Love Bailey Slathered Up Pride With a Horny, Queer Cabaret

Slather Factory

One day before Pride weekend officially began, a host of strange and unusual creatures of the night came together to swirl and slather. It was within the walls of Lower East Side's Ludlow House that designer and artist Love Bailey, and her Slather Factory family assembled for a big, queer Slather Cabaret.

Related | Gallery: Love Bailey's Outrageously Queer 'Slather Cabaret

We already knew the secretive event would be as unrelentingly strange as anything Bailey’s created before, but nothing could prepare us for the sights and sounds that night. Well before Gia Garison and Brody Blomqvist kicked off the performances with a takeover of the downstairs bar that left heterosexual onlookers in shock, New York’s most provocative nightlife queens filed in. Everyone from Bailey Styles and Jordan Stawecki to Violet Chachki and Merrie Cherry made their entrances at the most diverse and inclusive Pride party we’d ever been to—a detail attendees were quick to point out.

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“I think, especially now more than ever, it’s important to have safe spaces where you’re able to come and be weird and expressive, and that’s exactly what this is,” Violet Chachki explained of the Slather Factory. “I think it’s like queer family. I mean, Love and everyone get really carried away, but I think that’s part of it? I think that’s what this is about. Being extra and being carried away and expressing yourself and getting it out of your system.”

For rapper MIKEL LOL, whose performance later in the night bridged West Coast rap with East Coast slather, the freedom in the air that night was especially poignant. “I grew up in a very, very religious family setting, so I grew up with a lot of projection on me—that this is not the right thing for me. But my heart is really loud and I’m a very live out loud kind of human being.”

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A sense of loudness was present in every aspect of the evening—from the slick videos Bailey had created and curated of her Slather family to the literal screaming that happened during Domonique Echeverria’s group meditation session. An hour before guests began to sip cocktails and pose for portraits by Ryan Burke, we sat down with Bailey to talk about the origins of Slather, queer empowerment, and love.

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OUT: Why is an event like this so important during Pride month?

Love Bailey: It’s a way to bring people together. It’s a way for us queers to swirl and to be recognized.

Do you feel like there’s not a space in traditional NY pride for something like this kind of event?

A lot of parties are just that—there’s no dialogue, there’s no conversation, [and] there’s no work being shared. It’s just a place to get drunk and to swap DNA on the dance floor, which has its place, but we’re doing something a bit different tonight.

Related | Love Bailey & Vigiletti Are Making Their Fantasies Reality

How did you find all of your performers for tonight?

We’ve all made love in some way or another. 

What do you want people to take from this?

Just horny vibes, you know? Take away the magic, [and] take away the full fantasy. Be empowered to make art that starts a conversation.

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What does Slather mean to you?

Slather is creating something out of nothing with the power of your own hands. I worked for my mother in construction when I was a butch lesbian, and we had this grey matter and you wipe it on pipes with a paint brush. So, I was painting this matter on this pipe and my mother turns to me and she says, “Don’t be afraid to slather it on thick.”

That's a quote to live by. How did you get started with The Slather Factory?

It started in a showerless garage in my friend’s studio. I got one pay check from Ellen Von Unwerth that funded this whole movement, [and] instead of investing in an apartment I lived in a showerless garage and took French baths every day. I created the fantasy when I had nothing in my pocket but the courage to survive.

Related | Security Breach: When Sussi & Love Bailey Were Kicked Off Santa Monica Pier

What do you want to do with it next?

I want to create more icons and profile my friends—give them the spotlight. As much as I love being the center of attention, I do love giving back to the community and that’s why I do what I do.

 

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