The naked body of Amanda Lepore, the world's self proclaimed #1 transsexual, is about as good of a metaphor for change as any so it was suiting that the first sight of 2009 that the crowd at The Raleigh's Burlesque New Years saw was Ms. Lepore clad only in balloons as hostess Susanne Bartsch popped them. More than any other recent New Years we all find ourselves hoping for change, and if we can make as drastic of a transformation as turning from a little New Jersey boy into an international transsexual icon, well, that's change I can believe in.
Pussy joined change as the other main theme for the night. A giant pair of spread inflatable legs floated in the Raleigh's pool, while various burlesque performers danced around it including men in elaborate animal masks and tuxedos, a lady wearing nothing but a feather boa and an impressive amount of armpit fuzz, a guy encased in hundreds of balloons, and a lady wearing a furry monster suit with a plush pussy attached to the torso. Ms. Lepore, again, took to the stage later to drive the pussy point home singing her Larry Tee collaboration "My Pussy": My pussy is famous. My pussy is expensive. My pussy is fine. You can through it in the air and call it sunshine.
The crowd was mixed, which is I guess what happens when you put the promoters behind the city's most enduring indie party Poplife and The Hills star Whitney Port on the same hosting committee. Everything from greasy guys with chicks in bedazzled micro-dresses, to GQ-looking gay men, to funky old ladies who you wish were your grandmother, to at least two eight year-olds populated the poolside interspersed with various New Yorkers of downtown club fame including Kenny Kenny, Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field and gym entrepreneur David Barton. I almost collided with Field, and had to be stopped before I drunkenly went up to Barton and said "OMG! My New Year's resolution involves your gym!" Port, I never saw, but I wasn't exactly looking for her.
Overall, it was a fitting start to 2009, representing all which so many hope the new year brings: tons of happy gay couples, a bit of appropriate opulence as if there's no economic crises, and not a registered Republican in site. Regardless, hopefully someone will through Lepore's pussy into the air in 2009, because we could use that bit of sunshine.
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