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Drew's Gay Guide to Denver

Drew's Gay Guide to Denver

Guides to great cities by the locals who know them best!

Originally published on

My name: Drew

City/town: Denver, Colorado

Relationship status: Single

What was the last vacation you took? Where did you go? Where do you most want to go?

It's been way too long since I've had a vacation, but the last one was probably good old San Diego, California (the pic you see was taken right before I got dropped trou at Black's Beach). There's nothing like sunning your buns and skinny-dipping to make your trip a memorable one.

Are any famous people from your town?

The 'Unsinkable' Molly Brown, India.Arie, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Don Cheadle, Roseanne Barr, Karl Rove (boo!), The Fray. Beat writers Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and Alan Ginsberg spent a lot of time in Denver, and former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice both went to school here.

What are some of the things you love most about your town?

It's got a little bit of everything-great food and restaurants, theatres, museums, festivals and cultural events. It's close to skiing and the mountains, and it's a sports fan's wet dream of a city, with the Broncos, the Nuggets, the Rockies and the Avalanche providing year-round entertainment and opportunities to drink beer and eat hot-dogs. The weather's great-it's really a treat to be able to experience all four seasons. And it's pretty centrally located, so that anyplace else you want to visit in the country is only a short plane ride away. It's the best of all worlds. Year after year, Denver is always high on the lists of most livable cities, fittest cities, best date cities-you name the list and Denver's on it!

What are some great ideas for a romantic gay date?

Denver's known for being fitness oriented, so a hike or bike ride is always a great idea. The downtown pedestrian mall, the 16th Street Mall, has horse-drawn carriages on just about every corner-perfect for after-dinner romance. The Bump and Grind Caf? has a fun Drag Brunch every weekend, and Denver's Demented Divas perform every Wednesday night at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret. A concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one sure way to wow a fella. And if you like to keep things simple, you can always just grab a coffee at my favorite coffee shop in Denver-St. Mark's.

What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs?

JR's is twink central, and the Sunday Beer Bust at the Wrangler is de rigueur for bears and their admirers (and Denver's got lots of bears-woof!). If you like strippers (I like strippers), you can hit Boyztown just about any night of the week. As for dance clubs, I'm a big fan of our brand-new club Mo's. It's a huge, multi-story building with some truly state-of-the-art amenities (outdoor shower, anyone?) that I am looking forward to taking full advantage of this summer.

What are your favorite gay parties or events in your town, if any? What is the crowd or scene like at those places?

Far and away, the biggest and best gay event is Denver PrideFest. I've been the official blogger for the celebration for the past two years, and with attendance of around 250,000, it's one of the top 10 Pride events in the country. People come from far and wide to experience the sights, the sounds, and the solidarity.

Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out there (or isn't there one)?

I love this question. I recently wrote a series of articles on PDGays (Public Displays of Gayness), and I went all over the city with a really hot guy, kissing and holding hands to see what kind of reactions we would get. From the 16th Street Mall to the Cherry Creek Mall and from local restaurants and cafes to concert venues, we never had a bit of trouble and actually got cheered on a couple of times. However, I'm a big, aggressive boy who doesn't mind confrontation, so I wouldn't recommend it to everybody. It's important to remember to keep yourself safe and always be aware of your surroundings!

What is the gay community like there?

Well, a lot of people are surprised to find out that Denver has the 7th largest LGBT population in the country, and therefore, we are fortunate to have communities and cliques of all kinds. We've got bois and bears, drag queens and kingz, politicos and activists, couples and families, artists and athletes. We've got it all.

Where do you shop for clothes?

I just steal clothes from the guys I date. I had to give back a great pair of Abercrombie & Fitch boxers only yesterday. I really liked the guy, but I loved those boxers.

Where do you go for other forms of entertainment-live theater, concerts, movies, art exhibits?

All of the above! I'm lucky because it's all part of my job writing for and I get to go to pretty much everything for free. That leaves more money for drinks! We've got a great ongoing gay film series called Cinema Q at the Starz FilmCenter and a number of top-notch sports teams like the Colorado Climax elite men's hockey team to cheer on. We've also got a number of excellent theatres, including the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "must-dos" you'd recommend?

I'd take 'em out drinking. We're a mile above sea level here and a few drinks can knock visitors on their asses pretty quick. It's economical and fun to watch. A lot of bang for your buck.

Is there a local cocktail that's popular in your town?

Colorado is home to the Coors Brewing Company (third largest brewing company in the nation!) and we love our Coors and Coors Light. Or you can try out the hot new drink sensation that is sweeping the Mile High City. It's called Tangaria and some friends of mine just invented it. It's a mix of rum, vodka, Tang, sangria, and Tabasco. Like the guys in Denver, it goes down nice and easy.

Where do the hot boys in your town tend to hang out?

They mostly hang out at my house. Mostly.

If you had to describe the "average gay boy" style of your town in two words, what would they be?

Shaved balls.

Do you have any local celebs?

Colorado is lucky and proud to be home to superstar gay activists and politicians like philanthropist and entrepreneur Tim Gill and Rep. Jared Polis, the first openly gay man to ever be elected as a freshman to Congress. I don't know if they're celebrities but they're certainly heroes. And of course, our Nina Flowers was first-runner-up in the fabulous first season of RuPaul's Drag Race. She worked it, loca!

What bar has the cutest/hottest bartenders?

I'd say JR's and The Compound are tied, with two particularly hot bartenders apiece, but JR's has this adorable little barback I've had my eye on for a while, so I might have to give them top (bottom?) honors.

Do gay men and lesbians hang out together in your town or is that just unheard of?

It happens a lot more than it used to. It's a great thing and mostly due to the awesome parties and events thrown by Dede Frain's Babes Around Denver - their monthly First Friday is the largest monthly women's party in the country!

Has your town ever had a "gay scandal?"

I know we're not supposed to use names, but he'll be crushed if I don't. Anybody remember an escort named Mike Jones and a certain nationally famous pastor named Ted Haggard? I say escort and not whore, because like Amy Sedaris says, "If you walk 'til you limp, and give a cut to a pimp, you're a street whore." Mike's not that.

Do you have a hometown crush?

I've generally got a baker's dozen going at any one time. Denver's an easy place to find crushes. The guys are good looking, educated, fitness-and-activity oriented and just all-around good guys, for the most part. Matter of fact, I'd go on record as saying that Denver's got some of the hottest and most dateable guys anywhere. And I've been around. God help me, have I been around.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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