The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, June 7, 2002, Columns

ALLEYCATTING WITH PRIDE I celebrated Gay Pride with a grueling night of club-crawling that began with the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's first annual Gay Pride Parade. I decided to go hang with my peeps (forgive me, but I've been dying to use that word) at Club M&M and watch the event. I arrived with my trusty protégé and secretary Neil Diaz, to whom I quoted from Valley of the Dolls, "I will become very drunk and remember nothing -- you will have one sherry and remember everything." He did, taking notes on numerous cocktail napkins. Immediately we ran into Dale Newberger, one of my oldest friends. Within a few minutes, it was just like Dale and me 25 years ago at Gay Pride in Houston, swilling down the cocktails and making meaningful eye contact with the dick-dancers. We weren't able to watch the parade from the balcony -- it was waaay too crowded -- so we hung out on the sidewalk and cheered it on. With the vivacious and funny Murrah Noble as the emcee at M&M, it was really very cool, and I was very surprised by the turnout for it. All the way from Riverside & Congress to Republic Square Park, the streets were lined with an impressive number of supporters. Led by Grand Marshall Austin Mayor Gus Garcia, it was a relatively short and sweet affair, with an obvious amount of hard work put into it. It was definitely a success, and should continue to grow very nicely. Back inside, the party continued with the music of DJ Scott as the soundtrack. At one point, I was approached by a handsome gentleman who said, "Hi, long time no see!" I replied, "Do I know you?" It was embarrassing when it turned out to be my old friend Brian Arceneaux, whom I did not recognize; it's truly amazing what losing 30 lbs. can do for a person. Maybe I'll try it sometime ... In addition to Neil and Dale, my posse now included the fabulous Miss Kitty, looking fabu in a strapless dress and choker, and her attentive boyfriend Noah, as well as my NBF Tara Easley, one of the unsung stars from Mega 93.3. Things began to get very animated after a couple of vodka Jell-O shots (you "inject" them into your mouth with huge syringes). I also saw my friend, hairdresser Tim Coyne, wearing festive parade attire; he kept coming over to borrow my travel-size bottle of Presence, the truly divine new men's fragrance by Mont Blanc, to show everyone how pretty the bottle was and how good it smells. Eventually, half the bar was wearing it. I ran into my neighbor, the very busy Eric Crabtree of Ambush magazine, wearing a star-shaped belt buckle that lit up, and he, in turn, introduced me to the gracious M&M manager Larry Davis, who gives excellent PR. Outside, while Miss Kitty and I posed for pictures with gay community fixture Dale "Momma-- Jordan in front of M&M's parade float, the crowd on the balcony was screaming Miss Kitty's name, and she was waving to her fans like a movie star. I might as well have been a ghost; no one was screaming my name. I don't think I'll ever be able to go out in public with Miss Kitty again. I'm used to business owners fawning all over me, but going out with her, I felt like someone's redheaded stepchild. It was absolutely humiliating when the crowds would genuflect in front of her, and I'd practically be hopping up and down behind her saying, "Wait! I'm famous, too!" Maybe I'll try the strapless-dress-and-choker routine next time. Next, we went off to my favorite trashy club, the Boyz Cellar, where they tried to charge us $6 apiece to get in. I said to the snippy queen at the counter, "What? We're royalty! This is Miss Kitty from Mega 93, and I'm Stephen from the Chronicle!" "Nice to meet you," said she-who-has-no-PR-skills. "Six dollars, please." So we left and went to Oilcan Harry's, where the reception was decidedly nicer. We met the talented and popular DJ Licious, and General Manager Norbert Holmann was all over Miss Kitty like white on rice, but was decidedly unimpressed with me. It is true, however, that I said something very mean about his club in a recent column, and he was well aware of it, but he was gracious enough to buy me drinks anyway. That went a long way in improving my attitude about the place. Meanwhile, Neil had been on a PR mission of his own and informed us that Brandon, the manager of the Boyz Cellar, would be honored to have us come back as his guests and buy us drinks. DJ Filthy Rich set the tone with his tunes, and we were treated royally by bartenders Ryan Ramsey, Eric Gregg, and gregarious Matt Waits (cousin of Tom Waits), who set us up with mega-sized Flaming Dr Peppers. There were so many that when he lit them, they went off like a nuclear explosion and I instinctively reached to see if I still had any eyebrows or lashes left. We went from there to the Forum, where the staff was decked out in poly-cotton togas. Doorman Jason Saenz welcomed us, and we had great service from the bartender, Martin. Manager Eric Halley came over and we chatted pleasantly at length, even discussing the lingering resentment of the famous scandal created by the Chronicle's story a couple years ago on the death of a young transsexual who spent a great deal of time at the club. Then it was off to Dick's Deja Disco, which I've never been to before, and it was pretty fun. It features a shower stall where the dancers do their business, and you slip the tips through a little slot. We ended the night at Texture, where Miss Kitty was doing her midnight broadcast. Manager Andres Muñoz was an excellent host, as usual, though Neil evidently misbehaved and got thrown out of the club by a big brute of a guy with a shaved head and the body of death. The guy bent over backward to make sure I understood what had occurred, and he actually turned out to be really cool ... Did I mention that he had the body of death? Thus, our night of revelry and pride ended. I had every intention of attending LGRL's Texas Gay Pride Festival on Sunday, but I was too much of a wreck to possibly consider leaving the house. Maybe next year ... and maybe then Miss Kitty will have her own damn float in the parade.

LE DISH ROYALE Très, très scandalous: The story is so hot, it could melt your family jewels. I can't even begin to reveal details, but I'll try ... in the nicest way possible, of course. Implied allegations of financial mismanagement have created acrimony between two local businesses, spawning slander and ugly threats too serious to ignore. The tawdriness of some of the tales emanating from this incendiary debacle promise to put an end to the livelihoods of the participants. Actually, some of the people involved are very nice people, but sloppy management can cause many problems. Personally, I think they all ought to shut up and go about their own business. Like I do ... ; )

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