Father Tony

NGLTF's Winter Party recap - with pictures and video!

Filed By Father Tony | March 03, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: circuit party, gay parties, hot gay guys, hot lesbians, Miami, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, NGLTF, Winter Party

Now that Winter Party 2009 is completed, I wanted to take a moment to summarize my obvious endorsement of the event and to dispel what I suspect are some false opinions about it.

Winter_Party.jpgAlthough it is difficult to overlook the dazzling beauty of the crowd of thousands who attend the annual Winter Party Festival, this was certainly not just another circuit party. It is more of a celebration of our LGBT culture at its most convivial, including art, music, yoga, brunch and more, and, significant revenue generated by the event is of great benefit to some local social service providers who rely on it to continue their work in the community. A Party with a Purpose is how the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force describes it.

I don't know the stats, but the Winter Party seemed to be more inclusive than ever, and you may apply that opinion to gender, race or age.

I think most men my age feel the need to retreat from this type of gathering, and that is unfortunate. No one heaped scorn on this grey hair or on the extra few pounds I retain to steady my belt.

I'm also glad to have had the opportunity to attend some of the women's events where I was greeted warmly and not at all as an interloper.

I also had the impression that there was a higher level of sobriety in the crowd this year. That might be a function of the bad economy, but I am quite convinced that the act of weaving through the massive crowd at the Pool Party and at the Beach Party was much less bruising.

I think there is something essentially tribal and healthy about the Winter Party that is at the center of my recommendation that everyone ought to attend it at least once if not more often. And, if you're single but wish to be coupled, you've really no excuse. That is where to look.

Hats off to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for their superb and smooth management and coordination of this huge undertaking.

PS: OK. I tried not to say it, but even if none of the above is of interest to you, you should go to the Winter Party just for the spectacle of the most beautiful semi-naked gay men and women in the universe.

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I love that first picture. I saved it to be my desktop wallpaper. :)

Father Tony! Thank you for your postings, pics and videos from Winter Party Festival. Full disclosure: I have worked at the Task Force since 1986, so make no claim to neutrality on the value of the event. Comment: The tribal aspects of WPF cannot be overestimated. As the late great Eric Rofes used to say, "Under what other circumstances to thousands of men gather and not a single physical altercation occurs? It's gay men, silly!" WPF is a bit like our Pride celebrations in that we gather to dance, to party, to shed our clothes at this event because we CAN. Yeah.

Dear Sue,
And, in the further interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that I would not have been there were it not for the fact that last year, I drove my houseguest, JoeMyGod, into Miami everyday so that he could attend. This year, anticipating the same, I tried to make myself useful. Joe had to cancel out, leaving me with promises to keep. You guys provided such a gracious welcome, and made the entire week a real pleasure for someone more attuned to books and elevator music! The Task Force staff and the volunteer staff are exceptionally good at what they do. Funny, but being in that crowd made me feel younger, not older.