Camping Out in Kansas City - December

Well, Halloween in Kansas City certainly lived up to the name “Gay Christmas”! This reporter roved from Missie B’s to Buddies to Sharp’s and back again. I took so many pictures my poor old camera finally gave out on me. Missie B’s opted to hold its party on Sunday night, October 28th, with festivities and costume contests both downstairs and upstairs. Being more traditional, I opted to remain downstairs with the established queens (that means older, for those new in town). At one point I thought I was seeing double, although I was sure I hadn’t been over served.

On Tuesday, Halloween itself, I attended the festivities at Sharp’s restaurant and bar, which were a way for owner Marty and manager Ken to thank their loyal patrons from over the years. A delicious buffet greeted us, and the food just kept coming. The place was packed and the costumes were very original. My hat is off to Marty and the boys for a delightful evening. And just wait for their “New Year’s A Go Go” Disco Party on Dec. 31. I decided to finish off the evening with a night cap at Buddies, but was just a bit disappointed. I had anticipated some very original outfits from this group, but I guess they partied too hard over the weekend. I understand that Buddies now has a new owner, Michael S. who has plans for some changes. I will try to inform you of changes as they occur.
One of my dear sisters, Leron H., blew into town from Boonville on Nov. 1st and we decided to take in lunch at Bistro 303. Let me tell you, this was a wonderful dining experience. Not only was the food terrific, the server, Andy, was equally yummy! I really wanted to ask if I could get the waiter “to go“ but Leron made me think better of that idea! Seriously, next time you want to treat yourself, take in a meal at Bistro 303; they have a great brunch on Sundays as well.
The Fox Bar on the Kansas side, will be celebrating the holidays in traditional style. Marsha is planning on holding her famous Egg Nog Party on Friday, December 22nd from 2PM on and Marsha and Butch will hold their traditional Christmas White Elephant Party on Christmas Day so save up all those garage sale items and bring them down to The Fox to exchange for another white elephant gift to take home and put in your next garage sale. And just a little friendly competition with Out A Bounds, The Fox will open at 3PM on December 17th for the Chiefs vs. San Diego football game. They have even brought in a 128” TV especially for the game.
On November 11, my friend George R. and I attended the Creating Change Conference at the Crown Center Hotel. I wanted to go to seminars on aging in the LGBT community. One we both found particularly interesting was a lecture on the financial aspects of being gay and approaching retirement. The speaker was excellent and pointed out the fact that gays are very much discriminated against when it comes to the laws that regulate inheritance and social security. I was surprised to see a number of younger attendees taking copious notes. Although we did not stay for the entire session, I was totally impressed with the way the conference was organized, even down to the gender neutral bathrooms. My hat is off to the organizers of this event.
On November 19th, John Long and I were privileged to be invited by our good friend John Koop to the Annual Body Art Ball at the Uptown Theater, sponsored by Tuaca Liquors. There were about 15 gorgeous models entered in the contest, which consisted of artists painting costumes on the scantily clad boys and girls. Unfortunately, I cannot show you any pictures of the models, but believe me, every one of them looked great. I don’t know how Flo and the judges were able to decide on a winner!
While hanging around the buffet table (I seem to be doing a lot of that this month!) I ran into Hearne Christopher Jr. of the Kansas City Star. I told him that I loosely modeled my column after his column “Cowtown Confidential” and after I picked him up off the floor, we chatted and I introduced him to my publisher. As a result, Hearne did a mention in his next column about the Bartender’s Review Thanksgiving night at Missie B’s.

Speaking of Bartender’s Review, yours truly was a participant in this annual event that raises money for the Angel Tree Fund, which each year gives money for Christmas gifts for the children and families of Dr. Sharon Lee’s Southwest Blvd Family Health Care Clinic. If you have never attended, you are missing the opportunity to witness the switching of roles from bartender to drag queen. Many of the bartenders and employees of Missie B’s are made up by real entertainers like Sandy Kaye and perform for a packed house of eager contributors.
You might ask how I fit into all of this madness. Well, several years ago my friend Rick F., who is straight with seven kids, decided to put on a dress and drug me screaming and kicking (ha! ha!) along with him. We’ve been performing ever since! Jan A. informed me that so far Missie B’s has raised over $6,885 for the Angel Tree Fund and it isn’t even December yet! This is a wonderful opportunity for holiday giving, so next time you’re in Missie B’s, drop a few dollars in the jar for the Angel Tree Fund.
As you pick up this issue of Camp, several World AIDS Day events are probably taking place, including a reception at the Hotel Phillips on December 1st at 5PM. Hope to see you there. Also right on the heels of World AIDS Day are the holiday concerts of the Heartland Men’s Chorus, “Everything’s Coming Up Christmas,” at the Folly Theater, Dec. 1st thru the 3rd. This will be the first time the chorus will have three performances, so let’s show our support by filling the theater for all of them. Also crammed into this first weekend on December 2nd is the Linda Evans–Joan Collins look- alike contest, a forerunner to the presentation at the Lyric Theater of “Legends” the week of December 6 thru 10. Grab those gowns and wigs, sharpen those long fingernails for scratching, and get on down to Missie B’s for the festivities. I understand the top prize may involve a meet and greet.
Another theater offering this month, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” on stage throughout the month at the Unicorn Theater, sounds like the type of theater made with us queens in mind. After all, was it not Flo who entertained us during the heyday of the Cabaret from an imaginary trailer park?
In December, Camp welcomes to our growing family a new advertiser, L & L Home Goods and Gifts. Leo and Lloyd invite our readers to come out to the new Briarcliff West shopping mall to experience the wonderful gifts they have available in every price range. I was particularly impressed with the abundance of uniquely decorated Christmas trees throughout the store. The boys have an antique and gift store in Arrow Rock, Missouri, but this is their first venture in the Kansas City area, although they do make Kansas City their home.
Please patronize all of our LGBT-supported businesses as they are the reason Camp has been your community newspaper for almost three years. Without them, we could not have thrived! Be sure and tune in to this column in January as we will be announcing some exciting changes for next year.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a joyous holiday season filled with lots of family, friends, and good cheer. Also, to wish you and yours a healthy and prosperous New Year. Remember to play safe and always designate a driver when drinking…I learned that the hard way! See you next year.

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