35,000 in their recent reign since Sept. Recently, Dee Dee and the Court along with the ABWs & Lil' Debbie raised over $1,700 for Project Transitions of Austin at Dick's. Still others like the Capital City Queens, Bibi Gunn, Mary K, and Diana Dior do well for Austin. The list goes on to include Scarlett Leigh, Heather Thomas, Goldie Haynes, Kelly Kline, Bee Bee Hughes, Cecelia Martay, Misty Stevens, Chiciquita, Lauren Taylor, Alix Courtney, Topaz, Jaime Perry, Nacha Type and others, all of whom have done more than their share to support many charities. The issue of drugs comes up in the feature and one bar - The Forum - was singled out as a '"drug bar" with what appears to be a staged picture shot in their pictorial section.
The Chronicle states, "The bathrooms at the Forum are the dark center of the social scene - a place where gender, sexuality, drugs and sex come together."
They also state in their editorial, "The Forum's bathrooms on any given night might be populated with people snorting crack or couples having sex."
As a Gay man and very OUT in this community, covering all from Leather Men to Circuit Parties to Drag Divas for Ambush, I know for a fact that drugs happen everywhere and not just the Forum. As for the sex in the bathrooms, that's rare.
Lastly, many bars host drag performers and not just one. Drag divas do well for the community in charity fundraisers, comedy, serious illusions and plain old dress-up fun. The sub-sector divas that were featured I call "street trash" give a bad name to the real divas of our GLBT community who are respected family members. If you want true and correct info that is not biased on GLBT Austin, do as Emperor V Bob Hemby says, "When we read, we read Ambush." Long live our diva sisters. You do us well.
ALGPC Hosts "Meet the Candidates"
On Sun, Mar. 5, from 3 -5pm, the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus (ALGPC) will host a reception for members of Austin's Gay and Lesbian community to meet ALGPC's candidates in the Mar. 14 party primary elections. The venue for the reception will be the stunning west Austin home of Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend, perched above Shoal Creek, near the intersection of N. Lamar Blvd. and 24th St., at 1500 W. 24th. Parking will not be allowed around the house. Guests should park south of 24th, on Pease Park Rd. and enter via Pemberton Parkway, to the east of the residence. This reception will benefit the Political Action Committee of ALGPC and a contribution of $25 at the door will be appreciated. ALGPC will also be inviting current city and Travis County office-holders and candidates who have announced for the May 6th City Council and School Board elections. For info. and to RSVP, please contact ALGPC at 512.474.0750 or e-mail ARBAUSTX@AOL.COM.
Mardi Gras - 2000 - Austin
It's party time again in Austin as we all celebrate with beads, masks, costumes, doubloons, decorations, parties, parades, dancers and, of course, good spirits for Mardi Gras 2000. Krewe Crabtree will be heading over to N'awlins to party down, however there are lots of Mardi Gras events right here in Austin. Both Coors and Budweiser will be sponsoring events and specials throughout the city. Masks, leather goods, beads and more may be found at the Leather Chest for your needs. Club events that advertise in Ambush may be found in the special events section or online at www.ambushmag.com. Revelers can make the Friends of Sixth Street's Mardi Gras Night Parade Krewe of Bacchus Parade on Fri., Mar. 3 at 7:30pm. On Mar. 4 & 5 look for concerts and crawfish boils from noon to 8pm. Fat Tuesday from 6-2am it's the Mardi Party. For more info., call 512.499.0559 or www.citysearch.com. After Fat Tues., Mar. 7, the party's over with the start of Lent season for 40 days plus 7 Sundays until Easter - April 23. To learn more about Mardi Gras, visit www.mardigras.com & www.gaymardigras.com. "Laissez Les Bons Temps Roules!"
DJ Bang Releases CD: e-on
DJ Bang of Oilcan Harry's fame has released his latest late night trance CD, e-on. The CD includes instrumental and some vocal sounds perfect for late night listening. e-on puts one into a meditative trance with its circuit-uplifting beat. Music featured on this fierce CD starts with "Adagio for Strings" - William Orbit, "Everytime" - Lustral, "Another Way" - Paul Van Dyk and "Mercury & Solace" - BT. The beat continues on with "Lost in Emotion" - John '00' Fleming, "2000" - Binary Finary, "Turkey 2000" - Drives on a Vinal and "The Rain" - Gizeh. Mixes conclude with "Love Will Come" - Tomski and "Holding On" -Skynet UK. The CD was engineered at studio de la Funkin' Bitch by Don Perry. Special thanks go out to DJs Miss H, Dig'M. Licious. Special thanks also go to Jason J., Bill C., Grant and all past, present and future ex's.
The CD is available at Alien Records located at 1114 West 5th St., 512.477.3909. "Enjoy the trip," says DJ Bang.
Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo
in Austin Mar. 10-26
It's time for those stetsons, ropers and wranglers as the Austin Travis County Livestock Show & Rodeo gets underway at the Travis Co. Exposition Center Mar. 10-26. This year the livestock show and rodeo is called the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo. More info. on the show and rodeo festivities may be found by calling them at 512.467.9811 or on the Web at www.austinrodeo.com.
SXSW Featured Mar. 10-19
South by Southwest Music and Media Conference 2000 will be held in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World, Mar. 10-19. Both the music and film communities in Austin hold these yearly events and many bands and performers from across the world vie for placement to be heard and seen across the city. In addition to the music festival, the SXSW Film Festival and the Interactive Festival are also held. More info. on SXSW may be obtained via www.sxsw.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2000 HRC Black Tie Dinner
The 2000 HRC Black Tie Dinner will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Mar. 18. This year's dinner honors Austin's own Bettie Naylor for her years of service to the Gay and Lesbian community locally, statewide and nationally. There will be a host of political dignitaries friendly to our cause as honored guests. The guest speaker will be Betty DeGeneres, the mother of Ellen DeGeneres. For more info., please go to www.austin-hrcblacktie.org or Daniel M.Leeper - email@example.com or 512.671.6655.
CCMC Presents "Let Music Live"
The Capital City Men's Chorus (CCMC) will be the special guest of the Alamo City Men's Chorale (ACMC) shining a spotlight on Americana including spirituals, hymn tunes, and patriotic songs. CCMC will be performing music from Tremonisha by Scott Joplin, Siege at the Alamo by Bernard Taylor and Karl Logue, as well as selections from the great Broadway hits Ragtime, Titanic, and Parade. Performances are 8pm, Sat. And Sun., Mar. 18 and 19 at 3pm. Location of the shows are at the Ruth Taylor Concert Hall located on the Trinity University Campus in San Antonio. For Tickets, call 210.495.SING (7464). Reservations are required and more information may be obtained by sending an e-mail to CabaretRes@aol.com or at: www.io.com/~ccmsaus.
"Hearts On Fire" Explodes On Austin
Austin recently experienced a whirlwind party weekend as I celebrated the last of my 30s birthdays in 12 great parties spanning 5 days with my Valentine's Millennium "Hearts On Fire" weekend. At every party, my ensemble was complete with my circuit heart beating and glowing to the fun. Overall the weekend was so fantastic. In the words of Sally Field when she won her Oscar, I have to say to everyone, "you love me, you really love me." Thank you so much Austin for making my Valentine "Hearts on Fire" b-day so much fun and very special. I love you all back from my heart. Here below is the fun I could remember.
My B-day weekend began Thurs. night at 'Bout Time with the "What? - Downtown is Closed Party?" Decorative balloons filled the bar from HH bartender Steve while Carey and Neal poured the champagne. Peter's Pool Tournament played through while all had a great time with good friends. Glow and Crazy Straws were given as party favors and I danced with hi-intensity glow sticks (h.i.g.) while DJ Nick played "17" for my b-day. Old pals Bibi Gunn, Peter, Jeff, Ben, Wayne, Carol, Kevin, Larz, Bryon, Hector, Jimmy, Agusta Blush and Chaz made the night special until it was almost 11:30pm and I was due at Charlie's Austin for my "Nacha Man But Could Be Party." I thanked 'Bout Time, waved goodbye and headed downtown.
Arriving at Charlie's Austin, I discovered Nacha Type was off that night so Jaime Perry filled her shoes with a fantastic diva show ensemble of guests. Glow and Crazy Straws were given as party favors while Arny poured the champagne and manager Corey did the cakewalk for me lit with (h.i.g.). Many friends were in attendance along with staff members Garold, Carsten, David, Joel and James. Jaime's show was fantastic. I danced into the night with Alan and Vinny while DJ Tony spun the hot hits. Somewhere around 1:30am I was dragged away to Oilcan's where I met up with the manager from the Dallas Frat House and we capped a great evening of fun at my place right after a short dance number or two at the Forum. Thank you, Charlie's Austin for making it so special.
Fri. morning came and I swore I thought it was Sat. already. The night started with the "Working Girl Party" at Splash Video Bar. Manager Eddie and owner Randy presented me bottles of champagne as Warren, Joel and William poured them for the customers and we all toasted the party. Glow and Crazy Straws were given as party favors. Adult & Calendar star Marcus Iron was the highlight of the evening as he came out in baby blue trunks and a white sailor cap dancing on the box. He then jumped up onto the bar right in front of me and smiled and stated as he pulled my head to his crotch, "You must be Eric!" I fell in love and, for 30 sec. which felt like 3 hours, it seemed it was just us at Splash as some 150-200 revelers looked on in jealously (he he). Marcus left me and I sadly and danced around the rest of Splash working all the men. Marcus did two shows and signed photos of him as b/f and mgr. Will supervised. Hot music videos played throughout the night by VJs Matt & Brian as Momma's Boyz Rocky danced for the crowd. My keepsake gift was Marcus' autographed Adult calendar - " Men of the Millennium" - with "Eric, Happy B-Day. Have a Hot One. Marcus Iron." Thank you Marcus and thank you Splash. I sure did!
I was all smiles, rocking & flying by the time I hit the Forum at midnight for the "Love & Lust Dance Party." Doorman Ray presented me with a handmade bracelet with my name as I entered and gave doorman Jason a hug. While the CD balloon drop featuring DJ Julian Marsh's Global Groove: Millennium were given away, Dr. Mike and I dressed up bartender Michael Holbrook in my leather harness, arm bands and choker for the party in the Jupiter Lounge. Glow and Crazy Straws were given as party favors. Manager Jaffa and barback Trey presented me with a yummy meat tray and cake as Michael poured the champagne for all the revelers. Bartenders Garold, Andy, Kevin and Mario were on hand for the fun. At around 1am or so, I ran back over to Splash for the last Marcus Iron show in his harness and then came back to the Forum and had the best time dancing the night away with great friends like Jerry, Brent, Edgar & Michael to tunes DJ Dave spun. We glowed (h.i.g) & lit up 15" inchers dancing on the boxes. Equinox 2000 friend, John flagged the night and later back to my place for late night fun. Thank you Forum, dearly.
Sat. night came and it was time for the "Ruff Trade Party" at the Boyz Cellar with DJ Filthy Rich spinning. Glow and Crazy Straws were given as party favors. The highlight was when manager Bobby Cook surprised and shocked me as he presented a bottle of champagne he shook up and poured on me. I grabbed the almost empty bottle away from him and swigged a sip laughing and very soaked. Next Paris Chanel presented me from the Boyz Cellar a birthday cake lit with candles. I made a wish and then cut and handed out cake and champagne to all the revelers. Trade Cruisin' was hosted all night long when guest DJ Scott Gray made an appearance and rocked the house as I and many friends like Rob, Ruben, John, Michael, Edgar & Robert danced so hard and fiercely that I even got onto the speaker floor box and lit several (h.i.g.)s along with a 15" incher to the beat. Owner Warren, bartenders Matt, Jonathon, Jeff and baby Ryan where great all night long. Thank you Boyz Cellar. What fun it was.
Sun. came. I had attended six parties. I was feeling the effects and had to rest and then attended #7, the "Testify to Love Party" at Rainbow Cattle Company. The show was hosted by the world famous Austin Babtist Women (ABW) for their annual Valentine's show which benefited Project Transitions. Over $1,300 was raised by the ABWs and guests while MC Amos Ewing, Scarlett Leigh, Kelly Kline, Topaz, Alix Courtney, Goldie Haynes, Bobby Birchmire and United Court Emperor and Empress VI, David Pearson and Dee Dee Davis along with RCC's Michael T. performed numbers. I shared the night with Col. Bob Collins who was in attendance as I acted as a waiter, bartender David poured the champagne and I served the toasting crowd. United Court's Dale and Bobby presented me a cake that I happily shared with all for my birthday. The show was a huge success as 100's were in attendance. The ABW's last number surprised me as I was honored onstage with a melody of numbers starting with the Widow Modine's singing Happy Birthday - Marilyn Monroe style. As I laughed my ass off, the rest of the ABW's then sang "Used" & danced around me holding (h.i.g)s & presented me with a red velvet cake. Thank you RCC, Mike Strope, Court & ABW's for a great fundraiser and for a very special night.
It was almost midnight as I ran over to the Boyz Cellar for my "It's A Drag Getting Old Party" featuring Paris Chanel's Drag in a Bag Show. I was able to see only a little of the show and hear DJ Tiger spin the hits. Somewhere after midnight my ninth party happened as I went next door to Oilcan Harry's for my "Make Me Feel It Party." Glow and Crazy Straws were given as party favors. Bartenders Matthew, Steve, Bill, and Scotty were on hand along with many revelers as we poured some great champagne and watched the Momma's Boyz Dance Show get underway. I was presented by Momma' boy Daniel, who did a lap dance for me on stage as champagne was poured down my chest and Daniel licked it off. The shows ended and DJ Dig'M spun fiercely. My b-day minute arrived at 1:20am. I asked Oilcan's permission and did my own special dancing along with two of Momma's Boyz on top of the boxes when I lit two 15" 5-Minute (h.i.g.) and literally lit up and blinded the whole bar while "17" played by DJ Dig'M. My night ended as I left home with Rico from Panama who showed me how they really control the gates down there in the canals. Thank You Oilcans, Momma and Austin for ringing in my b-day with a bang.
Valentine's Day, my actual b-day, arrived and Vinny and I started early hitting Splash, Forum and Oilcans for pre-happy hour fun. Thank you, Vinny, so much for your friendship and the whole weekend driving me around. Outside the Forum, kudos goe to AIDS Services of Austin's (ASA) Michael Titus artist production of a cuddle bed on Congress raising money for ASA. I even got to cuddle with Michael in bed. 5pm came and it was time for my "Rebirth Day Party" at Dick's where bartender Carl and DJ Lil' Debbie made me feel right at home. We poured the champagne and had vegetable and fruit plates along with strawberries and heart cookies. The staff dressed me up in a hula grass skirt and leis and I adorned this outfit the rest of the night throughout Austin shedding grass everywhere. DJ Lil' Debbie was kind enough on her day off to spin circuit music for me as all the revelers, some of whom were now groupies, partied all through happy hour. I was already such a mess by the time I had to leave Dick's that I remember Lil' Debbie telling me, "Just look at ya now" as we all laughed. Thank You Dick's so much.
I was running late as I hit the 1920's Club for my "Let's Drown in Martinis Party." Owner Farhard and bartender Chris were on hand along with many guests who made the evening fun. I was presented a yummy special chocolate hand-dipped strawberry as Chris poured the champagne and Farhad served up great hors d 'oeuvres as we celebrated. Col. Bob Collins was on hand and he presented me a treasured 1999 Mint Coin Set. 1920's is a great place to socialize and have a party. Farhad is a wonderful cook and the atmosphere is fantastic at this very Gay friendly establishment on Congress. Thanks Farhad and 1920's. A Great Time!
My last and 12th party of the weekend was held at Chain Drive for my "Spank Me & Drive Me Home Party." Vinny and I arrived for what became a fabulous den of fun. Wow, what a party, especially what all happened in the coat room much less out on the patio. My two highlights of the evening were when I was presented by doorman Glen Eaddy a one-of-a-kind "Glen Eaddy'" artwork complete with Miss Christine featured, and the second time was the champagne toast with all at 11pm poured by bartender Rod and barback Wayne. I remember shouting "he's here!" when special guest Terry arrived. Everyone was having fun as we coined the Chain Drive the "Midtowne of the South" and I met each reveler personally (Grin). I finally wrapped up my holiday weekend with new-found friend Joe and what's his name back at my place for a round of fun. Thank you Donald for opening up Chain Drive on a Mon. and big thanks to DJ Don who spun for the party on his day off. My weekend was complete, fulfilling and fabulously fun. I do not know how to top it again next year when I turn 40 - I mean 29. Cheers, Eric
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