Qmmunity: Finding Your Pride

Drip Drop 10 brings urban LGBTQ music to the forefront, plus did you hear it’s Austin Pride this weekend?

Drip Drop ATX, a staple of Austin's urban LGBTQ music scene (Courtesy of Drip Drop ATX)

My first Austin Pride was in 2018 – a year after I moved to this city. My friend Jocelyn and I parked by Texas State Cemetery, then walked down Seventh until we reached the parade route. Next to us was a couple who practically robbed every float of their condoms, while we just grabbed necklaces, rainbow flags, and laughs at the cringey corporate floats. Afterward, Jocelyn and I tried every Fourth Street bar – Rain on 4th, Sellers (R.I.P.), and then Oilcan's. My most vivid memory is how much I loved dancing at Oilcan's, where they played "Bulletproof" by La Roux – a song that teenage me used to dream about gyrating to as a cool adult at a club.

This year marks the first official Pride celebration since 2019. For some, 2022's Austin Pride will be their first experience with this parade and festival. I'm so excited for you, the same way I'm excited for everyone who's counting this as their fourth or fifth or millionth Pride. What Austin Pride means to you is an entirely singular sensation, something you can cherish the same way I've held on to that hot night dancing at Oilcan's.

Drip Drop, Don't Stop: The baby child of Black-led institutions Pink Elephant Radio and Austin Black Pride, this influential party claims coveted honors such as being one of the first ATX spaces to host House of Lepore's Natalie Ms. Girl6 and the first South by Southwest urban LGBTQ music showcase. Born from besties Sheldon Darnell, Japan the Creator, and Yella Stud, Drip Drop endures because of its intentionality toward causes like anti-racism, sexual health awareness, and, of course, urban LGBTQ representation.

While Darnell and Japan both reside in Houston right now, the entire team professes their love of Austin as Drip Drop's main space. They also have a vested interest in filling the void of urban LGBTQ music spaces. "We wanted to come in and feed the need," Darnell says, stating that their collective knowledge of trap, hip-hop, and twerk-heavy music was the key to creating a place for queer folks drawn to those genres. The point of Drip Drop as a party is, Japan adds, "to celebrate and elevate a community of people and also a genre of music that goes underrepresented in Austin." As this year marks the 10th Drip Drop event, the three organizers are extremely proud and sure of their work. "Never in doubt," as Japan summarizes, "always in route."

From the start, Drip Drop presented an alternative to the usual queer Austin fare. Yella Stud emphasizes the importance of finding venues that appreciated an urban LGBTQ audience rather than simply exploiting them for cash. "We need to feel respected where we're at and welcomed," she says, adding that the racial makeup of their audience previously inspired irrational worries from venues about violence. However, Drip Drop prides themselves on never having any fights go down at their events. Over time, Yella Stud says, they've grown a more trusting relationship with venues that has resulted in better opportunities to make this community event sparkle. Japan adds that the three organizers "run a tight fucking ship, excuse my French," in order to make Drip Drop a safe space for the community and the artists who come to the party.

This year's event promises tons of urban LGBTQ music, from the live music stylings of Bugz Gutta to a playlist of women hip-hop artists like Megan Thee Stallion who are, as Yella Stud puts it, running the game right now, as well as LGBTQ artists like Saucy Santana. A poolside splash at Rio Nightclub + Dayclub, the party wouldn't be going down with such intensity without the help of Austin Pride and its president, Micah Andress. In the wake of Austin Black Pride's embezzlement shock and near shuttering, Andress reached out in support, and all three organizers cite Austin Pride as a big help to Drip Drop. "By making us the official urban LGBT party of Austin Pride," Darnell says, "that gets a lot of eyes on us ... it shows some sort of solidarity with us and our cause." Though the official announcement will come this Friday at Drip Drop 10, Darnell did confirm that Austin Black Pride will be back in 2023 with a full events calendar at the ready.

"Whatever we touch, whatever we involve ourselves in, we do it 150%," Japan adds. "So keep your eyes open, because we are in fucking attack mode." (Pardon his French.)

Q'd Up

"Everybody Say Love!" Pride Market The second annual shebang kicks off Pride early with local vendors, music, a drag performance, and Drag Makeup 101. Thu., Aug. 18, 5-9pm. South Congress Hotel, 1603 S. Congress. fb.com/eastsidepopup.

Queue'd UP The Austin Pride edition of BabiBoi's queer music showcase, this time at Cheer Ups. Thu., Aug. 18, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. Free. cheerupcharlies.com.

FreakNik 22 This Pride party/mini-ball is all about Y2K vibes, with DJ Orya spinning yer fave 2000s tunes until midnight when DJ Akasha Juicy takes over with MC Ms.Girl6. Fri., Aug. 19, 10pm. Hen House, 117 W. Fourth. $10-15. instagram.com/houseoflepore

Queer Up Charlies The Cheer Ups crew brings a "pre-Pride porta party"/"indoctrination camp"/good time with DJs Dylan Reece, Cap'n Tits, Ivan, Purple Matter, and Midheaven. Fri., Aug. 19, 8pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. instagram.com/cheerupcharlies.

Drip Drop 10 Get wet with the Drip and Dip Pool Party. DJ Melissa Bellz spins while you swim with all the hottest queers. Swimwear suggested but not mandatory. Fri., Aug. 19, 9:30pm. Rio Nightclub + Dayclub, 601 Rio Grande. $15-500. fb.com/dripdropatx.

Gulabo Night Enjoy Bollywood beats at this queer Pride edition of Bollywood Night with KhushATX, an Austin South Asian LGBTQ group. Fri., Aug. 19, 10pm. Sellers Underground, 213 W. Fourth. $15. fb.com/khushatx.

Euphoric Pride Pregame Get happy; get euphoric; get all gay'd up at this Pride pregame at the W Hotel with your hostesses with the mostess Vylette Ward and much more. Plus: Yer Qmmunity editor James will be there! Sat., Aug. 20, 6-9pm. W Hotel, 200 Lavaca. whotelaustin.com

DIY Austin Pride All ages are welcome to enjoy refreshments, decorate bandannas and flags, and make pronoun buttons. Sat., Aug. 20, noon-3pm. Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina. library.austintexas.gov.

Austin Pride Celebration Back and better than ever, Austin Pride 2022 includes fest headliner CupcakKe, over 100 vendor booths, inflatable games and carnival rides, drag queen story time, drinks & food, and more. Sat., Aug. 20, 11am-7pm. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia. $17-150. austinpride.org.

Service This afterparty for after Pride has a lineup of all y'all's favorites on every level of the Coco Complex. Sat., Aug. 20, 9pm. Coconut Club, 310-B Colorado. instagram.com/coconutclub.austin.

Sacred Space Celebrate all those queer safe havens at this party honoring the past. Sat., Aug. 20, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River.

Drag for All! Resound Presents throws an all-ages drag show hosted by May Magdalene, benefiting Out Youth. Sun., Aug. 21, 5:30pm-12mid. Parish, 501 Brushy. $5. parishaustin.com.

Pride Recovery Drag Bingo Brunch Peel outta bed still in your rainbow glitter for this post-Pride bingo brunch with good food, good drinks, good prizes, and performances from those good, good Extragram queens. Sun., Aug. 21, 1-3pm. Fairmont Austin, 101 Red River.

Queering Relationships A talk on queer relationships with a guided watercolor painting session. Tue., Aug. 23, 6:30-8pm. 701 Tillery St. Ste. A-1. fb.com/allgo.

Prism 35: aGLIFF Celebrating 35 years, the local LGBTQ+ film fest returns with films on the big screen. Aug. 24-28. Galaxy Highland 10, 6700 Middle Fiskville. $75-125. agliff.org.

Marsha P. Johnson Birthday Celebration Celebrate this queer historical icon's 77th birthday with art projects, entertainment, and cake at the park's Tudor Cottage. Wed., Aug. 24, 7pm. Pease Park, 1100 Kingsbury. fb.com/equalitytexas.

Divina: Celia Cruz Vs. Gloria Estefan Join host Tatiana Cholula, Ruby Knight, and DJ Y2K, for this drag tribute show to two Latinx legends. Wed., Aug. 24, 9pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. instagram.com/divina_atx.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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LGBTQ, Drip Drop 10, Sheldon Darnell, Japan the Creator, Yella Stud, Austin Pride, Austin Black Pride, Austin Pride 2022

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