September 17, 2004
September 16, 2004
Queer in the city
A guide to all things GLBT in the Hub
If you're a recent transplant to the
Boston area or a newly arrived college student, Bay Windows provides
you with a guide to everything the GLBT community has to offer. From
cruisy clubs to the fringiest of the fringe scenes, from gay soccer
leagues to radical queer theater, metro Boston has something to offer
Get a (social) life
Boston's GLBT scene is more than just bars and clubs, although there are plenty of those, too.
Visit www.queeragenda.org to subscribe to The List, a weekly series
of e-mails listing events aimed at the lesbian, bi women's and trans
communities. Most of the events are targeted toward alternative, queer,
and activist scenes.
To access the queer underground, check out the events run by
Boston's GLBT production companies. Truth Serum Productions
(www.truthserum.org) is a staple of Boston's fringe queer scene,
staging monthly drag king karaoke shows at Club Hollywood (41 Essex
Street, Boston) and queer rock shows at clubs and bars citywide. Truth
Serum also hosts drag king workshops, amateur porn screenings,
burlesque shows, and other events to tickle your queer fancy.
For aspiring slam poets and Michelle Tea devotees, Butch Dyke Boy
Productions (www.butchdykeboy.com) runs Gender Crash, a monthly queer
open mic night open to performers of all genders and sexualities.
Gender Crash is held at Spontaneous Celebrations (45 Danforth Street,
And while the days of Dyke Night Thursdays at the Midway (3496
Washington Street, Jamaica Plain) are long gone, Dyke Night Productions
(www.dykenight.com) still plans occasional events at the Midway. Check
out the Web site and relive the glory days.
For one of the wildest shows in town, make your way to Bay
Village's Jacques Cabaret at 79 Broadway. The famous dive bar's crowd
runs the gamut from trans and queer people to drunk bachelorettes and
their drunk gal pals, but the drag shows are the real draw. Bring
dollar bills to tip the queens.
For a classier evening, there's Club Café (209 Columbus Ave), a
Boston institution that features a bar, video lounge, and restaurant.
It's open five days a week, with the biggest crowds on Thursday,
Friday, and Saturday. The crowd is mixed, although the boys definitely
outnumber the girls.
If you get your kicks cruising the boys at Abercrombie, check out
the Manray nightclub (21 Brookline Street, Cambridge) on Thursday
nights when they host Campus, a 19+ boys night that draws a mainly
On the other side of the river, check out Avalon (5 Landsdowne
Street) on Sundays for a 21+ gay night, featuring DJs from the circuit
scene. On Mondays walk a few doors down to Axis (13 Landsdowne Street)
for Static, a 19+ gay night that features nonstop house music.
For the ladies, the aforementioned Club Hollywood is the place to
be on Saturday nights. The 21+ women's club features two floors of
dancing, mingling and flirting.
For Asian and Asian American GLBT folks, the Queer Asian Pacific
Alliance (QAPA, www.qapa.org) runs a regular series of events,
including monthly brunches and potlucks. The Massachusetts Area South
Asian Lambda Association (MASALA, groups.yahoo.com/group/BostonMASALA)
runs regular events for the GLBT South Asian community.
Journey to the center of the Davis Square dyke universe at Diesel
Café (257 Elm Street, Somerville), where you can sip coffee, nosh on
yummy vegetarian fare, and shoot pool while enjoying first class people
And check out Francesca's in the South End (564 Tremont Street,
Boston) for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and lots of really cute men.
Looking to take in some theater? The Theater Offensive
(www.thetheateroffensive.org), a queer theater company, puts on a
number of shows each year, including the yearly Out on the Edge theater
festival, set to run this year Sept. 30-Oct. 24.
Ryan Landry and his Gold Dust Orphans regularly grace Boston and
Provincetown with Landry's trademark brand of subversive drag parodies
(earlier this year he spoofed "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" with his own
"Pussy on the House").
Queer Soup (www.queersoup.net) also puts a queer spin on familiar
themes. The troupe's play "Invasion of Pleasure Valley" this summer
featured alien sex-toy and dildo-wielding 1950s housewives, and
repressed gay suburbanites.
Feed your head
As the home of some of the world's most prestigious colleges and
universities, the Boston area is the thinking queer's city. Located off
the beaten path near the financial district, one block from South
Station, Calamus Bookstore (92B South Street, Boston) provides a vast
collection of GLBT books. If you're looking for gay fiction, queer
theory, lesbian herstory, sweaty erotica, or an obscure out-of-print
title, Calamus (www.calamusbooks.com) is the best bet to satisfy your
literary craving. See the Web site for the latest lineup of guest
authors appearing at the store.
The Center for New Words (186 Hampshire Street, Cambridge) is a
reading room that holds workshops focused on promoting women's writing
and activism. The Center hosts a diverse array of guest authors reading
from their latest works. See www.centerfornewwords.org for a full
schedule and help foment a new feminist revolution.
In the heart of Boston's South End, Cuttyhunk (540 Tremont Street,
formerly called We Think the World of You) features a wide array of
GLBT-themed books, DVDs, magazines, and greeting cards. The store
frequently hosts readings from guest authors. Check the Web site for
the latest schedule (www.cuttyhunk.us).
Find your inner gym teacher
Take a break from the gym and work up a sweat with sexy GLBT
athletes! The Web site for PrideSports Boston
(www.pridesportsboston.com) provides links to GLBT athletic teams of
every stripe, from basketball to rugby to swimming to, for the less
physically inclined, darts.
If you're looking to furnish your apartment on the cheap or find
some hip used clothes, Boomerangs will help you satisfy your inner
bargain hunter and your inner idealist at the same time. Boomerangs
(with two locations, 716 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain and 298
Washington Street in Brighton) is a resale store run by the AIDS Action
Committee, and all proceeds from the store go towards the
organization's education and prevention efforts and direct services.
For those not-so-G-rated needs, there are a number of GLBT-friendly
options. Grand Opening! (318 Harvard Street, Brookline), a self-styled
sexuality boutique, may just be the most non-threatening adult business
in greater Boston. Friendly employees will answer all your questions
about sex toys, lube, condoms, and dental dams. Check out the Grand
Opening Web site (www.grandopening.com) to get the schedule of
workshops on topics ranging from sex toys to female ejaculation.
For the more visually oriented, the Movie Place (526 Tremont
Street, Boston) stocks a wide range of gay male adult videos for rent.
Are you tired of your family doctor giving you dirty looks when you
bring up safer sex, STDs, and GLBT health issues? You might want to
stop by the Fenway Community Health Center (7 Haviland Street, Boston),
which provides physical and mental health services to the GLBT
community. If you're looking for a discreet place to get an HIV test,
Fenway provides confidential HIV testing. Fenway also runs a Peer
Listening Line (617-267-2535, or toll-free at 800-399-PEER), which
creates a "safe space" where callers can discuss issues such as
HIV/AIDS, coming out, and safer sex. (www.fenwayhealth.org)
We want you as a new recruit!
It's time to tear yourself away from "Graham Norton" and "The
L-Word" reruns and get active. Boston has a plethora of organizations
serving the GLBT community, and all of them could use volunteers to
help make sure that Boston remains a great place to live for GLBT
For starters, there's MassEquality.org, a coalition of groups
working to make sure that same-sex newlyweds get to hold on to their
marriage licenses. Log onto their Web site, www.massequality.org, to
learn how to get involved. As the fight to preserve same-sex marriage
heats up in the Legislature over the next couple of years, MassEquality
will have a lot of work to do, and political junkies can get involved
in everything from phone banking to lobbying to taking part in
demonstrations at the State House.
Along the same lines, the Freedom to Marry Coalition of
Massachusetts (www.equalmarriage.org) is a grassroots advocacy group
working to build support around the state for same-sex marriage. As
with MassEquality, Freedom to Marry will need swarms of volunteers in
the next couple of years, so contact them if you want to get involved.
The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (www.masstpc.org)
helped pass Boston's transgender anti-discrimination ordinance in 2002,
and they continue to work to address the issues facing the Bay State's
trans community. Visit their Web site to get involved in their
lobbying, public education, and activist work.
The Bi Resource Center (www.biresource.org) does advocacy and
education work for the bi community, as well as publishing the Bisexual
Resource Guide, a comprehensive international resource of all things
bi. The center is looking for volunteers to staff the office, do
outreach, and catalogue the group's bisexual history archives, among