Gay Bingo is back! Albeit in a different form, and produced by a different group of folks, but, it’s back! This Saturday (9/24), Amore Infused (Italian and French Style Cuisine) and Miss Gay Washington 2011-2012, Taylor Couture Present: GAY BINGO. GAY BINGO will be a monthly event with 50% of the proceeds from cover charges going to The Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle, a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. The owner of Amore Infused has committed another 5% of all liquor sales from the event. This opening month’s special guests include: Diamond St. James and the Gorejess Mimi Montgomery.
I was able to capture a few moments of Miss Gay Washington, Taylor Couture’s time this week. We talked about her (because drag queens love to talk about themselves, and I love to hear it), and this new undertaking in GAY BINGO. Read on…
LAK: Taylour Couture, you are a title holder amongst other things. Who is Taylor Couture for those not in the know?
TC: Well Taylor Couture Started in Portland, Oregon. The reality of starting a new life and looking for oneself to define who I am. I Was 21 years old and had no identity. Started drag at Embers and the girls took a liking to me and decided to name me Taylor. They wanted to call me Taylor Dane and I said no to that (lol). I told them I would go Shopping and figure out what my last name was going to be. I found myself in Juicy Couture store in downtown Portland that week and decided that I was going to be Couture. My life is always changing. I have been on my own since 16 years old trying to find the answer’s of who is Josh (my boy identity), and who does Taylor Couture want to be. I would never change those years of my life because each year I have made it threw different struggles, different life battles and become closer to the identity I want to be. That is why I had decided Couture was going to be my last name because Couture, to me, means always changing, something unique, something special, and something specific only fitting to me. So far I as Taylor have worked for the biggest and best NW shows: Darcell’s XIV and Company in Portland, Oregon and LeFaux in Seattle, WA. As the Current Reigning Miss Gay Washington 2011-2012, I have made a difference by being involved in many in state events to help raise money and promote many different LGBT causes. I as an entertainer have gone through the many stages of the craft whether drag, female impersonator, or female celebrity impersonator, or show girl. All in fact have helped me cultivate the Activist I want to be and am today. What makes me proud to get on the stage is not so much the money involved as we all know this career choice is not cheap; it’s the very laughter and applause by the audience or the friends that I have made along the way. My drag is cultivated with my past acting and dance career, I have studied ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, latin dance and theatre since a very young age and I aspire to entertain and always look for the next best way to do so. Above all I have given up alot to create Taylor Couture and so everytime I look in the mirror I remember each and every step along the way to help sense the person I am today. I am strong, talented, beautiful, but most importantly I am just me, definately not perfect. However, I do try to overcome my own personal challendges so that when I do hit the stage I will leave something that is memorable.
LAK: You are starting Gay Bingo on the 24th of this month. Is this bingo associated with the Gay Bingo that LLAA made Seattle Famous?
TC: This Gay Bingo is associated with Amore Infused (a fine dining, Italian and French style Cuisine establishment), and My Title as Miss Gay Washington 2011-2012. I wanted to bring back Gay Bingo in a new and exciting way since the LLAA has stopped it. LLAA will always be apart of seattle’s Gay Bingo as they were the pioneers to bring this event to pass. As a thank you to the LLAA Amore Infused owner and Excecutive Chef: Sean Langan will be donating 100% of the proceeds of one of our known Infused Cocktails each month. So if the guests want to purchase that drink they can help support the many causes LLAA champions. This is event is about remembering the past and focusing on the now, the many causes that are out there, and of course reaching out to a new generation and raising funds for more organizations then just the LLAA.
MORE interview AFTER the JUMP!
LAK: This Gay Bingo is taking place in Belltown. How do you plan on getting the gays off the hill?
TC: Amongst the many different infused cocktails, and the unique and amazing food, this is an earlier event. The hope is to get the gays to come out once a month to support a great cause before they go out and party in one of the many amazing bars Seattle offers. The event starts at 9PM and will go until about 11PM. My hope though is that Gay Bingo’s focus is to reach more then just the gay’s. That we can get in touch with the population as a whole and help mend the bridge just a little bit more as we spend time laughing, drinking and being entertained by special guest performers local and out of state each month.
LAK: There are several aspects of this Gay Bingo that are charity oriented. Can you walk us through those?
TC: Yes, this Gay Bingo is a 10 dollar donation at the door. All goes to charity and the bingo cards will be sold for 2 dollars a piece or 3 for five dollars as their will be 3 games per card and 3 cards played a month. All money raised by door and bingo cards gets donated. Also 5% of all liqour proceeds go to charity as well, donated by Executive Chef Sean Langan. And dont forget we will be donating 100% of the proceeds of one infused cocktail a night to the LLAA. Each monthly event will be a 50/5- split between two charities one to the ISCOTDEC WASHINTON FUND: which helps raise money for the title and pageant I represent. Iscotdec is a 501c3 Non-profit charity and the mission is to also raise funds for multible charities and help bridge the gap and stand up for all LGBT rights. The other 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to a charity chosen by the community the month before. This is a way for the community to come to an event and choose where their money goes, I think its a great way to get people involved and help feel empowered to make a difference. Also we have six amazing performances a night and all tips will be donated for the the causes each month. I am definately excited and can’t wait to see which charities and organizations we as a community give to.
LAK: What inspired you to start Gay Bingo?
TC: The inspiration truly came from trying to be more present in my own community and be active in achieviung my goal this year which was to raise 15,000 dollars for charity. So far I have raised $2500 by events myself and my title partner, Ms. Gay Washington 2011-2012 Beyonce Blaque have put on. With the numerous events I have been apart of and given of my time, talent and money, I have helped raise over $10,000 dollars this year. I feel a true state title holder must be active and must be present in the communtiy and offer them ways to be involved.
LAK: Is this something you are undertaking on your own, or are there others involved?
TC: This is something I put together but have asked my co-workers at Amore Infused, ISCOTDEC, and my friend and Co-host David to be involved in. We also have different paid guest stars each month willing to come in and perform and donate their tips. We also have our fabulous sponsors each month from local businesses and hotels donating all prizes for this event.
LAK: I’ve known a lot of people who have tried to start Gay Bingos, or Bingos in general in nightclubs, bars and restaurants who have been shut down by the gambling commission. How are you able to navigate the legalities?
TC: Well as the long as everthing logistically is donated and there are no cash prizes, this Gay Bingo will make it again in the city of Seattle
LAK: Any surprises we can expect at Gay Bingo?
TC: You can see me, My co-host Harmony and other guest stars each month bring entertainment value to the stage. This Gay Bingo is also hi tech, so no dealing with balls and a machine: it will all be on a screen. What a better way to start your saturday night off by enjoying some of our fabulous infused cocktails and unique appetizers. My favorite is the baked oysters with organic cows milk, whipped with mozarella and gorganzola, topped with chives and an amazing spicy orange sauce to dip them in. Yum!!! Making me hungry….
LAK: What’s up next for Taylor Couture?
TC: In the near and distant future I will be directing and hosting my own show at MetroGruv in Tacoma on 6th and Proctor and also at Amore infused. This will be a whole new step for me… Bringing to the stage a full on production show with choreography, dancers, hair, nails, and fabulous queens. The goal is to make drag into something you want to be apart of. Something that you have to come see. You can follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/taylorcouture. Once I’m ready, your can find announcements about the show there. Stay tuned because you have not seen the last of me!
For more on Taylor Couture, check out Gay Bingo or her Facebook page.
To read more from me, check out my blog, The Eyes Of Laura Kendall.