Two men in revealing white singlets walked into a piano bar while the cabaret singer Natalie Douglas belted away on stage, accompanied byBrian Nash, a fixture on the New York City piano bar scene. The men were hardly out of place, though — a couple of other men in white shorts and bunny ears were already there.
If I’d witnessed this in New York, at Brandy’s, say, or Don’t Tell Mama, it would have perhaps been bizarre (perhaps, because in New York you kind of never know what to expect). But we were a week into an all-gay Atlantis cruise, and costumes of varying sorts — including those that leave precious little to the imagination — were hardly oddities at this point. It was just another night, another theme party aboard the Golden Princess.
The thumpa-thumpa club scene is hardly my milieu at home, but there I stood an hour later in tight shorts, a short-sleeve dress shirt with a bow tie, and flip-flops, all of it white. I was surrounded by hundreds of people, mostly gay men, some in chef hats or sailor caps, others in dresses, sequined from head to toe, and many wearing nothing but minuscule underwear and a coating of glitter. Nearly everything in sight was monochromatic at this “White Party,” an all-night event and the last big blowout of our eight-day Los Angeles to Mexico excursion.