#NewYorkCity

Sex, Aerial & Rock 'n' Roll Light Up a Kinky Night in New York City

Something that is severely missing in New York City as of late are the elements of kink and naughty. Rudy Giuliani did a great job at either getting rid of or shunning those two fabulous words back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to the point where Times Square went from being a seedy but super amazing place to be in to a strip mall where you can buy beauty products and run into annoying tourists.

There are still those hidden gems that exist within the greatest city of the world, one of which I was happy to discover this past Thursday night. I attended a show called Sex, Aerial, & Rock 'n' Roll, which took place at The Slipper Room in the heart of the gritty Lower East Side.

It was something that captivated me from the minute I ordered my drink. Sex, Aerial & Rock ‘n’ Roll literally combines those three topics and blends them into a mature and fascinating way that doesn’t overtly get too raunchy or sexual. Finding the right balance in shows like this, whether it be one on Broadway or at a local cabaret theater, is important to the quintessential New Yorker and the creators behind this did that and some.

The show, produced by aerialist Kristin Olness and stage manager Brian Rardin, features New York City’s best and hottest aerialists, circus and burlesque performers all on one tiny stage who tickle your fancy in different ways. Each of them performs their own stunts and tricks to a bevy of classic rock ‘n’ roll tracks including Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”.

Two of the performers acted as go-go dancers during the show’s intermission: one male and one female. The best part about it was both men and women went up to tip each of the dancers while they stood scantily clad, making it for a judgement free evening for them on stage and everyone in the audience.

I was impressed by how flexible each of the performers were. Whether it was expertly working on a set of ropes or making a singular chair look sexy as hell (think Britney in “Stronger”), each of them perfected their craft to a tee and made for a great night. Also, the host was hilarious and sang a bunch of hits as she made her way through the crowd.

The Slipper Room offers a ton of other one-of-a-kind shows in case anyone reading this is in NYC or is planning to visit over the next couple of months. The next Sex, Aerial & Rock ‘n’ Roll show will happen on October 25th. More information here.

Video Of A Man Beating Up A Homophobic Attacker Goes Viral

First, we have to give you a graphic violence and language warning. Second, we, thankfully, have to tell you that the supposed gay man isn't being bashed.

When stories like two men get attacked outside of New York gay bar are trending, it’s almost refreshing to see a story of a man fighting homophobes back.

According to LGBTQNation, a video is going viral of a man riding a New York City bus and being bothered by a homophobe. While a physical altercation does break out, it’s not the "gay" man who gets beaten.

The video, which you can watch below or find here, starts after the confrontation has already begun (like many viral videos do).

You can hear one man yelling out, “You still suck d****, though. I don’t give a s***. … I don’t fight with little f***** a****.”

The man on the end of these insults then points out that the two are being recorded while on the bus and asks the homophobe if he wants to go somewhere privately.

“You look really dumb,” he says while mocking the homophobe. “You’re trying to look for words and s*** to say. You don’t know what the f*** to say. ‘Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, all y’all are f****** and s***.’ Call people f******* outside. There’s no f*****’ cameras outside. You wanna get a f*****’ aggravated assault charge? C’mon.”

Unfortunately, the homophobe then launches for an attack. Fortunately, the other man is more than prepared for him.

For the record, we keep saying supposed gay man, because there is no real confirmation that the receiver of this attack was gay. We don't know the full context without the start of the fight, but we do know that the man never denies being gay.

Again, the video does depict graphic violence and graphic language, so viewer discretion is advised.

h/t: LGBTQNation

"Boxers" Gay Bar To Expand To Washington Heights: Gentrification Or Much Needed Service?

Gay bar chain Boxers is getting yet another location in New York City… but is that a good thing?

Last month, we shared with you the idea that Boxers could be considered the gay Hooters. The gay-themed bar hosts a staff of men wearing a pair of red boxers as they bartend, wait on guests, and more.

The chain has been expanding exponentially with locations in Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, the Upper East Side, and Center City Philadelphia. But the fact that the chain just opened two new locations earlier this year hasn’t stopped it from opening a new one in Washington Heights later this fall.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Gay residents in the northwestern New York neighborhood are celebrating the upcoming arrival of the bar and the owners of Boxers are doing the same.

“Washington Heights deserves its own neighborhood gay bar,” said co-owner Rob Hynds to AM New York. “A lot of our clientele have been coming from the area to our parties for years.”

Once Boxers has officially opened, it will be the only gay bar in the neighborhood of Washington Heights. The last one in the area was No Parking, which shut down back in 2014. In addition, the only other club in the area is Castro.

“Washington Heights, Inwood and the Bronx are the forgotten LGBT communities,” said Washington Heights resident Jamar Wilson to Am NewYork. “We constantly have to travel to Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea and the Village for our bars. That time is over and it’s a joyous occasion.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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But, is this truly a good thing or is it another sign of gentrification in the neighborhood?

If you have any knowledge of Washington Heights, including at the very least having seen playwright Lin Manuel-Miranda’s first Broadway hit In the Heights, you’ll know that the area has a long history of being a safe haven for the Latinx community.

The Dominican community, in fact, is so strong there that Heights residents who hold Dominican citizenship can legally vote for Dominican elections in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, New York City continues to be a congested city with an increasingly expensive price tag.

As boroughs like the Bronx and Brooklyn become too expensive to live in, LGBTQ people and millennials/hipsters have started moving into Washington Heights.

“Change in the neighborhood started around the mid-2000’s,” said Led Black, a lifelong Washington Heights resident and owner of the blog The Uptown Collective which chronicles life in the neighborhood, to the Cooperator New York. “Gentrification picked up steam around 2011-12. This year seems to be a tipping point. When I visit places in the neighborhood I’ve visited all my life, I see the change in the demographics.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Back in June, The New York Post published an article titled “Washington Heights Is The New Williamsburg.”

According to the article:

"Washington Heights is brimming with more millennials than any other ’hood in the Big Apple, with 50,103 residents age 20 to 34, comprising 10 percent of the area’s population, the latest US Census data show.”

Unfortunately, the article also showed a grim future for Washington Heights by explaining what has happened to Williamsburg.

“Williamsburg and Bushwick have become victims of their own success, [and] millennials can’t afford to live there anymore,” said Michael Keane, an NYU adjunct professor of urban planning. “So they’re thinking, ‘Hey, Washington Heights is in Manhattan, it’s easy to get to Midtown, crime is down and the rent is several hundred dollars less.’ ”

But, will history repeat itself?

With the increase in money being spent in the neighborhood, there has also been an increase in building and construction there.

Several stores and restaurants have popped up along Broadway, the abandoned movie theater on 181st street is being turned into a three-story commercial center, and residential buildings are being renovated to fit a more expensive clientele.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The inclusion of the gay bar Boxers just adds more wealth to the area, and could eventually make the location too expensive for the historic Latinx community that has lived there for decades.

But, could Boxers instead become a staple for the community?

The bar is at least trying to reach out to multiple demographics, and it’s not trying to be just a typical meat-fest bar (despite it’s nearly naked staff).

The bar is planning a weekly line up of Sunday morning NFL games, Monday Latin nights, Tuesday karaoke parties, Thursday urban nights, weekly “RuPaul’s Drag Race” screenings, and after-dark open mics/drag performances.

“The original concept behind Boxers and what we try to do was to market to the sports community,” Hynds says. “But we want it to be a place for everybody. It always annoyed me as a kid that certain bars were women bars; men bars; black bars; leather bars; you had to be a certain thing to get in and feel comfortable.”

He added: “Our staff is gay, it’s straight, black, Latino, every ethnicity you can imagine. We want women to come and have a great time and men to come and have a great time. We just want good people.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While the inclusion of Boxers is another sign of gentrification in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, it is one that’s trying to connect with the community. The bar owners are providing a service for a network of people who need a gay bar, a sports bar, and a place to call their own.

But, does that excuse its direct influence on the change in the neighborhood? Or, is it just a example that things, and specifically neighborhoods, naturally change? We’ll see in time.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Big Apple Realness: The Top 10 'RPDR' Queens From New York City

Perhaps I’m a bit biased (as I live here), but it doesn’t come as much of a shock to me that queens from New York City have won 4 out of the 10 regular seasons of RuPaul’s Drag RaceDusty Ray Bottoms said it right about how “competitive” the drag scene is here, as we have birthed some of the most legendary queens to have ever graced our presence on and off the hit reality series. 

Over the past decade, the show has given tons of Big Apple queens the star power that they deserve. Whether its touring in every crevice of the world, booking gigs with entertainers outside of the drag community and even producing major motion pictures, these “All Stars” have worked their butts off to get to where they are today.

Take a look at who we think are the 10 best queens from New York City to have ever competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know.

10. Miss Fame (Season 7). Easily one of the most stylish and gorgeous queens to have ever competed on RPDR, Miss Fame came into season 7 as a frontrunner from the start due to her being one of the bigger names in the drag community. She made it halfway to 7th place but has since then become a force in the fashion industry, making the pages of Vogue and being a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris. Not too shabby for a queen who used to hang with chickens on the farm.

9. Ivy Winters (Season 5).  Ivy brought theatrics and tricks to her drag that combined her incredible drag aesthetic with something you would see at a fabulous circus of sorts. She also is the considered to be one of the most congenial queens (won Miss Congeniality in her season) to have ever competed and continues to be a force in and out of New York City all these years.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Day-Dreaming

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8. Monet X Change (Season 10). Another deserved Miss Congeniality queen, Monet came into the most recent season as a fan favorite from the get due to her bubby personality and fantastic wit. She’s heavily rumored to be on the upcoming season of All Stars, which gives this writer hope that a New York queen will finally win a title on the RPDR spinoff.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@sheacoulee - the sister I always wanted!

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7. Miz Cracker (Season 10). Monet’s season 10 castmate also came in very popular yet had a hard time actually winning a challenge until her buddy Miz Cookie arrived and helped her score her only win of the season (so wrong).

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Caption this...

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6. Peppermint (Season 9). Peppermint was already a New York City legend prior to entering the werk room on season 9 but only elevated that status as the competition went on. She became runner up to another New York based queen, and since then has released some stellar music with openly gay rapper Cazwell and landed a starring role on Broadway.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@ageofaquaria I'm that one crazy aunt who doesn't dress her age! We all have one...and it's me! Tita Manila

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5. Manila Luzon (Season 3). The first true NYC queen to have a shot for the title and gave eventual winner Raja a good run for her money. She won three challenges, had a killer aesthetic and a very memorable lip sync to Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park.” Another queen to be rumored on AS4... will she finally get what’s hers and take the crown?

4. Sasha Velour (Season 9). Did anyone predict Sasha would win early on in S9? Not so sure, but she shut down that mindset pretty much from the get that season. She’s one of the rare queens to have never LSYFL and made up for that in the finale with a reveal that no one saw coming. Her avant- grade type of drag is widely considered to be one of the best out there, as she continues to stun the world with each new look she creates.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@benjitobypants last night at home before he goes off to college. I'm so emotional right now!!!!

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3. Bob The Drag Queen (Season 8). Just an unstoppable force of hilarity and personality that millions fell in love with in season 8. A true force to be reckoned with this has gone onto bigger things post Drag Race.

2. Aquaria (Season 10). Easily one of the most fashion forward queens to ever compete and is wise beyond her years when it comes to mastering her craft of drag (she’s only 22). Came into the show a bit of a brat but softened up and earned a ton of respect from her fellow sisters and the show’s fan base in the process. Expect to see her on several catwalks and the face of many makeup and fashion brands very soon.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WHOEVER STOLE MY FAVORITE BRUSH AT WIGSTOCK........ FUCK YOU! #probablyladybunny #shadyassqueens #canthavenothingnice

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1. Bianca Del Rio (Season 6). I mean… was there any other choice? Bianca has topped the lists of several RPDR countdowns as many consider her to be the best queen to have ever competed on the show… period. She’s sold out packed audiences on a worldwide level, hung out in bed with Joan Rivers, and created two motion picture movies over a 4-year-span. Not too bad for this self-described “clown.”

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Get Hyped For Flame Con, The World's Biggest LGBTQ Comic Con

The fourth annual Fame Con is almost underway and we can’t wait to see what happens this year!

While geek and fandom-centric conventions have become mainstream with San Diego Comic Con now being the go-to place for movie and tv news, LGBTQ fans are still struggling with representation and comfort in comics/tv shows/movies, and more.

To help create a space for LGBTQ fans/geeks (and creators trying to give create that representation), Flame Con was created.

"Flame Con is by and large the refuge for the weird queer kid," said convention chair Steve Gianaca says in the latest episode of The Fandom Files. "You go to New York Comic Con and it's a needle in a haystack to find queer content. That's actually how the organization was formed, a lack of representation at New York Comic Con. Everywhere you go, there's open queerness. People are happily in drag as Princess Peach. Last year's cosplay contest winner was Rita Repulsa. It was a dude and he looked fabulous."

 

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Flame Con will be happening this weekend on August 18 and August 19 at the Sheraton in Times Square, according to Syfy.

Each year, the convention is getting bigger and bigger with this year’s space having enough room to fit 10,000 guests.

From LGBTQ-themed merch to LGBTQ themed comics/properties, and LGBTQ panels, this convention is all about celebrating LGBTQ geeks.

To hear more, check out the Fandom Files podcast with guest star Steve Gianaca.

 

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h/t: Syfy

A New York City Cabbie Told His Gay Passenger That He Didn't Want To Drive Him Anywhere

We have another instance of a driver denying service to a gay rider.

Last month, an Indiana Lyft driver kicked out his two passengers after they shared a quick kiss while in transit.

Now, two men in New York City were denied service after being directly asked if one was gay.

New Yorker Ryan Smith spoke to WNBC to recount the night. He says that he and a friend were on their way to Brooklyn from Manhattan when their taxi driver stopped their conversation.

The driver asked Smith. “Are you gay?”

Smith then recalls being perplexed by the question.

“We were like: ‘Uh?’” he told WNBC

“But before we could ask again, he was like, ‘Are you a gay man?'”

 “‘Yes, I am.'”

"He was like: ‘I don’t drive gays.’ So I was shocked.”

While Smith was shocked at this point, the two asked the driver to let them off at the lower East Side and took a picture of his medallion number.

Smith shared that his “head was spinning at this point, I just wanted to get us out of the back seat of this bigot’s cab.”

While they haven’t been able to reach the taxi driver yet, a spokesperson for the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission said:

“This driver’s behavior, as described, was totally egregious and unacceptable, and we encourage you to report it to the TLC via 311 or NYC.GOV Online so that we may hold him fully accountable for his actions.”

Again, the taxi driver hasn’t been found yet, but the TLC plans to revoke his license when they are able to find and reach him.

As for Smith, he wants justice and to move past this moment.

“This is not alright… not here in New York City, and not anywhere.”

h/t: NBCNewYork

Hate Speech-Ranting Manhattan Lawyer Just Lost His Office, Maybe His Job

As members of the LGBTQ+ community, we’ve all had hate speech directed at us, and we know just how violent it is. It is dehumanizing, and it can make us feel fundamentally unsafe.

So it’s hard not to find some satisfaction in how quickly things are crashing down around attorney Aaron Schlossberg, 44, who was seen shouting deplorable, racist remarks at the employees of a Midtown Manhattan Fresh Kitchen in a video that went viral on Wednesday.

“If you are running a place in Midtown Manhattan, your staff should be speaking English, not Spanish!” he yells in the vid. And that’s pretty much the nicest thing he said.

As the store’s young, overburdened manager attempted to quietly escort Schlossberg from the establishment, the ranting just got worse. In a loud voice that certainly was overheard by anyone in the Fresh Kitchen, Schlossberg threatened to call ICE to have each of the restaurant’s employees “kicked out of my country.”

It’s no wonder the upsetting video rapidly caught fire. What is somewhat surprising is how rapidly the fallout followed behind. For starters, Schlossberg has been kicked out of his Manhattan workspace. He had a Midtown office on Madison Avenue (right across the street from the Fresh Kitchen) for his private law firm, but has been banned from the premises.

Hayim Grant, president of Corporate Suites which operates the building, told The New York Post: “We have terminated his service agreements with us. His actions are just not consistent with our community and rules and regulations … It’s totally contrary to everything we believe in as a company and personally.”

Furthermore, Schlossberg might lose his job. Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. served a formal complaint against Schlossberg to the New York State Unified Court System’s Departmental Disciplinary Committee. If the complaint is supported by the committee, Schlossberg’s law license could be revoked.

In one of the more gratifying and undeniably funny videos you’ll see this week, Schlossberg sprinted away from NBC News reporters on Thursday. Enjoy:

https://twitter.com/NBCNewYork/status/997214014378856450

Right now, it looks like this lawyer really needs to find a lawyer. The positive takeaway from this whole lamentable ordeal is that it suggests this kind of behavior is now more unacceptable than ever. It’s hard not to be curious about where Schlossberg’s saga will go from here.

For more about the Schlossberg fallout: https://nypost.com/2018/05/17/racist-lawyer-kicked-out-of-his-office-space/

Former NY Firefighter "Coerced" Into Proving Manhood With Stripper

A former FDNY firefighter in Queens, New York, has filed a lawsuit alleging mental and emotional stress during his probationary period that included “hazing rituals” and homophobic slurs.

Michael Troina is seeking unspecified damages for being “singled out time and time again on account of his race and national origin as a Hispanic American male as well as perceived homosexuality . . . and was further threatened with physical violence if he dared to report any incident of battery, harassment or discrimination to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office,” according to the New York Post.

Troina says during his probation period he was called a “closet homo;” was told being Hispanic made him bad at his job; and was forced to eat orange juice with a fork from 12 different plates.

He claims co-workers “coerced” him into going to a strip club where he was encouraged to have sex with a stripper to prove his manhood. When he refused, he says he was called “faggot” and “loser.”

Troina also says he was excluded from a firehouse volleyball outing where he was later informed he was rundown with homophobic insults.

Last year, the New York Post reported on the aspiring firefighter’s story saying, “firefighters covered his car in peanut butter, toilet paper and nails; challenged him to fight; shoved him; called him a ‘bitch,’ ‘loser’ and ‘fa—t’; put up mocking photos of him, and stomped on his bunker gear.”

Troina says when he reported incidents to his superiors he was told to “not take it too hard.”

 

His lawsuit names New York City, the New York City Fire Department, 14 firefighters and FDNY fire commissioner Daniel Nigro as defendants.

Troina was fired one week before the end of his probation period. The FDNY says he was dismissed after a “failed evaluation.”

(images via Facebook/Flickr)

NYC Theatre Goers Are Excited For A New Interactive Play About HIV In the Black Gay Community

Theatre lovers are getting excited for a new play focusing on HIV awareness in the gay community and specifically in black gay men.

As Billboard reports, a new play by the name of As Much As I Can is getting ready to debut in New York City. The play hopes to start a dialogue about how HIV affects gay men of color and it’s being put up with the help of HIV/AIDS awareness group ACCELERATE! and its father company ViiV Healthcare.

“It's a reflection of the resilience, faith, love and hope black gay men need to carry on against the odds and stigma,” Marc Meachem, ViiV Healthcare's head of external affairs, said.

As ViiV Healthcare’s website states:

"’As Much as I Can’ invites audiences into the lives of four Black gay men, exploring the complex relationships they have to faith, family, community, friends and themselves. Audiences are also invited to experience the disruptions, dreams, disappointments and resiliencies of these men’s lives.”

The stories in As Much As I Can are based on real experiences shared by Black gay men from Baltimore and Jackson.

On top of that, the play is also an interactive one where the audience can participate in the storytelling.

As Meachem stated to Billboard:

“Theater people describe immersive theater as removing the 'fourth wall,' a barrier between the performance and the audience,” he said. “Removing this barrier creates the opportunity to bring about a deeper connection with the subject. The audience engages at a different level, and we believe this can help people look at their own biases, as well as those of society, more objectively.”

With men of color, and specifically gay and bisexual black men, being the most at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, it’s great that stories like As Much As I Can are shining a light on the problem and sharing stories about it.

As Much As I Can will be playing at Harlem Parish in New York City from May 8 to May 24. You can get tickets for free at amaicny.com.

A New York City Math Teacher Was Arrested For Having Sex With A Middle School Boy

A Brooklyn middle school teacher was arrested for having sex with a male student.

Just a few weeks ago, Andre Braddy, 34, was a popular and well-respected math and advanced algebra teacher at Lenox Academy, PS 235.

Then, a student told his mother he’d had sex with the teacher, which led to the mother contacting the police. That led to the police setting up a monitored call between the teacher and student, which led to Braddy’s arrest.

Police say that Braddy had oral and anal sex with the student three times between March 19 and April 20. All of these encounters happened on the school premises in either a classroom or in a bathroom.

Plus, police found sexually charged texts and pictures shared between the two. In one text, Braddy apologized for taking the boy’s virginity and asked if he liked the photos Braddy sent.

“He was really important to us,” 14-year-old Lenox Academy student Amari Aaron, told The New York Times. “It’s devastating to hear he’d do something like this. Nobody thought he’d be capable.”

Other people have also noted how Braddy seemed like a remarkable man before the news came out. For instance, his lawyer said he was a “remarkable success story.”

“His father's been in and out of jail. He attended CUNY where he received a full scholarship,” Stoll told the New York Daily News. “He works seven days a week. On Sundays he teaches math and calculus at Medgar Evers College.”

Stoll said Braddy lives with his mom and his “severely disabled, autistic sister, who he takes care of.”

Unfortunately, all of that good has been overturned by the revelation that Braddy was having sexual relations with one of his students.

Braddy is now being charged with three counts each of engaging in criminal sexual acts and sexual misconduct, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a count of second-degree criminal sexual acts.

The former teacher was held on $75,000 bond or $25,000 case bail, placed in protective custody and on suicide watch.

If convicted, Braddy could be facing up to 7 years in prison. He’s expected to be back in court on May 1.