|To celebrate her birthday, Pollo Del Mar acted as muse yet again for photographer Jose A. Guzman-Colon. This combination of camouflage dress, leopard print jacket (a gift from Jane Wiedlin, legendary rock star and member of the chart-topping â80s act Th
Notorious Sainted Glamazon About Town
It seems there are far too many thoughts, emotions and events whirling in my brain for it to form any coherent, themed âcolumnâ this week. Rather than fight the current, I have side-stepped the norm to go with the flow. Here, in a nutshell, are some of the things on my mind this week.
Remember, please, most of this is steeped in opinion â my opinion â and the facts as I know those. This is a drag queennâs social column, people, not Encyclopedia Britannica. Wait, does that even still exist? AnywayâŠ
Support for Arson Victims
When a spate of arsons left Castro-area residents without housing, a group of concerned individuals sprang to the ready. On Tues., Feb. 15, I attended a benefit for victims displaced by the recent fires.
Held at Lookout, the event was coordinated by SFGate.com culture blogger Beth Spotswood, District 8 Sup. Scott Weiner and former Supervisor, now mayoral hopeful Bevan Dufty. Support for the cause poured in from Weinerâs former Supervisorial rivals Rebecca Prozan, Bill Hemenger, Rafael Mandelman and many local business owners. Patrik Gallineaux arranged to donate all proceeds from the nightâs Stoli Vodka sales.
âSometimes it takes something like this to bring us all together,â said Sup. Weiner.
Indeed, it did. Early reports indicate somewhere in the ballpark of $5,000 raised that night. While I was impressed by how many showed up to support, even on such a blustery, rainy night, I was slightly chilled by more than just the heinous weather. Acutely aware that arsonists frequently revisit the scenes of their crimes, I couldnât help wonder if he or she (or they!) might have been in the packed bar looking on. (Creepy thought, no?!)
Castro Gets a Mollie Stoneâs
Speculation: Most everyone was shocked when DeLanoâs unexpectedly closed its 18th & Collingwood grocery last month as the result of âlosing its lease.â When representatives of the company refused media requests (I personally called seeking comment), I knew something was up. With Mollie Stoneâs officially announcing last week it is assuming the space, what happened now seems clear. Anyone else suspect Mollie Stoneâs made land owners an offer they couldnât refuse â and DeLanoâs couldnât match?
Fact: As any who has visited a Mollie Stoneâs knows, the store offers the usual grocery and dry goods and, more importantly, delicious (or, as I say, âdeeee-ricious!â) fresh baked goods and deli items. However, the price point tends to be higher than what I considered the already costly DeLanoâs. (The week before that store went belly-up, I balked at paying $2.79 for Altoids, which sell for $1.99 at Walgreenâs a block away, and $1.99 for a can of dog food which sells for half that at Safeway.)
While Iâm ecstatic jobs are returning and shoppers will once again have a grocery conveniently located in the heart of the gayborhood, I hope the store doesnât attempt to capitalize on what we all know to be the mythological LGBT âexcess expendable incomeâ! Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed this isnât the death knell for efforts to bring a Trader Joeâs to the area.
Saybeline for Empress!
While Iâm torn about my vote for Emperor this year â as both Frankie Fernandez and Ray McKenzie are highly-likeable and more than qualified â my choice for Empress is clear. The community deserves someone approachable, honest, genuinely kind, trustworthy and, most importantly, interested in raising money for those in need. Grab your San Francisco, San Mateo or Marin County IDs (or proof of residence, I am told) and head down to Project Open Hand on Polk Street or pop by the Castro MUNI Station this Sat., Feb. 19, and cast your vote for Saybeline.
Drag Race Star Heads to Bay Area
Anyone keeping up with RuPaulâs Drag Race, Season 3, knows why Mimi Imfurst must be called the LOGO reality showâs most outrageous star â ever! After weeks as the most-talked-about girl in the game, the New Yorker recently snatched contestant India Ferrah (who, like me, calls Ohio home!) onto her back during the âLip Sync for Your Life.â Sure, the move spelled the end for Mimi on Drag Race, but it also made her an internet sensation!
Now the controversial star, who is a personal friend, is headed to the Bay Area! Along with Anjie Myma, Landa Lakes, emcee Athena Van Doren and yours truly, Mimi hits Renegades Bar in San Jose Sat., Feb. 26. The following night, Mimiâs the special guest at my still new show, The GlamaZONE with Pollo Del Mar. While sheâs certain to pick up bar sales both nights, Iâm more anxious to see if Mimiâs strong enough to throw me over her shoulders. Be at The CafĂ© Sun., Feb. 27, to find out â because that night, drag will be a âcontact sportâ!
Quit Your Bitchinâ!
Last but not least, Drag Race Season 2 winner Tyra Sanchez again pleaded with Facebook fans to call her âJames or Jay R.â should they see her in public with son Jeremiah. In the past, sheâs demanded fans âshow respectâ when sheâs out of drag and in parenting mode. As a performer, I certainly understand as well as anyone the desire to be called by my birth name when not wearing hair and lashes. Still, give me a break!
Tyra appeared on â and won! â- a television reality show. The viewing audience knows her as Tyra Sanchez â not James â and thatâs how sheâll assuredly be addressed. Just as she chose to compete in a televised drag competition, she also chooses to hide her career from her child. Thatâs Tyraâs problem, not the viewing audienceâs.
As far as Iâm concerned, she gave herself to the world when she signed up for Drag Race, and this is one of the consequences. All public figures, even locals like me, go through it. It is the reality, unfortunate or otherwise, of our lives as performers and entertainers.
With that in mind, I would probably be more compassionate had Tyra not told me in an interview she wonât tell her son about drag until heâs a teen. The reason? She doesnât want to âinfluence himâ to âbecome gay.â No, seriously, thatâs what she said. I have the recorded interview as proof. I even asked her to clarify, and she reiterated the point.
While I canât speak for the entire community, everyone I personally know seems universally convinced one is born gay. Hello, Lady Gaga even wrote a song about it! This makes Tyraâs ongoing complaints against her own fans all the more ridiculous to me.
I guess at her age, I was filled with internalized homophobia as well, and didnât realize it either. For what itâs worth, I hope Tyra is able to keep her secret until sheâs ready to reveal it. The amazing thing about children, though, is they only assign negative judgments to those things they feel are âsecrets.â If Daddy making money entertaining people while wearing dresses is something Tyra is ashamed of, then Jeremiah will almost certainly think itâs wrong too.
Tyra, honey, the truth will set you free â and explain to little Jeremiah why Daddyâs eyebrows are paper thin all at once. Itâs nothing to be ashamed of, girlfriend! Drag has made you a superstar, and your son deserves to know it. Own it, live it, love it â all the time, not just when itâs convenient.
In the words of RuPaul herself, âIf you canât love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anybody else?!â Can I get an âAmen!â up in here?
Follow âThe Glamazonâ at Twitter.com/TheGlamazonPDM. Email her directly at Pollo_DelMar@Yahoo.com.