Final Farewell

Tue. November 29, 2005 12:00 AM
by Jason Paul

Princess Darby says I need new oxygen. Beseeching the ChicagoPride.com advice guru over coffee, I told her maybe I drink too much while pouring the contents of a Baileys-filled flask into my café au lait. This last year has been nothing but fundraisers, cabarets, annual events, pink plaid party caps, cocktails, celebrities (mostly porn stars), networks and boot licking. Riding the Velvet Rope can rub your knees raw and suck the life right out of you! I got the scabs to prove it. Combined with a new job and new nephew, being an out-n-about, funky clad, drunk society reporter while making deadline had started to become somewhat challenging. I begged the good Princess to use her warm and heartfelt guidance to give me some direction – but make it quick. I had a party to get to.

Sharing my woes with iconic Ms. Foozie, while she hosted a Q TV bar crawl segment, she told me she’d never seen any of Princess’s shows.

“She doesn’t do shows,” I corrected, “She’s an advice columnist.”

“A drag queen that gives advice? That’s awesome.”

“No, she’s an actual woman,” I affirmed, “who dons the occasional headdress.” Why must everything I do be associated with drag queens?

Darby touched on that too, asking if I had a fear of drag. And no, of course not; it’s just that drag queens remind me of my mother.

“Does she wear a lot of makeup and jewelry?” Darby inquired.

“Not really,” I answered, “But she does dance around the kitchen lip-synching Celion Dion, asking me to put dollar bills in her bra.

Darby paused, clearly disturbed, “I have a problem with that,” she said. “I’m not a big Celion fan. I’m more of a Cher girl. You should talk to your mom about that.”

And I did. Approaching my mother -- not my actual mother but my Circuit Mother -- at her birthday bash at Circuit Nightclub I asked what her favorite Cher song was. Circuit Mom, parading around in DJ Matthew Harvat mode, answered quickly, “The Dark Lady dance remix.” Yet trying to talk with her further to get her take on things proved fruitless. (S)he was too busy with her ding-dongs, plush teddy bears and Circuit Mom masquerade masks to pay me any mind, but did add, “JP, you look tired.”

So it was back to Princess Darby. What should I do? Fans were starting to recognize my failings. One asked if I actually wrote that Halloween Video review a month back. So poorly put together, he didn’t believe I had done it. Clearly, something had to give.

That’s when Darby said what rang most true for me. “Choosing to close one door, doesn’t mean you can never open it again.” And well kids, as they say, that’s that.

Alas faithful readers (all 3 of you), in order to explore new areas of opportunity and growth, with heavy heart I announce our final Riding the Velvet Rope. Much thanks and appreciation goes to BOI Magazine Managing Editor Tim McCanless for giving me a chance when no one else would. To the many contributors, readers and organizations that helped make RtVR over the last year, again, thank you.

But good-bye doesn’t necessarily mean forever. Jason Paul will still be around, but in a new and different light. So, when riding your own velvet ropes be sure to keep an eye out for me. I’ll be the one wearing a touch of pink.

Look out for JP's new updated and evolved reporting on everything Gay Chicago coming soon in B Scene with Jason Paul, exclusively on ChicagoPride.com!