The cab drops us off at 12th and Ocean. All along Lummus Park, scores of boyz are heading toward the music. It’s Beach
Party Sunday, our version of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Mermen
and sea turtles hustling over the sand…
The evening before, we’d walked the beach, home from the Pool
Party—and caught the set-up happening. The volunteers erecting the
cabanas and struggling with sarcophagi, and the choir rehearsing,
and the break-boy dancers gyrating onstage…
And now here we are, convening under the billowing white chiffon…
The wooden dance floor is football-field long, and painted blue,
like the sea—while above, there’s a circular scrim of the world, a
moon shot of the globe: Mother Earth watching over us.
The boyz are making their entrances. Not quite attitude-free, given
the stage-worthy trappings: walkways and white tents and bamboo
cabanas and white divans. It’s easy to fall into a passeggiata—and
promenade, particularly with the breadth of body un-coverings. A
Rosa Cha fashion shoot: bikinis and square cuts, trunks and jams.
“You Spin Me Round”—and around… So much to see—and apparently the
straights lining the outside perimeter feel the same way: mouths
gaping, amazed at the breadth of our beauty.
It’s a world Beyond Borders (this year’s Task Force theme) and above
the dance floor, four painted scrims reflect four cities that love
us as much as we love them: Paris, Rome, Rio and New York. There are
boyz from all over: Michael and Joe from Boston, and Los Angelenos
Lawrence and Scotty, and the entire newbie posse from Providence,
one of whom says wearily, “I woke up this morning— I felt like a
thousand years old.” Not to worry, dear; the body learns—it’s called
circuit muscle memory. But in the meantime, have a Gay Parade Energy
Drink—they made it just for us. And there must be something in it,
some kind of aphrodisiac—for how else to explain such a crowd of
happy, sexy, groping boyz?
Up in the booth, Brett’s in the house, making the boyz (and
occasionally the CDs) “Jump” with Madonna, and Matt Foreman, head of
the Task Force, is in full Brokeback regalia, complete with cowboy
hat, and Joe Caro’s in Marimekko, a blue-and-white mini-sari—and
meanwhile, over in VIP, it’s King Tut’s tomb, complete with
sarcophagi, felines, and pharaohs. And there’s a boy we overhear
talking about his night before who says, “Yeah, he got me off and
ate me out—but we didn’t cross the line. I’m saving myself.” Ah,
And there’s Wendy Hunt, and Patti Razetto, and Manny Lehman having
himself a ball of good fun… And Joe Gauthreaux and Luke Johnstone:
deejays come to represent. And there’s Jake and Jesse, from D.C and
New York, and Jason and Marco from Ladida, and—
We better get this on film. Well, some of it anyway. One hottie mugs
for the camera—before stopping on the stairs to VIP, saying, “We’ll
do the nude ones later.” Not a problem.
And before we know it, it’s after three, and now Tony’s on the
boards—and we’re in the thick of Beach Party. There’s that sun, and
clouds of swirling white chiffon, and the full moon on the horizon.
You could go a little crazy here, what with everything so perfect.
We hear about someone who had a little problem the night before—but
now here he is again: straight from the ER to the dance floor. Now,
Meanwhile, up onstage, the boyz are baring their butts—and spreading
their cheeks, to applause and cheers—until the stage is cleared.
Cleared yet again, for Miss Deborah Will-She-Or-Won’t-She Cox. It’s
at least the third time the crowd has had a sense of anticipation.
The climax about to come—which doesn’t…
So on we go, dancing to Tony’s mix of happy tribal day beats. And,
of course, what’s a party without a couple of Miss Swirly Messes? We
hear about one who fell face down in a sand dune—and another who
made the port-o-pottie his secondary residence… Boyz, please.
Preserve your reputations. Think about your mothers…
And then finally, she appears. It’s nearly six p.m. Finally, Ms. Cox
is here. The whole crowd’s been in a holding pattern for the last
hour. “Finally” should be her song, but instead, it’s “Everybody
(Dance Now),” complete with the Love, Peace and Soul Choir and two
break-dancing boyz, and yeah, she look good, no doubt about it, but
still, why’d we wait so long for this? It’s no wonder someone says,
“They ran out of energy.” Gay Parade Energy Drinks, that is, but
still, the point is well-made.
It could be anti-climactic—if you didn’t think back to what you’ve
just experienced: the sun, the boyz… Maybe five thousand of us
dancing together on the beach, a full moon in the background.
Dancing skin-to-skin, old friends and new. Smiling and happy, not a
care in the world, just moving to the music: the rhythm of our life.
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate us, just for being who we are?
With many thanks to all the committed volunteers of the Task Force
and the Dade Community Foundation who gave so much of their time and
creativity, and to the coordinators and organizers, and to the
deejays for the music, and to all of us who know the power of
dancing together, without borders, on the beach— Let’s do it again: