25 Queer Parties You Should Go To If You Have A Time Machine

If you were reading this website in 2010 but didn’t live in New York, you’re probably still really devastated that you missed our epic Rodeo Disco Pride Party, especially if you enjoy riding mechanical bulls. But actually it’s likely that you’ve missed a lot more parties than just that party. Luckily, we’ve assembled so many of them here so you can really think about what you’re doing with your life.

You Should’ve Gone*: 30 Vintage Queer Event Fliers

* we don’t really mean that you should’ve gone to these parties, most of them probably sucked

1. 1914 – Cora Anderson The Man-Woman

1914-chicago

I have a feeling that the real star of this act is Her Husband Dorothy

2. 1932 – Restaurant For Ladies In Berlin

via lost womyn's space

I appreciate the fashion-forward suit-dress happening here (via lost womyn’s space)

3. 1941 – Gladys Bentley & Miss Jimmy Reynard

1942-bentley

what’s with the scare quotes, mona

4. 1970 – Gay Liberation Dance

1970-gay-liberation-dance

in which an alternative lifestyle haircut clouds my view of the catfish

5. 1970 – Celebration of Love and Life

1970-candlelight-march

alternately, you can attend the ceremony of hate and death which will take place at the southern baptist church down the street

6. 1972 – Female Liberation Meeting

female-liberation-meeting-via-ls

real talk: february 13th

7. 1973 – Club 41

club-41

8. 1974 – Los Angeles Gay-In

1968-gay-in

really excited about punching some crackers

9. 1974 – Midwest Lesbian Conference

1974-midwest-lesbian-conference

see also: pony play

10. 1976 – Sugar Shack

sugar-shack-1976

not to be confused with “sugar walls,” a euphemism for vaginas

11. 1978 – A Lesbian Show!

1978-a-lesbian-show

12. 1980 – Women’s Music and Cultural Festival

1980-music-festival

rituals inspired by the yet-to-be-released seminal film “the craft”

13. 1980 – Women Writes

1980-via-lesbianpoetryarchive

14. 1981 – Pride Week Milwaukee

1981-milwaukee-pride

15. 1981 – Welcoming Party For Sandy

1981

beer before liquor, never been sicker, special blended drinks before beer, you’re in the clear

16. 1981 – 2-for-1 Rollerskating

1982-rollerskating

17. Old Lesbian Halloween Dance

GLOEHalloween

feel free to dress like abstract art

18. 1988 – Dos Lesbos

1988-via-queermusicheritageblog

kelley edwards is getting some serious air in this picture (via queer music heritage)

19. 1990 – Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

1990-gay-lesbian-mardi-gras

ALL THE FONTS!!!!

20. 1992 – Lesbain Avengers Back-to-School Party

22. 1992 – DCTV Lesbian & Gay Video Festival

1992-video-festival

23. 1993 – Hand-to-Hand Combat

1993-hand-to-hand

followed by fist-to-vagina contact

24. 1993 – Party Down at OOB

1993-oob-via-ls

what i wouldn’t give to get my hands on that t-shirt

25. 1995 – Herland

1995-herlands-via-ls

womyn and shadow puppets only


Obviously if you attended any of these events, you’ll have to tell us about it in the comments, and for more information about the Lesbian Avengers events you could’ve attended with a time machine, check out Vikki’s first-hand account of lesbian avenging in the ’90s.

Avatar of Riese

Riese is the 32-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1731 articles for us.

32 Comments

  1. Thumb up 1

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    just read the first sentence and have to note that in 2010 i was reading this website and living in new york (10 minutes away from the rodeo disco pride party venue) and i wanted to go to the party SO BAD, but none of my friends would come with me so i had to miss out. it is literally one of my top 5 regrets in my whole life. the only way to rectify this is to throw an autostraddle pride party in nyc in 2013, right? hmmm…

    okay now off to read the rest of this post and get upset about all the other lesbian parties i’ve missed in my life by not being born, being 7 years old, etc. gosh riese, you really know how to bring out the retroactive FOMO in a girl!

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      YES we most definitely need to re-do the 2010 party because I had just started reading Autostraddle at that point and either just missed it or didn’t realize how much I would regret not going. We don’t need a time machine for this one! Um… if everyone just came to New York.

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    #6 – not sure exactly what is happening in the picture, only that it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. in my pants.

    #9 – lesbians were people of our first nations too.

    #22 – i’m scared. that’s all.

    #24 – “shudder at the ill-dressed ideologues”! wow…

    P.S. These are so lovely– where were they compiled from?

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      I was about to comment on the “shudder at the ill-dressed ideologues” one too. I guffawed. I dunno, I absolutely love that kind of snark and we could use some more of it today. We all take ourselves way too seriously sometimes.

      Also, the one in 1941 with Gladys Bentley? I so would have been all over that one.

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      re: “ill dressed ideologues”, I wonder if Alison Bechdel was somehow involved in the making of that poster? In Dykes to Watch Out For, Lois referred to Mo as an “ill dressed ideologue” (ha!) at some point. Or maybe that line is a reference to that poster? Or maybe it’s all just a coincidence and I am reading Alison Bechdel into everything because I worship her?

      Also, incidentally, does the OOB in that poster refer to Off Our Backs or On Our Backs?

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        ooo nice catch on the Bechdel! I just heard her speak last week. She is so sweet. And exactly like her books, it’s strange, like she is a cartoon come to life.

        gotta be On Our Backs if it’s a party right? maybe? hopefully? (i am trying to refrain from actually researching this… because that can be a slippery slope, and not slippery in a good way)

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          It’s Off Our Backs — the newsprint and the font is all Off Our Backs, and also On Our Backs was in San Francisco I think? and Off Our Backs in DC. the issue numbers are also not in the on our backs style. I’d rather go to the On Our backs party, obvs

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          honestly we were super-short on content yesterday and so i went digging through my hard drive in search of this 90′s fashion post i had started and then i found a folder i’d collected over the summer of event flyers and was like A HA THIS COULD BE A POST, but i can’t say for certain where all of them are from? but i think lost womyn’s space, the history project, queer women’s heritage, the wisconsin GLBT history project and the san francisco public library. quite a few i likely picked up on tumblr.

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    These all look like they would be off the hook.

    Where is the Tardis when you need it so I can go to 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, and 22?

    Not sure what the Midwest Lesbian Conference entailed but I’m pretty sure I need it to be a thing.

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    Google translate is telling me that “Monokel”, the women’s bar, is the “dance-cabaret of the mundane world” with free admission and “well-kept beer”. Even with the obvious translation difficulties, I can already tell that Monokel was one of the most amazing places in the world, ever.

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