In Los Angeles, gay nightlife is often binary.
At one end of the pole is West Hollywood, the haven for shiny, smooth muscle ‘mos. At the other end is LA’s east side, comprised of Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and their surrounding neighborhoods, which serves a kinkier demographic.
Dive bars like Faultline and The Eagle offer beer busts and fetish nights to the city’s thicc and scruffy crowds. It’s in this realm that Mario Diaz, LA’s king of queer kink, holds court, most prominently with the return of his scandalous weekly party Hot Dog.
To give our readers a better understanding of the underbelly of Los Angeles’s gay nightlife, the infamous dirty DILF dished with us about Hot Dog, guest-starring in Golden Girlz Live, and the best of gay LA’s east side.
Why is a party like Hot Dog so necessary for post-quarantine LA?
Well, we need to be together. It’s the reason we’re alive, to be connected as a tribe. It’s the formula for joy. What a tough year it’s been for all of us. And for my peers in the event production/nightlife world, it hit hard. History has taught us that after times like these there is a great need for the arts…especially entertainment and alcohol. My forte. Our own renaissance is here and I’m glad we survived long enough to be a part of it. The roaring 20’s came after a global flu pandemic, The “Dark Ages” spawned the great renaissance so we have historical examples to learn from. It is our time again to thrive. Artists, producers, and entertainers will be needed more than ever. And the Hot Dog patio feels like the perfect reintroduction to queer nightlife. There is plenty of space and little nooks and crannies which makes for a comfortable experience. You can go inside to dance and get wild or stay in the fresh air and feel the breeze on the shaded patio for some good conversation. I couldn’t be happier with the space.
Why is the east side an ideal venue for Hot Dog?
I don’t know why but there are often times a pull to the east side for me. Even when I was in NYC the east side seems to bring a certain type that I connected with. A little rough around the edges, the artist, freaks, and queerdos. My people. Just like in the East Village, LA has a sort of artsy, rock and roll east side vibe. There are good people on all sides of town, so I don’t like to get caught up in the geographical aspects of things. Like this need for other cities to talk shit about LA. I never understood that mentality. I love all cities for different reasons and there’s good everywhere. I absolutely love LA and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.
As a fellow former-East Village ‘mo, what do you feel is the biggest difference between the NY and LA party scenes?
Not much in my opinion. I’ve been a queer event producer and entertainer for over thirty years and one thing never changes. People want to get drunk, dance, laugh, and get laid. And there are people like me who facilitate that need. And if you can do it with a little style and sense of humor, that’s the sweet spot. But, at the end of the day, it’s about the people. Good people make any scene great and I surround myself with sweethearts.
I can’t wait to see you perform with Golden Girls Live this month. Why do you think after all these decades, the original Golden Girls still garners such ha strong queer fan base?
The Golden Girls are us. They are a reflection of what we long for in a chosen family. My dream is to someday soon live in a complex with my framily. I don’t see myself getting married or having kids so I’m gonna need my besties around so we can take care of each other in our older years. The Golden Girls did just that. They showed us that there is another way to grow old. With your friends…and that has always been family to me. They are my inspiration. And they’re funny as hell just like my brilliant crew.
You’ve been a comedy partner of Jackie Beats for years (possibly the entire time I’ve known you). How has your dynamic evolved over the years?
Well at this point we’re stuck with each other. And honestly, she is the smartest and funniest person I know so I feel very lucky to be tied to such a person. My wifey.
Gay LA is usually fixated on the WeHo scene. As someone who is well aquatinted with NoHo, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, etc, what recommendations would you give for gays visiting LA that wasn’t just WeHo?
Hot Dog Sundays from 4-2 at El Cid. That was an easy question. I love Precinct, Akbar, The Eagle….clearly, I’m an east side boy. But when I go to Boystown I always have a blast. Favorite shops? Goodwill, The Salvation Army or any thrift store nearby. I’ve always been a thrift store junky.
Now that quarantine is over, where would you like to visit first?
Last question: which do you prefer your boys call you, Uncle Mario or Daddy?
I don’t care what you call me as long as you call me. But most people call me Uncle these days. Unless we’re in bed together then daddy will do just fine.