Go ahead – Chicago Reader

Paulo Batista dressed in a sailor hat, small scarf around his neck, white underwear and boots.
Paulo Batista says: “Some audiences want to see bears and daddies, others want to see artists who are just really good dancers. We are all diverse. Credit: HNS Imaging

GoGo for gold-think RuPaul’s Drag Race but for go-go boys – features a jaw-dropping roster of fuzzy bears, dancers in heels and trans man Paulo Batista, all competing for a $10,000 cash prize and the title of “No. 1 American Champion Gogo Superstar Star”.

“Not everyone is attracted to abs and big thighs,” says Batista, 38, a competitive bodybuilder and building manager for Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago. “Some audiences want to see bears and daddies, some want to see performers who are just really good dancers. We’re all diverse. Even within the trans community, we all present ourselves differently. You have some non- binary, you’ve got feminine, you’ve got hyper-masculine alpha, which is kind of like my vibe when you watch this show, it’s important to see that we’re all different and we all bring something major and amazing at the table.

For the uninitiated, a go-go boy (or go-go girl, or person) is basically someone with enough attire to dance in a skimpy or revealing outfit on stage or above the bar in a nightclub or bar setting. Technically, a go-go boy is not so much a stripper as a dancer employed in a bar whose job is to delight, amuse and entertain the crowd, sometimes for cash tips.

A panel of judges fleshes out the winner based on four categories: Fantasy, Body, Dance and Individuality, with one or more contestants eliminated each week. GoGo for gold is currently streaming on the LGBTQ+ streaming service OUTtv.

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