BY Brandon Voss
July 09 2010 4:25 PM ET
You recently premiered the final cut at the New York City Food Film Festival. What was the experience like?
We won Best Film at that festival, and Mayor Bloomberg presented me the award, so that was a great experience. It was also great because so many people from the restaurant were there, so every time a host, a server, or any past employee came on screen, people started applauding.
The film points out Florent’s eclectic mix of patrons — blue-haired old ladies, blue-haired punks, and everyone in between. But no matter who was there on any given day, the LGBT community was always a strong presence. There’s even a funny sequence in the film where practically everyone independently recalls the abundance of “tranny hookers” in the early days. Why did the LGBT community feel so at home there. Was there more to it than the fact that the owner was an openly gay AIDS activist?
If you go back to the mid-’80s and the early ’90s, the era before the Internet, this was a place where people could really meet and pass on information, especially with regards to AIDS and activism. People could go to Florent and organize political action, such as the bus trips to D.C. for pro-choice and gay rights.
Do you feel that your being gay helped endear you to Florent?
Yeah, but I always felt it was more eclectic than just the gay crowd. It reminded me of Warhol’s Factory, where you had artists, celebrities, socialites, and everyday wacky New Yorkers, so it felt more than an LGBT clubhouse. It really was a mix, which is what made it so special.
Where do you eat your breakfast these days?
I’ve been craving a good place to get my breakfast now, so it’s funny you should ask. I don’t have a place that has replaced Florent in New York City. Everyone jokes that the closest equivalent is Tortilla Flats, but I don’t go there for breakfast.
For more info on Florent: Queen of the Meat Market, log onto florentmovie.com or outfest.org.
- Op-ed: Why I Filmed My Coming Out Journey
- WATCH: Elton John Slams 'Inhumane, Isolating' Anti-LGBT Laws In Russia
- Lady Gaga Congratulates Tom Daley, Urges Boycott of Sochi Olympics
- Hot Sheet: Hark the Herald Angel Swings
- WATCH: Ben Affleck and SNL Crew Go to Ex-Gay Camp
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- Politics WATCH: Elton John Slams Russia's Anti-LGBT Laws Onstage December 06 2013 8:40 PM
- Women American Horror Story: Coven -- Ritual Witch-ual December 06 2013 8:30 PM
- Travel Wanna Win a Wedding in West Hollywood? December 06 2013 7:26 PM
- Election Nebraska Republican Vying for Mantle as Most Antigay in Primary December 06 2013 6:53 PM
- Women WATCH: Santana Lopez as the Best Bad Santa Ever! December 06 2013 6:33 PM
- Religion WATCH: Robertson Prays for Gays 'Recruited' By Abuse December 06 2013 4:41 PM
- Women WATCH: Idina Menzel's Female Empowerment Anthem from Frozen December 06 2013 4:07 PM