This year’s GLAM winner for Best Gogo Boy is enjoyed by porn fans everywhere, and is also a true nightlife power player behind the scenes… congrats Xavier Blanco! [Cover photo: Sergey Sheptun]
Thotyssey: Hello Xavier, thanks so much for chatting with us today! First of all, congrats on your GLAM win for Best Gogo Boy!
Xavier Blanco: Thank you!
How did that win feel? Were you caught by surprise?
Still surprised to this moment… more in shock when it happened. My name was last on the nominee list, so I honestly thought she was still reading the list.
Too hard! We had the unofficial after party at HUSH, so it was a double celebration.
I see you’re a Long Island native. What was it like growing up there for you?
Growing up in Long Island not white was a total growing lesson; I never felt heard or seen. I was always a shy individual, but even more as a kid. Being so to myself and Latino, my third grade teacher thought there was a language barrier and advised to place me in ESL. I didn’t know enough Spanish to excel. This represented my “growing up in Long Island” — constantly being misunderstood because how I looked didn’t represent what I wanted.
That’s really sad! Did you eventually discover something like dance or another performing art?
I found violin and chorus. I left both when I got to high school, because being the token chubby gay kid was bad enough… playing the violin didn’t help. I always loved dance, even if I wasn’t good it (friends compare me to Elaine on Seinfeld). So I will never forget the first time I saw a drag queen or a gogo dancer; both seem so high up there in our community… the closet thing to celebrity status.
Where were your earliest favorite spots to hang out in?
Well, Escuelita was my first gay club. NYC nightlife never had a venue for Latino misfits like myself, so Escos was the spot I could go and not feel so out of place. But I loved the Roxy, even though I was too young for it. Spirit was another favorite of mine that I loved sneaking into. These places made me feel like I was in Queer as Folk.
When did you become a gogo boy, and what inspired you to do that?
I started summer of 2019. I was obsessed with Frankie Sharp, and was a regular at his “BOYS” party when it was at Rebar. Honestly, “BOYS” and circuit parties watching the dancers be sexy, have fun and get paid for it was the reason. Dancers like Nikco Fume, Brogan, Scorpion, and Juice embodied the ideal of the male physique and attitude I wished I had. I was never the hot friend or the guy you wanted to date, but I saw these guys and wanted what they had: the gay fame.
What’s it like being an “object” of desire in those environments? Is it easy to deflect when customers get too “handsy” or disrespectful?
Well, I’m a slut… so I encourage it. I’m also a sex worker, so if they get handsy I just make more money! I’ve had some scary moments, but thankfully its only been about three occasions. No means no!
Tell us at what point you became involved in the opening of The Q and later HUSH, and what your role is in those venues today?
So, baby daddy Frankie hired me to dance for Gay Pride weekend; it was actually suppose to be one night. Soon after, he hired me as the “Gogo Captain” (still hate the name, lol). But I truly invested myself into The Q and my 97 dancers. I heard about HUSH opening in the fall, and like a crazy person I made that my goal. I wanted to get the official management title, not just be a Gogo Captain. Now I am the assistant manager at HUSH.
Amazing! What might your best advice be for a Gogo Baby Boy on the scene?
So, I’ve been hiring dancers since June of last year. Being a gogo dancer myself and now managing dancers, I will say a few things. Look at the venue or parties you enjoy, and try to resemble the aesthetic of their current dancers. Reach out to the people that are in the position to hire dancers, but be patient. Once in the role, have fun! No one wants a grumpy gogo dancer. And if you hear no, it’s not personal.
What’s new with HUSH?
Our upstairs men’s bathroom is going through construction; we feel that the boys needed more space to explore. Men will be men.
We also have tons of great pop-up drag shows to showcase during the day before our club nights. This will showcase a big part of our queer community that doesn’t have representation in Hell’s Kitchen; Brooklyn and Uptown are filled with a lot talent that we are going to bring to HK. We have filled daily drag shows with old favorites; now let’s start introducing some new faces.
I love HUSH because at night, you can dance and be a bit more risqué with no judgment. Our bartenders are hot, and I hire the best gogo dancers in nightlife. There is something for everyone to play with.
Sounds right up anyone’s ally! Okay, lastly: not sure if you’re following Drag Race, but do you have a favorite?
I bet I can guess who that one is! Thanks Xavier, and congrats again!