Ft. Lauderdale

In Some Circles, Announcing a Local Family Day Event With 4 Gay Porn Stars Constitutes Controversy

Last month, all 1950s singing star Connie Francis wanted to do was help announce Ft. Lauderdale’s inaugural “Where the Boys Are: Connie Francis’ Great American Beach Party,” set for Memorial Day Weekend At the request of the city’s mayor, Jack Seiler, Francis agreed, and last month the singer, now 72 and perhaps best known for the single “Where The Boys Are,” arrived at a well-attended celebration (where she was also to have a street named after her) in a open convertible, alongside four men in bathing trunks. And then the media found out those four men were actually gay porn stars, and all hell broke lose.

The media had a field day. The Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post ran with the story. And Mayor Seiler was on the hook for inviting porn stars to what was supposed to be a family event. As Francis details:

So on Friday the 29th when we arrived at The Bahia Mar Hotel I was amazed at the turn-out and the enthusiasm of the crowd – a total surprise to me. The hotel had a suite ready for us and refreshments, too, which was very nice of them. I arrived at The Bahia Mar with my entourage: my girlfriend Anne Fusari who was visiting from New Jersey, my friend Lois Prokocimer, my two assistants Mickey and Dotti, Tony Ferretti, my hairdresser, Jairo; and, my friend, Mickey Havens; we came in Mickey’s limousine. When we got there we saw the four boys – Gabriel, Tony, Glen and Dallas. That was the first time I’d ever seen them.

“Hi boys, I’m Connie Francis,” I said. “There’s one thing wrong with this picture, fellas. I don’t like to hang out with guys who are prettier than I am.” Meanwhile, my girlfriend Anne was going ballistic over these fellas.

“Pull yourself together, Anne,” I said. “I could be these kids’ grandmother, and so could you.”

“It’s all up here, honey,” she said pointing to her head.

Then Jairo summoned me over and he whispered to me, “Connie, I don’t know how to tell you this, but these four guys are gay porno stars.”

“Hi boys, I’m Connie Francis,” I said. “There’s one thing wrong with this picture, fellas. I don’t like to hang out with guys who are prettier than I am.”
“Oh my god! Tell me your joking, Jairo. Say – how do you know? Are they famous?

“Sure.”

“Oh my god! I don’t know what to do. We’re about to leave. I can’t hurt their feelings. Everybody’s gotta make a living. I think it’ll be cool, Jairo. But who knows? With my mazol some sickie like you in the crowd could recognize them.”

Anne was still carrying on, spiraling out of control over the four fellas as we left. “Annie, do me a favor. This is embarrassing already. We’re going to send you back to New Jersey. Lauderdale is too much for you.” And then I whispered in her ear, “Don’t knock yourself out. These guys are gay.”

“Who cares?” she said. “Look at those muscles.”

So a couple of days later, John McLaughlin [Francis’ PR rep] called me. He had a headache. He’d been on the phone all day with the mayor’s press people, The Sun-Sentinel; and, specifically, Sean Piccoli, a staff writer with The Sun-Sentinel. They had somehow discovered that I had been escorted to the beach by these porno stars and put it on a blog.

“Oh, that,” I said nonchalantly to John, “I knew that two minutes after I met them at The Bahia Mar. Jairo told me. He said, ‘These four guys…’”

“FOUR? I thought it was only one!”

“I think maybe you’d better talk to the mayor, John.”

Not that this means Connie Francis’ Great American Beach Party is dead. In fact, it’s still scheduled for May 28 and 29, and “will feature live music, a classic car show, Spring Break reunions, themed events such as hula parties and beach blanket bingo, and a screening on the beach of the original movie.” Francis herself will be there. And Mayor Seiler insists the event will offer “”good old-fashioned family fun.”

Of the Matthew Rush variety.