Colorado Green conquers gay downhill
Ryan Summerlin January 20, 2014
General Erection, Private Parts, Major Pain, Corporal Punishment, Sergeant Schlong and Major Boner — these are the winners of Friday’s Aspen Gay Ski Week Downhill Costume Competition.
Skiing down Aspen Mountain’s Little Nell covered in green paint and army attire, the six men bested 11 other contestant entries, including a Michael Jackson-themed snowboarder who launched onto the stage and danced to “Thriller.” Other highlights included multiple people stripping in an attempt to sway judges’ opinions. Gay Ski Week’s longtime MC, Miss Richfield, 1981, was particularly moved by their attempts.
“Look at all the straight people standing around outside of the periphery,” Richfield said from the gated VIP section. “They’re like Jane Goodall watching the homos in their natural environment, drinking and looking fantastic. This is what it’s like every day for them.”
The first contestant to ski down the Nell was Brett McNamee, who was wearing a groom’s tuxedo. He will be marrying his partner, Larry McDonald, this weekend during Gay Ski Week’s group civil ceremony at the Limelight Hotel. McDonald, who was wearing a wedding dress and rainbow wig Friday, has helped judge the downhill contest for 15 years. He and McNamee will be joined by two other couples during the group ceremony.
“I thought it would be appropriate for today to be man and woman — and tomorrow man and man,” McDonald said.
For him and McNamee, Aspen is the final destination in a long line of gay-day trade shows, including stops in San Diego; Los Angeles; New York City; and Orlando, Fla.
“Aspen is the end of a yearlong work,” said McDonald, who is alternately known as Roxy Rubenstein, the Jewish bride from Michigan. “It’s the limelight of everything.”
At the end of McNamee’s run, he hopped on stage and took a knee, opening a small box with a softball-sized ice diamond for McDonald. He also presented a real ring as the couple shared a kiss and gave a shout-out to family members in the crowd.
“Aspen is the most beautiful ski area,” said Sergeant Schlong, of London, who was making his first visit to the area. “Sun’s out. No one’s skiing. Absolutely amazing. It’s been awesome.”
He said his friend General Erection, or Dave, came up with the idea for their costume, which was entered as “Colorado Green.” Dave usually begins working on the costume for the next year the day after Aspen Gay Ski Week ends. Two years ago, he came up with an Angry Birds-themed costume that took first place. When asked how they came up with the names, Schlong responded, “Tequila.”
Coming in third place was a group of superheroes, which included a drag-queen Batman, Captain America and the Green Lantern. Scott Whittington, of San Diego, who was dressed as Green Lantern, said Gay Ski Week is a lot of fun, but it’s exhausting.
“It’s skiing every day and partying at night but lots of fun. It’s a blast,” he said.
According to event producer Kevin McManamon, initial estimates for Aspen Gay Ski Week show a 15 to 20 percent increase in attendance compared with 2013. He said fundraising, which supports various lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender causes, also is up.