Boston’s queer nightlife scene, in photos
Boston’s queer nightlife scene may still be on the down-low, but for many local students and community members in the area, going out to LGBTQ+ spaces is an aspect of every weekend.
Lines for places like Back Bay’s Club Cafe often wrap around the block — perhaps because it's one of the city’s only two well-known LGBTQIA+ dance club venues (the other being Tremont Street’s Legacy). Jacque’s Cabaret is also popular for fans of drag performances, and Midway Cafe runs a cult-favorite Thursday night “queeraoke” extravaganza every week. Other places, such as the Middle East, host themed nights that pull in queer folks from all across Boston, and recently, Haus of Fag has been hosting events aimed at reviving the queer party experience amid the mass closures of lesbian bars across the country. The Justice spoke to Brandeis students on their experiences within the queer nightlife scene.
Many students find themselves drawn to documenting the queer spaces they encounter — not just through pictures and videos, but also in analysis. "In my Queer History class last year, due to all of the gay clubs and specifically lesbian bars that were shutting down in the pandemic, me and people from my class did a project about different places in Boston — bars, venues, and other queer spaces," Jules Lillywhite ’24 said in a March 27 correspondence with the Justice.
"There's a really great scene of people really trying their darndest to have safe, inclusive, and intentional spaces," said Nicholas Ong ’23 of queer Boston nightlife in a March 27 text correspondence. Ong emphasized the need for more queer and trans people of color-specific events and spaces. "18+ is a pretty hard gig for the queers but once I turned 21 I def[sic] found myself with more options in queer nightlife Bostonia."
"I could dance and be myself authentically … I knew based on the crowd that people weren't judging me," Lexi Lazar ’24 said in a March 27 text correspondence. Astrid Schneider ’24 agreed: "Any time I’ve been clubbing in general, it’s been at a gay club. It’s for comfort ... I don’t want to be in a straight club. It's not as fun of an experience."
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