Queens on Thrones: Drag queens invade NYC bathrooms

Gay Pride month is here, and so is Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. To honor the occasions, we posed some of our own favorite queens on some regal seats.

Photograph: Jolie Ruben
Sharon Needles at Smith & Mills

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of Gay Pride NYC

Drag queens and bathrooms are central to many queer New Yorkers' nightlife experiences, so for Gay Pride month and Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, it almost made too much sense to pose some of our favorite drag queens in some of the city's quirkiest bathrooms. Almost, but not quite. So please enjoy these shots of Sharon Needles, Jiggly Caliente, Paige Turner, Linda Simpson, Sherry Vine and Peppermint in repose on the can. Plus: Find out where you can see these queens during Gay Pride season, hear their craziest bathroom tales (watching Debbie Harry pee in the hall!), and check out their advice for that other Queen as she enters the next phase of her reign (hint: less hats, more glamour).

Jiggly Caliente

Queens queen Jiggly explores the sprawling XL latrine.

Read more

Sharon Needles

The RuPaul’s Drag Race winner brings her spooky glamour to Smith & Mills.

Read more


Tireless nightlife showgirl Peppermint poses in Fairytail Lounge's facility.

Read more

Linda Simpson

Drag-bingo queen, art-party host and East Village legend Linda Simpson gets cozy at PKNY.

Read more

Paige Turner

The “showbiz spitfire” visits the commode at Vinyl.

Read more

Sherry Vine

A downtown veteran gets playful in Bar 89's notorious stalls.

Read more



Gay New York photos

Go Magazine's Readers' Choice Nightlife Awards The girl mag GO honored the best and brightest in lesbian nightlife. Occupy AIDS A pioneering activist organization marked its 25th anniversary. Going Down in La-La Land premiere The stars of Casper Andreas's latest flick strolled the red carpet. Pussy Faggot! Three-Year Anniversary Earl Dax's pan-queer shindig celebrated a milestone. Creme de la Femme Fifth Anniversary The sexy lesbian party keeps getting hotter. Night of 1000 Gowns The Imperial Court of New York holds its annual extravaganza. The Black Party Expo (NSFW) Roseland became a kinky marketplace. The GLAAD Media Awards The stars came out for this annual party. Hey Queen! presents: Queen of the Obscene The proceedings got sexy at this pan-queer soiree. Celebrate 20 Years of Sherry Vine The local legend looks back on 20 years of debauchery. girlNATIONnyc Valentine's Soiree Party girls helped the long-running bash settle into its new home. Adonis Lounge (NSFW) Abs, butts and pecs take center stage. F.I.L.R.! A gay rock party makes its debut. Ab Fab: Schmoozin' and Boozin' The BBC's most debaucherous duo parties at XES. XL opening weekend (Part 1: Rockit) The sprawling new megaclub took off. XL opening weekend (Part 2: Saturdays) XL keeps the momentum going. Kielbasa Sexy gipsters dominated this sausage party. GUMBO NoHo The adorable GUMBO kids  take over Saturday nights. Matineé New York Festival The New Year kicked off with a bang. New Year's Eve Masked Ball (NSFW) Daniel Nardicio welcomed 2012 in a typically naughty fashion. A Harder Candy XXX-Mas (NSFW) It was cold outside, but hot in Sugarland. girlNATIONnyc New Year's Eve Bash A lesbian nightlife institution enters 2012. 3 Wisemen present: A Nativity Scene Who says Christmas Eve should be spent snug in your bed? Spank presents Escort and Midnight Magic A disco inferno consumed Williamsburg. DMFAO Party people danced their fucking asses off. Underbear Things get fuzzy, cuddly and almost naked at this monthly party. Twist'd Saturdays Cuties get bendy every Saturday at G Lounge. Blind Tiger Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny make Sunday night hot. Holy Ghost + Jessica 6 A pair of dark-disco purveyors headlined a hometown gig. Justin Vivian Bond: Low Double Standards A local legend wound down from a banner year. Que(e)ry V: Open Access These librarians know how to party. The Glammy Awards Queer nightlife players honored their own. The GLAAD Out Auction Notable New Yorkers came out  for a good cause. The Out 100 party The A Gays came out to celebrate themselves. Marti Gould Cummings, "Real Girl" release party The tireless nightlife queen has a new song to sing. Henrietta Hudson's 20th Anniversary The West Village institution celebrates two decades of debauchery. Stiletto Halloween party Lovely creatures of the night wrapped up the season at the Maritime. Meaner Harder Leather Halloween (NSFW) Sexy and spooky came together at this burlesque hoedown. FriskyDisco The Antitwink revived his naughty party. Creme de la Femme Sexy ladies mix it up at Maggie C's weeknight shindig. Cheyenne Jackson's Cocktail Hour The very handsome entertainer got retro. Hustlaball (NSFW) Happy hookers and nightlife creatures mingled at the annual bacchanal. Hot Rabbit A cute, pan-queer crowd parties weekly in the East Village. Flaming Saddles opening night Urban cowboys turned out to fete Hell's Kitchen's newest gay bar. Azucar Queer residents of Bed-Stuy (and beyond) got down to latin beats. DILF Wednesdays at G Lounge are for (relatively) older gentlemen. Ajna Thursdays Fornabaio and Voss roll the dice on a weeknight. Gay marriage officially arrives At long last, gay couples get hitched in the city.

Read more
Things to do

NYC bear guide

Related Francois Sagat The cult star inches closer to mainstream fame with an upcoming museum series. Even if you're not a connoisseur of gay porn, there's a very good chance you're familiar with the image of French adult-film actor Franois Sagat. The tattooed muscle man has emerged as more than just a skin-flick star in the last few years, working as a (clothed) model, and starring in queer arthouse fare like Bruce La Bruce's L.A. Zombie and Christophe Honor's Homme au bain (Man at Bath); he even had a brief role in the torture-porn flick Saw VI. His career is chronicled in Sagat: The Documentary, which ran on French television earlier this year and makes its American debut at the Museum of Arts and Design on November 18 as part of the series "Franois Sagat: The New Leading Man." We caught up with the strangely sexy star via e-mail. [Note: Some links contained below are NSFW.]You're only 32, and have cultivated a career well outside of the mainstream. How does it feel to have a museum doing a series about you?It's amusing. It's new for me, and I'm very proud of it. It shows that everything is possible—in many ways—even in porn...as long as you make good choices. I'm lucky! My mother must be happy. The MAD series is titled "The New Leading Man." Do you see yourself as a leading man? Is mainstream fame something you'd like to achieve?I'm still really overwhelmed when I read this. I'm very honored and surprised...but I don't really think it's true [that I'm a leading man]. I'm just a product of the Internet that came along at a good time, that's all. Mainstream fame would scare me, so that is not my goal.How did you make the transition from adult movies to artier far like L.A. Zombie and Homme au bain? Well, I never stopped [doing] porn. L.A. Zombie and Homme au bain were just new, different projects that came along at a time when I wanted to take a break from porn—but I didn't retire, and there was no transition. And I'm still naked and interacting with partners in gay sex in those two projects...so, no big deal.You've done some intense work on camera—from the elaborate makeup you wear in L.A. Zombie to some extreme sex in some of your porn work. Have you ever been asked to do anything that you refused? Not really. No one forced me to do something I would be against.... If I had to do it again, I would have refused to perform in fisting movies; thank God I was only a top in those movies. I respect everything, but this is something that just [isn't] me. One of your most distinctive features is your scalp tattoo. When did you decide to get that, and why? I was bald very early, that's all. I tried to find a way to make my head dark with trompe l'oeil... the inspiration was the "shape-up" haircut.You mentioned when we first got in touch that you've been shooting and directing. What are you up to behind the camera? I'm doing a porn movie for Titan—very exciting. It's in two parts; I wrote, directed and art-directed everything with my codirector, the very talented Brian Mills. He helped me deal with the most difficult aspects of [understanding] what's possible and what's not in a job like this. Basically, I came up with the ideas, and he is taking care of all the technical aspects. I also took care of designing costumes. I did the drawings and some amazing people—Slick It Up and Charlie Le Mindu—manufactured everything for me, specially for this project. I'm also in the movie! The first part is out in December, the second part in March.Homme au bain director Christopher Honor has said you "redefine the notion of masculinity," and you've been asked about that a lot since then. Is "redefining masculinity" something you're interested in?That's the thing I never know how to respond to. I never found to be myself a masculine man. I'm everything but masculine! I put makeup on my face; I curl my eyelashes every morning; I have Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Beyonc on my iTunes; I wear G-strings; I love the color pink; I read Vogue; I wear high heels onstage. I guess Christophe Honor didn't see me in private!You seem to have a sense of humor about yourself; do you think people take you too seriously sometimes?I think so, yes. I think I can be funny...but, then again, people will always take me the way they want.Do you get to New York very often?I've been to New York at least ten times, but not enough time to know the city. I really enjoy New York and have some really good friends there. I feel peaceful there—maybe its because I'm not from there. But I could live in New York. When you come here, do you have favorite things to do?Yes, walking alone in the streets during summer and watching people...and having sex with fucking sexy men. "Francois Sagat: The New Leading Man" runs Nov 18--20 at the Museum of Arts and Design. L.A. Zombie is available now on DVD in regular and hard-core versions. For more information, check out Sagat's official site. @timeoutnygay See more in Gay & Lesbian. Slide show: Men of GT's Naked Issue (NSFW) British guys (and one shameless Yank) bare all for charity. For this year's edition of its Naked Issue, British homo mag Gay Times had so many guys willing to strip down that they couldn't be contained into one edition of the magazine—so that means two naked issues! Tucked among the (mostly unknown-in-the-U.S.) stars of TV, stage and sport is one face that is definitely familiar to queer New Yorkers: A-List star Austin Armacost did for GT what he wouldn't do for Playgirl. (Okay, so it's not exactly full frontal. But still! That's a lot of Austin.) And before you go accusing the reality-show troublemaker of doing this only for the attention, keep in mind that this flesh fest is also for a good cause. All of the photos will be signed by the guys and auctioned off to benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation. If you're interested in a suitable-for-framing shot of Austin (or a British TV host most of us haven't heard of), head to the GT web site to learn about the auction as details become available. @TimeOutNYGayTONY Gay on Facebook See More in Gay & Lesbian. Slide show: Black Party posters (NSFW) A look back at more than three decades of Black Party poster madness. In 1981, the Saint nightclub hosted the first Black Party, a two-night bacchanal celebrating the arrival of spring. A poster featuring a pair of sexy-scary Robert Mapplethorpe images let revelers know what they were in for—this wasn't going to be your average night at the disco. More than three decades later, the Saint at Large's Black Party (and, for the last three years, the Black Party Expo) has continued to push the envelope with its promo images, many of which blur the line between high art and lowly porn. The best of them—from 1983's frightening S&M vampire to last year's unsettling "fuck yourself" vision—leave us both creeped out an turned on. And for the last few years, the Saint at Large has expanded into other media with its controversial ads. Check out this year's Black Party "trailer." See more in Gay & Lesbian

Read more

The Hot Seat: Justin Vivian Bond

The downtown legend opens up in a new childhood memoir. You recently released your debut solo album, Dendrophile, and your book Tango is out this month. Were you surprised by how busy this summer turned out to be?It just kind of happened that way. Up until June, I was living in a loft above Mars Bar in a building that is now being demolished. But for the two-and-a-half years that I lived there, I had a lot of space, and my rent was really low. I organized my time so that I was very prolific. Why did you decide to write about your childhood?I'd had [a conversation] with my sister about this boy who'd been my lover. He was arrested for impersonating a DEA agent, and I realized he had all these problems. Also, I had just been diagnosed with ADD, so I was in the process of looking back at my childhood anyway. The book has a lot of poignant moments, but it's also very funny. Was it difficult to strike that balance?I guess that the things that happened were serious. I don't take things too seriously. I prefer to laugh than to cry. Usually. [Laughs] In the book, you talk about using humor to get your anger out as a kid. Is that something you still do?I do, to an extent. Part of [my reason for writing the book] was to let go of some resentment I had from [childhood]. It was kind of cathartic for me; I'm certainly a little bit less angry than I was two years ago. Earlier this year, you wrote a blog post about identifying as trans and adopting the pronoun V and title Mx. to describe yourself. Why did you decide to make that change?My record and my book were about to be released, and I'd been on an inward journey. I knew I was going to be doing publicity, so I naively put that blog up in order to simplify things for interviews. I was giving people a glossary of terms that would make their lives simpler. Evidently it's not that simple for some people. Would you encourage other people who identify as trans to use them too?I certainly don't want to put words in anybody's mouth. It seems that a lot of people like the prefix Mx., so I think that's fun that so many people are into that. I said what I wanted for myself, and anyone who wants to use those words is more than welcome to. I'm delighted that there's a larger conversation going on about that, and about trying to find the right terms. I think the binary words that we're used to using aren't really serving us anymore. There was some controversy after New York profiled you earlier this year and you posted about being offended by the piece on your blog. The response got picked up, and people were very supportive of what you were saying. Did you expect that?I was so gratified, because a lot of people reacted to that piece in the same way I did before I published my blog. It was a high-profile piece on me, and many people who I wouldn't say are ignorant, but who aren't that thoughtful and experienced, thought that the piece was just wonderful because they see a great, big photograph of you in New York magazine, and no one is saying that you are an asshole. They think, Fantastic, how great, how wonderful. And in that regard, it's true and I was grateful for the piece. But I felt an obligation to my community and to the people that [Carl Swanson, who wrote the piece] was comparing me to. It's not like I'm going to be a spokesmodel, but I felt the need to be responsible [and address] things that were really inaccurate and sensationalistic. Especially the hierarchies of transness that he felt that had some sort of keen observation on. I felt just terrible when I read that, thinking that people would be insulted. So I felt that I had to respond. You said you aren't putting yourself out there as a spokesperson. Do you see that possibly happening anyway, since you are very visible and open to talking about being trans and the issues surrounding it?Well, I don't mind being a catalyst and someone to stimulate conversation, that's for sure. But I certainly would never think of myself as a role model, although I am in a position where I tend to think about these things, and sometimes I feel obligated to share my thoughts. I don't want to be a role model, but I am definitely here to talk. When you were interviewed in 2008 for our New York 40 issue, you mentioned that NYC nightlife never recovered from Giuliani's policing—do you still feel that way?I think now it has more to do with the conservatism of the generation that goes to these places. In the old days, when people didn't have their phones—so they weren't documenting every moment—the behavior in nightclubs [was] a lot more illicit and dangerous, in the best sense of the word. People are still going out, but I don't think it's recovered to the point where it was before, because it's just not as much fun. And people get their sex off the Internet now. Tango (The Feminist Press, $16.95) is out now. Bond appears at Dixon Place on Thu 8 and Symphony Space on Wed 14. See more Hot seat

Read more

Best (and worst) of gay New York 2011

It was an extremely good year to be gay in New York. @TimeOutNYGay See more in Gay & Lesbian.

Read more