GAY/BASH!, a monthly gay rock/dance party at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) started almost as a fluke.
Joshua Vogelsong, who co-DJs the event with his roommate Dean Sullivan, got into a conversation with the cashier at Smash Records in Georgetown about his love for vintage hair metal. Off the cuff, he mentioned wishing there was a gay rock party such as those he enjoyed during the two years (’04-’06) he lived in New York. Phone numbers were exchanged and passed on and before long, the Black Cat had the party penciled in for a trial night. It’s been rolling there monthly since February 2011.
It starts at 9:30 p.m. but around 11:30, revelers gather around the stage for performances by “D.C.’s most experimental and avant garde queens, giving them a platform to express themselves in the most unconventional ways.”
GAY/BASH! is the Black Cat’s first monthly drag show. Vogelsong, who works by day at gay-owned Comet Ping Pong and spins other events at Black Cat, says the Cat has “a good mix of gay and straight” patrons.
The next GAY/BASH! is Saturday at 9:30 and is open to all ages (though D.C.’s curfew law is in effect). Cover is $5. Find the party on Facebook for more information. Rumor Millz and Heidi Glum host this weekend’s installment.
“It’s kind of a genre fuck but with a harder rock edge,” he says. “And there’s a sense of humor about it. We do a lot of stuff people will know. They just get kind of discombobulated and thrash around. It’s cute.”
Vogelson, a 29-year-old Houston native, has been in D.C. off and on for about 10 years. He lives in a group home near Columbia Heights, has been dating boyfriend Kevin for about a year and enjoys music, movies, restaurants and live shows in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve always been a total ‘mo. When I told my parents at age 14, they were basically like, “We were just waiting for you to figure it out and we love you.” I’m very fortunate and I love my family very much.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Divine, forever and ever.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I really miss Asylum.
Describe your dream wedding.
Marry in a courthouse, then throw a huge party.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Women’s health care and women’s issues in general. I’ve always looked up to my mother and watched her struggle in the military and other male-dominated workplaces. She’s a strong, smart woman and has always been my hero.
What historical outcome would you change?
I don’t feel comfortable discussing things like that.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
The 1997 VMAs, for Fiona Apple’s amazing “this-world-is-bullshit” speech and Marilyn Manson’s butt-cheek-baring “Beautiful People” performance. I was forever changed.
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
It was about how I’m sad that summer is ending. This has been a really good one!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Oh My God, Whatever.” It would be a best seller!
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Inform the self-hating closeted gays so they’ll shut the hell up and leave the rest of us alone.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Nothing, really. I’m not exactly spiritual.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Be more angry and militant. Start scaring people.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
A lot of things, probably. I get passionate.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
For gay men: That we’re somehow weak or not masculine.
For gay women: That they haven’t found the right man yet.
For trans people: That they’re confused and/or impulsive.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Poison” by Todd Haynes.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
So much emphasis on first impressions.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
My trophy for first place at the third grade spelling bee.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
It gets harder, so apply yourself.
It’s clean and people are well-educated.