Mr. Black in SF: The Reckoning


Or, Rebel without a Cause

Groucho Marx once said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” For you contemporary types, a similar sentiment was expressed by Blair Waldorf in the first season of Gossip Girl. “Watch and learn, ladies. The most important parties to attend are the ones you’re not invited to.”

I was originally invited to venue Rebel for the launch of much-hyped "branded" monthly NYC-LA-SF gay party Mr. Black on March 1. After interviewing promoters Joshua J and Luke Nero for this SFBG story, I got placed on the guest list. Without resorting to being totally tacky and asking, of course. 

So imagine my utter horror and humiliation after glancing over said list last Thursday night and not seeing my name.

The only Oscar listed was Mr. Pineda (a.k.a. scruffy and lovely DJ Taco Tuesday) but I couldn’t go so far as to impersonate him, could I? What about if he showed up? He didn’t show up. Besides it had taken me almost all day to plan my outfit. Well, not really. I just grabbed my Normandy & Monroe sweater from my bottom drawer because a) you’re not supposed to hang sweaters and b) I “hadn’t worn it in a while.” But still. 

At Rebel’s door with nothing to argue but a broken promise in the form of week-old text message from Joshua J, I paid $8 to go in. And I’ve never felt so… common.

Besides Cockfight and Dial Up and Pop Brownie and Honey Soundsystem and I Just Wanna Fucking Dance, San Francisco’s Mr. Black was the best gay party I have been to all year. So the cover charge, though steep, was worth it. Maybe it was because I had been uninvited and felt the rush from intruding into some secret underworld no one but me and 200 Facebook acquaintances knew about. Maybe it was the memories it brought back from the original underground Mr. Black in NYC. Maybe it was that I had shit tons of cocaine with me. Who knows?

In our conversation, Joshua J mentioned that Mr. Black’s notorious edge would be all up to the crowd. Which is accurate because Joshua wouldn’t know edgy if it farted in his face. Thankfully co-hostess Terry Tsipouras managed to snatch the club Some Thing crowd away from Alexander McQueen’s funeral and had them come by and give dirty looks to everyone.

The dance floor got packed once one of the Aarons from DJs Aaron & Aaron (I don’t know, the cute one who kept winking at the crowd as if he was in some real-life iteration of Grindr?) got on the Macbook. I vividly recall the utter euphoria that overtook the club when he infused ABBA’s “Gimme Gimme” with Madonna’s “Hung Up.” Brilliant, if not because it’s actually the same song. And who could forget co-hostess Lady Bear’s lower lip trembling in utter forlornness, as she mouthed “I have one thing to say… sashay, shante.” There was also a thin, chic boy eating a banana off to the side, and Heklina sent one of her clones.

Seeing all the young, beautiful things strutting about in homemade Chanel, I had one thing to say: I need a retail job at Neiman Marcus. If only for the great discounts and the flexibility to black out on a weekday.

At one point, I thought I had caught a glimpse of the real Chloe Sevigny walking in our mortal midst, but it turned out it was just this girl.

Towards the end of the night, not one but two drunken J. Crew gays I have never seen before tumbled over me and onto the floor. Of course, they wouldn’t have made it that far had they just relinquished the drinks in their hands and used them to break their fall. But on these dark, blurry, self-important nights, a cold glass full of ice and one’s own saliva is the only thing we have left to hold on to.


First Thursdays of the month, 10 p.m., $8


1760 Market, SF.

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