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


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


what’s with the scare quotes, mona

4. 1970 – Gay Liberation Dance


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

5. 1970 – Celebration of Love and Life


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


real talk: february 13th

7. 1973 – Club 41


8. 1974 – Los Angeles Gay-In


really excited about punching some crackers

9. 1974 – Midwest Lesbian Conference


see also: pony play

10. 1976 – Sugar Shack


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

11. 1978 – A Lesbian Show!


12. 1980 – Women’s Music and Cultural Festival


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

13. 1980 – Women Writes


14. 1981 – Pride Week Milwaukee


15. 1981 – Welcoming Party For Sandy


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

16. 1981 – 2-for-1 Rollerskating


17. Old Lesbian Halloween Dance


feel free to dress like abstract art

18. 1988 – Dos Lesbos


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

19. 1990 – Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras



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

22. 1992 – DCTV Lesbian & Gay Video Festival


23. 1993 – Hand-to-Hand Combat


followed by fist-to-vagina contact

24. 1993 – Party Down at OOB


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

25. 1995 – Herland


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.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, 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! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3199 articles for us.


  1. 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!

    • aw i wish we could. we’ll have it at your house though cos there’s no more mason dixon. you and lemon have a mechanical bull right?

    • 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.

  2. In a past life of mine, I went to Monokel, the restaurant for ladies in Berlin. Just sayin’

  3. old lesbian halloween party! can we revive this? can carly + robin do an old lesbian halloween party revival this year.


    • My scents of self is being marginalized! Ugh, guess I’ll go make a stink about it at the Female Liberation Meeting.

  4. #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?

    • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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)

        • 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

  5. I would go to the first one just to see the Mountain Rat feature film, that sounds all kinds of amazing

    • I was just wondering if I was the only one who couldn’t get past the first poster’s “Extra Attraction: The Mountain Rat, a four reel feature film.”

  6. Outraged and OUTRAGEOUS!

    Also, I love the phrase, “This time for sure!” It’s been a rough road for 2-for-1 Rollerskating committee…

  7. 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.

    * Hiking
    * Swimming
    * Rituals

    Also I think that Old Lesbian Halloween Party must have been the place they went to dressed as a horrifying Laurel and Hardy in The Killing of Sister George.

  9. 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.

  10. These were amazing. Also, I have seen one of the musical acts from #12. It was exactly what you’d imagine.

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

    – what I tell myself on days where I have too much social anxiety

  12. I’ll take #3, please. The ad confuses me so much that I don’t now who’s a drag king and who’s a drag queen, and that makes it so much more exciting.

  13. Man I’m adoring the posters from the 1970’s, specifically 4, 5, and 6. I can just imagine someone typing up the text and pasting it to a poster. They probably thought their designs were so modern and edgy, it makes me giggle.

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