FORMAL TWIST: The Uncoventional Couple at Pride and Passion.
I often make it a point not to kowtow to certain stereotypes, but some of them are true. One of those stereotypes is that we gays, like it or not, know how to throw a party. This stereotype was rammed home, at the Tampa Museum no less, for Pride & Passion 2014.
The formula for formulating P&P is as such: the host chair (Okie Tilo, who was dressed that evening in fur and black leather rider’s gloves, much to my delight), reaches out to prominent and diverse members of the LGBT community, gets them together for a party that, as transgender activist Ashley Brundage says, “is the ultimate kick-off for pride and helps deepen relationships within the community.”
BUDDYING UP: Trans activist Ashley Brundage, right, poses her wife Whitney Rousseau Brundage.
For Deepak Naidu, of Deepak K. Naidu, MD Plastic Surgery, it’s the diversity that keeps him coming back for more.
“You see a lot of people in one room that you ordinarily don’t see together. It makes us feel like this is our community.”
Of course, there was more than just diversity at P&P; there was style up the wazoo thanks to Mattocs Productions. “We were approached to host the event because of the Fetish party we threw in St. Pete,” said Scott Daniel, one of the (adorable) co-founders of Mattocs. On Pride & Passion’s evolution over the years, Daniel says “the focus has definitely become more on fashion, so this year we’re trying to go with the theme of marriage, given its current political standing.”
And if you ask me, Daniel succeeded with the inclusion of living set pieces that included half-man/half woman bride and groom couple and go-go dancers who looked as though they were covered in frosting (I’d be lying if said I didn't consider briefly what it would be like to eat them bare-fisted)
The event had many special moments: drinking Tito’s vodka in a museum setting (I suggest everyone do this once before they die), character performers dressed as paparazzi and cleaning people, replete with prosthetic noses (a sentence I never thought I’d write without the influence of LSD) and, since it was a gay affair, a wild end-of-the-evening sweaty dance party.