By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Topless trannies will be dancin' at midnight again this week, just like the ad for Club Obsessions says they do "EVERY FUCKIN' TUESDAY NIGHT." No longer, however, will their hormone-enhanced sweater cows make wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. Not unless you sneak one of the kids in, anyway.
Club promoter Mike Sorenson says he hoped to raise a bundle of cash for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but the group turned him down.
"I think the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a great cause—I've given money to them in the past," says Sorenson, who helped promote a July 11 Topless Transsexual Show at Club Obsessions (at the Frat House in Garden Grove) as a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish OC. "But to be honest with you, the agency didn't want anything to do with us."
That's not quite the way Make-A-Wish puts it. Spokesperson Michelle Wells characterizes the situation as an administrative snafu. "This organization chose to hold an event for us without notifying us, and we were unable to proceed with it. Beyond that, I really can't comment," she said.
According to Sorenson, Make-A-Wish wasn't opposed to accepting money from the topless trannies. "They said we could do a generic fund-raiser and give them the money," says Sorenson, "but we couldn't use their name."
Make-A-Wish won't say whether it received any money from the Topless Transsexual Show. Wells said it would be impossible to find out—despite the fact that Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization required by law to make its financial records open to the public.
"You can get some general stuff from our 990 statements, which we post online," says Wells. "But you cannot see donor information. That is private. And the data from recent events won't be posted on the site until May or June of next year."
Wells doesn't deny that Make-A-Wish is image-conscious when it comes to associating with donors. "There are policies in place to protect our brand name," she says—she actually uses the word brand—"and every entry is evaluated on a case-by-case basis." Wells acknowledges that a Topless Trannies Show probably falls outside the Make-A-Wish guidelines.
Sorenson admits he didn't follow protocol when he planned to have trannies dance topless to benefit sick kids.
"I didn't realize there was protocol," he says. "I thought it was a great idea, so we printed up fliers and put an ad in the paper. It was then that we, uh, found out that, uh, well, that we'd better not do it."
Did Make-A-Wish threaten legal action?
"I don't want to get into that," says Sorenson. "Let's just say I don't want to get into any kind of litigation. Let's just say that we wanted to do something for Make-A-Wish, but we didn't meet their standards."
On one hand, Sorenson understands. Club Obsessions bills itself as "OC's Nastiest Nightclub" and splatters its advertisements with profanity.
On the other hand…
"Me? Personally, I would think that as long as it wasn't an illegal activity, why would they care?" Sorenson says. "The thing is, hardly anybody showed up that night, anyway. The whole thing was kinda sad."