Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ms Sulu to you! GeekingOut with George Takei

Patrick Yacco of GeeksOut congratulates me on winning a PJ McQuade doodle of George Takei - and seems that George "liked" this photo on Facebook

OK, it wasn't in Chelsea, but good as ...

Last Friday I got an impromptu invite to an art raffle by my illustrator friend Justin Winslow. Oh how fun to be Justin's "fruit flyette" of an evening ... last time I mumbled "ok" to one of his texts I ended up in a place called the Rawhide staring up at an impressively gyrating, live advertisement for Iron Gym, one of which, like you, I own and have hanging, like yours, nowhere near a doorframe turning me into Wonder Woman or you into Big Arnie, unless you're a body conscious Chelsea boy. Yes, Chelsea is known for its gay population, although the plummet from gentrification to generification is fast turning it into another Duane Read/Rite Aide/Olive Garden 'burbia. But I digress.

The event, organized by a very fun collective called Geeks Out (read: gays into comics, art toys and therefore ComiCon) was a fundraiser to celebrate the 75th birthday of actor George Takei. For the uninitiated, Takei is most famous for his role as Mr Sulu in precambrian episodes of Star Trek. He is loudly and proudly gay and, judging from the exuberant videos on his site, seems to be having more fun than any sentient being in this galaxy.

The event poster was covetable too - designed by GeeksOut organizer Josh Siegel.
 What am I wearing? My favorite dress from Animated Closet, Brooklyn, found at ConiCon ...
After scarfing the best lasagne in Manhattan at Cola's (8th and 17th), we got to the event - at a church(!) just in time to miss Justin's own Takei art piece being won by one lucky duck, Theo. Unlike many of the submissions which were perfectly appropriate and lovely framed inkjet prints, Justin gave away the original. Lucky Theo!

Lucky Theo wins Justin's Winslow's Takei and gets to meet the artist.
As to the raffle mechanics, $10 ($20) bought you 5 tickets (10 with a beer) which you could slip into any of the ballot boxes depending on which artwork you most wanted to win. Theo put all all 10 tickets on Justin's work and it paid off.
 Read about Justin's Takei
I spread my bets and put one ticket in the box for each of 5 different works - there were so many great ones - and was amazed when my number came up. Unfortunately my artist, PJ McQuade from Brooklyn wasn't there to see possibly the only straight person in the room win it. It was presented to me by the friendly co-organizer, Patrick Yacco.

"Dang, I really wanted that one!" came a chorus of Justin's friends as I minced back to my place in the crowd, making me feel like I should have gifted it to a die-hard fan. Ah, but as a card-carrying Asian, who knows of the racial-never-mind-gender discrimination that forever lurks in the hinterland of Caucasia, it felt like a significant and empowering acquisition. OK, so Takei's Japanese, I'm Chinese-Australian ... nothing Wong with that ...
Rainbows and starships and swords - Oh, my!
George Takei aka Mr Sulu, by PJ McQuade. Read about this picture

On leaving the event, which was lacking only in having no Wonder Woman dancing up the aisle (athough there WAS a Ghostbuster), the group meandered south to the Western-themed gay bar, Flaming Saddles in Hell's Kitchen. Cleverly, this establishment affords a clear view from the street of gee-up boys line dancing on the bar to the predictably excellent music that most gay bars are famous for (why can't straight establishments do good music - like, just buy the same CD's, OK?).

People inside were having so much fun (why can't straight establishments be like that?), but with reluctance I bade the group farewell, as I had to be up with the garbage trucks to teach my 8.30am Saturday yoga class at YoGanesh (and yes, we'd love to see more Chelsea boys swing by - actually, more boys period). 

Namaste, pardner!

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