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by Jessica Carreras
Tramaine Cotton’s old boss is kicking himself right now.
Cotton used to serve as the bar’s main marketing and promotions person, but at the same time, was launching his career as a party promoter to the LGBT community. “He didn’t like me throwing gay parties,” Cotton recalls of his boss.
Given an ultimatum between the two, Cotton made perhaps the most important choice of his life. Now, the CEO of Hot Boyz Detroit is hosting a weekend of parties for Hotter Than July 2010 expected to draw thousands to the city to celebrate black, gay Pride from as far away as Atlanta, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Houston. They’ve already sold out rooms at the St. Regis Hotel, which is the host location for HTJ. In fact, the Hot Boyz parties are expected to be an even bigger draw than HTJ itself, which has events running throughout the weekend as well.
And though Cotton, 25, knew what he wanted to do with his life, he never saw his party promotions career getting as big as it is now. “I started throwing parties in my 11th grade year of high school,” he explains. “I was very popular in school and I did laser tag lock-ins, skating parties, hall parties.”
This weekend, he’ll go high-profile with a star-studded party that doesn’t stop until Monday morning.
It all starts with the Kickoff and Strip Off Party on July 22 at The Woodward, where Bebe, the original winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” will make an appearance. On July 23, pop star Teairra Marie will hold her record release party at Blak Ice – part of Ice Nightclub in Hamtramck – for the bar’s black, gay night premiere. The party will continue at Detroit’s Majestic Theatre and Cafe on July 24 with a slew of performances, plus bowling at the Garden Bowl on July 25.
Things will wind down – or, perhaps heat up – with an all-night HTJ Ball that runs from 1-6 a.m. July 26 at the St. Regis Hotel.
Cotton, who does first Friday events at the Majestic every month, says his sold-out parties will be even bigger for HTJ. “It’s just something different, because I know we’ll have a much bigger crowd,” he promises. “It’s going to be really nice.”
Much to the chagrin of Cotton’s ex-employer.