This is going to be a bit different of a post than the others I've written about last summer's Bingo, because, during the July 29 night, I celebrated my ex boyfriend Ro's birthday as a benefit for the Queer Urban Orchestra. You might find it odd that I celebrated my ex's birthday. But bear with me.
You see, nearly 9 years ago, I met Ro at a funeral for a friend, Tom, who had designed the first year's Bingo posters. Tom was an awesome graphic designer and a musician. I had met him during my View Bar show in late 2004 (during a "Queer Music Night", Tom was in a band) and we formed an instant friendship. He loved what I was doing but told me that I needed more help especially in putting together a poster for the weekly show. I agreed but before we could really do anything, the show was cancelled and I moved on to the 9th Ave. Bistro to start P*rrrrno Bingo in February 2005! In February 2007, Tom got very ill and subsequently passed away. The memorial service wasn't until May and was held at Judson Church at the south end of Washington Square. There I met Ro and we started dating immediately.
Unlike other guys I've dated, Ro came to my shows all the time - a regular fixture - and we found ourselves working on the show together with him doing the graphics and, eventually, teaching me how to do the posters and the NEXT ads myself. He was there when I'd find joy in the show, he was there when things wouldn't go right. He came to at least a quarter of the 470 shows that I produced and was my biggest cheerleader - even sometimes when I didn't feel much like cheering for one reason or another (a missing guest, an errant charity, FedEx didn't deliver sponsors' giveaways in time, etc).
And even when we (wisely, finally) came to the conclusion that we were best friends/brothers, rather than boyfriends, Ro was still involved in the show and in my life. We've both long since moved on with others but we are still (and I hope forever) involved in each others' lives. And, I still love him, you know?
So, it was important for me to celebrate Ro's birthday on what I came to realize over the summer would be the final final final run of the show. Yeah, I'd missed the show after we'd ended in February 2014, but during these summer shows, I realized that it was time to really wrap it up. Oh, I was grateful for what I would come to call the "Bingo victory lap"... but P*rno Bingo was nearly done once and for all.
Singer Athena Reich was scheduled to join us (Ro specifically requested her) but due to an issue with her pregnancy, she had to back out at the last minute. She and her baby boy are doing fine, by the way, and we at the Bingo family are very grateful for a healthy and happy baby.
Thankfully, performer Brent Walden Reno joined us to call some numbers and provide banter - he's a member of the Queer Urban Orchestra, the beneficiary of the night. Brent was charming and fabulous - all the things that a Bingo guest should be. :)
And Ro joined me on the mic too... So here's to Ro - I share the success of this wonderful, bizarre Bingo thing with you. Always and forever. xoxo (PS I don't know what I'm doing in this picture of us on the mic but I'm probably enjoying some awesome thing that he had just said lol)
You can see pics from the night by clicking here ... photos by AB.