Miami has a party happening practically every night of the week. You could show up any evening and end up at something well worth checking out. And for queer people, the options are only growing. But with so many events popping up, how do you know where to go? Here’s a collection of some of our favorites.
1. Counter Corner
After years of seeing local homegrown talent evolve at a packed house every third Sunday at the Corner, Counter Corner recently got much bigger. Free drinks, a large stage for performers, and room to breathe. The party kicked off its revamped edition at 1306 with a mountain of drag performances throughout the night and a ton of dancing, chilling, nail art, and midnight thrifting, and it was wonderful.
Every third Sunday from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; 1306miami.com. Admission is free.
2. Gender Blender
There's nothing like a queer punk party to spice things up and Gender Blender does just that. Not only is it an event with live performances from folks like Fashion Bug Chasers, the Mold, and Nakatomi Plaza, but also there's a major highlighting of local talent such as bands and drag performers. While the party was formerly at Churchill's Pub, it just found a new home at B-Side.
3. Double Stubble
Formerly known as the early-afternoon tea dance at Gramps, Double Stubble has evolved exponentially thanks to DJ Hottpants and Kurt Fowl, who deliver on the dope tunes and dual personas every Thursday night at the bar. While karaoke goes on inside, you can get down outside and experience not one, but two performances by four drag performers between DJ sets.
4. Bingo With Miss Toto
Don't call out bingo if you don't plan to have the right shape, or else Miss Toto will tear you apart before sending you back to your seat. She also might flirt with your boyfriend before breaking down into a surprise performance of Chicago’s “Cell Block Tango” with friends and audience members. That's the kind of thing that makes bingo so fun at Gramps every Wednesday night. Well, that and free drinks, vinyl, planners, gift cards, and concert tickets you can win.
5. Lesbian Takeover
Every third Thursday of the month, Mina's Mediterraneo is taken over for a different kind of ladies’ night: Lesbian Takeover. Women are invited to enjoy drink specials and dance the night away to tunes spun by DJ Musicat from 6 to 11.
Every third Thursday from 6 to 11 p.m. at Mina's Mediterraneo, 749 NE 79th St., Miami; 786-391-0300; minasmiami.com. Admission is free but a donation of $10 is suggested. For more information, visit facebook.com/adifferentkindofladiesnight.
6. Drag Mondays
Kill Your Idol hosts a number of queer events, most recently a great live show with Kurt Fowl and Fashion Bug Chasers. But the one that kicks off the week is Drag Mondays. Every Monday night, you can dance to the beats of Deejay Smeejay and Scotty-J and experience shows by KYI’s resident performers the Eye Dolls. Other special events take place the same night, such as last week's Queer Prom.
Every Monday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; 305-672-1852; facebook.com/killyouridolmiami. Admission is free.
7. KYI: Karaoke Circus
There’s plenty of karaoke in town, but none other puts on a party like Karaoke Circus with Shelley Novak and Karloz. Novak uses her 37 years of celebrity know-how to give you the best karaoke in town, promising “nothing can touch my Patrick Swayze Roadhouse, finger-bang, rock 'n' roll, balls-to-the-wall karaoke.” That’s a hell of a promise.
Every Thursday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; 305-672-1852; facebook.com/killyouridolmiami. Admission is free.
8. Flaming Classics
Classic movies are shown all over town, but none of them comes with an especially queer and femme slant like Flaming Classics. Each screening is followed by a drag performance, highlighting the local drag scene as well as films such as What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, But I’m a Cheerleader, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. And after Jupiter Velvet ran around kissing half of the audience while Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” played, there's no telling what will happen next. Full disclosure: This writer is the co-creator of this series (and also got a lap dance from Miss Toto at a Showgirls screening this week).
Every second and fourth Sunday at 8 p.m. at Bill Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-4861; cosfordcinema.com. Admission costs $9.75 presale and $11 at the door. For more information, visit flamingclassics.com.
9. The Lab at Score
Hosted by Athena Dion, the Lab offers a party and performances all night, with an open bar from 11:30 to midnight. Shows by Dion's Lab Rats (which includes Miss Toto, Regina Black, Candi Dixx, Dasha Dixx, Helen Degenerate, and Aaliyah Jade) are peppered throughout the evening, and each week offers a different theme, from "Ice Cream Truck" to "Small World, Big Party."
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Every Friday night from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Score, 1437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-535-1111; scorebar.net. Admission is free.
10. Lemon City Day School
Lemon City Day School’s events happen infrequently, but when they do, they’re a party not to be missed — that is, if you’re lucky enough to be invited. Featuring names like Fruits and Vaseline Alley, Tawnie Silva’s inclusive and delightful private queer party has some of the best neon lighting, cool art displayed in every corner, great music by a number of DJs, performances by folks like Queef Latina and Kurt Fowl, and a ball pit and swing smack in the middle of it all.
Lemon City Day School is by invitation only, so find a friend who knows what's up.