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Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore

Another beautiful day spent walking the city streets, meeting friends old and new.

There is so much happening that I am finding it almost impossible to remember where the day begins and how it ends.

Let’s see…hmmm.

Woke late. Walked to Mud for my daily cup of their aromatic coffee. The cute Brooklyn guy was serving in his pixie hat. “Milk, one sugar?” I nod.

Walked the dog drinking my coffee . We stare at squirrels in the trees. This daily Mexican Standoff between The Little Dog and the squirrels.

At 12.30 I go to NYU AA meeting. A very drunk man sat next to me. I was a bit worried that he was going to vomit on my leg. He left early. People cried who had known him sober. We can get very complacent. He’s a good reminder of what can happen. Men like him keep me sober.

The Big Book of AA was written for people who can’t stay sober…not for people who can.

After the AA meeting a young gay new comer wanted my number. I congratulated myself for NOT giving it to him. I know what these boys want. Don’t think I went through all I went through this year without learning something. He can offer his sad ass to some other sucker. Listen, I am not that guy. I may sound like a sage when I speak in AA, I may look like a caring person on TV…but let me make this perfectly clear for anyone who may be listening…those are mere aspects of my personality.

I AM NOT THAT GUY.

I am not boasting when I say this…well..I might be…but, I am looking pretty damned good. I am strong, svelte, confident, happy. I am pleased to tell you that I have welcomed myself back into my own body. It’s great to be back on good form. Caustic humor, acerbic wit..all evidenced yesterday both at lunch with Peter Evans, then with my new cub friend (friend of Brendon’s). All afternoon sitting by the pool..receiveing people like the stately homo I have become.

Hung with actor friends Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters) and Anatol Yusef who plays Meyer Lansky in Boardwalk Empire. Anatol and I are talking about doing the Wayne Sleep bio pic together. Anatol….playing Wayne of course. Meg Ryan as Princess Di.

Anatol and Wayne could be twins. Those two boys were separated at birth.

Joke. That was a fucking joke wasn’t it? It was…wasn’t it?

Dashed home for a quick shower, took dog to park for a poo and a wee…met charming green-eyed boy who made small talk about wanting a dog, then met Zack et al at The Bowery Bar for the final Beige party night ever. I wore the jacket that Hedi Slimane designed for me when he was at Dior. I wore slim pants and patent leather boots and a black tee shirt. I looked fucking GREAT.

We arrived at 8.30 bribed the hostess, tranny person to get us a table but I didn’t sit at the table once. I felt like the Belle of the Ball. I was chatting with dozens of super cool gay men. Flirtatious yet dignified. It just felt great, validated. Comfortable. Some of the men we met at Ken Mehlman‘s apartment were there. Amanda Lepore was sitting in a booth getting her fake tits out. I have met her so many times in so many different locations. Miami, LA, Paris…with David LaChappelle mostly.

There were so many people. It was jammed. So many, many people I remember from years and years of going to Beige.

I must admit that I have never felt at ease at Beige. In the words of my friend, “This has always been a bit of a cunty crowd.”

Last night it was my crowd.

I left just as the party was getting messy. I walked home. Happy as the day was long.

I have been off kilter for so long. Last night, it was different. I felt great, I felt like I deserved the compliments.

That’s a change isn’t it?

Duncan Roy and Wendy Asher

Oscar Wilde enjoyed the extravagant promises of the Victorian Age, capturing the imagination of London’s aesthetic elite. However, beyond the enlightened few, everything about the man provoked consternation to the prudish, hypocritical Victorians—from the green carnation in his buttonhole to his sensational novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Like his suits, Wilde, a tireless self-promoter and purveyor of the unforgettable bon mot, was exquisitely tailored. While young, he was best dressed in bold plaid, plus fours, starched shirts with high, tight collars or gabardine suits cut short above the hip. Wilde traded his own slender, youthful visage (French
pleated hair and Cupid lips) for a bloated middle age rife with extravagant capes and voluminous fur-lined coats.

In his revisionist biography of Oscar Wilde, Who Was That Man?, Neil Bartlett describes how Wilde became a huge man with a penchant for young, willowy boys. He was an intriguing mass of contradictions: The love letters he sent to his wife, Constance, are as beautiful as the letters he sent to the dark-hearted “Bosie,” his lover. The innocent stories he wrote for his beloved children were a counterpoint to the pornographic tales he created from his forays into London’s dank underworld.

The pornography attributed to Wilde in the British Library, under the pseudonym “Teleny,” reveals his sado-pedophilic fantasies. Young boys figure highly in these violent, disturbing texts. The virginal youths are deflowered by older, cruel men, their innocence torn from them.

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is the reworking of these same themes that lead Wilde to his pessimistic and wholly modern conclusions about our shared horror of the loss of youth and how we might reclaim it.

When casting for a perfect Dorian, I was not interested in hiring a great beauty, but rather, a young boy. After all, beauty is subjective, youth indisputable.

For the movie’s Dorian Gray, it was imperative that our actor, David Gallagher, look effortlessly chic. David is very much the stick-thin look of right now and Dior Homme (as reinvented by our costume designer, Hedi Slimane). Dressing the literary youth icon of our age was a perfect solution for us and Dior: Slimane set his homoerotic boy-man aesthetic against the new Puritanism of American mainstream culture.

It is Lord Henry Wotton who appeals to the youthful Dorian Gray and speaks for the moisturized 40-plus generation, when he says to Dorian: “I wish that I could change places with you. To get back my youth; I’d do anything in the world. You are the type that the age is searching for and is afraid that it has already found. The world has always worshipped you—and it always will.”

If Wilde’s sensational sodomy trial had happened today, would the acclaimed wit have ended up in prison? Given that we find it hard to throw celebrities in jail, perhaps not. But Wilde’s predilection for sex with underage boys? I am sure that his hard drive would have been littered with unsavory images of children.

Once in prison, Wilde was given a thin gray cotton shirt and pants. Issey Miyake—or Kim Jong Il—might have gotten a kick out of this minimal Bauhaus look, but Wilde loathed it and woefully described his prison uniform in the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. A couple of years later, he was dead. (“It’s either me or the wallpaper.”) But as hard as I look, I cannot discover what he was buried in. Except, of course, shame.

This article was edited by Black Book for whom the piece was originally written.  It has been pointed out to me that Hedi lent us the clothes for Dorian rather than designing them for the film.   I have also been asked what happened to the film.  How did it do?  Well, in my own estimation it did OK.  It closed the London Lesbian and Gay film Festival, opened the Miami G&L film festival and opened the New York G&L film festival amongst others.   It had a small life and then vanished.