If it is true that White Party is, as
CareResource promotes it, the “Crown Jewel” of the circuit, then, as
with any good piece of jewelry, credit must be given to the setting.
In the relatively short amount of time that South Beach has figured
in the national imagination, the little spit of sand has become the
Ibiza of the States. People from all over the globe flock to South
Beach to party, and while it’s true that we gays no longer dominate
the party scene the way we once did, and yes, there are those who
continually say that South Beach is over and done with, nonetheless,
there are two times a year when the gays once again take over the
Beach and when the blocks from Ocean to Washington, from 1st to
Lincoln Road, are a feast of eye candy.
Thanksgiving is all about family, and most of us have more than one,
and therefore, it’s nice to combine the two: you come down to eat
with the ‘rents and then party with your sisters. And this year,
CareResource expanded their repertoire beyond the usual dance party
events, and seeing as Mom fell into a k-hole the last time we took
her to Vizcaya (she’s very empathetic to what emanates from those
around her), we decided this year to opt for something a little more
sedate, such as Big Band Night on Friday at the Raleigh Hotel, scene
of the fabled Esther Williams swimming pool.
We were concerned about the impact of Wilma upon our little sandbar,
and particularly the oasis that Andre Balazs has created behind the
Raleigh, but under candlelight and lanterns, nothing seemed amiss,
and the Miami Philharmonic played big band songs from the Forties
and Fifties and later the movie was Busby Berkeley’s “The Gang’s All
Here” with Carmen Miranda dancing with a thousand lifesize bananas
in endless tumescence --while all around us boy couples and girl
couples cuddled on chaises, drinking mojitos, below a beautiful
starry night as the palm fronds flapped in the breeze. New York has
never seemed so distant.
On Sunday, we were at the Women’s Fundraising Brunch at Vix, the
restaurant at the Hotel Victor overlooking Ocean when we heard that
the evening’s event at Metroplis had been de-sanctioned by
CareResource. And this news followed the day before’s news that the
Pool Party had been cancelled. We just rolled our eyes and sipped
from our Bloodys. In the six years we’ve been coming to White Party,
there’s always been high dudgeon drama. Maybe that’s what happens
when you have a circuit event on Thanksgiving weekend – because what
family doesn’t have drama over turkey dinner? You have to have a
sense of humor when your sisters start slinging gravy.
So we put Mom and Beau in their car and sent them on their way – to
the other side of Florida – and we got ready to party. We had
tickets for Noche Blanca at Crobar with Tony Moran and Deborah Cox.
We love our Tony and we love our Deborah. And now, with the de-sanctionification
of Metropolis, it was looking like everyone on the sandbar was going
to be there, too.
A cab up Washington, and past the velvet ropes, and into Crobar and
up the stairs to the mezzanine— It’s just after midnight and the
floor is already crowded, a mass of perfect torsos lightly bronzed
by the sun which has shone every day of this White Party week, all
dancing under a flurry of multi-colored and oversized aquatic life
floating above and up and all around them. As for Tony— In a season
of hurricanes, Tony comes on like a gale force wind. He’s the
admiral of this ark which has blown in from distant shores, blown in
through the back wall where once there was a silver screen in this
theatre now called Crobar, and there he remains, at the ship’s helm,
captain of the night. There’s his name hanging from the rafters, in
clown font, alongside Deborah Cox’s name, and everyone’s feeling
him, and everyone’s there. There’s Manny Lehman, with a blond Los
Angeleno in tow (you can tell, you can just tell), and also Ric Sena,
and there’s Matthew Rush, and Carson Kressley, who’s wearing a
t-shirt that reads SORRY GIRLS, I ONLY DATE MODELS (Carson, please –
lose the shirt). And we’re standing on the upper deck, feeling it
sweep over us, the momentum which happens in this club called Crobar
which has such incredible energy stored from all the years it’s
served as a pleasure palace, and now Tony is mashing up “Movin’ Up”
and making it into a whole new mixture, a compote of his own which
goes on for nearly twenty minutes, so that you can’t help but think
again about why it’s so good to let go of your troubles on the
floor, just as Steve Kammon advocates in his article in this
season’s Circuit Noize. How it’s right to let your troubles go and
all the drama they provoke and just get it out, let it go.
And we’re watching our brethren and sistren and thinking how the
circuit is such a cool community. So cool, so good. So dependable
and so responsible, looking out for each other. There go the
MedEvent boyz in their red t-shirts. They go two-by-two, up the
stairs and around the railings, peering over, making sure, just
looking out for trouble, trying to keep trouble at bay.
And, of course, there’s always the closeted and rotund Republican
congressmen who troll the floor, their hands as numerous as
cephalopod as they try and cop a feel. Most boyz swatting them like
mosquitoes. And the little boy with the news cap and shorts who
might be the source for Circuit Noize’s mascot, we saw him last in
Montreal, at the airport, and also, the buck-toothed drag diva, a
tower of wedding cake white with Madonna cone breasts, and speaking
of Madonna, Tony’s working his way through “Hung Up” and now there’s
no room on the floor, and we’re looking over the balcony, when a
security force in black passes by, encircling a small woman. “That’s
her,” I say, and we follow down the stairs, and it’s a little bit
later when Tony starts “Things Just Ain’t the Same” and the crowd
pushes forward – and then, there she is, Miss Deborah Cox. She just
comes out and starts right in, and there’s no break in the party.
We’re all still dancing like before as she segues from “Things” into
“Easy as Life,” and now, it’s different. Now, there’s electricity.
Everyone’s singing along. Captain Tony is singing, and his posse of
boys behind the booth are singing, and Manny with his visor cap is
singing and and everyone around us is singing, for everyone knows
the words, “All I have to do is forget how much I love him. All I
have to do is put my longing to one side. Tell myself that love’s an
It’s easy. It’s so easy to have fun. It’s so easy to be here -- and
then, all of a sudden, we see him. “Get a load of that,” Robert
says. “There’s one half.”
And I look where he’s looking, over onto the go-go box, and yes,
there he is, the bf of our It Boy. One half of our It Boy Couple.
It’s him, the bf, his arm pumping the air, looking better than ever.
Abs polished like marble, the bf has been working hard on his abs.
Ready for his close-up, no doubt about it.
”He must be nearby,” says Robert. For our It Boy is never far from
his bf. We know his habits. We know how he’s always in vicinity of
his bf. Never out of sight. Always near enough to blow a kiss.
Sometimes talking to his posse, but always within earshot. “I don’t
see him,” says Robert.
And neither do I. And Deborah Cox is singing “All I have to do is
forget how much I love him. All I have to do is put my longing to
For six years, we’ve watched our It Boy. We’ve watched him grow from
a fresh-faced collegian into a full-fledged circuit boy. He was our
first. South Beach was where we joined the circuit. We spotted him
on the beach in khaki cut-offs. He was with his first boyfriend. And
we photographed him that year in all his fresh-faced innocence. And
we watched as his star soared, as he was adopted by the Nurse and
her posse, and then out to LA, and back East again. His photographs
everywhere. On the cover of the Pride rags one June. In the store
And then he got this new bf, the one who’s here tonight, and for
three years, they’ve been together. So sweet together. So good. So
where is He now, our It Boy? His bf is with someone else, someone
cute, no question, but he’s not our It Boy. And we watch the bf,
with his big white smile, he’s making the rounds. And we’re
thinking, So that’s how it is now.
And meanwhile, the bartenders are tossing napkins by the pile high
into the air, and there’s a confetti bomb blast, and Tony’s pumping
at 120 miles an hour, a Cat 3 all his own. Hurricane Tony blasting
through the sandbar, the best storm we’ve had all year.
It’s a helluva good party and we stay almost until the end. And then
we stand where the bar takes the corner and look at it all from a
distance, this party, this community, and we say a little thanks for
all it is. Then we walk home along the beach. With arms
outstretched, the air brushing our skin, we’re the only ones walking
the beach. This is why people love Fire Island in the summer and Los
Angeles all year and why we love South Beach at Thanksgiving. Thanks
be to the beach and the circuit which congregates there each year.
Thanks be to CareResource for taking care of our community. Thanks
be to each other.