Archive for September, 2009

Under the Wig a Q&A with Candy Pantzzz

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Drag, Uncategorized on September 23, 2009 by ericrvaphotoguy

CandyPantzzzEric: Who is Candy Pantzzz? Where did she come from and how did she get her name?

Candy: Candy has evolved over many years. I started making my own clothes before going to college to earn a BFA in Fashion Design. Along with fun clothes, wild hair has been a huge part of my life. I’ve done everything from colorful mohawks, braids and hair extensions to short bleached-blonde styles. I wish there were photos of my hair styles over the years, there would certainly be a thick “coffee table” book of wildness! I’m currently enjoying my shaved head which allows me to wear glue-on hair pieces, which I also make. With all the years of craziness, true drag didn’t come into the picture until about four years ago. The name “Candy Pantzzz” was given to me by my dear friend, Dayna Cleveland-Cobb, makeup artist and owner of Vamps and Vixens Makeup Studio. I added the Z’s on the end of Pantzzz, 2 of them are “silent” and are there just for effect!

Eric: What DIVA inspires you the most and why?

Candy: If I had to pick one inspirational Diva, it would have to be Esta Bunny. She is a dear friend and we work closely together on projects, shows and just plain fun! However, with most queens, there are many inspirational Divas’ that we look to for talent, music and style. Some of my personal favorites include Nina Flowers, Acid Betty, Jackie Beat, Lady Bunny and the list goes on!

Eric: You competed in the first season of ESTA’s DRAG RACE, what did you learn from that experience about competitions?

Candy: That was the first competition I’ve ever participated in. I learned that I am not a “pageant queen” and I am only in it for fun! I don’t enjoy being in competition with others, I prefer to be in competition ONLY with myself! I did figure out that I enjoy trying new things and pushing my personal envelope in new directions.

Eric: What made you decide to run for the Second season?

Candy: I thought about it long and hard. Figured if I was going to be there every week, I may as well jump on in again!

Eric: You perform regularly with the TRAILER COURT, what do you like about ensemble performances?

Candy: First of all, it’s really a gift to have such a wonderful “drag family” to work with. We are always available to help each other, bounce ideas around with and most of all, and have a grand old time with!

Eric: You make some of the most amazing outfits and wigs the Purina bag dress was amazing, what inspires you to create such wild looks?

Candy: Glad you liked the Purina dress! I saved dog food bags for well over a year, just waiting on the right opportunity to compose the costume. When Stormie moved on to the “Go Green” week, I knew she NEEDED to have the dog food dress! I enjoy designing and making my own costumes and hair. I find inspiration all over, a song, a piece of fabric or even a piece of art. Most people that know me will tell you that I have a strange sense of design. Why be normal cuz normal (what ever that is) surely can’t be FUN!! Also, I’m somewhat of a pack rat, saving and buying odd things for future projects. Ya’ll would flip over all the drag and such I’ve collected over the last few of years! For me, drag is not serious and is meant to be fun!

Eric: What are three things we don’t know about Candy’s alter ego Jonathan Bennett?

Candy: Jonathan isn’t nearly as much fun as Candy! Jonathan loves to watch Food Network and Project Runway. I have been with my partner, Kevin (aka Enya Pantzzz) for four years. We have 3 dogs, Zoe, Scooter and Bart, as well as 2 cockatiels Big Johnson and Diva. See, I told you Jonathan wasn’t as entertaining as Candy!


City Council Member Responding to Buju Banton Show

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , on September 6, 2009 by GayRVA

BujuFacebook comments are still flowing about Buju.  A reader sent us his e-mail to Richmond City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson with her response.  She copied the Chief of Police and the Mayor’s office to setup a meeting regarding the National’s show.

Good morning Ms. Robertson;

I am writing to you today for the same reason that I am sure you have received many other emails, to express my discomfort and anger towards the upcoming Buju Banton concert at The National, in downtown Richmond. As a tax payer, Richmond business supporter, gay man, and someone who cares for this city – my stomach is in knots that this type of show is being help in my city.

I do believe that all people have the right of freedom of speech. I also believe that those who do not agree with homosexuality have the right to share the discussion. What I do not believe in, is paying someone and endorsing an act (which by having him perform at the National and doing any types of advertising they are endorsing him) that goes beyond freedom of speech to the call of violence and death against members of the human race, is not acceptable and bad business.

What I also fear is that if this concert does happen that the protest that occurs (and there will be a protest of this show) will turn violent. Richmond does not need that type of media attention, nor does the National, which has always allowed diverse acts perform. I also fear for the National after the show. This concert has struck a chord in the greater Richmond area – moving far beyond just the gay community. There has already been damage done to the reputation of the National – people have already decided to boycott the theater. It only makes me sad to think of the boycott/ reaction that occurs if the theater does not cancel this show.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you are able to speak with the people at the National to let them know that this concert is unacceptable and that it has outraged the people of our city.

The following was Robertson’s response:

I cannot afford to set and allow this group to come to town. I will be asking the Chief of Police to meet with me and the owners of the National to address the urgency of this matter. By way of this email, John will follow up with the Mayor and Chief to coordinate a meeting.

National’s Facebook Page Flooding with Comments

Posted in News & Views with tags , , on September 5, 2009 by GayRVA


As soon as the “Cancel Buju Banton…” page went live, Facebookers hopped over to the National’s page to express their opinion.  The admin had been deleting comments, but stopped at the time of this posting.

What people are saying…

“You deleted everybody’s concerns and then went as far as to post an offensive defense to Buju Banton. On top of all of this, their show is on Richmond Gay Pride anniversary day. How insulting!”

“Should Buju Banton be allowed to perform? Freedom of speech is a great good and a right in this country. However, there is a greater good of protecting the people as a whole. It is the government’s responsibilty to protect the people. His messages have a great enough potential to cause harm, and it’s our duty for the greater good to not allow him to play. Thus, his speech is not his right becuase of the potential harm it could cause. Do we have to wait for someone to die before we can prove the harm? That is what our law would dictate. I do not want our community to be the place where it could be proven. Please consider your responsibility to our community.”

Continue reading

Cancel Buju Banton Group Created on Facebook

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 4, 2009 by GayRVA

Buju BantonCommunity organizers have created a Facebook group called “Cancel Buju Banton ‘Faggots Must Die’ Shows in Virginia” in response to Buju Banton’s scheduled appearance at the National on September 26.  September 26 also happens to be the 25th anniversary of gay pride being held in Virginia.  GayRVA has contacted Rising Tide Productions and has not yet received a response.

At the time of this posting, the group already had 363 members that have been encouraged to call The National and Rising Tide Productions to express their opinion.

From the Facebook group:

Rising Tide Productions has scheduled a Buju Banton
concert at the The National Theater in Richmond Sept 26 and at the Norva in Norfolk Sept 25. The Richmond date coincides with Richmond’s 25th Anniversary Pride Festival.

Buju Banton is a Jamaican reggae singer who in a twenty-year career has repeatedly called for the maiming and murder of gay men. Banton’s song Boom Bye Bye proposed pouring acid on gays and shooting them in the head. Other lyrics state “Anytime Buju Banton come, faggots get up and run … they have to die.”

Communities across the country have demanded the cancellation of Banton’s performances and in major markets like Los Angeles, promoters Live Nation and AEG Live/Goldenvoice have complied. Smaller cities like Richmond remain on Banton’s tour schedule, and the Richmond LGBT community demands that Banton’s local promoters show Central Virginia’s residents the same consideration shown by promoters in larger markets.

“In Buju Banton’s native Jamaica, anti-gay violence is rife and typically tolerated by the authorities. Gay sex is punishable by 10 years in prison. Buju Banton both feeds off of and encourages this violence. As Passport magazine reported,”When [Human Rights Watch researcher Rebecca] Schleifer visited Jamaica in 2004, Brian Williamson, the country’s leading gay activist, was violently chopped to death with a machete in his apartment in Kingston. Schleifer walked to his street shortly after the murder and found a crowd of people gathered outside Williamson’s apartment singing and celebrating his murder and shouting the chorus of ‘Boom Bye Bye,’ a popular Buju Banton dancehall hit about shooting gay men: ‘Boom bye bye, in a faggot’s head. Rude boys don’t promote nasty men, they have to die.’ Others were laughing and yelling, ‘Let’s get them one at a time,’ and, ‘That’s what you get for sin.'””

While we support free speech, we condemn hate filled, murder inciting music. This performer does not meet Richmond’s community standards.

Rising Tide Productions needs to cancel these shows
Rising Tide 757-622-9877
National Theater 804-612-1900
Norva Theater 757-627-4547

Announcing 2.WHOA!

Posted in News & Views, Site Announcements, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 2, 2009 by GayRVA



On Thursday, September 10, goes from blog to webmagazine. Readers will see a new layout with more dynamic content and improved navigation.

The new also debuts a photo campaign painting a diverse portrait of “GayRVA.” The campaign features gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (GLBTQ) Richmonders and allies with the site’s slogan “Out.Spoken.”

Also on September 10, to coincide with the redesigned site, New York Deli hosts a happy hour event from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. To add a social media twist, our Twitter followers will be able to take the conversation online using hashtag #thatgaytweetup. Join and a few special guests as we come out again.

Who knew starting in March as a small community blog, would grow up in a matter of months to become a valuable online resource?

“Really, it started over dinner with friends,” Editor Kevin Clay said. “During conversation we wondered why doesn’t Richmond have a gay blog?”

This simple idea turned into a social network with 1000 followers between Facebook and Twitter with the website steadily growing in readership. Combined with monthly events from a Launch Party, to a week of fundraising for AIDSWalk Richmond, to live video blogging at the Watermelon Festival, has become an interactive tool connecting Richmond’s GLBTQ communities.

Ice Cream for Marriage Rights

Posted in News & Views with tags , , , , on September 2, 2009 by GayRVA


There’s a lot of ice cream happenings lately in the community.

In Vermont, and five other states with marriage rights, Ben & Jerry’s has renamed and is distributing “Chubby Hubby” as “Hubby Hubby.”  The gooey and delicious frozen treat has fudge covered peanut butter-filled pretzels in vanilla ice cream with fudge and peanut butter throughout.

The partnership with Freedom to Marry aims to bring “Hubby Hubby” to more states an in the process bring marriage equality nationwide.

A fancy evening at Stronghill

Posted in Food & Drink with tags , on September 2, 2009 by Andrew Cothern
Stronghill Dining Company at 1200 N Boulevard

Stronghill Dining Company at 1200 N Boulevard

TasteTheRainbowI decided to take a cute boy to Stronghill Dining Company for a nice, fancy dinner.

The ambiance at Stronghill is high brow and romantic. Low-level lights add for a nice, intimate conversation. The wait staff is extremely knowledgable on the menu and very friendly.

The food at Stronghill is not bad. However, the price tag attached to each entree doesn’t seem worth it in my opinion. If I’m paying over $20 per entree, it better make my tastebuds sing. Know that you’re going to be paying a pretty penny for a meal before sitting down to eat.

The food is still good, though, don’t get me wrong. The sampler appetizer with stuffed roma tomatoes, fried goat cheese, cashew fried shrimp and deviled eggs was excellent.

The evening was still very nice and I think cute boy had a good time as well.