Happy Pride Month 2018!! To celebrate, OC and Ladyfag have come together to create a special capsule collection which honors an integral part of queer history - the hanky code. In the early 1970s, the code was used to convey sexual preferences and interests, especially in the leather scene. Bondage top? Put a grey hanky in your left pocket. Looking to be spanked? Place your fuschia hanky in your right pocket. While hookup apps are great, there’s nothing like a little in-person cruising, and we’ve created custom bandanas in ten of the code's most frequently used colors (along with tees that detail the symbolism behind each handkerchief) for just that.
Better yet, all proceeds from sales of both pieces will be donated to the Ali Forney Center, an organization that aims to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness, and empower them with tools they need to live independently.
And for those of you in NYC, Opening Ceremony will be hosting this year’s LadyLand, Ladyfag’s first queer festival, where some of our favorite musical acts will be performing. That means Total Freedom, Ssion, Dicap, Kim Petras, and much, much more. So come show your Pride, party with us, and don’t forget to put a hanky in your pocket! Tickets are available at our 35 Howard Street store now.
To kick everything off, we sat down with Ladyfag and asked her a few questions about her life and the inspiration behind this collection and event.
Opening Ceremony: How did this project come about and why did you want to do it with OC?
Ladyfag: OC's like extended family to me! We worked together for their 10 year anniversary party years ago but hadn't done anything together since, so it's been long overdue! I've always admired the outside-of-the-box collaborations, so I'm super honored & excited to be sharing Pride with OC!
OC: What made you interested in hanky culture?
LF: Well, I've had the idea to bring back the Hanky Code for a while. I think there's something so deliciously naughty about strangers sending such overt, yet hidden sexual signals. The subtle-and not so subtle!- art of cruising is being lost to social media. There is no way pressing 'like' on someone's racy photo on Instagram or Grindr gives you the same rush as seeing someone with a navy hankie in their right pocket when you're in the mood!
OC: What hanky color would you wear and how would you wear it?
LF: Almost any and all of them...but mainly in my left pocket!
OC: You've done a lot of work with Ali Forney Center - can you tell us a bit about the organization, and how they'll be involved with LadyLand?
LF: Every year for Pride I try to raise money for Ali Center which helps homeless LGBTQ kids. This year we went to talk to the kids and hired some of them to work on the festival! We're going with Javier Madrid from the House of Ninja to teach a voguing class at their weekly drop-in voguing session at the center, and the kids will be at the festival voguing to support Gays Against Guns with their "NRA Sashay away" project. A lot of the kids have had bad home experiences, so while it's great to give them jobs and job training, I think, in this case, the best thing we can give them is an opportunity to be part of a big celebration of queerness! Most importantly, the AFC needs money to do their work. Their housing programs have constant waiting lists and there are never enough beds; they also run a 24-hour drop-in center that makes over 70,000 meals a year and provides showers, job training, medical help, counseling, and cultural activities. We should be helping all year, but at least Pride is a reminder to me to do my part to take care of people in my community. We set up a hotline where you can easily text and donate, Every dollar helps! TEXT: 1
OC: LadyLand is your first annual queer music festival, what can festival-goers expect?
LF: I'd like to think they can expect to freak out! There's so many things happening at the same time... it's going to be a full sensory explosion! The Brooklyn Mirage is incredible - it's an oasis with huge palm trees in the middle of industrial Bushwick! You can come watch the sunset on the rooftop, shop at the Pop Souk Market, hear your favorite pop star or rapper, and then rave under the lasers till morning!
OC: You're the NYC nightlife queen! Can you tell us one of the craziest things that's ever happened at one of your parties?
LF: When you put thousands of people in a room in a dark sweaty room with music and cocktails anything can happen, so nothing really shocks me! I remember going through the pictures from Pride one year and suddenly doing a double take at a picture of the dancefloor....someone was on their knees with their face deep inside someone's butt and everyone was just dancing around them...Welcome to nightlife!
OC: What's up next for Ladyfag?
LF: I need a vacation from Pride....so I'm going to Berghain the next week to relax!