A VIEW FROM A BROAD #12 – The legendary Gouda Gabor has done TV, stage… and probably a few of your husbands. She has been visiting Puerto Vallarta since the Malecon was just a “Mal”, but now she makes her home here and looks forward to sharing her observations of what’s on the stage and what’s on the streets of Vallarta… Tis true, Vallarta Pride 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19, but damn, Puerto Vallarta Virtual Pride Week was such a H-U- G -E success. It offered an opportunity for everyone to participate. It was truly a platform for the #BIGmoney to the #LITTLEguys to reach out to the mega thousands of international visitors that love Vallarta. (FYI I am all #sunshineANDpuppies for the next 4 paragraphs so skip right to the end if you want the bitchy stuff ��)
For local businesses, workers, and performers it was an important platform to make some money in these troubled times. Since the clubs, the bars, the beaches, and retail outlets (other than groceries and pharmacies) have been closed, our gay Vallarta family has not had jobs. Some foreigners do not even know that unlike Canada and the USA there is NO financial help from the government and the minimum daily wage in Mexico is only about 120 pesos! Virtual pride was a very significant way for them to fire up the PayPal accounts and request for donations to celebrate the amazing on-line presentations and performances.
One of the most significant fundraisers was Brian Kent’s spectacular pre-opening PVSTRONG that was created to support the unemployed night life workers of many of Vallarta gay haunts. Hosted by Vallarta/NYC #queenOFqueens Sutton Lee Seymour, it was a positive plethora of talent featuring stars from Ru Paul’s Drag Race such as Shangela and Ross Mathews, recording artists, celebrity DJ’s, American Idol alumni and some of the top performers from the Vallarta stages of Incanto, the Palm, Act 2 and Natcho Daddy. I was delighted to have been asked to be part of this extravaganza; the idea being for us “on-stage-gringo-types” who perform in Vallarta to support the people who take care of us and our audiences. Kent was very proud to announce the broadcast
had received more than $25,000USD in donations.
The other show I was tickled to be involved with is one of my favorite Pride events that was sponsored by one of my favorite watering holes, Anonimo Video Bar. The Drag Derby usually happens in front of about 1200 people on a closed down Pulpito street, and features Vallarta queens vying for the crown by first completing an obstacle course, followed by an on-stage performance. For 2020 we moved the action from the street to the screen. With the grand production skills of Daniel Houze at BC Live Productions, Anonimo’s dear Bryan & Roger partnered with the Rainbow Palms resort for the obstacle course. After I performed the introduction and opening number, the action switched to the queens bean-bagging, water-ballooning, boy-hooping, Trump-bashing and dildo-tossing their way to the finish line. Then the show moved LIVE to Anonimo where we judged the final performances of the 5 Derby All-Star contestants and crowned Miss Angie Star as the winner. The camaraderie of the Vallarta queens was amazing, as so many of the other girls in town worked behind the scenes to support the event and the donations were spilt between all the queens.
So many other wonderful events were featured during the week; from yoga to Zumba, from Spanish class to cooking class, performances from Vallarta stars Amy Armstrong and Miss Conception, to live shows from the stages of La Noche and Hotel Mercurio. Some highlights for me were “Tea with the Queen” presented by Marcus and his Reina boys, and my next husband (shhh, he doesn’t know yet) Sergio Luna Perez swinging around on his Anthropology pole! It warmed my heart to see such community spirit as evidenced by our dear sweet Vallarta “Cookie Lady” Araceli being featured in her own special segment.
Kudos to #fearlessLEADER Mandy McPherson and everyone to participated and donated!