In the 1980’s, Andy Warhol befriended several young artists of notoriety, including Keith Haring, with whom he also collaborated. Celebrated for his public and socially conscious art, Haring is pictured here with his then-boyfriend, DJ Juan Dubose. This portrait (1983) is rare, within Warhol’s oeuvre and in the visual culture of its time, in its depiction of intimacy between an interracial same-sex couple.
Photographed, Against a Wallpaper Comprised of Warhol’s Silkscreened Celebrity Portraits, in The Jewish Museum in Upper Manhattan
Of all of the dozens of cool conventions and trade shows that have been canceled or postponed so far in 2020, this one really stings: Flame Con will not take place this year. We had an amazing and truly memorable time at 2019’s Flame Con, so we were really looking forward to this. Sigh. Here is an official statement from Flame Con Sponsors Geeks OUT:
An Update on Flame Con 2020
To our queer geeky community,
While this likely does not come as a surprise, it is with great sadness that we must announce the postponement of Flame Con 2020, due to concerns around COVID-19. Though Flame Con will not be held this year, we look forward to coming back, bigger and better, at the Times Square Sheraton on August 21-22, 2021!
Geeks OUT’s mission is to support out queer geek community near and far. While we were hopeful that the global situation would have begun to improve by the late spring, it would have been irresponsible to risk anyone’s well-being by hosting an event of Flame Con’s size in NY this August.
Our organization would not be what it is without all the hard work, time, and passion you all have given. That we have grown to this size is a testament to the fact that hope and creativity can bring a community to life. The Geeks OUT board and Flame Con Steering Committee are eternally grateful for you.
And, of course, all is not a wash! We are looking into ways we can continue to bring our community together this summer. Details on remote events, presented by Geeks OUT, shortly.
For more information on Geeks OUT visit This Link!
This past January, I made my first trip to the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center, because I am always game for new experiences to bring you on this rad blog. The show was amazing, and it inspired me to consider traveling to all sorts of exotic lands that I had previously never even considered visiting. But for reasons that should not need explaining, I had the most fun visiting the L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion. It was there that I met the men of Vacaya, which is the only large-scale travel company on earth serving the entire LGBTQIAPK community (IAPK = Intersex, Asexual, Polygamous / Polyamorous, Kink). Vacaya was giving away a Gay Cruise, and since I have the single best story ever about a Gay Cruise (which was told to me a decade ago by my friends Ross and Scott), I had to share the story with them. They all agreed that is was excellent.
Also known as The Vacayans, these handsome guys were so friendly and adorable that I was compelled to snap this fantastic photo of them, smiling and looking awesome in their Pink T Shirts, to capture the moment. I joked that I was going to make them my Pink Thing of the Day, but then I thought ‘why the fuck not, just do it!’ If you were gay, wouldn’t you want them to help you plan your next vacation? I sure would!
I realize that people may not be booking a lot of travel just at the moment, but, for all of my LGBTQ etc readers, when you are ready to venture out into the world again and want to plan your next adventure, please visit MyVacaya.com, and tell them the Worley Gig sent you.
Let The Homoeroticism Begin! Art By J Caress Studio (All Photos By Gail)
By Gail Worley
Life in Manhattan is like living at Disneyland, with endless opportunities to immerse yourself in an experience that’s unique to this City. I’m always down for a new adventure, so when my convention-buddy Ken suggested that I try for Press credentials to attend Flame Con — which I had never heard of, but which he described to me as being “the LGBTQ Comic Con” — obviously, there was no way in Hell I was to going to miss it. Happily, Flame Con organizers approved my badge, and Ken and I made plans to meet up at the Times Square Sheraton on a beautiful Saturday morning, where the convention floor would open to the press one hour before they started letting other attendees in. I am way more of a music geek than a comics geek, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but after about 30 minutes of absorbing the vibe, I arrived at this conclusion: Flame Con fucking rules!
Organized by Geeks OUT, a non-profit that produces LGBTQ events at comic conventions, Flame Con is an annual two-day, multi-genre entertainment and comic convention focused on fans and creators of pop culture who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. That said, Flame Con is the most inclusive event I’ve ever attended — everyone is welcome — and you would have to be dead from the neck up to not have a fantastic time.
Beyond hundreds of artists, authors and assorted exhibitors, Flame Con also features panel discussions and workshops, but this post will focus on the rad exhibitor-floor action, because that’s where we spent most of our time. Now, as Frank N Furter once said, ‘Let me show you around!’
Flame Con is a BFD! Launched in 2015, Flame Con is the first LGBTQ comic convention in New York City, and the largest LGBTQ comic convention in the world. No matter what pop culture passion you favor, you’ll find an insanely diverse selection of exhibitors showcasing LGBTQ-inclusive Comics, Graphic Novel, Anime, Manga, video games, movies, television and more! Most importantly, everyone is at Flame Con to have fun and let their freak flag fly!
Look How Much Fun This Fan is Having?!
The exhibitor floor is great place to chat up and expose yourself to the works of amazingly talented pop-culture artists. Since there were so many tables to visit (and we hit each one) the photos I chose for this post depict art that really spoke to me and my personal aesthetics. The above artwork of a teen devil and his cat, which is just fantastic, is by Sam Schechter.
Wonder Woman is such a bad ass. She totally gets it: Dump sucks! Art by Joseph Giampietro.
NYC has really gone all out for Pride Month and it is so great to see everybody getting into the spirit of love and unity. With so much inspiring signage and art work popping up everywhere you look, it’s challenging to document even a small fraction of it, but I was walking home from brunch this past Saturday and passed by this storefront mural by Royce Bannon (AKA @Roycer_700), which currently resides on Avenue A near East 3rd Street. It appears to have gone up in the past few weeks specifically in honor of Pride Month and will like stay up as long as it can.
The Rainbow “Monsters” are Bannon’s signature characters, which he incorporates into much of his public artwork.
Hey, if you need to find a way to come out to your Mom, and she is also a Star Wars Fan, maybe you can do so via this fun poster, which I spotted on Gansevoort Street out front of the Whitney Museum. You can buy this piece, and other work by artist Denis Ouch via Artfinder at This Link.
As the past is reinvented to serve present needs, ’70s guitar Rock meets Disco’s irresistible call to shake your booty in this week’s Video Clip: “Hard Times” from Randy Jones — best known as the Cowboy from the legendary Village People. With a beat borrowed from Bruno Mars‘ global hit, “Uptown Funk,” this track about beating the blues is lyrically uplifting at a time when we could all use a little encouragement, and harnessed by a rhythm that is virally contagious. Directed by Mikhail Torich, the accompanying visuals are heavy on the glam, delivering sassy back up singers, buff disco boys, mirror balls and everything you need for an immersive club experience. No parking on the dance floor.
The title track from Randy’s brand new album, “Hard Times” is presented here in its super-groovy Studio 54 Mix (courtesy of Mark Saunders). Hard Times is available wherever fine music is procured. Enjoy!