N.Y. Scene is a monthly column that chronicles lesbian nightlife and events of interest in New York. Grace Chu has come out of lesbian scene retirement to navigate the vast and ever-evolving New York City scene, so you don’t have to.
October opened on a somber tone as the community reacted with sadness and outrage over media reports of several suicides of teens who were bullied over their perceived sexual orientation. The month ended on a festive note as New Yorkers congregated on the streets for Halloween, and AfterEllen was there for a couple of queer Halloween events, which were attended by a noticeable number of Lady Gagas but no Snookis, thereby proving once again that gay women have more discerning tastes than the general population.
You Are Loved Glowlight Vigil – Washington Square Park, Manhattan – October, 3, 2010
In September the news was flooded with an alarming amount of LGBT teen suicides resulting from bullying. In response, on October 3, 2010 several NYU LGBT organizations hosted a glowlight vigil at Washington Square Park to honor “all of those we have lost due to hatred and bigotry.”
Over a thousand New Yorkers, including Governor Paterson and out city councilwoman Christine Quinn, stood in the rain to remember those whose deaths were attributed to bullying.
The vigil was followed by the second annual You-Are-Loved Chalk Messaging Project, where members of the crowd was given the opportunity to write positive messages in chalk to combat hateful messages that help fuel suicides. Someone must have been looking out for us, because not even the pouring rain could wash away the uplifting messages of love and encouragement.
Hey Queen! – Public Assembly, Williamsburg, Brooklyn – October 15, 2010
Hey Queen, a queer dance party held every third Friday of each month, moved from Sugarland to the much more spacious venue Public Assembly this past month. Even with the change in scene and increased size of the space, the party was soon packed wall to wall with frolicking alterna-queers. Its location in Williamsburg might cause those not in the know to dismiss Hey Queen as a hipster party, but these edgily dressed, asymmetrically coiffed queers of all shapes, sizes and races weren’t standing around chain-smoking and judging everyone else in attendance – they were getting’ down as if a law against dancing in public were going into effect come daylight.
Launched by promoters Sarah Jenny, Amy Agony, and Kitty La Kitty, Hey Queen was conceived as a multi-gendered dance party that also features performers, such as burlesque acts and bands. Said Agony, “Our goal at Hey Queen is that the dykes come in and think it’s a fag party, the fags walk in and think it’s a dyke party and both crowds are wondering who all the hot trannies are.”
Continued Agony, “The theme of Hey Queen is always changing. It helps us keep our crowd constantly evolving, and we work hard on pulling together people of various genders, race and body types in order to make people question their traditional notions of what’s hot. We had a femme party last year called IN SERVICE OF THE QUEEN, a fat positive party called SIZE QUEEN, a benefit for Queers for Economic Justice called QUEENS WITH BENEFITS, a Leo party called QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE, and a Chanukah party called SHALOM QUEEN.” For the move to Public Assembly, Hey Queen’s theme was HEY KING!, a celebration of butches and other queer people on the masculine spectrum.
I asked Sarah Jenny about the whereabouts of promoter Kitty La Kitty, and she responded, “Kitty La Kitty is Amy’s cat.” Agony then interjected, “Kitty la kitty is [former Hey Queen promoter Scout’s] ex boyfriend Owen’s cat and who is still working to draw in the inter species crowd to Hey Queen.” Do my ears deceive me? Not only is a cat one of the promoters, it appears to be the subject of a custody dispute. Based on this alone, Hey Queen is officially the queerest party in New York City. Respect.