Sunday, May 22, 2011

Provoked Re-Iterations: NYC's Go-Go Dancing Scene

I was asked to enter the go-go dancing contest, Gogo Super Star (formerly known as Go-Go Idol). My most loyal readers may recall the fact that I was a contestant in Go-Go Idol's 1st inception back in 2008, and was voted off after 3 of the 5 weeks. I had issues with the go-go dancing scene back them, and about 3/4 of a year later, went into much greater detail about my issue with the racism in the NYC go-go dancing scene in  my post, "On Racist Blast: NYC's Go-Go Dancing Scene".

With possible interviews to consider, my blogging, poetry, and intended book-writing, my schedule doesn't exactly permit me time to commit to the possibility of making my next 5 consecutive Thursday nights available to partake in something like a go-go dancing contest. But I took this as an opportunity to do some investigative reporting to see if the lack of black go-go boys in the more popular parties was just a figment of my imagination, or was it really still very much at play as I stated in those past blog posts.

As I have with other posts addressing racism in the gay community, I emailed the link to "On Racist Blast: NYC's Go-Go Dancing Scene" to the editor of the NYC gay nightlife magazine, Next. But I got no response. It seems silence on the issue of racism is very much Next Magazine's forte. OR if they do address it, they do so in a fashion that makes the very culprits of the racism seem like their doing their best to combat it like they did with their article "White Cocks Only". I guess that's what happens when you're a free publication combining lacking journalistic integrity with being bought off by the culprits' advertising dollars.

In this case I hate to toot my own horn, but I knew I could easily slip into the mix of go-go boys because even at 40, I still have the looks, body, personality, and moves that can make me a phenomenal go-go boy. Those moves that I'm speaking of included me dropping to my knees, doing a total back-bend, and coming up to standing position by doing a half-split. Moves that if practically all of those judges tried doing, they would need to have their cell phones in their hands with their chiropractors on speed-dial. Because once they get 67.5 degrees into that back-bend (me being generous with the thought they'd get that far), they are going to be screaming for that chiropractor. So you can forget about them getting up with the half-split.

The gay American TV channel, LOGO was filming the event for the reality show, "The A-List: New York" as one of the show's stars, T.J. Kelly was one of the judges. I allowed him to play to the camera as most reality-tv shows actors now do. Hence the lack of it being "reality"-television, because they are acting. He called my shoes and socks offensive, which as a friend pointed out when I told him of the incident said that unless my shoes were made out of baby skin or something like that finding them offensive made no sense. And in calming my friend's annoyance, I reminded him of one little tidbit...look at the source. So don't fret about it.

T.J. also criticized my dance moves as being very porn related, or something along those lines. That could be insulting to me if my self-esteem was weak enough to rely on the likes of him. And for that reason, some past and present porn actors may be insulted considering how:
1) I am a former porn actor;
2)Most porn actors that he's probably seen are White, who just hop around like bunnies and can't really dance to save their lives; and
3)Many porn actors male and female, gay and straight start out as go-go dancers. In fact, some of the contestants from past years of that very contest also did gay porn.

Such nonsense ramblings only further my point of T.J. Kelly playing to the cameras.

Now, I could have played along by playing to the cameras and being a just a much a pretentious bitch as I threw all these facts in his face. But instead, someone had to handle themselves like an man in this situation, and show some decorum. So I let that someone be me...for the moment.

At the end of the contest, it came down to me and a straight Latino go-go boy with the same number of votes. We were about to have a dance-off. T.J. Kelly originally gave a vote of "No Go" because he considered that contestant "gay-for-pay". Since go-go boys being straight is not as big a concern to me as gay porn actors claiming to be "straight", I felt making that a choice to eliminate the dancer was T.J. once again playing to the camera. In whatever the dancer said in return however, during this point T.J. reconsidered his vote.


T.J. then proceeds to look over at me and tell me that I have a "beautiful face". Then he pauses. During that long pause, I started moving my hand to signify "hurry up". T.J. gave me a blank look that said either "what is that for?" or "How dare you?"

Now since he seemed so bewildered as to what I was trying to say, plus I've amassed all the information that I needed about everything and everyone, my brain decided to stop being "Mr. Congeniality", and verbalize by saying, "SPIT IT OUT! Hurry it up! We ain't got all night!"

I decided since he wanted to play to the cameras at my expense, then I'm going to play to them AND the crowd at his.

And on that note, T.J. went back to criticizing my shoes and socks. Which I'm sure would have been the case, even if I stood there and said nothing. 

Let it be known, that while I am in no way saying that this particular go-go boy has internalized any homophobia by him saying he's straight but dancing in gay bars/clubs, there are some who do. And the reason they do is because just as I said in my reply to the Next Magazine article "White Cocks Only", of how it's more profitable for light-complexioned ethnicities to internalize their homophobia in the porn industry, the same can be said for the go-go dancing scene as well. This night proved that in spades.

Because I after the moves I mentioned doing earlier, plus following their instructions while performing of showing more skin by exposing my ass and, while they all said that I had good energy, some of the judges still had the nerve to ask me to "bring it". What the fuck more do they want from me after that drop, back-bend, and half-split?! A handstand?! A cartwheel?! A back-flip?!

Believe me, for the aforementioned reason of my schedule, I am not taking this contest that seriously. I entered this contest and am addressing this situation with the energy and from the viewpoint of a Black go-go boy in a mostly White venue without my busy schedule. And in the end, I found myself being passed over for a straight guy who didn't do as much on that stage in a contest. So while Blacks are so often accused of homophobia, the sight of situations like this makes a proud gay Black man wonder, "Why bother?"


Now, we get to the person who I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt to in entering this contest. You see, because people know that I address the issue of racism in gay nightlife, a couple of allegations of racism have been brought to my attention about Brandon Voss and Tony Fornabaio, the 2 fully-clothed in the adjacent photo. Allegations such as the lack of Black go-go boys at their parties, as well as a group of Asians being denied entry into their parties.


Tony Fornabaio is one of the judges for Gogo Super Star. One possible sign of bias on his part was the fact that while he did give a "No" to some of the other contestants who also have NOT been in his employ, he gave detailed reasons as to what they did wrong in his eye, and how to better themselves. I was not given such helpful advice. His decided to "echo" (his word) T.J. Kelly, and give me a "No Go". Considering T.J.'s reasoning, is that what a real professional would do? I think not.

After posting the link to "On Racist Blast: NYC's Go-Go Dancing Scene" on Facebook the next day, and tagging him in my intro to the link, his reply to my intro was, "Sorry you feel that way. It's not that deep just a gogo contest at the monster and I didn't agree on the other 2 white and latin dancers."


Now, anyone with sense knows that's a generic excuse one uses to cover their ass. And of course he didn't feel obligated to advance those others he gave a "No Go" to. They've never worked for him like some of the others that he voted for. Which may very well explain in a city FULL of go-go boys and great diversity why there was only 6 of us there with so little diversity among us 6.


Another thing that raised suspicion about the small number is the fact of how the contest starts early enough that go-go boys working on a Thursday night in Manhattan can get to their gig at a decent time after the contest. With that in mind, ask yourself this question:

If you were a go-go boy who was Black, Asian, or not of a light-complexion, would you enter a contest knowing that one of the judges is a party promoter who has ONLY White and light-complexioned Latino go-go boys in his dancer roster?

I didn't think you would. Hence the small turnout of dancing contestants. It's because between that and the above picture that introduces him into this post, the writing is on the wall.

So what was missing during my first post, and what I must sadly report is STILL missing in the go-go dancing scene is the lack of racism in the party promoters and the crowd that their ugly vibe of racism brings into the venues.

This is not me being a sore loser. Because like I said earlier, my present schedule doesn't really permit me dedicating myself to something as mundane as that contest.. But for the sake of this report, I was willing to reschedule things in order to take this as far as I could, so I could get some positive results. Instead of the negative results from this little contest that show us signs of a BIG problem in the gay community ----RACISM.

1 comment:

  1. While promoting on Facebook my post, "Provoked Re-Iterations: NYC's Go-Go Dancing Scene", I tagged Tony Fornabaio (who I mentioned in that post) in my intro. In response, I was sent the following email:

    Please refrain from posting any more racial issues on my profile it isn't cool.
    I am not at all a racist person you got that all wrong. Remember I didn't say anything neg about you the other judge did. I just agreed that your socks and shoes were not a great look at all to wear for the contest.
    For the record I have several best friends that I grew up with and one I trust my life with and they are all african american and have family members so don't be so quick to judge yourself.
    I told 2 other dancers both latin and white they were not fit for the job of a gogo dancer and I know what one should look and dance like very well. Black white yellow or any race or creed.
    I have all dancers at my parties 2 african american dancers dance on and off downstairs at 57 regularly.
    I don't have to hire any color or creed if I don't want to. It's purely what the crowd responds to.


    After sending the email, it should not be a surprise that he has blocked me. Therefore, making me unable to respond with what I am about to say now.

    First off, he didn't highlight those lines, I did. I did so to point out the fact of how those are the parts of that email that he REALLY wanted to say. Everything else was just political filler.

    How do I come to this conclusion?

    For the simple reason that all of the things that he claims don't make him a racist are things we CANNOT readily see. Like the friends from his past and the friend who he would trust his life with.

    Now, when it comes to what we CAN see...
    We CAN see the ads always featuring a White or Latino model.
    We CAN see the party pics of him with the exception of maybe a drag queen practically always with a White or Latino in Next or GOOTH Magazine.
    We CAN see the video promoting the party featuring only light-complexioned faces in the crowd and staff.

    If one is a promoter in NYC, shouldn't your first and foremost thing be to promote what New York is known for - being welcoming to diversity in ethnicity and culture? The answer is a loud, echoing, and deafening "YES!!!!!"

    So if Tony Fornabaio (or his partner Brandon Voss) are not racists, then they need to go back to square one. And learn what I have said in my post, "A Taste For Chocolate...Your Dirty Little Secret":

    "if you claim you're not a racist, yet you produce a racist product, then what does that make you? Don't bother answering, because I'll tell you. It makes you:

    1) a bigger fool than the racists you're making a product for, because as one of my favorite self-created quotes states, "the follower of a fool is a bigger fool than the original"; and that makes you
    2) a racist as well, because only a racist plays along with a racist's mindset. A REAL man is not a racist, therefore makes an OPEN stand against it for all the world to see. Therefore 1 and 2 makes you
    3) a sell-out to humanity."

    That is all.

    ReplyDelete

I HIGHLY respect those willing to stand behind their comments with a name. So if you use "Anonymous" on a viewpoint that challenges mine, IT WILL BE DELETED for your cowardice to not show yourself makes your viewpoint and you irrelevant.

Fleshlight Launch

Lust Cinema