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Bust or Reno
Easter has a special observance in the LGBT Community of San Francisco. Granted, bells ring across the city, children hunt for colored eggs and, for what its worth, the heteros down in the Marina feign creativity by having an Old-Timey Hat Parade. Yet, truth be told, for a group of people that have been denounced for their heretic values structure and downright ungodliness, San Francisco Gays sure do use the Zombification of the Christian Deity as the perfect excuse to get down and boogie-oogie-oogie!
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a convent of do-gooding drag divas that have orders all across the world, use the annual holiday to celebrate their inception. The group celebrated its 29th Anniversary this Easter Sunday to a crowd that sprawled every inch of Dolores Park. The event, which pairs best with chilled champagne and spring sunshine, raised thousands of dollars for the foundation, who gives back to many of the city's charities. The venerable Hunky Jesus contest drew more entrants than ever before including some of the pageant's most creative entrants( Double-Cross Jesus, anyone?).
However, those in attendance told me that there was a little something missing. While I didn’t talk to thousands of drunken revelers directly, I did hear from multiple sources that a certain creativity was lacking. It was a little less funny than usual. A little less colorful, or even a little less avant-garde; and I think I know why.
While the greater community was basking in Gardens of Eden, which turns out to be just east of Sodom and Gomorrah, a certain roustabout group of rabble-rousers were striking out on road. The legendary family vacation that has come to be known as Trannyshack Reno was fucked-up and fabulously striding toward the biggest little city in the world. Two buses shuttled 100 of the zaniest, loudest, and drunkest trannies across the Sierras, to what seemed sure to be their doom. I was along for the ride.
Now, confined to a luxury road-warrior stuffed full of hot tranny mess, you could imagine earsplitting hilarity and fashion for days. However, when you factor in the binge drinking, booty shaking, butt-fucking broo-haa, you could only imagine what awaited the sweet, suburban McDonald’s of Auburn, California. The chain restaurant, in all its expected sterility, was literally ravaged by what is sure to be the craziest thing they will see all year. Though the stop has become a tradition, no one has ever seen the same employee twice. Then again, it is McDonald’s after all.
Every order was served with extreme sides of shade, thrown wildly back and forth between belligerent Drag Queens and horrified hamburglers. Lady Bear, equally loquacious and narcotized, ordered as many hamburgers as 20 dollars could buy. She posed for pictures on the counter before randomly eating her burgers then throwing their masticated carcass’ into the crowd, sending up screams and prompting hair-flip offs. Outside, Drag Jesus was crucifying herself on the Golden Arches. The apocalypse had arrived.
We all got to Reno in one blackout cluster-fuck of sequins and silicone. It was hard to see past the crowd and notice the horrified faces of what any previous visitor knows are expected of the Reno social set. Their nylon sweat suits slowly brushed their way past our sea of horrifying heights as the hundred of us took to the elevators to kick off our heals and get ready for the night's show.
After naps, the guttural group re-emerged to put on a drag-a-thon of epic proportions. The 1099 Club in glamorous Reno saw so many queens shuttle back and forth from the main stage that it was hard to keep track of what was happening. We had 20 years of Madonna in ten minutes, the frightening antics of Hoku Mama Swamp, a side of Ambrosia Salad in a Mr. David creation, and more more more!
The following day's ride home started with a buffet at the Silver Legacy. On Easter morning, as families waited in the long lines for brunch after services, the most haggard group of cross dressing freaks, sharing a collective 3 or 4 hours of sleep, shook the casino more than a million dollar jackpot. Showgirls with body hair and headpieces showed off their Easter Eggs. There was no need to hunt.
Back on the bus and heading back from Reno, as the party rolled its way back into the Bay, the sadness was palpable. We had truly bonded, albeit in the foggy way that hooch can provide. As we sloppily spilled forth from the buses that docked back into the Mission, sloppy hugs and reluctant goodbyes spread all around. But who was totally blacked out buy the end of the trip? And who was unanimously voted drunkest? Was it one of the celebrities lined up to entertain at the LGBT Center’s 6th anniversary bash on Saturday? I know all this and more, but it's all been sealed up in a pinkyswear.