The BOYS of RAANNT named #2 Best Indiana Gay Blog!


Tonight, the boys of Raannt are celebrating being named the #2 Best Indiana Gay Blog by Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project-Indiana. Read the article at The Bilerico Project-Indiana.

We are mighty pleased to stand one behind #1 local photographer/blogger Scott Barnes and his blog ScottB Blog. So visit his site as well and see political discussion remixed with pop culture and pics of adorable boys, both celebrities and local. By the way, Scott…anytime you’re interested on doing a local interest piece…we’d be more than interested to volunteer!

The other three blogs are interesting as well…so visit them all, because we need to support one another…there’s no competition here!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

What…A Drag!

When we first began RAANNT we never believed we would get so much attention from the drag community. After all, we were just a couple of gay men who loved performances of any kind, but had been highly exposed to watching drag, even though neither one of us had ever been or ever wanted to be in drag. We believe drag is an art form, to be appreciated and critiqued just like any other art form. And actually, we have learned the most about performing as a career from our friend Brittany Mason, who has explained that everything she does, from modeling to her participation in beauty pageants to how she is conscience of her behaviors(always attempting to be respectful of herself and her career), is part of improving herself to become a better person…because, after all…that is her job.
And isn’t drag a career? We have received numerous e-mails, comments and mentions in blogs about the difficulty of drag, the lack of appreciation we have for certain performers, how people believe we have personal favorites and always, always questioning what it is exactly that makes us “drag experts”? Well…let us put this one to rest. We are NOT drag experts. But we are two men who enjoy watching drag and especially an extraordinary performance…which quite honestly, in Indiana, is hard to find. We are highly critical, being that we have seen numerous performances by national title holders perform as well as local talent who constantly try to be creative and re-invent themselves. When we began receiving these comments we contacted Carrie Fairfield, who IS a drag expert and runs the “number one site for information on Female Impersonation, Drag Queens and Drag Pageantry”. Carrie was kind enough to give us lots of advice on what we could do with our blog and how she started She also gave us advice and was supportive on how to begin judging drag pageants, since it had been suggested to us by so many people.
So…you want to know our favorites? Sure…in no particular order…
Maya Douglas…Tommie Ross…Erica Andrews…Nina West…Asia O’Hara…DeeRanged…Erika Norell…Camille Simpson…Tasha Long…Mimi Marks…Armani…Alyssa Edwards…Mohka Montrese…Cezanne…Danielle Hunter…Necole Luv Dupree…Chi Chi LaRue…Kitty Litter…Sasha Andrews…Regine Phillips…Whitney Paige and Monica Munro….(We unfortunately have no local favorites).
And…we believe Drag Royalty goes to Rupaul…Candis Cayne…Miss Understood…Lady Bunny…Joey Arias…and Lypsinka!

But who cares anyway, right? Well, apparently a lot of people. Drag is a huge industry and entertainment field in our strong nation. And although we believe quite a few people are taking themselves way too seriously, we do believe every performer should see it as a career, constantly thinking outside of the box, being consistently creative and re-inventing themselves often…with no excuses. And to one reader, who encouraged us to look outside of Talbott Street for local talent, which we have, we might take you up on your offer and go see Holly Luyah at The Ten. And we would love to see Jamie Hunter pull it out of retirement again. Or maybe a guest performance by Indy legend Stacia Renee Onassis. But…give Talbott Street some credit. They have hosted MANY of the top name, national title holding, performers we mentioned above. But on a national level…Drag just isn’t men dressing up, it’s an industry, like we mentioned. Last spring, designer Richie Richie introduced a line of clothing for drag queens. Lady Bunny and Rupaul have normalized drag and made their presence known among the social elite of any city, including Los Angeles, New York, London and Miami. Rupaul’s television show Rupaul’s Drag Race introduced the entire world to the world of drag.
So really…we just want to see good drag. And if we don’t, we’ll review it and comment on it…honestly. And just for the record, we’ll let you know what we look for. 1. How well did you know your own song and routine. 2. How outdated was your song and routine and how many times have we seen it? 3. How do you look and do you look the best you can…always, always be professional and put all you can into your career. 4. Do you see it as more than just a job…are you passionate about what you do? 5. Are you creative? 6. Did you keep our attention? and 7. Most important…did you make us want to jump out of our fucking seats and applaud our asses off? Because if you did, you’re an entertainer. If not…keep working on it!
We appreciate all of the comments that we’ve heard, and if you want our advice…trust us, although this will sound arrogant, we can give you the direction you need to be famous. But if on the other hand, you just want to RAANNT to someone, well, get a web domain and start your own blog.
Before we go…we would like to leave you with a few clips to enjoy which define what we feel exemplifies true drag entertainment. We hope you enjoy…

Drag Runway at the 2006 Miss Continental Pageant

Erica Andrews Winning Talent at EOY 2006

Lawanda Jackson Miss EOY Michael Jackson Talent

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

All Of This Fame is Driving Me A “Little” Crazy!

Indy Celebrity Status
It’s crazy to think I met Ali Chapman almost 15 years ago standing, all 3-feet 6-inces, by the dance floor at what was then Eden nightclub. Over the years, we have remained friends, sometimes close and other times…well, let’s just say she get’s really busy. And now, she’s busier than ever. “As a little person, I don’t let my size stop me from doing everything I want to do with my life!”

I Am Legend
Several years ago, Ali was sitting around her apartment when she found an ad, listed by Will Smith, for a stunt double for his daughter in the movie “I Am Legend”. On a whim, Ali wrote his producers, only to find out just a few weeks later, that she had landed the part. What started out as a late night dream, turned into a two-week reality where she met and worked with Will Smith while filming the movie in New York City. “You know how a lot of girl’s dream about their wedding day? That was my wedding day. That was my dream achieved!” She told me on the phone last night as she was getting ready to go out on the town with her manager. (Below is a picture of Ali as the stunt double in the film “I Am Legand”.

WE…Women’s Entertainment Network
On September 22nd at 10pm, Ali will make her television premier on the WE channel’s television show “The Secret Lives of Women.” To read more about the television show, click here. Ali will be hosting a premier party at the Blu Martini this Tuesday from 9-11:30 p.m. to watch her premier and to meet Ali, if you don’t already know her from running the streets of Broad Ripple! We’ll be there and we hope to see you too!

Wedding Bells?
So what else has Ali been up to lately? “I do this act with a band in Chicago called “Wedding Band”. Ali explained to me that she gets on stage, sometimes dressed as a dominatrix and performs with the band, adding star quality. “It is so much fun…when I was asked to do it, I didn’t believe it could ever be so much fun.” To see Wedding Banned’s promo video, watch below.


A Little Entertainment
Years ago, after one of Ali’s trips to New York, I met her at The Casbah in Broad Ripple to listen to a friend/DJ spin downstairs. When I sat next to her at the bar, she whipped her new, blond hair back and looked at me, “Do you love my new Beyonce hair?” We both laughed and made a night of jumping from bar to bar, every few seconds stopping as all of Ali’s friends and uhhh…fans, stopped her to say hi. She has always been a staple of local Indy’s night scene, especially Broad Ripple, where she can be found in the past checking coats at Peppers or chatting it up at the Alley Cat. And if you’re interested, I know for a fact she’ll be out tonight…running the streets.
Now, Ali is managed by Johnny of A Little Entertainment. But what about her future? ” I would love to start in a movie.” She says. At first we both laugh, and then we both start talking about it…why not, look at what else she’s done so far! Ali has always been an inspiration to me and makes me realize just how much we can all achieve if we want it bad enough! Right on girl! Can’t wait to see you tonight…

And we can’t wait to see you on Tuesday at the Blu Martini. Everyone should come out and be part of her premier. And for more information on Ali or for booking, please hit the link for A Little Entertainment above.

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

Indy Gay Royalty…

This week, I had the honor of having coffee with Bil Browning and Jerame Davis, co-owners of The Bilerico Project, “the web’s largest LGBTQ group blog” with over 50 contributors. Although Bil and Jerame reside in Indianapolis and also manage the Bilerico Indiana, The Bilerico Project is a national website, with contributors from all over the world. What we love most about the website is that it is all-inclusive reading for anything LGBTQ, with articles ranging from informative, political information, to music highlights to Prop 8 Updates, as well as “Big Brother 10 Jessie Godderz is naked(and gay?)”
But probably more important than our discussion about their going to Washington D.C. for National Coming Out Day, or about their political support in Indy, or their professional backgrounds. More important than any of that was their interaction as a couple. On October 6th, they will celebrate their 11th anniversary together. They laughed together as they explained to me the disaster which they describe as their “first date” and how it was a starting point for everything moving forward. They laughed as they stumbled over each other’s sentences while telling me about their new “front porch cat” or how they “adopted” their dogs. And what was truly refreshing, was how they work so closely together, with the same mission, but still interact with sincerity, humility and love towards one another. With both of their laptops constantly up during our meeting, I asked them if they ever argue over content for The Bilerico Project. They raised their eyebrows, looking at one another and laughed, explaining that it’s an almost weekly occurrence.

And as I walked away, I smiled to myself, because I had expected to meet a couple of gay men who were politically driven and had a mission to bring awareness and change to the world. And while that is exactly what I found, more importantly, I found a gay couple, normal in every way as any other couple in the world, who can still laugh and smile at each other after 11 years. And that…is more than most of us can ask for and where the true change begins! Congratulations to you both!

Oh…and by the way, our meeting, was to discuss the gossip column Alex and I will be writing for The Bilerico Project-Indiana. So get ready…

To find out more about The Bilerico Project click here

Eyes Open…We’re Watching! (And watch for us on The Bilerico Project!)

Heidi Klum Escorts Barbie on the Runway at Fashion Week…


This week, Fashion Icon and Supermodel, Heidi Klum, ran the circles of New York’s Fashion week…escorting none other than Barbie, press correspondent, as her personal sidekick! Watch and see this hilarious clip…


Hope everyone had fun this week at Fashion Week…We know we certainly did keeping up with all of the designers and watching the celebrities; on television!…And be prepared if you see us coming with our camera. Starting this week we’ll be publishing weekly “Street Style” pics of Indy people who we see out and about who catch our style eye!

Eyes open…we’re watching!

Rattled Strength for Taylor Swift on The View…and a splash of GaGa!

Since we previously wrote about the Kanye West disses Taylor Swift at the MTV VMA’s…we thought we would update you with her response on The View…

While Kanye did apologize later on The Jay Leno show, we’re wondering why it took a timid Taylor, to announce he hadn’t personally reached out to her before he made the decision to apologize. Come on Kanye…Grow some balls and be a real man…or maybe that new, sexy dude…uh, girlfriend Amber Rose has more gumption between his legs than you ever will!

On a side note, we totally fell in love with Lady GaGa’s performance/pop art at the VMA’s that we thought we would leave you with another one of her live performances at the V Festival in August…enjoy


Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

Won’t You Be Our Neighbor…Playboy Kendra Comes to Indy!

So the rumors are true!!! Kendra Wilkinson will be calling Indianapolis her new home with hubby, wide-receiver Hank Baskett who just signed a one year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. Kendra Wilkinson, who became famous as Playboy Playmate and for her debut on E Channel’s “The Girls Next Door, is getting ready for a little time in our city and we think it’s about time a real celebrity moved to our great state and began enjoying all we have to offer. We were a little sad to read in an article on that Chris Gahl, Associate Director of Communication for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, was tempting Kendra with St. Elmo’s Steak House??? Wow! What a way to make us sound like we’re “not just cornfields”. Although we highly support our local restaurant owners, let’s be for real…We have way more to offer than that!!! Late yesterday, Kendra tweeted Perez Hilton asking…”u gonna come out to a colts game with me??:D”
Well Kendra…we sure hope all of your friends don’t leave you out here in the cornfields, but as a couple who loves to host and have a good time…we would like to extend the offer show you the best that Indy has to offer, and trust us…it’s not just a dinner date. We are so excited to have you guys here and hope that you enjoy your stay, or even, decide to call Indy your new home!
We’re waiting for your call…and yes…we’d be more than willing to escort you to a Colt’s game any day!!! Love Ya!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

Long Live the King…

On Sunday night, Madonna gave an award speech to Michael Jackson. In her speech she talked about her kinship with Michael and defined him as a “hero”. She also explained how we let him, “slip through our cracks.” We began talking about this speech and about our experiences since starting raannt. We’ve met a lot of wonderful people, been exposed to a lot of wonderful experiences, but the flip side is true as well. For every article we write, we receive just as much praise as we do hate mail, not necessarily for us, but mostly for the people or the establishments we write about in our blog. This past weekend, we discussed how our motive had been to bring this community, not of straight or gay, black or white, young or old…but the community of Indianapolis together and to help everyone enjoy what our great city has to offer. So, with this video clip, we hope to inspire all of our readers to do great things, come together in our kinship, try to understand one another, critique helpfully and love more, and not let what we have here in Indy slip through our cracks…

We love you Indy…
Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

Goodbye Mel…


raannt would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mel Simon who passed away today at the age of 82. He will be remembered as someone whose positive influence, personal and professional, helped Indianapolis become the city that it is today!

For more information on Mel Simon please read this link at The Associated Press: “Mall Magnate, Pacers Owner Melvin Simon dies at 82”

You will be remembered Mel…

Eyes Open, We’re Watching…

Our Girls; Brittany Mason, Britney Spears and Kathy Griffin…(But Not Kate Gosselin)

October is almost here! Time to begin pulling out those tweed scarfs and argyle socks to pad the inside of your Chuck Taylor’s! And…begin planning your Halloween Costume! We at the raannt offices are filling our bowls with candy corn and beginning to pull our costumes together as we speak!

Which is why we here at raannt are just a little exhausted from our long weekend of events, parties and planning and are now, settling into catching up on our t.v. shows, and planning out the rest of our social month. (Trying desperately to get out to Las Vegas to visit with our good friend Brittany Mason and to see the final show of the Britney Spears “Circus” tour at Mandalay Bay!)

While you’re waiting for our list of events to attend for the rest of September, enjoy this Kathy Griffin clip we found, “Kate is Enough”, of her parody of Kate Gosselin! Hilarious! “(We personally love the hair parody, especially since it can be found here in Indy in every aisle of every Walmart or at the counters of the Speedways and Gas America’s!)

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!