The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion: Happy 60th

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, September 28, 2012, Columns

It may have been one of the largest private parties that I've ever been to. The event was attorney Becky Beaver's 60th birthday party at the Four Seasons, and if you weren't there, either you were strapped to a bed in a mental institution or you simply weren't among the 1,200 of Becky's closest friends. It took me well over an hour to make it through the room to get a Diet Coke because of all the hellos, hugs, kisses, and "you look amazing" greetings. My date was Kappie Bliss. Among the glitterati present were James Armstrong and Larry Connelly. I hadn't seen either of them in some time. Larry recently threw a deluxe grand affair at the Driskill for James' 80th birthday; I was absolutely thrilled to receive the gorgeous custom-printed invitation bearing a watercolor portrait of the two of them. I knew their party would be the crème de la crème like Becky's was ... but ultimately, I failed to add the date to my calendar and missed the party entirely despite my RSVP. Larry certainly had a bone to pick with me. Anyone who thinks that the diminutive, beautifully dressed Larry is meek and mild has another thing coming. In the nicest words, he read me the riot act about not showing up and in detail told me about all the splendor I had missed. He was truly angry with me, and I was absolutely mortified, vowing in the future to immediately transfer all paper invitations to my calendar. Trying to appease him, I asked if he'd grace my runway in November with his presence. He declined, but did mention that I was among a very elite group of 12 who had not shown up to his party, and also declined to tell me who the others were so I could seek solace with them and soothe the wounds from my tongue-lashing. Larry, I hope you still love me, and that you'll reconsider my offer to walk in my fashion show! ... But back to Becky's party, which spread out over all the ballrooms, lobbies, patios, and lawns at the Four Seasons. The music was divine, the food was copious and delicious, and the guests out-dazzled each other. But no one out-dazzled Becky Beaver herself, in a fabulous orange-red lace cocktail dress with a skirt of matching ostrich feathers. This is a woman who knows she's 60, but through rigorous clean living, is as svelte as a model and absolutely glows. Happy birthday, Becky!


See the Austin Police Department's video on YouTube for the Trevor Project's It Gets Better campaign. It's hard not to weep at the stories told by gay members of the department. I wept with pride when I saw Chief Art Acevedo speaking such strong and supportive words. It is an honor to call him my friend.


Hospice Austin's seventh annual Beauty of Life brunch is Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Hilton Austin. All details can be found at On Saturday, Oct. 20, philanthropist Cord Shiflet and his wife Annie are hosting the annual OutYouth Glitz benefit at their gorgeous home. There weren't very many resources like OutYouth available when I was an out youth a thousand years ago, but with the outrage of bullying and violence ladled at many youths who are figuring out who they are, OutYouth takes a stand in offering a secure environment and providing much needed services to this segment of our community. Bravo to them, and bravo to you for buying tickets at The Royal Court of Ashes Masquerade Ball & Art Show is Friday, Oct. 26, 8pm-2am at Blackheart. Expect elaborate elegance, courtly behavior, and assorted wildness. And yes, I'm emceeing the event. Tickets are $20 at Also on Friday, Oct. 26, 10pm at Haven, Bad JohnPaul presents his Halloween Murder Bash, which also celebrates the birthday of Haven's VIP Host and Guest Relations Director, Annie Parmelly. Best costume wins a print from Bad JohnPaul. Tickets are $10 at the door.

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