My Gayest Weekend Ever in New York City was coming to an end after having met Stockard Channing and doing Drag Con but I pushed my luck and attempted to meet one more diva before calling it a weekend.
The Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction sells autographed merchandise, show props, and Broadway memorabilia to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It’s held annually on the third Sunday in September but it was bumped a week this year due to a scheduling conflict. I don’t remember the conflict but I was just happy it benefited me. Before the flea market officially opened at 10:00 AM, I did a quick walk through on my way down to Drag Con and it was already a mob scene. I figured I’d go back when it was less crowded, which I don’t think ever happens because it was worse at 12:30 PM. If Patti LuPone would have popped up on a street corner, I’d of been killed in a stampede. They have areas for meet and greets with Broadway stars but those lines were too overwhelming for me to figure out. That’s ok because my focus was, according to the map (again, know your map), Tyne Daly’s booth.
I have been a Tyne Daly fan ever since her TV show Cagney & Lacey. What solidified my fandom was when I saw her Broadway play It Shoulda Been You on June 26, 2015. That was the day gay marriage became legal in the United States. After the show’s final bows, Tyne spoke about the ruling. Her speech was elegant and heart-warming and may have even brought a tear to my eye. So if there was even an iota of a chance I could meet her, I was taking it.
The diva gods were with me because after asking three different volunteers where the booth was located, I was informed it had been moved (for once, knowing the map didn’t help) and I stubbled upon her booth where she was overseeing it. As I approached, panic took over because she got up to leave. I went in to hot pursuit because I was past the point of pretending to have any form of decorum. Luckily she wasn’t leaving, she was only moving to take pictures with fans. Better for me because I now cut my way into the line, if there was one, to ask for a photo. She said “Of course but it will cost you a pretty penny”. Out came my wallet which I was prepared to empty, if need be, and Tyne shook me down for $5. I reached in my wallet and told her “I’ll give you $20 if I can get an autograph too”. Here I am bartering with Tyne Daly in the middle of a flea market on Broadway, in my gay opinion, life doesn’t get much better. Once again she said “Of course, would you like that on a coaster from Murphy Brown? They’re going fast!” Not waiting for an answer she said, “Of course you do. Who should I make it out to?” Shockingly I remembered my name. Of the three selfies I excitedly took, the sharpest one shows all three of my chins getting to meet Tyne as well.
So that’s how I chose to spend the gayest weekend of my life: going to a drag convention, a Broadway flea market and stalking iconic divas who I have been a fan of since I was younger. I loved every fabulous moment of it and I’m already saving up my pretty pennies for next year.