-- the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Colossus of Rhodes, leaving only the Pyramids of Egypt -- the ancient* (*anything that looks a day over 30) gay wonders of the world have crumbled into myth and memory.
Mythical gayborhoods, such as the Castro in San Francisco and Toronto's Wellesley and Church, have lost some of their legendary gay magnificence and all-powerful homo-magnetism. Palaces and pleasure domes such as the fabled Black Cat Bar and Meow Mix have perished. Only the memory of Studio 54 still remains.
It is time to elect new wonders from the bounty of glorious gay ones out there.
We present our list of contenders for the Seven Gay Wonders of the World -- two temples to hedonism and frivolity, a narcissistic monument to greatness, a mythical playground, a glowing beacon of light and hope, a joyful creation and a strong and benevolent divine being who boldly influences the fate of our community and our television viewing schedule.
Like newly nominated wonder the 12th-century Mall at Timbuktu, crossroads of the most important caravan paths supplying the Arab world in its day, West Hollywood is one of the hottest pieces of real estate the gay world has to offer. WeHo is crucially positioned at the epicenter of the crossroads of film and television, supplying our screens with such necessities as gorgeous eye candy, mindless entertainment and examples of envy-inducing, near-unattainable perfection. Its gyms are testaments to flawlessness and beauty.
Vote for West Hollywood because it symbolizes perfection and possibility!
Like ancient wonder the Colossus of Rhodes, said to have been the Statue of Liberty of its day, the Colossus of Burbank looms large, both on the lesbian and gay landscape, and dominates our television viewing schedules. Doing wonders for visibility and acceptance, this irresistible idol honored the ideals of freedom and independence when she stood up and came out on her show in 1997. With her jubilant performance as host of the Oscars, Ellen made even more gargantuan strides for wider acceptance of the LGBT community.
Vote for Ellen because she symbolizes honesty, progress and mirth!
White Party at Vizcaya, Miami
Like original wonder the Pharos of Alexandria, a 400-foot-tall lighthouse that guided sailors with a sun-reflecting mirror during the day and a fire at night, Vizcaya glows out over the waters, offering hope, fabulous fund-raising opportunities and one hell of a soiree during the annual White Party. A beacon of optimism and beauty, Vizcaya attracts thousands of gorgeous creatures with its look-good, feel-good, do-good hedonism.
Vote for White Party at Vizcaya because it symbolizes beauty, hope and community!
Like ancient wonder the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Fly (8 Gloucester St, Toronto; 416/925-6222; www.flynightclub.com) -- the original club Babylon from Queer As Folk -- has been a divine playground since the last millennium. Hedonism, narcissism and aestheticism all have a place in Fly, as do the world's top DJ s and performance artists, and some hot, hot bodies. Listen in awe to the greatness of the sound system. Gaze reverentially at the towering amps. Pay homage to Fly's 10,000 square feet of parties and passion.