#MALLORY2018: An Unofficial Guide to MAL

Artwork by Michael Moraine. Glenn O’Brien’s Schott Perfecto jacket personalized by Jean-Michel Basquiat #KnowYourHerstory

The past 2 years, I’ve done these huge, lengthy write-ups here on DC House Grooves previewing cool alternative events happening during Mid-Atlantic Leather (MAL) weekend and other suggestions for how to navigate DC’s signature leather and fetish event. But, thankfully, I think the time for hand holding is over. DC and so many other cities across North America are featuring thriving queer underground communities now, and the growth of good shit to do during MAL is a reflection of that. #MALLORY2018 is the best schedule of underground events to date for MAL, and I’m pretty sure everyone gets what we’re doing and why by now.

So it’s really quite simple this year. These are the main moves to achieve maximum MAL impact (but I’ll list even more good shit to do down below):

There’s really no right or wrong way to do MAL. This weekend is really all about letting your inner kink demon out. So these listings and the following advice are just my 2 cents:

  • Buy advanced tickets and thank the party planners. Tickets are selling out and will be more expensive at the door, so plan ahead and save coins. And also please be polite to the party planners about guest lists and information seeking. These events are expensive AF with the talent we’re bringing in and are a lot of hard work to produce. We’re investing in you to make this community better, but we’re also understanding of procrastination and differing income levels. Offer to pay reduced price or whatever you’re comfortable with. Look at event pages for the information you’re seeking before texting the DJ and be patient with response times.
  • Don’t get stuck in the hotel for too long. Have all the fun at the hotel and exhibition hall and be safe in whatever way that means to you. But definitely get out and enjoy DC too. I’m obviously focusing on nightlife in this post but the museums, restaurants, and sights-to-see here are all top notch.
  • Pace yourself and be safe. Even with having Monday off for the MLK holiday, this weekend is still very draining. Sleep when you can. Eat well. Drink water. Look out for one another. Take uber/lyft/via with friends.
  • Avoid circuit music. Music is obviously subjective, but seriously.. circuit music is really, really bad, you guys. I could get into the toxic, masc, homogeneous culture of it all or the bad drugs in the circuit scene, but, at the end of the day, MAL has something for everyone, and we’re just offering something different with #MALLORY2018. Do what you want. There’s plenty of fun to be had by all in whatever scene floats your boat.
  • Grab a drink at TRADE. Having Trade as a quality, everyday gay bar the past 2 years has been so crucial to the growth of our community. The drag queens and DJs there have complete freedom to be themselves, and it is so refreshing. Their lineup this weekend is super good: (Alex DB on Friday, Mark O’Brien (our buddy from Polyglamorous in SF!!) on Saturday, and Church on Sunday with Outputmessage, Wess the DJ, Rev. Jesse Jackson and drag performances by Jaxknife, Jane Saw and Pussy Noir!
  • Check out The DC Eagle. People complain about how far it is, but DC is a pretty small city, and the Eagle is definitely worth a visit. The place is huge! 3 floors with something for everybody. They’ve also provided a crucial 24-hour space for many different music scenes, including good house and techno parties we frequent like Sequence.

I already listed the main moves for the weekend but here are my full listings of good queer parties to check out this weekend:


Sleaze (Keenan Orr, DJ Lemz) w/ The Carry Nation (NYC) at Wonderland Ballroom

Petworth Social Club – January Happy Hour (MAL Kickoff Edition) w/ Outputmessage at Homestead

Schadenfreude Neubauten w/ DJ Spookster at Safari DC


Honcho MAL: Mike Servito & Justin Cudmore

DJ Alex DB at Trade

Furball DC MAL Weekend


TNX Leather Weekend: Horse Meat Disco

Mark O’Brien (Polyglamorous, SF) at Trade


Last Chance Tea Dance feat. Sfire + StrikeStone: MAL Sunday

Church presents Holy Glory!

Oh.. and there are also rumors of a word-of-mouth, no social-media-posting after party Sunday night featuring DJ Still Standing (any of the many queer DJs both locally and in town who are still on their feet). Inquire within.

And Happy #MALLORY2018!

One thought on “#MALLORY2018: An Unofficial Guide to MAL

  1. Pingback: DC House Grooves Top Picks MLK Weekend Jan 11 to Jan 14 | DC House Grooves

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