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[Note: like much of my Flickr account, this post is not exactly safe for work.]
On January 5, 2006, we threw our first major party at the Big Gay Frat House -- the Epiphany Party. It was the largest non-fundraiser we've ever held there and helped set the tone for our future events.
I had been in a private local Mardi Gras krewe for many years, almost two decades. Our krewe selected a monarch at Mardi Gras who would reign through the party and then throughout the next year. In most years, the monarch was chosen by lottery; candidates would select a piece of king cake. A small plastic baby was baked in the cake; whichever candidate selected the piece with the baby would be chosen monarch for the following year. For a five year stretch, monarchs were elected by the True Krewe, a group of members who helped throw the annual parties. We returned to letting the baby select the monarch, but only True Krewe members were eligible to be candidates.
I had vied to become monarch every year since joinging the krewe in its fourth year, and I was always the bridesmaid, never the bride. I was dubbed the Susan Lucci of our krewe. Finally in 2005, in the krewe's 17th year and my 14th as a member, we held our celebration in Palm Springs and, on my birthday, I was became monarch by acclamation when all of the other potential candidates stepped down to guarantee me the win.
One of the founders of the krewe always believed that finding the baby always "speeded things up" for the monarch, karmicly speaking, for good or bad. That was certainly the case for me. A month after becoming king, I was hired by Gay.com after more than a year of unemployment (granted, I wasn't looking for much of that time). Six months later, we bought the Big Gay Frat House.
(Note: some of the other photos in this post may not be entirely safe for work. More after the jump.)