Home LifestyleFashion & Style A gay party on a boat returns after the ‘twink demon’

A gay party on a boat returns after the ‘twink demon’

by YAR

Ty Sunderland paced, his head bent over his phone. It was 5:52 pm, eight minutes before 500 guests were expected to board the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises ship where he was hosting a party on June 18, and the sound system had not yet been turned on.

Sunderland, 32, a DJ and event producer who lives in Brooklyn, had started texting an engineer. The topic at hand threatened a bumpy start for “Gayflower: Spice Girls,” this year’s inaugural installment of its annual Gayflower Boat Parties, which began in 2018 and are named after the Mayflower ship that carried pilgrims from England to Plymouth,Massachusetts. in 1620.

Since the parties’ inception, each one has been a tribute to a different pop music act through music and clothing. The revelers, who are mostly gay men, often appear in outfits inspired by the artist being celebrated. As a sound engineer finished tuning the ship’s speakers, Mr. Sunderland shared his hopes for how attendees would honor the ’90s-era British girl group known for hits like “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life,” It was originally made up of five members. : Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Baby and Posh Spice.

“I want to see groups of five. I want to see signs. I want to see little Gucci dresses,” she said, referring to the black dresses worn by Posh, the former spice name of Victoria Beckham (née Adams), whose career as a fashion designer succeeded her time as a Spice Girl. “She’s fashion,” added Sunderland, who had worked as a shop assistant at the Barneys New York department store before becoming a nightlife fixture. “I love fashion and she was always serving.”

Sunderland, who said he started wearing black and white because the hues made him more recognizable in clubs, had thought about wearing a short black dress that night. But instead he opted for one of his black-and-white Stampd caps, of which he owns about 100, black-and-white Adidas sweatpants, and a black Nike warm-up jacket over a Spice Girls jersey. The spreaders, he concluded, would be more appropriate for spinning tracks in open water amid temperatures hovering around 60 degrees.

Dressing practically was less of a concern for the party guests, who were sailing through Manhattan after boarding the ship at Pier 83 on the Hudson River. Ivan Lizardi, 27, another Posh Spice fan, wore a little black dress that he had bought at Zara. “Posh is my favorite because she does the least amount of work,” said Lizardi, who works for streaming platform Paramount+. “She just sits there and she looks pretty. So relatable!”

Sean Riordan, 30, who was in town from California for his bachelor party, wore an outfit equally recognizable to Spice Girls fans: a Union Jack dress, a style made famous by Geri Horner (of née Halliwell), or Ginger Spice. A fan of the group since childhood, Mr. Riordan, who works in hospital administration, said “I had Spice Girls sheets, and my first Barbie was the Spice Girls Barbie, which my father got mad about.”

Whether or not they are dressed as the Spice Girls, many attendees were drawn to the event by a sense of nostalgia and a desire to celebrate “girl power,” a rallying cry of the group. Tim Fitzgerald, 27, wearing a more weather-appropriate ensemble of leather jacket, hoodie and pants (all black), recalled the impact that “Spice World,” the 1997 film starring the five girls, had on him as a child.

“I watched ‘Spice World’ with my best friend growing up until the VHS tape ran out,” said Fitzgerald, who works in public relations at fashion brand Coach.

Guests paid up to $55 to attend the four-hour cruise, much of which was set to tracks from the group’s three studio albums: “Spice,” “Spiceworld” and “Forever.” (The third was recorded without Ginger, who left in 1998 to pursue a solo career.) Halfway through, dancer and drag queen Brie Bordeaux performed in a pink minidress that the performer described as a cross between “Baby Spice and Elle Woods.”

Between the drag show and the Spice Girls songs were songs by other musical artists celebrated in past installments of the party, including Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. Ms. Spears was the inspiration behind Mr. Sunderland’s first Gayflower event, in the summer of 2018. Dubbed “It’s Britney, Boat,” that party, which he describes as “the flagship” of the series, has become to organize every year since then.

Those who haven’t attended one of the boat parties may be familiar with them due to the 2021 event honoring Mrs. Spears, when an incident involving a rebellious partygoer unexpectedly spread across social media. social.

“There was a young DEMON on Britney’s boat last night…” Mr. Sunderland wrote on Twitter the day after the party, using a term to describe gay men with thin, hairless bodies who are usually young. “I threw a drink on the dj crew, I wouldn’t leave the stage unless I stopped the music,” his tweet continued, listing another alleged transgression that was not suitable for publication.

Mr. Sunderland’s post prompted tweets from others; a included a false announcement that the character would appear in a new Netflix series, other He ordered a line of demonic twink merchandise. (There are now crop tops with the phrase for sale on Etsy.) Earlier this month, the incident surfaced on an episode of Showtime’s talk show “Ziwe.” “It was my little contribution to the gay lexicon, now we know what a devil boy is,” Sunderland said, adding, “it made straight people aware of what I do.”

However, by the time of the Spice Girls’ trip, the young demon specter had been all but exorcised from the festivities. Aside from a few intrepid revelers assembling the life jacket bins as the ship returned to its original berth, most of the guests were well behaved.

While future demonic presences may be impossible to predict, the boat party series’ fate is much more certain, according to Sunderland, who also hosts Ty Tea, a regular Sunday shore event at the 3 Dollar club. Bill in Brooklyn. This year’s lineup features five more outings, including “Gayflower: Bangerz” for Miley Cyrus fans on June 24, as well as another edition of “It’s Britney, Boat” scheduled for July 30.

“I’ll be doing ‘Britney, Boat’ until I’m 50,” he said. “If people come, I sail.”



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