You’ve heard of Ian Reisner, no doubt. He and business partner (and former boyfriend) Mati Weiderpass recently hosted THAT infamous dinner for anti-gay presidential candidate Ted Cruz. A business associate set up the dinner and it wasn’t a fundraiser, they claim. They own The Out NYC, as well the Pavilion complex in Fire Island, which has been the subject of boycott talks. Well, here’s Ian attempting to defend the situation to New York magazine:
“You know, it’s so ironic — I wanted to build kind of a community center in the gateway to Hell’s Kitchen, which in 2008–2009 was already a gay place and now it’s even gayer. Very close to Broadway. We decided there’d be so many different ways to give back to the community. We show gay artists there. For gay performers, we have let this cabaret club go on for three and a half years. And you don’t make money when you let drag queens in on Tuesday night and 30 people drink at $10 a drink and you have to pay five people to watch over the place. You don’t make money… My only point is, this has not been a profitable venture. Gays are cheap. They’re frugal; gays are frugal. Let me retract that… gays are entitled … Do you know how challenging it is to make a penny off a gay person? I’m gay, I don’t pay cover. I’m gay, where’s my comp drink? No, I’m being serious! The Out NYC has not shown a profit yet…”
OK, that sounds REALLY bad, taken out of context, right? It’s actually not THAT out of context, but after reading the whole interview, I kinda feel a little sorry for these guys… just a little.
“Besides the business aspect, for me the horrible part is the abundance of communications in all forms. Letters, calls, texts, emails, Facebook notifications, and postings. Like, hate. The hate against us is so strong, for me, it literally makes me weep. That there’s a vast group of gay folks in America that don’t know what I have done for the gay cause, consistently for decades, and now think I’m anti-gay. There’s such a massive divide between the reality of what we do, did and do, and their limited thinking of what we do because of a few facts and a few headlines.
We do have to work on, at one point, bridging this. There has to be a peace talk because this is so divisive for the community. Look at the energy that’s being wasted and all the press that’s being wasted.”
Lots of press, ALL of it bad. I’d say you need to make up for this (and I still question the motivation to have Ted Cruz in your home… I think you’re an outed Republican, because that’s where the big bucks is coming from, ie, your investors and partners, but I don’t know that to be fact.) But, really – you weren’t aware of his anti-gay stance? So, maybe do a big interview (with Andy Cohen?) and clear this mess up in a big way. In the meantime, clean up your politics, and get on board the Hillary train and invite HER to your house!
(via New York magazine)