Tag Archives: gloria estefan


Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul worries that his niece’s Christmas gift might turn her gay.

It’s becoming clear that I hope my niece Hannah will turn into a Gay Man.  Mind you, not in a sex change Chaz Bono kind of way.  But more in terms of her aesthetic.  I blame her mother, my sister Paige, for continually casting me in the role of Uber Gay Uncle—a part I happily play on holidays and birthdays.

This Christmas, Paige encouraged me to burn a CD of some of mine and Chef’s favorite tunes for Hannah’s iPod that we gave her (in pink) a couple of years ago.  Seemed simple and fun at first, until I had to wrest control of the project away from my partner.

“This’ll be fun.  I know exactly what Hannah will like. I’m thinking music from Harry Potter, and maybe that cute new song from Taylor Swift,” Chef said.

“I appreciate that you and Hannah share the same pre-teen sensibility in movies and music, but I think my sister was hoping for something more classic,” I huffed.

I’ll admit that I have a tinge of jealousy about Chef’s relationship with Hannah.  When together, they are inseparable like best girlfriends at a pajama party, gossiping about boys, and movies and books they love, and rolling their eyes at me when I ask for clarification on some mysterious plot point at Hogwarts.

So, when I sat down to collect our gifts of song, I wanted the resulting CD to be educational, and reflective of my taste.  So I set some parameters.  I wanted classic songs that meant something to me, and preferred it be from female vocalists—young girls like Hannah need positive female role models.  After a few hours of serious deliberations, I raced downstairs to share with Chef the results—intent on listening to every song one more time to make sure none of the lyrics were too suggestive.  By the second song, Chef turned to me wide eyed.

“You’re kidding me, right?  Half-Breed?  How is Paige going to explain that to Hannah?” he questioned.

Half Breed is one of Cher’s seminal songs.  And racial discrimination is very much alive and well in this country, mister.”

“What about Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves?”

“A personal favorite.  More of a historical lesson, I’d say.”

“Alright, just balance it out with a little more Madonna.”

“You’re right.  I’m thinking Express Yourself would be good for a girl just developing crushes on boys.”

As we sat listening to the rest of the songs, I began to crack up in hysterics.  Among the highlights were Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out, Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, ABBA’s Dancing Queen, Gloria Estefan’s Turn the Beat Around, Whitney’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody, and Kylie’s Better the Devil You Know.   37 of the gayest dance songs around.

“I think I’ll title this mix DivaNTrainingMegaMix,” I said.

When I called and told my sister laughed how much fun I was having putting together the CD, she laughed.

“This sounds just like you.  Remember the lesson you taught Hannah when you gave her a Barbie?”

Do I?  Hannah and I excitedly played dolls together that Christmas.  I took Barbie’s spectacular sparkly pink chiffon gown and put it on Ken.  Hannah nearly went apoplectic.

“Uncle Paul, boys don’t wear girl’s dresses!”

I grinned.

“Oh Hannah, just wait.”


Filed under Background

Sex in the City

Today on Alphabet City:  Jon Paul makes a pass at a pop-star’s husband. Guest stars: Gloria Estefan, Teri Hatcher.

Thank God for Publicists.  PR professionals enjoyed Even Jesus Had a Publicist enough to catapult that post’s popularity ahead of the two sex-related stories One Night in Bangkok and Hello, Meat Grindr.  Until then, I was beginning to think that only the most prurient details of my life might be enticing to readers.

As a relative newbie to the blogosphere, I wasn’t aware of how much global traffic would be driven to a relatively innocent story about a gay bathhouse in Bangkok.  Hopefully, the readers from Taiwan, Bangladesh, Mumbai, Russia and the Middle East who found Alphabet City by googling “Bangkok massage” enjoyed some of the tamer episodes.

It’s not just the Internet where sex seems to be a connector.  Live sex tales seem to be popular as well as I discovered on Thursday night when I headed back to one of The Moth’s storytelling nights.  Having learned from my disappointing experience in Like Moths to a Flame, this time my friend Shannon and I stood in line outside SoHo’s Housing Works Bookstore & Café starting at 6pm for doors that opened at 7pm.  Theme of the night was “Lost”—and I don’t mean the TV show.  The host of the night, author Dan Kennedy, began the show by saying, “I don’t know why we bother to give the night a theme, because somehow you will turn it into a story about sex.”

And 4 out of 5 storytellers agreed—the first ones up all related their tales to something sexual.  First up was a guy who lusted after his friend’s girlfriend, followed by the guy who last week nearly caused a riot outside Nuyorican Poets Café with his vigilante storytelling.  He spun a tale of unrequited love/sex in the aisles of a Virginia Food Lion.  Then there was a zany story of a religious cult leader deflowering the storyteller when she was 14.  Although intriguing, her tale was much longer than required 5 minutes and at one point included the line “to make a long story short…”  Isn’t that generally the point of time limits and editing?  And I’m still not sure what to make of the nut case whose story included a long riff on the power of being a virus in the Matrix (originality?), and a ski trip to Aspen with a cougar girlfriend whom he volunteers to have sex with an actor/author with whom I was not familiar.  He ended with a lecture about how friends hold you back.  In this case, I wish they had.

While the night was odd, I’m glad I went because now I have a clear strategy.  The next Moth StorySlam theme is “Nerve,” and I was thinking about telling the Whoopi Goldberg Oscar story—I had the “nerve” to pick it up.  But now I’m rethinking.  Maybe a story with a little bit of a sexual angle—like the time I had the nerve to make a pass at Gloria Estefan’s husband while escorting Teri Hatcher to VH-1’s Divas LiveCLICK HERE to enjoy this excerpt from Alphabet City’s Episode 6: Sex in the City and let me know what you think.


Filed under Alphabet City Excerpt