The Str8UpGayPorn Awards, which honors the best in gay adult entertainment, took place this past Thursday night at Stage 48 as part of the kickoff for NYC Pride Weekend. I have done gay events in the past that had awards, but never for the adult industry itself, so suffice to say, I was excited in many different aspects to see just exactly what would go down as this is the first time that the website and its owner, Zach Sire, has done something like this.
If you are unfamiliar with Str8UpGayPorn, essentially it’s a site that talks about the ins and outs of the gay porn industry, who is hot and who is not, and juicy gossip that gets the people talking. The awards themselves were to highlight the best of the best in the industry, with categories that included everything from Best Movie to Best Ass and all that in between.
I stayed at the top of Stage 48 and watched all the action happen both from that point of view and below where the awards were given out. First off, I never expected to see a female porn star at this event, but was thrilled that Asa Akira (a fellow New Yorker) was in attendance on the red carpet as well as presenting an award with the dashing and greenly-dressed Colby Keller. Asa even flashed her boob as the award she was presenting was given out. Gotta get it out there somehow, right?
Speaking of the red carpet, I was surprised at the amount of people who actually came to the Str8UpGayPorn Awards. Not in a shady way, but some of these dudes don’t even live in the country (I’m talking about you, dreamy Bel Ami stars). The standouts for me on the red carpet, lewks wise, were Bruce Beckham (who cohosted it with Mr. Pam), Brent Corrigan, Austin Wilde and Sean Ford, who might just be the first twink I would consider sleeping with.
The big winners of the night were Helix Studios and Cockyboys. Whereas both are not particularly my taste (if you haven’t heard, I’m a bear, whose into bears, who likes me as a bear), nevertheless they took home some of the bigger awards that night including Best Movie (Helix) for “Lifeguards” and supporting actor for Blake Mitchell, whereas Cockyboys won best three-way to Colby Chambers, Mickey Knox and Levi Karter. Yay twinks!
Something that I was sort of surprised by, was that there wasn’t really that much “shadiness” from any of the winners, nominees or whatnot. They all took it seriously and for that I commend them. Str8UpGayPorn is a site that is known for its honesty and breaking the barriers in the gay adult industry, so it was refreshing that people were respectful in both presenting and winning the awards.
The honesty, however, did hit the building when Diesel Washington came on stage to present the award for Best Performer and give his blunt take on the industry. He spoke about the lack of diversity, which I agree with him completely even though guys like Austin Wilde & Boomer Banks won a couple of awards and other men of color in the industry were nominated like Sean Zevran and Diego Sans to name a few (I plan on marrying Diego at some point in my life). Nevertheless, the show was a big hit and I hope that Zach and Str8UpGayPorn decide to do it all over again next year.
Here are some stray observations from that night:
I was extremely thrilled that my buddy Bruce Beckham and Chi Chi LaRue tied for Best Comeback. Whereas I don’t think Chi Chi went anywhere (she mentioned that as well), Bruce has had a fantastic comeback in the industry while remaining completely levelheaded. See my piece on him here.
I was laughing my freaking ass off at host Sandra Bernhard when she announced Shangela coming to the stage, except she said it as shanGELLLa. Hard emphasis on the gel. I giggled. Evidently she doesn’t know much about Drag Race, which is fine, but it was hysterical and she played a great host.
Speaking of that, Trinity Taylor and Detox both did performances throughout. Trinity’s attitude the night before the finale was hilarious as she said “I just want it to be over with”, regarding Season 9 finishing. That may have been telling given that she was first eliminated on finale night. Detox on the other hand performed and brought Marc Macnamara on stage, where he fell out of his chair and I almost choked on the chocolate covered strawberry I was eating.
The waitstaff at Stage 48 could easily find themselves into porn, as I kept giving them the “come to the bathroom” eyes. Nothing happened. Sad face.
I was happy to see Will Wikle there, who remains my favorite gay man from Big Brother and was nominated for Best Actor. His arms are bigger than my head at this point.
Guys that I wanted to bring back to my apartment that night: see all.
Shout out to the one former porn star who was there that continues to throw me shade five years after we stopped talking. I would say more, but he’s not worth it.
Also, Detox came back to present Best Movie and surprisingly it was “La La Land”, for a brief minute. HA.
Finally, I got to make out with Rikk York. I see no problem in using my profession for personal gain, and I’m hella proud for this photo (Love you Rikk).
For more information on Str8UpGayPorn (NSFW), check out their official website.