Pride Insiders

Christopher Hamblin on Pride & hanging out in Fort Lauderdale with husband Latrice Royale

Hamblin with husband Tim Wilcots, known by stage name Latrice Royale

Christopher Hamblin, 38, is a well-known personality in the Greater Fort Lauderdale scene.

Hamblin plays piano in cabaret bars around town, most notably Georgie’s Alibi and Yule, as an accompanist for some of South Florida’s most popular singers. When he’s not entertaining others, he likes to go out for a night on the town with his husband, Timothy Wilcots.

Sadly, they don’t get much time to hang out together these days. Hamblin’s husband travels quite a bit for work. Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race may recognize Wilcots by his stage name, Latrice Royale.

Hamblin chatted with GayCities about how to get the most out of a trip to the sunny Fort Lauderdale and this year’s June Pride festival.

Why is Fort Lauderdale a great place to live?
I am from Tennessee, and I recently went back there to visit, and I became very aware of how I am so much more free to be who I am now. I was out when I lived in Tennessee, but I was basically the only one. I didn’t have many role models. In Fort Lauderdale, there is a great history of the understanding of the gay male experience. I enjoy the sense of community. And it doesn’t take much to find a place for a cocktail.

Best cocktail?
Mandarin Cosmo, at Georgie’s Alibi. But I drink mine on the rocks. I can’t drink out of a martini glass, because walking on and off stage I spill.

Favorite restaurant?
Our favorite restaurant is Quarterdeck, in Dania Beach. It’s on the water and they have really great seafood. When Tim isn’t working out of town, and we want to go outside of the scene, that’s where we’ll go for date night.

Place to see-and-be-seen?
The Manor, on Friday and Saturday nights. They have great music. And most people go to Sebastian St. Beach, but I like to go to a quiet beach by myself. For me, the beach is the time to get my thoughts together. That’s the beauty of living in Florida. You can find a spot of nature where there aren’t many other people.

Best hotel for visitors?
The Grand Resort and Spa. Tim and I always have an amazing time when we are there. There’s the spirit of freedom, without it being cruisy.

Fort Lauderdale has two Pride festivals: on the beach in February, and then in Wilton Manors in June. Why does Fort Lauderdale have two Pride festivals?

Fort Lauderdale is one of the flagship gay cities in the US, and it’s gay year-round, so there’s always a reason to party. Why not have two festivals?

Which can’t-miss Pride party do you recommend?
Latrice and I own Mr. and Miss Pride South Florida, which will be March 18 at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center. This is the 6th year Latrice has run the pageant. We want to have a one-of-a-kind event, and give the contestants the opportunity to work on a stage that is larger than the bars where they normally work.

What’s your best tip for looking good in a swimsuit?
The place to go shopping for a swimsuit is Ball. They have a lot of Speedos and different options, and they make their own swimsuits with a built-in c-ring, so if you aren’t confident, you can get a little bit of a lift. But it’s not important how you look. It’s about how you feel. I know I don’t have the body that a lot of guys have, and I don’t want to desexualize anybody, but I don’t see why we always have to sexualize the same kind of person. So I go out and get some sun, and I feel good about myself because it’s important to remember we are all beautiful.

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