Note: The following is an edited and brutally altered public relations pitch sent to the !Hola Papi! inbox. Any similarities to actual LGBTQ+ folk singers is unintentional on Papi's part. He regrets the hypothetical error and the launch of this column more generally. Neither Arby's nor Samsung currently sponsor an event like the one imagined below. But maybe they should. Up to them.
Wanted to follow up to see if you might be interested in exploring my client's work for your Pride coverage. Das Folxxx is an up-and-coming queer folk singer who has been featured in Billboard and Noisey. Last week, he performed at Queer Ass Folk, an exclusive LGBTQ folk music event attended by Mizz Blu Grass and Queer Eye's Fab Five and sponsored by Samsung in conversation with Arby's. I thought a cover story on Folxxx and the star-studded event might be a good fit for you.
If you have any questions or if you want to be connected to the organizers behind Queer Ass Folk, Arby's, or even Folxxx himself, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Hi there, PA!
This is an inbox for questions for !Hola Papi!, an advice column. You sent this pitch there, so sadly that means I am at liberty to answer it as if it were a letter. So let's get into it.
First, I want to open by expressing my steadfast solidarity with the fellow worker. I know that you're just doing your job by sending me this public relations pitch for your client, whom I'm sure is a fine musician and whose career I can do absolutely nothing for. Godspeed.
Second, my name is not John. Of my myriad acceptable titles -- John Paul, Juan Pablo, Khaleesi of the Great Plains, JuanPa, and Papi -- "John" is not among them. Do you know how I feel when you address me as John? It makes me feel like a heterosexual white man in Nebraska with two kids and an estranged wife whose unsigned divorce papers I've stashed in a drawer somewhere because my WASPy upbringing never taught me how to handle conflict. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's not me. I'm different.
Third, would it kill you -- would it kill any of you -- to make Papi the influencer for once? All of my friends are getting these problematic Pride #sponcon gigs while Juan Pablo gets the pitch email to write about it. To be clear, this is humiliating. I hit 100k followers on Twitter recently and I still, still, have not been asked to appear in any advertisements, put out an #ad, or attend any exclusive events. The inevitable conclusion I must draw here is that my face isn't symmetrical enough for you. That doesn't make me feel great.
This is all exacerbated, PA, by the fact that I am entirely up for sale and my dubious ethics would absolutely allow me to profit off my community. Ethics are for people without cannonball biceps and without a $10,000 check from Kiehls in the pipeline. But where is the email from Kiehls? Where is Papi X Sephora? Papi X Hims? Papi X Casper Mattress? Nowhere to be found, since apparently all I am to you people is an article about how some Gen Z queer folk singer who emerged from the earth's crust fully formed with a million followers on Instagram felt embraced in his identity for the first time after brewing your weight loss tea. Fuck my drag, I guess.
Fourth! Is this what Pride is going to be every year from now on? Press pitches about some company's Pride clothing line and events I wasn't invited to and powerful coming out videos from musicians who make me feel a million years old? Is this the price I pay for electing to be a homofessional who has made LGBTQ+ culture my chosen field?
I mean, I guess that's a good thing on some level. I love when queer people get paid! I love when we have the opportunity to support one another! But must you, must you give me flashbacks to not being asked out to the eighth grade homecoming dance by reminding me that I don't have enough Instagram followers to technically qualify as a gay man?
Anyway, my advice to you, PA, would be to go out and take a leisurely stroll for some coffee on company time. Take care of yourself, drink plenty of water, and please don't use the email@example.com address for PR pitches. This is a space for depressed queer people with internet addictions to ask me if they should confess to their straight roommate who only showers twice a week that they're in love with him. It's a sacred space, so please respect that.