Thursday, August 04, 2011

GLAAD's Rooftop Gay-la

With Davis Mallory: Fit to be bow-tied

After an onslaught of bad press in recent months leading to the ouster of its president, this week has been a big one for GLAAD, with results of the organization's 5th annual Network Responsibility Index making big headlines (turns out ABC Family is where all the "family" is) and its summer fundraiser drawing a huge crowd Tuesday night in Manhattan. This year's soiree was a Brazilian Carnival theme, although running into my pal Ricardo was the only real evidence of anything even remotely from Down South American way.

Just call me a cowboy junkie

My pal Marc gamely accompanied me for red-carpet duties -- Nan Goldin can bitch all she wants about everyone being a photographer now, but you'd be amazed what Marc can do with an outdated digital camera if you throw him a drink -- where we quickly caught up with the legendary Randy Jones. We'd met before -- and he remembered -- and he couldn't have been sweeter, telling his publicist all about me and my blog (does this guy know gay men -- making it all about ME!) before I was able to ask him what he thought of the recent photo of the boys of "Glee" Photoshopped as the Village People. He said he loved it, and that someone picked his old band over the Beatles or Rolling Stones or whoever spoke to the enduring love the world has for these particular Macho Men. (Here, here!)

Haven't watched "The Real World" in ages, so when I was told the next guy was from the show's Denver season I thought they were pulling my leg. (Was there really a Denver season? What's next, "The Real World: Albuquerque"?) The guy's name was Davis Mallory, who told me he's from Georgia and is now working for a record label here in the city. He's as adorable as he was friendly and sweet, so I was happy to make his acquaintance. (Everyone from the world of reality TV should be this nice.)

Scratch 'n' sniff

Some smiley boys in swimsuits then showed up -- each pair of shorts got sold at the party later in the night in a not-so-silent auction (they come around and beg you to bid on them with promises that the suits won't be washed before they are distributed to the lucky winners).

Then a parade of drag queens took over the red carpet: This one is named Yara Sofia ... (Yes, covering red carpets is getting increasingly challenging for me. Apparently I'm the *only* gay guy in the world who isn't obsessed with "RuPaul's Drag Race"!)

And here are Emperor XX Vanity Society and Empress XXV Pepperica Swirl. (Your guess is as good as mine.)

As always, it was great to see Ben Harvey and Dave Rubin, whose show, "Ben and Dave's Six Pack," has really taken off in the last year. I gave them a hard time for being on the other side of the velvet rope this time around, but it was all in jest. Really excited for the guys who were both lookin' sharp.

Naturally, Alex and Simon from "The Real Housewives of New York" were there. These two show up to the opening of an envelope, but I have to admit that they seem pretty earnest.

The cast of "The A-List: New York" was there, still smarting from the takedown of the show in The New York Times.

The biggest celebrity of the night was probably Lisa Lampinelli, who I think is so hilarious and so smart (I've interviewed her at this event before) ...

Once my red-carpet duties were over, Marc and I slipped upstairs to where the real action was.

I'm not sure if it was because of budget cuts or what, but this year's party only had half the roof, instead of the whole thing, so it was a bit more crowded than usual, and cut the number of bars from which to get a drink in half.

Still, with a spectacular view of the city from the 20th-floor rooftop garden on Fifth Avenue at 26th Street, on a gorgeous summer night, it was hard to complain about much. I eventually got to the bar -- and then later caught up with my friend Matt of Boy Culture fame who helped me navigate the crowd to see what was going on.

Kelly Bensimon, who Matt had to admit was pretty normal on the red carpet, and Ramona Singer of "Real Housewives of New York" worked the crowd with Rodiney and Reichen from "The A List."

All in all, a good night for GLAAD, an organization that gets a bad rap sometimes, but does a lot of great work for the LGBT community. A big thanks to Rich for including me in the action and to ROKK Vodka, Delta and FV Events for sponsoring it all. Hope to do it again next year!


Jack said...

Kelly Bensimon and normal used the same sentence?

TZ said...

Don't knock Denver unless you've spent some time here, Kenny

Kenneth Walsh said...

@TZ: Not so much a knock -- I've never been! -- as a shock. The show has always been set in "obvious" cities, just surprised me.

Christopher said...

I hope Davis no longer uses the "n" word in his daily vocab!

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