WEHO TIMES ran into a group of friends at Gym Sportsbar and Grill the eve of Christmas Eve. They were celebrating an annual tradition called ChrisMess, a drag bar crawl in the heart of WeHo’s LGBT Rainbow District/Boystown. Men (and women) braved the rain and donned some gay apparel to spread some love where it’s needed most…West Hollywood bars.
“Everyone seems to be off work Christmas Eve, so I wanted to do something to kick things off the night before,” said organizer Dudley Beene. “I started this drag bar crawl much inspired by Regina George from Mean Girls. The point of it was to make things not so serious. We love to get in clown drag and go into places like The Abbey where everybody is trying to look hot, and we like pressing that reset button, and making people realize they can drop the personas and just have fun and be playful and childlike.”
Beene says it started out randomly five years ago with him inviting some of his friends, thinking no one would show up on a rainy night like this past Wednesday. The first year had 30 people show up and it has grown over the years, however the ChrisMess drag crawl didn’t happen last year because of COVID and the crowd was a little smaller last night due to the most recent surges in the Omicron variant.
“If you can find a cheap dress for 20 bucks online and then go to the dollar store and make it your own with tinsel, it’s really a chance to be creative and that’s what I love about it,” he said. “We do it every year Christmas Eve, Eve.”
In previous years, Motherlode bar has always been the start of ChrisMess, but this year, the drag bar crawl began at Gym Bar. “We love Mother Lode because there is not attitude, but unfortunately it’s closed right now. We like work our way to some of the more, how shall I say, ‘premier’ bars and jus overtake them. There is something great about saying, ‘drop the act and just have fun for a moment.'”
Everyone is invited to join the drag bar crawl every Christmas Eve, Eve. Dress up and go out to the WeHo bars. ChrisMess is pretty hard to miss.