I’m an Old School Gay; y’all can have Madonna, and Gaga, too. For me, the Gay Diva Icon to end all Gay Diva Icons is one Diana Ross. And so, since today is the anniversary of the birth of the Diva known as Diana, I will make do by givin' up one of my favorite Diana Ross songs, The Boss, and reposting my story of A-Run-In-With-Diana, er, Miss Ross.
As a younger gay boy living in California, I waited for Miss Ross to come to Lake Tahoe, or even Reno, although Reno is tacky and dirty and Lake Tahoe is gaw-geous. And when I saw the announcement that she would be appearing somewhere, I instantly got on the phone to my homies, er, homos, and homo-friendlies, and we made plans to see her.
One time we invited our friends Ann and Steve. They liked the idea of a show, but a Diana Ross show? They weren't fans; but then we enticed them with the idea of cocktails and gambling and Lake Tahoe and cocktails and cocktails, and they relented, so we went.
Now, back in the day at the casino showrooms, if you wanted a good seat, you tipped the ushers at the door to get closer. So I did. And we were seated next to the stage!
Well, I was two seats away from next to the stage because a couple of queens of mine, stepped in front of me. Ann and Steve sat behind me. The show starts and she appears; she sings, she dances, she works the crowd. Reach Out And Touch! Ain't No Mountain High Enough! Baby Love!
She appeared at the head of our table, and, well, Steve, Mister I-Don't-Like-Diana-Ross leaped up, sprawled across my head and the two queens in front of me so he could, as he says, just touch her.
I think I created a monster.
A few years later, Miss Ross was back at Caesars and once again there were phone calls and the invitations to the performance. We invited a straight couple—probably because Ann and Steve couldn't make it and we like to keep a nice gay-straight ratio. I went with my best fag hag Lisette. Well, this straight couple, Shawn and Lori, wanted to sit up front, so they tipped this time, and we were once again next to the stage. Lisette sat right at the edge and I was behind her.
Show starts. Lights dim. Orchestra plays. Miss Ross sequins out and divas all over the place. She tells the crowd she has a bit of a cold, and they bring out a small table with hot tea for her. But she soldiers on.
Come See About Me!
Love Child! My Man!
Stop! In The Name Of Love!
I'm Coming Out!
And she keeps coming over to our table and talking to us. She tells us that we are sending her all the good energy; and she looks down at Lori, who was about 26 months pregnant at the time. She asks Lori about the baby, wishes Lori and Shawn all good things, and.They.Just.Sit.There.
Needless to say they were never part of the Caravan To Caesars To See Miss Ross again.
Anyway, Miss Ross starts to sing It's My Turn, and she comes back over to our table and holds a hand out to me. I rise, like any good gay boy in the presence of diva-liciousness and clasp her hand. No, she says, up here. I believe I used Lisette's head as a stepping stone and I rose to the stage. Miss Ross wanted to slow dance with me; and we did, center stage at Caesar's Palace, while she sang It's My Turn.
And at the end, she kissed my cheek and told me that I was a gentleman.
Somehow I returned to my seat, until, The Boss. We were up in the aisles dancing and Miss Ross came to us once again and called us all on the stage to dance. I believe I was trampled on by the homo's behind me, and this time, I actually let Lisette go up first...after all, Miss Ross had said I was a gentleman, so I was not about to disappoint!
Needless to say it was a fabulous concert and one of those memories that will never fade.
At the end of the show, Miss Ross once again appeared at our table to thank us for being so nice to her.
Today is the Diva's Birthday! And seventy-three looks damn hot! But, before we get to the music, for all of the "diva" wannabes out there, this is how it's done!
Happy birthday, Miss Ross!