I honestly didn’t know if I was going to do Pride Underground this year. Not because of a lack of quality DIY, music-forward, independent-of-Capital Pride events this year (actuality, this is, by far, the largest collection of pride events I have ever found that fit that bill). I was mostly hesitant because a) it is a very large undertaking, and b) this is a confusing time to be gay in America, with lots of heated and needed discussions about what is and what should be the point of Pride in the Trump era. I thought maybe this was a year to just take a seat, and focus more on listening to the people who have largely felt silenced during Pride celebrations, rather than try to insert into the narrative my take on what a good party agenda is for the weekend.
Concerns about the commercialization of Pride and the lack of representation of POC, women and the trans community are certainly not new, but they’ve been more formally organized this year under a coalition of queer organizations and individuals called No Justice No Pride. Their efforts have solicited a wide-range of responses from Capital Pride and the community at large. Some see it as a much-needed activist element that has been missing from Pride for too long. Some choose to ignore. Others are dismissive of a “pesky bunch” they like to label as “the intolerant left.” To be honest, some of the in-fighting on both sides is getting a bit out of control, and I think most people in the gay community feel somewhere in the middle. I’m hearing a lot of calls for “can’t we all just get along?” However, while that sentiment might be cute, it only stifles the meaningful and needed dialogue we need to have in order move our community forward. You don’t have to support of all of NJNP’s viewpoints or agree with their tactics, but now is now the time to be dismissive of people who for too long have not had a seat at the table.
These are trying times, and dance culture has an important role to play in organizing and providing relief for those who are resisting and fighting back. DC’s dance community is strong, and LGBTQ+ people are vital to its current health- providing quality, welcoming events all over the DMV. It was these people who reached out to me asking if Pride Underground was happening again this year who ultimately convinced me that these listings need to happen, now more than ever.
So with that, I present to you the Pride Underground 2017 listings. As I mentioned before, there are so many good events this year, and I wish I could have provided detailed write-ups for all of them. So I kindly ask that you click on all the links provided and learn about these events and add the people throwing them to your radar, even if they don’t ultimately make your dance card during this very busy Pride weekend. I’ve also included information for marches, panel discussions, and activist demonstrations under an “Act Up” column, so make sure you do more than just drink and dance this weekend! And if there’s anything I missed (and I’m sure I did), please reach out to me. I am happy to add them (you can reach me here)! Category is queer, non-official, and welcoming to all.
And if you dig what this is all about, please share on social media and use #PrideUnderground, if you’re so inclined. Happy pride!
Wednesday – June 7th
DJ: The Barber Streisand
Drag Queens: Donna Slash, Salvadora Dali, Cis Jenner
Location: The Big Board
411: Market Crash is celebrating 3 years of throwing Wednesday night, bi-monthly gay parties on H Street, with a rotating cast of DJs and drag queens. The burgers at Big Board are really good too, FYI!
DJs: Eletrox , DJ Salamander Silk and Milko
Location: Flash Rooftop
Thursday – June 8th
DJs: Tommy Cornelis, The Barber Streisand, Lemz, Keenan Orr
Drag Queen: Moon Baby (Pittsburgh)
Location: Wonderland Ballroom
411: Lemz is back in DC and already busy, and he’s teamed up with Keenan for a new monthly at Wonderland. I’m on the bill along w/ Barber Streisand (Bryan Smith), and performing is Moon Baby- a seriously fierce queen from PGH, who is a favorite of the Honcho crew. Make sure you don’t miss her performances throughout the night.
DJs: Ripping Headaches (Special Guest) + Wolfblister & Dianamatic (Schadenfreude Neubauten)
Location: Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar
411: Schadenfreude Neubauten takes place on 2nd Thursday’s at Dr Clocks- a place I like to call the DJ incubator space. It’s always free and weird: minimal synth // post-punk // wave // ebm // industrial // and whatever else.
Regrets Only: S&M Pride Kickoff
DJs: DJ Lisa Frank & Sarah Myers
Location: Ten Tigers
411: Ten Tigers has been a much welcome addition for DC’s dance community- providing an intimate, uptown space with great sound, good food, and a nice slate of parties eager to take advantage. Regrets Only (Nitti, Morgan, Taiga and guests) got in early, pushing a weekly Thursday shame fest! For pride, Morgan and Sarah Myers take over and are encouraging fetish gear.
DJ: El Especialista (El Zol)
Women & Queer Folk in Leather: A Panel Discussion at The DC Center
Friday – June 9th
DJ: DJ Alex DB (BODYWORK D.C.), DJ Kristy la Rat (Anthology of Booty, Maracuyeah), MOTHERSHIESTER (Anthology of Booty), Natty Boom (Anthology of Booty), DJ INDANILE (Anthology of Booty), DJ bent (Anthology of Booty), JUNEBULLET (She Rex), DJ C.RUSH (She Rex), DJ COACH (She Rex)
Location: Black Cat
411: I’m not even sure how many years this has been going on, but it’s safe to say this party has achieved legendary pride status for DC! 2 floors of fun at Black Cat featuring the full cast of DJs from the Anthology of Booty and She Rex crews.
DJs: Bright Light Bright Light, Shea Van Horn, Strike Stone
Location: Green Lantern
411: The indie-synth pop singer Bright Light Bright Light, who has toured with the likes of Scissor Sisters and Elton John, is back again for Otter Crossing’s pride party! This year, Shea Van Horn and OX resident Strike Stone join the lineup!
Friday: Furball DC Pride! at DC Eagle
Petworth FUNK with DJ Freez and Adrian Collazo at Looking Glass Lounge
The Coven & MimSol Entertainment present Pride at U Street Music Hall
SEQUENCE.749_SHXCXCHCXSH at Warehouse Location TBA
No Justice No Pride – Night March at Logan Circle
Saturday – June 10th
DJs: DJ Minx (Women on Wax, Detroit), The NeedlExchange (Bil Todd, Baronhawk, DJ Lisa Frank, Tommy Cornelis) and Jacq Jill (JUICE, DC)
Location: Warehouse Location in NE DC, TBA
411: TNX, hot off officially adding Morgan as a full-time member, are back at it for their fourth pride party- this time moving into the ROAM warehouse location for their first all-night affair for pride! Joining them is DJ Minx, the legendary Detroit recently named one of the five best performers at Movement by Resident Adviser, for her DC debut plus local favorite Jacq Jill. I’m obviously super biased, but this is THE party of the weekend. Pro-tip: do not get wasted at the parade or other day-drinking festivities! Save your energy for this. And if you’re worried about this affecting your marching ability on Sunday, we promise Minx is gonna leave you more uplifted coming out of it than you came in!
DJs: Devon Trotter, The Barber Streisand, Dean Sullivan
Location: Flash Rooftop
411: I’m so glad Flash is bringing back this fundraiser for one of my favorite organizations: HIPS. This is gonna be the perfect post-parade, pre-turnup event on Saturday! Here’s their mission statement: HIPS promotes the health, rights, and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion, or circumstance. HIPS provides compassionate harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement that is respectful, non-judgmental, and affirms and honors individual power and agency.
Pride 2017: Boys Noize w/ Outputmessage, Keenan Orr, Lemz at U Street Music Hall
Meso Creso 1,001 Beats Presents: SHINE at Zeba Bar
Mixtape Pride Party with DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer at 9:30 Club
PRIDE at the Byrd at Songbyrd
CHRISTEENE, Nastie Band (feat. Roddy Bottum of Faith No More and Imperial Teen), DJ Donna Slash at Black Cat
Sunday – June 11th
⛱⛱ BODYWORK ⛱⛱
DJs: DJ Precolumbian (Philly) and DJ Olive T (NY)
Location: The Airedale
411: The correctly spelled Bodywork DJs, Alex DB and Abby, are throwing a special Sunday evening Bodywork just for pride and have booked a really dope headliner to boot in DJ Precolumbian (check out this great mix and Q&A she did w/ DISCWOMAN). Those still standing from a long weekend of dancing and marching are in for a treat!
Deep Tech XI: Cindel (6.11) at Old Engine 12
ROAR: Rooftop Beer Bust (w/ DJ Mike Babbitt) at Uproar
Flesh World (Mem Limp Wrist), Kombat, Koev Halev, Broken Grids at Slash Run
Trade has been such a welcome addition gay bar to DC. It wasn’t that long ago that underground queer artists couldn’t get booked at most gay bars, but Trade has totally changed the landscape. Check ’em out all weekend!