Qmmunity: 50 Years Queer History

Everything you need to know to make the best of Pride Weekend


Celebrate queerness in all its forms this weekend! (Photo by Jana Birchum)

A lot can happen in 50 years. Or, perhaps, I mean a lot has happened in 50 years. In honor of this weekend's 29th annual Austin Pride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Beth Sullivan and I set off several months ago to uncover the history of Pride and LGBTQ rights in the capital city. What we found was an intricate, rich, and complicated past, present, and future stemming from 1958 onward (see "The History of the LGBTQ Movement in Austin," Aug. 9). Of course, we also uncovered – and rehashed – years of drama because, as it turns out, queers have always had a flair for the dramatic. We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention that this article would not have been possible without the collaboration, kindness, and support from photographers Robin Birdfeather, Scott Van Osdol, and our own Jana Birchum; Kate Messer, Vicky Killgore, Curran Nault, and Toby Johnson; Waller Creek Conservancy's Kim Barker and Donald Miller; and the generous assistance of the Austin History Center's Managing Archivist Mike Miller, Media Archivist Madeline Moya, and Administrative Assistant Kelly Hanus. And, of course, our editors. I'd also like to thank Seedlings Gardening for the parade float support, and all my QTs who painted signs last weekend. Thanks for making this possible.

I'd be lying if I said it was easy. While I don't think either of us bled, this story contains our sweat and tears, because this qmmunity – that we are both in such awe of – has lost so many (there's a Beth Westbrook and Ceci Gratias-sized hole in Austin; and I'm at a loss for words regarding so many others who contributed to our queerscape), fought so hard, and made monumental strides. Thank you for sharing your stories. Who knows how long the road ahead is, but I know we're going to get there. All the proof I need is the many queertastic, radical, and first-ever events happening this weekend. Our qmmunity – from the L to the very end of the alphabet soup at every intersection in between – is truly inspirational. I hope this issue and the stories within make you feel the same. See you in the streets, babes.

3 To See


Queer love is radical (Image: Lisa Davis Photograph Archive (AR.2010.022). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas. Courtesy Austin History Center.)

Austin Pride 2019 Disco on down to celebrate Stonewall's 50th and 29 years of Pride in Austin. Shantay and stay at the fest at Fiesta Gardens from 11am-6pm, then sashay your way to the parade that'll wash Downtown in glitter, rainbows, and a whole lotta beautiful queers at 8pm. Sat., Aug. 10, 11am-11pm. Fiesta Gardens (2101 Jesse E. Segovia) & Congress 12th-Fourth. $20+.

ATX Trans Pride Holy hotness. GirlFriend and yer babelicious hosts p1nkstar & Y2K are bringing Austin its first ever Trans Pride event to celebrate our fab trans and enby qmmunities! With Tea Time With T Boys, Belladonna, Saakred, La Morena, and San Antonio's Plastik Collective. Part of the proceeds benefits Transgender Education Network of Texas. Sat., Aug. 10, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $5-10 suggested donation.

Dyke March We're so freakin' excited for the return of a Dyke March in Austin! Close out this historic weekend with a whole lotta lezzie, dyke, queer, nonbinary, and trans folx taking to the streets to reclaim space and celebrate all-inclusive, free, queer, radical space-making! Hosted by Nikki DaVaughn! March starts at 6pm (with lots of accessibility options), but come early for sign making and cool off after in the waterslide! And thank Beth Schindler and Anita Obasi. Door donations benefit Sex Workers Outreach Project. Sun., Aug. 11, 2-8pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. Donations encouraged.

Q'd Up

WerQ It Out! Austin Pride’s Inaugural Hiring Fair Looking for queer-friendly work? Austin Pride's gotcha covered with dozens of LGBTQIA+-inclusive employers at this hiring fair. Thu., Aug. 8, 11am-3pm. Workforce Solutions North, 9001 N. I-35 #110. www.austinpride.org.

Coronation 26 A weekend of drag royalty with the United Court of Austin: Emperor Timothy Rollin Stone and Empress Hexa Dulce. Thu.-Sun., Aug. 8-11. Holiday Inn Austin Midtown, 6000 Middle Fiskville. $20-93. www.unitedcourtofaustin.org.

Loud & Proud! Happy Hour & Benefit Concert RetailMeNot hosts a Pride Party to celebrate Austin's awesome LGBTQIA qmmunity with Pelvis Wrestley, Caleb De Casper, Christelle Bofale, and more. Thu., Aug. 8, 6pm-12mid. Barracuda, 611 E. Seventh. $10+.

Video Swim Night Austin Music Video Festival is bringing back their poolside music video party. Catch world premieres from the W's rooftop swimming pool, live sets from Dougie Do of Magna Carda, TC Superstar, and more. Thu., Aug. 8, 6:30-10pm. The W, 200 Lavaca. Free with RSVP. www.fb.com/austinmusicvideofestival.

Carol What a special screening you are ... flung out of space. Thu., Aug. 8, 7pm. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. www.austintheatre.org.

The Official Unofficial Austin Pride Comedy Show Grandma Steven emcees with the Kind Clinic on-site! 18 and up to play. Thu., Aug. 8, 7pm. The North Door, 502 Brushy. $10.

Official Pride Comedy Show An all-queer comedy lineup that was so good, they had to add a second show! Thu., Aug. 8, 9pm-12mid. Velveeta Room, 521 E. Sixth. $5. www.austinpride.org.

Nite School Bragglights, Denton's Lorelei K, Dallas' LLORA, ILOVEYOU.TXT.VBS, and DJs Jonathan Valdez and Scorpio dive deep into the dark wave. Thu., Aug. 8, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. Free.

Trans, Enby, Intersex & Queer Nite Swim Jump on in, the water's fine. Wanna join but worried you won't know how to find these cuties? Look for the trans flag flying. Meet at the deep end on the Azie Morton side! Thu., Aug. 8, 9-10pm. Barton Springs Pool, 2201 Barton Springs Rd. Free.

Cassandro, the Exotico! Shot in 16 mm, Marie Losier's doc is a colorful portrait of lucha libre star Cassandro, one the industry's first openly gay wrestlers. Thu., Aug. 8, 9:30pm. Alamo South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar. www.drafthouse.com.

Way Gay Video Dance Party Dance into the Pride spirit with music videos from George Michael, Beyoncé, and Whitney Houston – plus glow sticks and confetti. Thu., Aug. 8, 9:45pm. Alamo Ritz, 320 E. Sixth. www.drafthouse.com.

Leslie Strawberry Hefe Beer Release Rumor has it St. Elmo Brewing is joining the beer-for-queers club with Leslie, a new strawberry hefeweizen dropping today, and 10% of the day's proceeds will be donated to Out Youth for Pride! Fri., Aug. 9, noon-11:45pm. St. Elmo Brewing Co., 440 E. St. Elmo.

Austin Bouldering Project Pride Party Werk up a sweat with queer climbing cuties. Proceeds benefit Out Youth and GLAM Climbing Club. Fri., Aug. 9, 5-10pm. Austin Bouldering Project, 979 Springdale #150. $5 after 5pm. www.fb.com/austinboulderingproject.

Drip Drop 7: Austin Pride Blame It on Kway hosts this overly fabulous Pride party with Austin Black Pride, Pink Elephant Radio, and sounds by DJ Shante. Get ready to drip drop with pride, y'all. Fri., Aug. 9, 7pm-2am. The Venue ATX, 516 E. Sixth. $20, GA; $50, VIP.

Milktoast Millie & the Scabby Knees Album Release Hot damn, catch local queergrass band and celebrate their album release with the hot and heavy Butch County babes. Fri., Aug. 9, 7-11:30pm. Hard Luck Lounge, 3526 E. Seventh. $5.

Qalm Join the locals bringing this Brooklyn party for queer introverts to town. Sober space-making, cozy connections, and quiet queers. Fri., Aug. 9, 7:30-9:30pm. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar. Free, but RSVP. www.queeret.com.

Ladies of LCD Soundsystem These grrrls must love an Austin dance party, cuz they're back at it. Brave the heat, and dance! Fri., Aug. 9, 8pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $15-17.

One Singular Sensation: A Tribute to Garold Join the Bear in commemorating the life and times of Garold Bates, who left us, far too soon, last year. Music, drinks – $3 peppermint schnapps shots – and stories honoring Garold all night long. Fri., Aug. 9, 9pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

Poo Poo Platter: RuPaul vs. Divine Drag Tribute Kick off yer Pride Weekend with PPP, cuz the OutHaus grrrls are getting extra with a special tribute celebrating two of the most famous drag queens. Fri., Aug. 9, 10pm. Elysium, 705 Red River. $10.

The Love Shack VIQ Lounge at Austin Pride This year, Austin Black Pride is hosting Austin Pride's Very Important Queer lounge! Feelin' fancy? Do it this way with catered food, open bar, AC, meet and greets, and more! Plus, 100% of the proceeds go back to ABP! Sat., Aug. 10, 11am-6pm. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia. $17-150. www.austinblackpride.org.

Iron Bear Pride 2019 A night filled with all kinds of Pride, with DJs Kelly and Alpha. Come before the parade or after! Sat., Aug. 10, 4pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth. Free.

Disco Inferno: Austin Pride Official Womxn’s Party Lesbutante & the Boss invite you to burn, baby, burn at this rooftop Pride party overlooking the parade as it sparkles past! Don yer disco lewks and do the hustle. NOTE: Regular tix for this event are SOLD OUT. Sat., Aug. 10, 6pm-2am. The Vaughn, 310 Colorado. $45, VIP.

Equality Disco HRC Austin invites all you dancing queens to join their parade watch party on the dance floor of the Stephen F. Austin hotel. Colleen DeForrest emcees, while DJ Chorizo Funk takes you to Funkytown. Sat., Aug. 10, 7pm. InterContinental Stephen F. Austin, 701 Congress. $20, GA; $50, VIP. www.hrc.org.

ATXGFL Pride Party Wanna get into the Pride spirit but aren't feelin' the parade? Join ATXGFL and AGBL (that's gay football and gayer basketball) for a pingpong-inspired Pride party. Donations – cash or art supplies – benefit Out Youth. Sat., Aug. 10, 8pm-12mid. SPiN Austin, 213 W. Fifth. $10 suggested donation.

Full Spectrum Reclaim Pride as a rebellious movement with Unbounded's multisensory celebration featuring DJ sets and performances by Yyyn0t, Belladonna, Adiean, Gigi, KD Kinetic, Kid Pharma of Pinche Mal, mid^heaven of Cut Up, and more! Sat., Aug. 10, 8pm. Native Hostel, 807 E. Fourth. $15-20.

Fierce on Fourth: Drag Show & Brunch Nadine Hughes and her DJ crew bring you a weekly Sunday Funday brunch party with drink specials, queens, and $5 from the cover supports Austin Pride. Sundays. Chispas, 214 W. Fourth. $15.

L&B Pride Sunday Brunch & Rooftop Pool Chill Nurse yer Pride hangovers with brunch, babes, and pool time courtesy of Lesbutante & the Boss. The fixed menu brunch (downstairs) runs 'til 2pm – and then the pool party starts! Sun., Aug. 11. Brunch: 11am-2pm; chill: 2-6pm. The Westin Downtown, 310 E. Fifth. $40.

Cavalier Queers: Post Pride Drag Brunch Getcher Pride-recovery, alt-drag brunch on with Rhonda Jewels and Mandy Quinn. Sun., Aug. 11, noon-2pm. The Cavalier, 2400 Webberville.

Kimpton Off the Record: Brunch Out With Trevor Willam, of Drag Race fame, hosts a post-Pride brunch with dranks, bites, and yer fave local queens. Ticket and silent auction sales (with prizes from Kimpton Hotels) benefit the Trevor Project. Sun., Aug. 11, noon-3pm. Hotel Van Zandt, 605 Davis. $75. www.hotelvanzandt.com.

Queer Riot Fest Queer sounds, queer crafts, and queer art in the name of LGBTQ equality with Nomi Ruiz (!!), Plastik Collective, Juno Black, Jane Claire, and more. Sun., Aug. 11, 5-11pm. One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Caves Rd. $15. www.oneworldtheatre.org.

TGQ Social A way-chill hangout for everyone and anyone on the trans spectrum – genderqueer folks, trans ladies, trans fellas, gender nonconforming types, nonbinary babes – and allies, too. Second Sundays, 6-9pm. Butterfly Bar, 2307 Manor Rd. www.fb.com/tgqsocial.

Camp Wannakiki Exclusive Preview Party Our girl Miss Kitty Litter is bringing you an exclusive sneak peek at season 2 to find out who gets crowned the queen of camp. Fingers crossed for Kitty! Mondays, 8pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

Auditions for Austin Gay Men’s Chorus Looking to stretch yer vocal cords? Email to try out! Mon., Aug. 12, 6-9pm. Austin Gay Men's Chorus, 610 E. 45th. membership@austingaymenschorus.org.

Pose S2 Weekly Watch Party Austin Black Pride, AIDS Services of Austin, and The Q Austin invite you to join 'em on the couches for qmmunity hangs and Pose. Refreshments and snacks provided. Tue., Aug. 13, 8:30-10:30pm. The Q Austin, 1023 Springdale, Bldg 14. www.theqaustin.org.

Boiz Go Viral! Internet-inspired drag from the Boiz of Austin – complete with a whole new member and guests Paradox Rei and Danny Fox-Trot. 18 and up welcome. And yes, Cut Up will also be in the house! Tue., Aug. 13, 9pm. Elysium, 705 Red River. $5.

Glass Grapes, Pelvis Wrestley, Lord Friday the 13th Make it a fun-tastic Tuesday. Tue., Aug. 13, 9pm-12:30am. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. www.cheerupcharlies.com.

Austin Trans-Cendence A support group for trans folks, nonbinary peeps, those who are questioning, and their friends and family. Second & fourth Wednesdays, 7-9pm. First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover. Free. www.transcendint.org.

Spotlight, ON! Open Mic Drag Night Bulimianne Rhapsody hosts a drag open mic for new and/or aspiring performers to come out and knock socks off! Third Thursdays, 10pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

Whatsinthemirror? Presents: Fireflies A play, set somewhere in the Jim Crow South, about civil rights and unrest. Returning to the director's seat, Tarik Daniels brings Donja R. Love's work to the Austin stage. Aug. 14-18, Wed.-Sat., 8pm; Sat.-Sun., 4pm. Santa Cruz Theater, 1805 E. Seventh. $15. www.whatsinthemirror.org.

Drag Queen Bingo Louisianna Purchase hosts the game and performs between rounds. Bingo! Second Wednesdays, 7-9pm. St. Elmo Brewing Co., 440 E. St. Elmo. Free. www.stelmobrewing.com.

The Gay Agenda Emmet Claire Hunker hosts a queer AF comedy show bringing the community together for a night of belly laughs and conversations around queer history, sexual health, and sex positivity. Third Thursdays, 7:30-10pm. Palomino Coffee, 4136 E. 12th. $5. www.fb.com/thee.gay.agenda.

TRANSom From the wonderful minds at Ground Floor Theatre comes a new work created by trans and nonbinary artists about found family and trans and nonbinary communities! Aug. 15-31. Thu.-Sat., 8-10pm; Sun., 5-7pm. Extra show: Wed., Aug. 28, 8-10pm. Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale. $25 (or pay what you can) www.groundfloortheatre.org.

wILD 2.0: Hot Girl Summer Is it hot in here, or is that just Mary Jane Styles heating things up? Come for the entertainment, stay for Targét (the newest cast member). All ages welcome, and it's BYOB, babes. Thu., Aug. 15, 10pm. The Electric Church, 5018 E. Cesar Chavez. $10.

Big Gay Field Day Join the OUT Foundation for its first-ever queertastic field day complete with all the playground games you loved as a kiddo. Registration open thru Wed., Aug. 14; field day is Sat., Aug. 17, 8am-noon. Zilker Park Polo Picnic Area. $100 per team of four; $25 per individual. info@iamout.org, www.theoutfoundation.org.

Blanton Museum of Art: This Is the Day This new show highlights new developments in Jeffrey Gibson's genre-bridging practice, with 50 works made between 2014 and 2018 – including intricately beaded wall-hangings and punching bags, paintings, ceramics, garments, helmets, and a new video commissioned for this exhibition. Through Sept. 29. The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK, 512/471-5482. www.blantonmuseum.org.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin LGBTQ, Summer of Pride, Qmmunity, Austin Pride, Austin Pride 2019, Stonewall Riots, Austin History Center, LGBTQ Rights, Kate Messer, Beth Westbrook, Ceci Gratias

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