WorldPride 2019, New York City
WorldPride 2019, New York City
WORDS BY : JOHN TILLEY
On the morning of June 28 of 1969, a legendary bulldyke by the name of Stormé Delarvarie had had enough of the incessant harassment imposed on her and others in the LGBTQ community by the New York City PD, who regularly raided underground gay clubs and arrested anyone in clothing not assigned to their gender (it was against the law, you see). She threw the first punch that spawned a historical liberation movement that is celebrated every year on the streets of New York City, where it all began.
This year WorldPride was officially held in NYC. An invitation was extended to everyone the world over to come and let their freak flag fly sky high — and you better believe they took the invite seriously. Here are some of the most iconic, gritty and downright fabulous parties, people and candid moments of debauchery from this year’s festivities, toasting one of the most dazzling Pride celebrations this town has seen in years.
Sexuality is a fluid dance, can you feel the beat? Let the music play.
Club Glam Whale
Glamour is often a sensation felt only when looking at something from the outside, but what does glam look like from within? These days, the word has lost some of its cache in favor of other thesaurus finds, such as ‘cool’, ‘street’, and ‘casual.’ Club Glam Whale (put on by Dese Escobar and the legendary Slaysians, Glam Collective) wanted to take this sign of the times and turn it on its head, asking its attendees of its NYC cruise party to appear in their own definition of ‘glam’—the results were a gleefully spontaneous cross section of those kids who are too cool for school and the dreamers who dress with wild aspiration. Either way, the looks were killer, and the open invitation for trans people and all genders and persuasions attracted a crowd of open-minded fashion punks who comb the city streets for a good time, and tend to bring fun with them. Anchors away.
Visionaire x Milk Party
Lady Bunny, you silly bitch — how did you convince Linda Evangelista and Steve Klein to let you DJ at their Milk Makeup party? And whose idea was it to do professional Milk makeup looks and ask partygoers to strike a pose for the cameras, keeping it oh-so on point for Pride, it was damn near disgusting? And who did you have to seduce in order to land co-hosts Violet Chachki, UglyWorldWide and Dara, as well as your co-DJ DeSe? And we’re simply dying to know: who styles your wigs, mama?
Ahya Simone’s Live Performance at Larrie NYC
Larrie NYC was keeping it arty for Pride, but didn’t hesitate to bring it to church with an incredible performance in conjunction with their current exhibition. The performance: singer/songwriter and creator of the webseries Femme Queen Chronicles (about four trans women as they navigate through love, life, shade and trade in the city of Detroit) Ahya Simone playing a full-size harp in a neon yellow-green wig, black latex mini crop top and teeny tiny skirt to match, and plastic orange high heels for good measure — an ensemble in direct, miraculous contrast with her instrument of choice and her sultry vocals. As for the exhibition: “Mmhhmm” is Sean Kierre Lyons’s first solo show with the gallery, a whimsical take on the folkloric traditions of black antebellum culture—you can almost hear the grinning puppets humming a field song with diabolical irony in the background of Ahya Simone’s transcendent harp and vocals. A poetic combination of seriousness, sass and jest — enough to make the heart and mind tingle.
Oh, you haven’t heard of The Latex Ball? Girl, you better brush up on your vogue femme realness, honey, because it was on this year. The looks were head-to-toe, the attitude was toe-to-head, the gags were enough to last us for the whole year through. The queens were there to serve, compete and pose for days — nevermind the fact that the zeitgeist has snatched at this ongoing underground scene with their repurposing of “Paris is Burning.” The fact of the matter is, Paris has been burning for all this time and there’s no way to put out this fire. The Latex Ball is one of the biggest occasions in NYC ballroom culture, with cash prizes handed out to those who came to win and looks turned for the gods by even the spectators. See you there next year, babe.