There I was minding my business (by not minding my business) when I get the email of a lifetime: "What are you up to Thursday night? Wanna spend it with Madonna?"
You know me by now... and if you’re pretending you don’t: I’m Linux, New York’s premiere downtown it-girl. I spend my nights either attending or throwing Scene City’s hottest parties. This week in particular is madness, being New York Pride. It's the Thursday of NYC’s Gay Marathon and, "What are you up to Thursday night?", was a question I'm more than prepared to answer.
At the end of the day, I’m a human being on planet Earth. And around these parts, when Madonna calls... you answer!
So I did just that (after waiting about 30 minutes to respond, of course... I didn’t want to come off too desperate). They told me to meet at the Moxy in Chelsea at 10 PM. A bus would be there waiting to take me and a hundred drag queens to a very proud and very gay night with Madonna at Terminal 5.
My Uber pulled up to the trendy hotel to a Jean Paul Gaultier-emblazoned double decker bus already boarding the world’s hottest gaylebrities: Symone, GiGi Goode, Shea Coulee, Aquaria, Gottmik, Detox and Kylie Sonique Love all posed for photos as the Gaultier team smoked cigarettes on the sidewalk. The bus driver honked his horn and we all screamed, knowing that noise meant it was time to leave towards Hells Kitchen to party with Madonna.
A DJ on the bus blasted Madonna's deep cuts as we drove through Times Square — a moment when all of us asked ourselves, "Is this real life?" Once we pulled up to Terminal 5, the marquee with Madonna’s name in flashing lights made it all too real that we were really about to see the Queen MDNA herself. So, what was this Madonna event all for anyways?
Madonna, who has been a leader in the NFT space, partnered for another time with WoW (World of Women), a thriving community celebrating representation, inclusivity and equal opportunities. The entire event was sponsored by The Sandbox, who has partnered with WoW to create the WoW Foundation, which will invest $25 million over five years in education and mentorship through programs across the metaverse.
Finally Enough Love, Madonna's 16-track career-spanning remix compilation album, was also released on streaming at midnight. To put it in simpler terms: Madonna was doing God’s work for the LGBTQ+ and wrapped it all up into a sickening Pride party.
As I entered the venue, I was immediately welcomed by teams of artists from MAC Viva Glam, who were offering guests Madonna-inspired touch ups (MAC Viva Glam has raised more than a half billion dollars to end HIV/AIDS). My makeup was already flawless, so I didn’t need anything done, but it's always nice to kiki with a MAC girlie.
I scammed my VIP bracelet from Geordon Nicol of the Misshapes, who was helping produce the night, and ran upstairs to Terminal 5’s VIP rooftop. I needed a cocktail and, luckily, Belvedere was offering free vodka, keeping the kids all liquored up. Next to the bar sat boxes and boxes of pizza from Made in NY (so Italian). But we’re not here for Pizza, we’re here for Madonna! So I ran back downstairs to get a good spot for the show.
Bob the Drag Queen served as MC. The icon Laganja Estranja performed "Vogue," where she was joined by Jose Xtravaganza, one of Madonna's dancers on the Blond Ambition tour. After that, we were all blindsided by Saucy Santana appearing on stage to perform "Walk," before "Material Girl" started playing and Madonna came out to perform it with him. Girl, when I tell you the crowd went wild! Herstory in the making. Madonna then premiered a "Hung Up" remix with Tokischa, which ended with the two of them making out on stage... it was really hot.
Joined by all of the performers, Madonna ended the night with a show-stopping performance of "Celebration" while rainbow confetti flooded the venue.
It was the best way to celebrate Pride imaginable. There was only one problem: I didn’t want it to end! Luckily, Madonna didn’t want it to either. For those with VIP bracelets, the party continued on the third floor of Terminal 5, where all the Ru Girls, it-kids and fashion peeps partied until the early morning.
Photography: Ricardo Gomes
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