Why is Fabulis, the newly-minted homo-social planning site, rubbing elbows with The Office, Grey Gardens, a tiny dachshund, and Bill Clinton’s White House? And more importantly, how you can you jostle your own elbows into that scene?
We’ve been talking about Fabulis for months — from its boy-happy music video to its bank woes turned viral goldmine to its delicious Manhunt smack-down. When it launched a casual popularity contest game last month, some were a little aghast, since it seemed to play to the worst cliquey aspects of gay culture. And the whole time that we were talking about the site, everyone kept coming back to the same question: “What, actually, is it?”
Well, now we know: It’s an event planner that keeps an eye on Facebook and tells you what events local gays are attending. Okay, that’s kind of neat, sure. But what’s this? Clinton LGBT adviser and Obama punch-puller Richard Socarides is involved somehow?
Yup, it’s true. Fabulis recently announced its advisory panel, comprised mainly of entertainment industry insiders. Along with the Hollywood big-shots are two unexpectedly political names: Socarides is one, and former GLAAD president Neil Giuliano is the other. But that’s not all: One or two empty seats remain, and Fabulis is holding a contest to fill them.
Socarides, it turns out, is old friends with Fabulis founder Jason Goldberg (that’s him on the right, smooching his partner). The two met in the White House back in the 90s, around the same time that Boy George was “angling for a career revival by addressing his new album’s love songs to men.”
Giuliano, as you may recall, left GLAAD a year ago “to pursue other interests.” Guess we know what those are now! Mixing it up with internet gays. (He’s currently ranked as the #113 homosexual in the world on Fabulis, BTW.)
So who else is on this advisory panel? Some names that might make you say, “Ohhhhh? Is that … what, who is that? Oh, right, that guy.”
Halsted Sullivan is a behind-the-camera sort of guy, so you can be forgiven for not recognizing his name unless you scrutinize the credits of The Office. (Remember the Cafe Disco episode? Yeah, he wrote that.)
You might recognize Michael Sucsy (pictured): He wrote, produced, and directed the new Grey Gardens. And as if that wasn’t gay enough, he’s working on a Broadway-bound musical called Cuba Libre, which we are guessing has something to do with Fidel Castro holed up in a cabana with his crazy brother Raúl. Julian Bennett’s actually pretty big in the UK, which is where homosexuality comes from. He’s hosted the British version of Queer Eye, co-hosts a TV show alongside a dachshund, and showed some tough love for Kylie Minogue.
And then there’s Allen Morgan. Who? Oh, just an incredibly high-powered venture partner at the Mayfield Fund, one of those companies that finds money, does God-knows-what with it, and somehow turns it into even more money. And get this, Judy: he’s straight. It’s true! Don’t all clutch your pearls at once. Morgan’s interest in the site is probably grounded in his previous dealings with Fabulis founder Jason Goldberg. They previously worked together on non-gay sites Socialmedian and Jobster.
So, what exactly does this cavalcade of stars do? It’s not completely clear, although this band of super-friends is not yet fully assembled — Fabulis is looking a few youthful user or two to round out the cast.
Here’s how it’s going to work. They’re asking users to change one of their profile tags to “young fabulis adviser” and then do a little online social whoring. Get voted up to the top of the list, and at the end of the week, Fabulis will interview the top five and offer a position on the panel to one or two of their faves. (Little known fact: This is also how Obama will be picking Justice John Paul Stevens’ replacement.)
And by the way, applicants must be aged 18-25, because old people are gross. You know a party’s finished when a 26-year-old walks through the door.
Sadly, Bobby Apple — our fake profile that we created just to see how many votes a random shirtless torso could acquire — is currently only ranked 24th on the list. What a travesty.
Current front-runners include, not surprisingly, a bunch of young cuties. We’re particularly intrigued by Dan Leveille, who’s developing some sort of mystery gay site of his own: Equalitopia. Like Fabulis, it’s unclear exactly what the site will do, which means that it will probably be a smash hit, especially if it includes a shirtless torso.
Now, if we were the sneaky type — and why would you think that we are? — we might try some trick like waiting until the voting is about to end and then flooding one specific profile with votes. But that would be underhanded and wrong and would steal the thunder from someone else who is more deserving of attention due to his ability to attract mouseclicks! So if you’re thinking about wasting even a single moment on gaming an internet popularity contest, well, SHAME ON YOU, SIR.