|As Emperor Stephen Dorsey and Empress Renita Valdez swear in their new Court of TLC, the Ducal Courtâ€™s White Knight 2009 Javier Ruiz, TamEva Le Fay and Grand Duchess Pollo Del Mar take a moment for the cameras. PHOTO BY VALENTIN AGUIRRE
Notorious Sainted Glamazon About Town
Since I arrived in San Francisco on April 11, 1999 â€” 11 years ago this past weekend â€” I have loved sight-seeing. Having moved here as a fresh-faced 26-year-old, I spent my first six months in town playing the wide-eyed tourist, convincing a string of gorgeous young men to show me the cityâ€™s natural beauty.
In the many years since, I have always reveled in returning the favor whenever possible. So with a rare afternoon off, and D.J. Pierce up from Los Angeles, I could think of nothing I would enjoy more than showing my new friend some of the Bay Areaâ€™s favorite scenic hot-spots.
When I first offered D.J. a tour, I honestly expected he might be already booked. However, I was soon pleasantly surprised by his enthusiastic response. A half-hour later, I picked the tiny comedian with the big hair up in front of San Francisco City Hall, and we were off!
The relaxed pace of the trip was certainly a far cry from the day before. On Thursday, when D.J. â€” best known perhaps as RuPaulâ€™s Drag Race, Season 2, finalist Shangela â€“ texted to ask if I would be in drag for that eveningâ€™s television taping of his upcoming LOGO comedy special One Night Stand-Up, it sent my plans into hyper-drive.
So after racing to put on a face, I headed to meet him at the Great American Music Hall. Presented by Downlink.com, the show included the worldâ€™s brightest up-and-coming LGBT funny people. Hosted by D.J., whose 20-minute set opened the show, the production featured adorable Justin Martindale, whom I met the night previous when we closed Juanita MORE! and Joshua Jâ€™s BootyCall at Q Bar together, the Bay Areaâ€™s favorite (OK, our only) gay Iranian comic Ali Mafi and four others.
Naturally, the packed audience was crawling with a virtual whoâ€™s who of the city, particularly its comedy scene. Thank goodness I knew so many people, or Iâ€™d never have gotten a seat at the sold-out venue!
Next to me, Mercedez Munro and Brandon Metcalf were still glowing over the success of their April 2 Miss Triple Crown Pageant, which raised approximately $5,000 for the AIDS Life Cycleâ€™s Team Patch and introduced me to D.J. Also at our table were Erykah Munro and a more-than-slightly-rowdy Densil Porteous.
A few feet away was Comedy in the Castro diva Sasha Soprano. With her were Ducal Royal Crown Princess Sandra O. Noshi-Diâ€™nâ€™t and her beau, Queer Comedy producer and reigning Ducal White Knight Nick Leonard, who met on the set of the NBC TV series Trauma seven months ago in that very building. Other local favorites like sexy Brooks Rowlett, Miss Trannyshack 2000 Vinsantos, Gay Club TV producer Marcelo Acevedo, hilarious Lisa Geduldig of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy and more also turned out.
Upon wrapping the TV tapings, D.J., Justin and I hit Club Trigger. There we once again danced and partied until the lights came up, which Shangela should know is never flattering for a drag performer, though sheâ€™d had one too many Jaeger shots to care.
After pouring the crew into a cab, I wasnâ€™t sure I would see them again before they headed back to Southern California. Therefore, it was a genuine pleasure spending Friday with D.J., leisurely making our rounds to some of the more interesting and scenic places in this city I love. We hit Twin Peaks (the view, not the bar), The Windmills in Golden Gate Park (not for sex, you nasties!) and Pier 39, where we people-watched and enjoyed our first-ever clam chowder bread bowls together.
Over lunch, D.J. described his experience on Drag Race, where Shangela was the first contestant eliminated this year. Still, he was looking forward to this week when he rejoins the cast to tape the much-anticipated reunion show.
Meanwhile, I reminisced on my then-upcoming San Francisco anniversary and those early days exploring the city. I reflected on my many trips to places like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands and Lombard Street. It was during those times that I learned of our amazing natural landmarks, architectural achievements and facets of our most interesting history.
Now, at least several times a year, I share my on-going wonder with people either visiting or new to town. Each time I introduce someone different to all this city has to offer, itâ€™s like seeing it for the first time all over again myself.
Of course, this has always been a favorite and almost sure-fire way to spark romance on a date with any handsome, young man. The experience proved no less enjoyable, though, when showing the sights to a sister queen. As we stood in the parking lot of Coit Tower, staring down at the city below, the feeling was palpable.
Iâ€™m not sure Shangela was aware, but I fell in love with San Francisco all over again.
Follow â€śThe Glamazonâ€ť at Twitter.com/TheGlamazonPDM or email Pollo_DelMar@Yahoo.com.