We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our State of Gay Nightlife series over the past week. We’d like to thank everyone who contributed throughout the week; it was interesting to read your responses and get your feedback. It seems the central theme to most of the responses is that New York is constantly changing and though nightlife is different than it was, is really is what we make of it. At the same time, nightlife is an industry like everything else, and at least it still exists in whatever form it may be. There are people willing to put the time, effort and money into it and we all have the opportunity to go either along force the ride or sit this one out. We can chose to go out and participate or stay in and entertain ourselves in other ways. Whatever your choice, be safe and have fun.
Tag: Demanda Dahling
I’ve had two nightlife lives in New York. The first was when I moved to the city seven and a half years ago. I was a husky 21-year-old and didn’t feel comfortable going to the hot spots around town. I occasionally went to the Roxy to dance, but never felt at home there. I spent most of my time in the bear bars on Christopher Street because I felt accepted. There were no judgments and, as a new guy in the city, I didn’t need any.
The second was couple of years later. I began to lose weight and with that, branched out into other venues. One Tuesday night, amongst a frustration of going to the same places over and over, I decided to throw on something “funky” and go to one of these bigger parties that HX (remember them?) and Next magazines were always plugging. I found myself wearing a baby blue cowboy hat and snake print jeans and dancing alongside Amanda Lepore at Happy Valley. (By alongside, I mean from a distance, but I could’ve sworn I was only a few grapevines away from her.) Looking around, I was captivated by all the partiers wearing the most uniquely creative outfits, with face paint and feathers and glitter and platforms—a magical moment. It was then I started to let my mind wander, experimented with different looks and began dressing up.
Most, if not everyone by this point, knows that when I go out I throw on white face paint, some sort of lingerie, a pair of heels and call myself Demanda Dahling. I created this look almost three years ago and never imagined it would catch on as quickly as it did, or be as wildly accepted. I made the initial rounds, met all the heavy-hitters and am proud to say that I am a member of the nightlife community. And it is a community.
By working, and being an active participant, in nightlife, I have had many doors opened to me. I’ve been introduced to folks who have become some of my best friends. I’ve met countless artists across all mediums that I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with. I’ve met hookers, pornographers and drug addicts that have all provided more color in my life just by sharing theirs. I met Charles Winters and, well, we know that story. It’s been an incredible experience, and I look forward to seeing how it continues.
I agree that nightlife is not what it used to be. Actually, let me rephrase that. Nightlife is not what I hear it used to be. See, I was too young to be here in the Eighties and Nineties during the big club heyday. I never experienced Tunnel or Limelight. They only live on in stories for me. At the same time, that’s something that is out of my control. So I can really only judge nightlife on what I know of it now, present day.
I came across this little ditty on the internet created by writer and boy-about-town, the devilishly handsome and charming Joshua Mayhew. A takeoff on the recent viral videos parodying “Shit [insert group] says,” I found this to be a laugh riot and
think know you will too. And it features a few of NYC’s most colorful characters (read: my super sloppy friends). Lord knows many of these phrases have popped right outta my mouth too. Enjoy, kids!