Cocktail Friday: ‘Drag Race’ Edition

RhuPaul1The Season 7 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race airs on Monday, so we have this untuckable cocktail that shows charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent: The RHU-Paul’s Orange Tic Tac (inspired by the girls’ “lunch” of a single orange breath mint). Bring it out for your hunties at your watching party and shantay, you stay.

1 oz. Art in the Age rhubarb spirit

1 oz. O.J.

2 oz. sparkling wine

Cranberry juice

Orange peel

Optional: Galliano.

Making it: Mix spirit and O.J. in a glass over ice. Top with bubbly and a splash of cranberry; garnish with a flamed (flaming?) orange peel (and stir in a teaspoon of Galliano if you want a disco flair). Annnnd …. werk it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Drag Racer Trixie Mattel added to Purple Party’s Ignite!

TTrixie Mattel, a queen who was booted earlier this year from Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has been announced as one of the entertainers at Ignite! The Opening Party of the Purple Foundation’s upcoming Purple Party. Mattel will join already-announced DJs Ivan Gomez and Dallas’ J Warren for the May 8 party, which takes place at Station 4. She’ll perform, of course, inside the Rose Room.

Tickets to all events are available here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Josh Groban: The gay interview

JoshGroban4 JamesDimmockChris Azzopardi talks to the sexy singer.

It all began with the bears. “I’m like, ‘Are you a baseball team?’” says Josh Groban, recalling an early-career encounter with a man who informed the crooner about his growing number of gay bear fans. Nearly 15 years later, members of the LGBT community — even the non-hairy ones — are still feeling struck and soothed by Groban’s elastic range. Stages (which drops April 28) is yet another swoon-worthy set from the singer. His first collection of songs from Broadway musicals, Groban takes on some of Broadway’s best for the album, which includes “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel and The Phantom of the Opera showstopper “All I Ask Of You,” a duet with Kelly Clarkson. While discussing the release during a recent interview, the 34-year-old also highlighted the significance of performing with the Washington, D.C. Gay Men’s Chorus during Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration, the validation his younger “awkward” self felt after being named Sexiest Newcomer and how Ryan Gosling put the singer’s sexuality to the test.

Dallas Voice: I saw you in Toronto for Rufus Wainwright’s If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway – An Evening of Love Duets last summer. You really got your gay on.  Josh Groban: [Laughs] I’ll always put my gay on for Rufus.

During an interview you did regarding that performance, Rufus referred to you as a “dreamboat.” At this point in your career, are you used to that kind of attention from gay men?  Yeah, it’s happened from time to time. Look, when Rufus Wainwright is complimenting you, musically or otherwise, it’s a great honor. Something that was surprising to me that happened when I first got signed at 19, 20 years old: I was at some kind of shop, and I was walking around with someone — it was probably my girlfriend — and this guy comes up to me and goes, “Hey, I just want you to know, the bears love you.” I’m like, “Excuse me? What?” And I didn’t know what that meant! I’m like, “Are you a baseball team?”

How did you figure out what type of bears he was referring to?  I think some Googling had to take place. And it was like, “Oh. Ohhhh!” [Laughs]

And you’re like, “Not the bears in the forest.”  Yeah, and not the Chicago Bears.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Drag Race’ starts 7th season tonight

0630 flashSeason 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race starts tonight at 8 p.m., and Dallas drag queen Kennedy Davenport will be working her fierceness on the runway. For how many weeks, we can’t say, but you can meet Kennedy tonight at The Brick, where they will have a viewing party at 8, followed by a personal appearance by Kennedy at 9 p.m. And you can read an interview with her right now here.

Start your engines, and may the best woman … win!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Bianca del Rio at The Brick Saturday

IMG_8896She didn’t go on til nearly 1 a.m. and her set lasted just half an hour, but Drag Race winner Bianca del Rio nailed her comedy set at The Brick last night, with help from fellow Drag Racer Alyssa Edwards and others. She brought a number of locals onstage with her (including Dallas Voice contributor and goofy fangirl Chaka Cumberbatch) but her quick wit was what sold the set. (You can download and watch a brief clip below.)

Also on hand was Dallas designer Rey Ortiz (whom we profiled recently here) who presented del Rio with his “tip” — a custom-designed dress.
BiancaBrick

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Red Party taps Drag Racer Adore Delano, DJ Patrick Kuzara

AThe Dallas Red Foundation and Pride Pharmacy will host the 6th annual Red Party, a fundraiser for Legacy Counseling and Founders Cottage, on Friday, Sept. 19. And RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 winner Adore Delano will be the featured entertainment.

Adore will perform alongside New York DJ Patrick Kuzara at The Globe, a venue west of Downtown, on the kickoff to Pride Weekend. Tickets are $59 until Aug. 22, then $69 after. Tickets at the door will be $80 (if available). Some special VIP tickets will also be available. Watch the announcement video below.

2014 Red Party Reveal from Dallas Red Foundation on Vimeo.

 

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

And the winner of ‘Drag Race’ is ….

BiancaDelRio…. Bianca Del Rio!

Yes, it was easy as A, B, C on the RuPaul’s Drag Race 90-minute finale Monday, when insult comic and quick-wit queen B bested A (Adore Delano, perky and charismatic) and C (Courtney Act, Aussie songbird and costume hoarder) for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.

It was a popular choice, with even Courtney screaming in support for Bianca, who early on established herself with a smarmy turn of phrase and a way to deflect genuine ire. Indeed, all three were frontrunners almost from the start. Bianca gets the $100k prize money, the fame and the gifts.

But she wasn’t the only winner. Endlessly upbeat Ben de la Creme took the Miss Congeniality prize — also not a shocker.

The show opened with an elaborate production number, with all the queens dancing to Ru’s single “Sissy That Walk,” this season’s theme song. And Dallasite Alyssa Edwards appeared in the audience as the drag mother of contestant Laganja Estranja.

Congrats to all the girls!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Drag Race’ promises to drop ‘transphobic’ gags

RuPaul

Following a dustup occasioned by a game that made its contestants guess the gender of a person based on close-up photos of their anatomy, RuPaul’s Drag Race has had a change of heart about some of the language it uses on the show, the Huffington Post is reporting.

The series, which airs on Logo Mondays, pits a dozen or more drag queens — that is, men impersonating women — against each other for cash and the title of “America’s next drag superstar.” Occasionally, however, a contestant on the show has been a genuine transgender woman, not just a drag queen; those “coming out” moments are some of the most sincere and heartfelt on reality TV. So it seemed a disconnect for some that the show would routinely use the term “she-mail” as Ru’s version of  ”e-mail” to the contestants, since “she-male” is considered a derogatory term for a trans woman. (The “she-mail” controversy began when it was first used in Season 1, though the hubbub quickly died down.)

In a statement from Logo to HuffPo, the network said, “We are removing the ‘you’ve got she-mail’ intro from new episodes of the series. We did not intend to cause any offense, but in retrospect we realize that it was insensitive. We sincerely apologize.” Several former contestants (some trans, some not) lobbied for the change and endorsed the decision.

The question it raised for me is, why now? And why that term?

The “now” is fairly easy to answer: Society has developed its sensitivity to LGBT issues over the years, and it continues to grow, and the “female of she-male” game from several episodes ago was clearly a tipping point.

The “why” is harder to answer.

Is it derisive to call a trans person “she-male” offensive, even transphobic? Most definitely. But is calling a gay man a “girl” also bad? It certainly is when said with malice — but one of Ru’s other catch-phrases is “Silence! …. Bring back my girls,” in reference to the (male) contestants. Is calling someone “queer” wrong? When shouted angrily from a car at a gay man walking down the street, yes. But Queer Eye and Queer as Folk showed us how to co-op hate speech and turn it into empowerment.

“She-male” is clearly wrong, but “she-mail” — a pun on “e-mail” — is, and should be considered, a joke … perhaps one in bad taste, but then, bad taste is the stock in trade of Drag Race. In the same way that the transploitation film Ticked Off Trannies with Knives was so named in order to take ownership of a term that can be used derisively, couldn’t we all agree that “she-mail” was meant in good fun and leave it at that? There’s no show on TV that has greater respect for the gay community — including the trans community — than Drag Race. The show also objectifies men (the bikini-brief-clad Pit Crew), uses words like “hunty” and “fishy” in suggestive ways, regularly plays the quiz-show parody “Snatch Game” (and we know what “snatch” means in this context) and makes countless other transgressions. In the way that gay activisms popularized the mantra “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” could we take an expansive look at our culture and distinguish between maliciousness and good-natured hazing?

Maybe not. The trans community suffers a lot of indignities, and coming out as trans isn’t easy. We should try to be sensitive to issues of tolerance and not spread hate. But Chaz Bono — child of Cher and perhaps the most famous trans person in the world — was a guest on the show last night, and he presumably didn’t object to the term. Maybe we could all take a lesson from Chaz … or maybe Chaz needs to take a lesson from the activist trans community.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Willam Belli’s makeup lesson

18Drag Racer and Ticked Off Trannies actor Willam Belli — last seen in Del Shores’ Southern Baptist Sissies and soon to be featured in the North Texas-shot Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus — made this video last year in which he gives a tutorial in applying makeup. But not any ol’ style of makeup — drag queen makeup. Grrls work it!

Anyway, it’s a cool behind-the-scenes look at the drag process with a lot of shade thrown in among the eye shadow. Watch it after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones