///BY Michael Graye
Justin Luke is making it happen
Between producing, promoting and executing the largest weekly gay dance parties on the East Coast (Penthaus Fridays at the Copa cabana, Viva Saturda ys at Sta ge 48 and the all-new Q Thursdays at Marquee Nightclub), writing best-selling gay literature (the Gulliver series), running a massively successful blog (Justin+6) and so much more, Justin has managed to become the envy of many gay men in Manhattan . He is a rising star , and his brand continues to grow and flourish. He is redefining how LGBT entrepreneurs can make it in today’s entertainment world with every status update , event and creative endeavor.
I have tried to steal his trademark pink glasses many times, unsuccessfully. I was, however, able to steal some of his time to interviewhim for this magazine. Read on to get a better look at the man behind the pink glasses.
Justin, what is the origin storybehind your famous pink glasses?
Well, two years ago during gay pride weekend, one of my party guests took this pair of pink fake glasses with plastic lenses off of his face and put it on mine, saying, “These are yours now.” I wore them the rest of the night, and the weekend, because people said they were cute. That Sunday, at Paige Turner’s SLURP Sundays event, she told me I should continue wearing them all the time, that they would become my trademark look. I listened to her, and here I am still wearing them two years later!
Paige is a smart girl! The inventor of the “Slurp” catchphrase should know! So how many times have they been stolen (envious twinks
every time, I’m sure)?
Oh gosh…too many to count. It’s become a sort of rite of gay NYC nightlife passage. You haven’t truly partied if you don’t have a Facebook or Instagram photo with me where you’ve “stolen” my glasses. Funny enough, they actually WERE stolen once, for real. This twink grabbed them off my face, screamed, “I GOT THE M! I STOLE JUSTIN LUKE ’S PINK GLASSES!” and ran into the club. I put out an alert on Facebook and had all my hosts search the club until I found them.
I knew it! This twink was excommunicated, I’m sure. To change the subject, I read not so long ago that a pilot was being developed based on your “Gulliver Takes Manhattan” series. Exciting! What is the adaptation process like? How involved are you on the creative level? Is the main character hot?
Fingers crossed! There is a producer and screenwriter attached, and a few production companies that are interested. I am a novelist, not a TV/film writer, so I’ve put a lot of trust in my team, and gave them all the power in the world to work with the material to make something good. I read through all of the script revisions and made suggestions, but I really am letting them run with it. And yes, the main character will be hot. In the meantime, I’m working on a new short story that should be coming out soon called Gianni. I’m also working on the novella Gulliver Takes Christmas, the novel Gulliver Takes Provincetown and an experimental short story called The Last of Us.
So your brand continues to grow in unexpected ways, your new cologne (Pink Boi) being the latest example. What are some exciting
new developments on that front?
Well, we are still going through the sampling phase right now – the boys really like the stuff! Next up will be packaging and marketing and figuring out where to sell the fragrance. I am so excited that the gays love it as much as they do. It’s funny, they act surprised when it smells good, as if I’m mixing this stuff in my bathtub or something. It’s being made by a legit fragrance company – it better smell good!
I will call Macy’s in the morning, make sure it’s on their shelves. And speaking of the gay boys, what events are you serving to them right now?
I’m proud to be the co-director and head promoter of BoiParty, one of NYC’s longest- running and most successful nightlife companies, and partnered up with Alan Picus, one of the most legendary gay nightlife promoters in NYC. We are currently at the helm of NYC’s three largest weekly gay dance parties. We have Q Thursdays at Marquee, Penthaus Fridays on the rooftop of the Copacabana, and VIVA Saturdays at Stage 48. All three of the parties are absolutely spectacular and quite unique. We bring over 4,000 gay men to our events every week, and have brought over 2 million guys out over the past 10 years. You can also get all sorts of info on our events over at www.BoiParty.com.
Of the many parties you’ve organized over the years, which is your favorite, why, and which would you recommend to a firsttimer?
This is like asking a parent to choose their favorite child! I’ve loved every party I’ve ever done. If I didn’t love them, I wouldn’t have done them. Alan, BoiParty and I have thrown the largest events in NYC and around the country for many years, and each was a blast,
whether it was a huge weekly event, a one-off party, a booze cruise, a pool party or anything else. I would recommend that firsttimers drop me a line if they want to get into the world of BoiParty. The BoiParty staff is always there to welcome you, introduce you around, and make sure you have a great time.
On to general LGBT issues: Part of the struggle that LGBT people are experiencing right now is finding a voice in mainstream media. What was the last movie you saw, did it have a gay character, and would you recommend it to someone?
Man, I really should get out and see movies more often. I would actually give my highest praise to the exclusive programming that’s appearing on Netflix, especially “Orange is the New Black” (with plenty of gay representation) and “House of Cards” (which has its own intriguing homosexual undertones later in the season).
And what are your thoughts on the Sochi Games? Should LGBT athletes be concerned?
I think what Russia is doing is despicable. We’ve never really been right with Russia, but what’s happening now is ridiculous. I would of course support a boycott and all sorts of activism, but I’m afraid that no matter what is done, the Olympics will happen – it’s just too big of a machine. I will remain hopeful, however. The LGBT community has made great strides in the past decades. We will not be held back.
And, finally, who is on your celebrity freebie list?
Oh God, I probably need to update this list desperately. Is Zac Efron still a cool name to have on the list? Country singer-superstar
Hunter Hayes is high up there! Plus, basically, any legal member of One Direction and The Wanted. But if they’re not available, I’m perfectly happy with my gorgeous, amazing boyfriend of over four years, Joe. Bonus – he looks like a ginger Justin Timberlake!
Gingers are so hot right now. Congrats on nabbing your very own! Justin, thank you so much for taking some time to chat. You are truly an inspiration to the community! Keep up the amazing work.
Thanks! Hope to see you out at the parties.