Gay For Austin
Photo by Rahav Segev. Austin Social Planner.
What happens when tens of thousands of partygoers descend upon a hipster revival town to see live bands, drink free booze, and party until the sun literally comes up?
Well, you get the music portion of South by Southwest.
And much like any great festival, the attendees were well-rounded, diverse and many of them were very gay. Which not only meant I had to make sure I left the house dre
ssed well every morning (I failed), but it also meant that I had to be on the look out for the very best gay themed events, parties and musical adventures for GAYRVA.COM.
To say I found a few of them over my 7 days in Austin may end up serving as an understatement. During the day, proud gay and lesbian couples held hands strolling down 6th Street on their way to catch the next act or attend the next free party.
While on a rooftop in Austin, I even caught a gay couple in the middle of a make out session so fierce and furious, I was confident that I was going to accidentally watch my first gay porn. Live. For no reason at all.
Over the course of the week, the number of gays and lesbians I either ran into or spotted doing ridiculously awesome things in broad daylight seemed to rise significantly. It’s sort of like that myth that when you buy a new car, you suddenly spot that type of car on the road everywhere you look. Except these vehicles were taking tequila shots and wearing booty shorts just because they could.
On the music side of things, Kimbra took the stage at several different parties, bringing her gay fan base with her. I was lucky enough to catch her twice during my 6-day Austin excursion and both times I had almost as much fun watching her flail around the stage with unique mannerisms and a smile on her face as I did watching the gay heavy audience let the power of her music take them to a happy place as they enjoyed it hand in hand.
One couple was so excited to see Kimbra at La Zona Rosa that I swear during her final number, several tears of joy escaped down both of their cheeks as they watched her hit the high notes.
The only thing more abundantly clear than the fact that the gays came in large numbers to Austin’s finest music festival was the fact that they were ready to have fun while they were there.
And that could not have been more true than one of the final “closing” parties of the festival, appropriately hosted by controversial gay blogger Perez Hilton. The party, entitled “One Night in Austin” after the infamous 2004 Paris Hilton night vision vaginal video, featured the likes of Timbaland, Kreayshawn and of course the aforementioned Kimbra.
Taking place at the Austin City Music Hall (capacity, 4400) this was not your average gay-themed party. Nylon glasses, tank tops and off-the-wall outfits that looked like they could have been purchased at the latest rave were socially acceptable here. The team of female dancers walking around wearing shorts that barely covered their hoo-ha were perfectly fine. And ordering a vodka cranberry was never a problem – after all, it’s probably what the guy checking you out from behind in line was going to order as well.
Over the course of the 6-hour party, the crowd went from just a little gay to a lot of of gay. And when I say “a lot of gay,” I don’t mean they portrayed normal gay stereotypes. I mean hundreds of kids took advantage of the open bar in the VIP area on the second level of the building and “got slizzard,” as one is known to do. Perez, who opened the party to the public for the first time this year, threw the bash so gays of all shapes and sizes could have at least one place to get down with their bad self while they visited Austin.
Sure, the city has plenty of gay clubs – none of which I had time to visit unfortunately. But none of those gay clubs had Timbaland and BOB throwing out beats that caused every ass in the Austin Music Hall to move as if it were one giant collective unit.
And on top of asses moving and hips grooving, the party raised over $45,000 for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to restoring instrumental music education to public schools across the country. And while at least half of the crowd of 20-somethings probably weren’t even paying attention when Perez himself came out on stage to deliver the larger than life check to a representative from the organization, it didn’t really matter. The money had been raised and the crowd was doing exactly what Perez intended when he made the bash public – having a great time and not being afraid to be who they really are.
Chad Brown is a straight male living in Richmond. He enjoys bourbon on the rocks and appreciates a firm ass. Male or female.
Music hipsters will surely get into Kimbra.March 9, 2012
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