The author with John Caputo, winner of this year’s Mr. Gay Philadelphia contest.
BY AARON STELLA The Mr. Gay Philadelphia festivities were fabulous, pumped with enough glitz, glamor and celeb star power to draw gay Philadelphians of every echelon to the Gershman Y last Friday night. Supporters on the scene included, but were not limited to, Stacy Vey, owner of Stir, Jason Crook, owner of PHAG, Thom Cardwell, executive director of the Philadelphia Film Society, Wayne A. Hamilton, Esq., president of the Sapphire Fund, and many others. But without a doubt, the real stars of the evening were the gorgeous contestants representing gay establishments within the Philadelphia area.
Before the event began, I was able to sneak an interview with Micheal Musto, beloved gossip columnist for The Village Voice and one of the many celeb guest judges invited to the event. I was instantly struck by Musto’s nonchalance, a reserved yet welcoming aura hung about him, as well as an intriguing mystique and intrepid wit. But altogether, he’s a real sweetheart. Musto also judged last year’s event. “I enjoyed last year. I agreed to do it again after Bruce asked me; and I just kind of woke up this morning and realized I was on my way [to Philadelphia]. That’s pretty much how my life is: I just find myself in places,” Musto said, finishing with a warm chuckle.
Other celeb judges included Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Hayes, Project Runway Season 4’s early show favorite and NYC clothing designer Jack Mackenroth, Editor-in-chief of PGN Mark Siegel, HIV researcher Dr. Frank Spinelli, LA actor David Moretti and NYC-based actor Jesse Archer. And the hosts for the evening were none other than the diva starlet Miss Brittany Lynn and Frank DeCaro—as bubbly and as bouncy as ever—and whose proximity to the competing man candy was the envy of all. And then, it was time to meet the contestants. They sauntered on stage one by one in a seemingly endless cavalcade of man flesh; as some members of the crowd whooped and hollered, others had to fan (or adjust themselves) as the temperature rose with each sumptuous display of strapping manhood.
[More dirty details and pix after the jump]
Lynn and DeCaro played off of each other famously, like an old married couple souped up on naughty thoughts and their own lusty effervescence. Now DeCaro’s already a well-known yuckmeister, but Miss Lynn? Whew! I had no idea she was such a stitch. I mean really, as I was recovering from a fit of laughter, I wondered to myself if she’s got some muse of comedy hogtied in her attic. Wouldn’t put it passed her.
Once the titles of Mr. Congeniality (awarded to Ken Medley, representing Woody’s) and Mr. Fitness (awarded to Quinton Bond, representing Shampoo) had be decided, it was time for intermission, which gave audience members the opportunity to rub shoulders with the judges (and time to properly lubricate themselves in preparation for the after parties). After everyone had refreshed their drinks, it was time to announce the finalists and put them to one final test: Are there any brains under all that lovely brawn? Questions ranged from, “What do you think about the pressure of gay men trying to act straight?” to, “If Fran Dresher and Megan Mullally were going to make a love-child, what would it sound like when they were having sex?” All the while, Miss Lynn and DeCaro were giving their own raunchy answers, which seemed to faze some contestants and delight others.
But when all was said and done, it was John Caputo, representing Joe Pesce (the restaurant), who took the crown as Mr. Gay Philadelphia. Admirers and well-wishers flooded the stage after he was announced winner as the cameras flashed like New Year fireworks; but no one lingered for too long; as I remember DeCaro inquiring, “Well, see you at Tavern [on Camac]?” as the exodus to the street began. For the night was still young—everyone split into their respected bands and took the town by storm. Caputo remained shirtless for the rest of the evening and late into the early hours of the morning, saving his sash, which marked his new title. As the clock slowly inched past two, the party migrated to PURE. It wasn’t until 3:30 a.m. that people started calling it a night. Well, it was a hit, to say the least, and in case you missed this year’s event, give Bruce a call or send him an encouraging email so we can nurture the pageant into a full-fledged tradition. Well, that’s all for now boys and girls. Until next time…