Qmmunity: BT2 Joins Ranks of Gay Bars Austin Has Loved and Lost

We can still do our part to preserve its history


BT2 (Courtesy of Tino Calderon)

BT2 has closed. The North Austin gay bar, which had temporarily closed back in March, announced its permanent shuttering on May 7. With COVID-19 measures compounding preexisting money matters, including a bankruptcy filing last fall, making rent wasn't viable, BT2 co-owners Ray McDermett and Tino Calderon told me in a weekend interview (see our extended Q&A soon). It's a devastating loss. At a time when gay bars nationwide are already disappearing, BT2's closure reminds us what's at stake when we lose these institutions. Since opening in 2012 as 'Bout Time II, the second incarnation of 'Bout Time (1984-2012) did what gay bars do best: It gave Austin's qmmunity more than just a watering hole. There were the annual T-Day dinners; drag artists caught first breaks; you could lose yourself (and maybe find somebody else) on the dance floor. The honor of "oldest continually operating gay bar in Austin" belongs to OCH at 30 years. Still, if you were to combine both of 'Bout Time's iterations, then the BT family line would clock in at 36. While BT2 joins the ranks of gay bars this city has loved and lost, we can still do our part to preserve its history. So, in honor of keeping the Gay Place's "barchive" tradition alive, send your memories of BT2 to qmmunity@austinchronicle.com. From the nights you can't forget fast enough to the wee hours of the morning that came too fast, I want it all – the glitter and the gristle. We've lost a tangible testament to Austin's queer legacy, y'all. Let's make sure it's not forgotten.

2 to Do

Lizzy Caroloke Log into the Zoom meeting, mute yourself until your turn, then sing yer a$$ off from your living room and out into the interwebs. Thursday, May 14 & 21, 6pm. Free. www.fb.com/lizzycaroloke.

DJ Chorizo Funk The "Best of Austin" award-winning DJ's cumbia beats are so nice, you should rock your body to 'em to twice. Facebook Live: Fridays, 8pm; Instagram: Saturdays, 10pm. www.fb.com/djchorizofunk; www.instagram.com/chorizofunk.

Q'd Up

The Dating Show The Q is recruiting for an online dating show game. www.asaustin.org/theq.

Art Heals Fest Submissions dedicated to ending HIV & mental health stigma. www.whatsinthemirror.org.

COVID-19 Impact Survey To help allgo find ways to provide resources to QPOC in need. www.allgo.org.

Trans Wellness Reading Group Lit from queer and trans authors. Through June 18. Thursdays, 6:30-8pm. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.

All Together ATX Fundraiser Feat. Mama Duke and Ky Krebs. Fri., May 15, 8-9pm. $10. www.fb.com/swingleftatx.

Artists On Series Ona's workshop, "Black Ecopoetics." Sat., May 16, noon-2pm. Free. www.fb.com/atxinterfaces.

Thee Lonely Gays Social Find a QT, bae, or friend. Sun., May 17, 7-8:30pm. www.fb.com/thee.gay.agenda.

ADL Summer Series Jo Ivester and her son Jeremy discuss Ivester's memoir, Once a Girl, Always a Boy. Tue., May 19, 3pm. Free. austin.adl.org.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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