Queer folks are ready to venture out and meet with friends late into the night once again, but this time we want to party back better. These 10 LGBTQ+ artists and entrepreneurs are doing their part to bring exuberance, joy, and revelry back to the queer community, while also infusing a little diversity into the entertainment scene.
Gottmik is the drag persona of Kade Gottlieb, the first trans man to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Gottmik placed in the top three on season 13, breaking ground for trans and nonbinary drag queens everywhere, Gottmik joins the Werq the World tour in 2022. (@gottmik)
Lesbian bartender Shannon Mustipher is the author of Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails, the beverage director at Brooklyn’s Gladys Caribbean, and founder of the professional organization, Women Leading Rum. Mustipher was given the Pioneer Award from the Tales of the Cocktail Dame Hall of Fame in 2020. (@shannonmustipher)
Gia Love is a trans activist, model, and performer who starred in Kiki, a documentary about LGBTQ+ youth participating in New York’s iconic drag and ballroom scenes, and appeared on the finale of Ryan Murphy’s Pose. (@love.gia)
Micah Marquez is the entrepreneur and organizer behind Deviant Events, a company dedicated to bringing circuit parties for brown and Black LGBTQ+ people to Atlanta’s nightlife scene. When the pandemic hit, he pivoted with DeviantTV, a podcast that promotes both body and sex positivity. (@micah_marquez)
Sam Benedict and Taylor Shubert have hosted some of Fire Island’s wildest parties and recently opened Red Eye in Hell’s Kitchen, which transforms from a mild mannered coffee shop during the day to a debauched and unpredictable nightclub after dark. The hotspot features an espresso-inspired cocktail menu created by Benedict, the current reigning Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Bartending Champion. (@taylorshubert, @gingersammynyc)
Led by Marceline Steel, Gami, Summer, and Keanu Orange, Internet Friends is a collective of Latinx, trans femme DJs devoted to ensuring a lively rave scene for Miami’s LGBTQ+ community. They’ve moved from partying in DIY spaces to filling popular music venues, hosted parties at Miami Art Week, and released mixtapes featuring underground acts from Florida and beyond. (@internetfriends.us)
Lucy Stoole is an outspoken nonbinary activist and a “motherly figure” in Chicago’s drag scene who was named the Best Drag Entertainer at the 2016 Chicago Nightlife Awards. Known for her fabulous beard and fearless looks, Stoole helped organize the Drag March for Change, pushing for accountability within Chicago’s police force and equality for Black performers within the drag scene. (@tyislucystoole)
Lisa Cannistraci (right) opened Henrietta Hudson with her business partner back in 1991, making it the oldest lesbian bar in New York City. She’s made it her business to keep the bar up-to-date and evolving alongside the queer community, with plans to expand it into an inclusive cafe and bistro. (@henriettahudson)
These three women (inset and with Girls in Wonderland performers) are Pandora Events, a company that throws massive parties for queer women, including Aqua Girl and the Women’s White Party. The ladies use their popular events to raise money for LGBTQ+ charities.
Trixie Mattel was a staple of the Milwaukee drag scene before sashaying her way onto RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014. She later won season three of All Stars. Trixie also launched a music career, a comedy tour, and a makeup line. In 2020, Trixie became the co-owner of This Is It!, Wisconsin’s oldest gay bar, first established in 1968. Her new Discovery+ series, Trixie Motel, sees her renovating a Palm Springs hotel. (@trixiemattel)