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Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland

Twelve hours before the Big Gay Parade in Boys Town, I decide to hop into the Chevy, pick up my pals Tyle and Ted, and visit gay nightlife uber-promoter Tom Whitman at his annual "Wonderland" party at the Tribune Studios in Hollywood.

When we get there, the fun vibe is heavy, and I see a few familiar faces from Crunch gym--the workouts have obviously served them well. Suddenly, this couple appear before us in the back lot, and I'm not sure if it's Halloween or if there's some kind of jock/bondage theme for the evening nobody told me about. But they're nice enough chaps, and they graciously pose for a picture.

Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland

We can't find Tom, but we talk about babies, work, and the new pressures of gay marriage with his friendly publicist, Mike Stommel--who's a new father--as I glance at the potato sack slide that's set up for the boys.

Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland

Luckily for the gang, Tom gives us the VIP treatment, which offers a short line to a private port-a-john, free drinks and food, and a comfortable lounge area. The standard prices for the tickets are between $70 and $80, with the proceeds going to AIDS Project Los Angeles--one of Tom's favorite charities. Finally we leave our fellow VIPs and head for the sound stage to our left.

Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland

By the looks of it, something very interesting is waiting for us.

Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland

Once inside, the volume shakes our souls, the boys are bop, bop, bopping along, and shirts are most definitely optional. For the go-go boys, it's a prerequisite.

Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland
Queer Town: Tom Whitman Presents... Wonderland

By one clock in the morning, we've had our fill of the eye candy. Of course, before we say our goodbyes, we promise to do it all over again on Sunday at the Abbey and Here--wet boxers contest. After all, Gay Pride weekend only comes once a year.

Tips? Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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