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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 12, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 28
Chi Chi does the Red Dress
Arts & Entertainment
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Chi Chi does the Red Dress

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

RED DRESS PARTY
FREMONT STUDIOS
July 20


Chi Chi LaRue, one of the most recognizable names in the adult film industry (Gay or straight) will soon be on her way to the Emerald City to spin the fifth annual Seattle Red Dress Party, Saturday, July 20 at Fremont Studios (155 N. 35th St.). LaRue, owner of adult film studio Channel 1 Releasing, has directed hundreds of Gay porn films over the course of her nearly 20 year career. It's not often SGN gets to chat with a talented DJ who also happens to be responsible for some of the highest grossing Gay porn films of all time. So we caught up with LaRue on the road to get her thoughts on coming to Seattle and to try to figure out just which one of her stars she was bringing as a date. 'I'd never been to Seattle until I came to do the Cuff,' LaRue told SGN.

In 2009, the renaissance drag queen DJ was asked to come to the Cuff by her good friend, Seattle's very own skyscraper hostess Mama Tits. Since then, she's returned to the Cuff three more times.

'I love Seattle,' LaRue told SGN. 'The people that are there are so laid back.'

She said she likes the hipster crowds and the good food, especially the seafood. 'And I'm a huge Starbucks fan, so there you go,' added LaRue.

'This is going to be my first Red Dress Party ever!' said LaRue. She explained that she's very familiar with the event and knows that the tradition began in Portland, OR in 2001.

'A friend of mine who's a big hulking muscly porn star will be attending with me,' said LaRue. 'I was looking forward to putting him in a red tuxedo. He said, 'Chi Chi, I think it has to be a dress.'

Indeed, it's the rule. The mandatory attire for partygoers, wherever they may fall on the spectrum of gender or sexuality, is a red dress. The tradition's roots aren't exactly clear. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic began to unfold, red dress runs, house parties and get-togethers of all sorts began to pop up in various communities all around the country. The party harkens back to this response to the early days of the epidemic. Your dress can be a gown, a prom dress, a sundress, a slip or even something you make yourself, but it has to be a dress.

'So we're going shopping,' LaRue told SGN. 'In Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- for a red dress for the porn star.

LaRue is always happy to play lots of top 40, but she calls herself 'a drag queen juke box.'

'I've honed my skills at DJing, but I'm a more happy, Gay music kinda' DJ.

I like to play everything that's new and current and then throw Booty Licious in there. I'm 53 years old, so I've lived through several decades of music,' said LaRue. 'I've gotta' throw on a little Donna Summer now and again, too.'

We mentioned to LaRue that the Red Dress Party also usually draws a fair number of straight allies.

'Oh! Well, then I need to bring a Michael Jackson song,' she offered.

This year, Seattle Red Dress will fundraise for five different organizations, more than ever before. The beneficiaries, Gay City Health Project, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, BABES Network-YWCA, the Inspire Youth Project (formerly Rise N' Shine) and Rosehedge/Multifaith Works, all work in one way or another to provide support for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

While Red Dress may be new to LaRue, the ideas behind it aren't. LaRue has been promoting and staging benefits for various HIV/AIDS charities since she began in the industry 20 years ago; for many years, her birthday served as one such fundraiser. For her two decades of fundraising work as well as her promotion of safe sex and condom use in her pro-ductions, two different chapters of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (Seattle's own Abbey of St. Joan included) have sainted her.

So who's LaRue's big muscly date? Unfortunately, she wouldn't tell us. You'll have to get a ticket and something pretty if you want to find out. The fifth annual Seattle Red Dress Party rolls out the red carpet at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 at Fremont Studios (155 N. 35th St.). Other headliners include NeNe Leakes of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Alexis Jordan, Morgan McMichaels and Seattle's local legend Gaysha Starr. Tickets start at $50.

'I'm grateful to have been asked to DJ this event. I hope that it's a smashing, fantastic success for all the beneficiaries and for the lovely, fantastic town of Seattle,' said LaRue.

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