From drag shows to chocolate shops, there are plenty of places to find community
Not feeling Paparazzi lately because of the rapid overtake by older, straight men with lewd intentions? Here are seven alternative ideas for LGBTQ+ students looking to break up midterm studying with inclusive and fun community-building events.
Lush Queer Club Night
If you’re looking for a fruitful nightlife experience at a venue that actively encourages inclusiveness and diversity, hit up the Victoria Event Centre on Nov. 17 for their Lush Queer Club Night. The event is described as, “a cozy kaleidoscope of love and self expression,” and includes DJs, dancing, drinks, performance arts, and an artisan market.
For the people who don’t want to stay up all night dancing, get all your energy out before the party animals even wake up by attending a drag brunch at The Vicious Poodle. Henrietta Dubét, Vivian Vanderpuss, and Honey Dewme host every Saturday and Sunday morning along with rotating guest performers, so you can tune in any weekend it’s convenient for you. These events are incredibly popular among the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike, so call in and reserve a table to save your place!
Brick and Lavender Productions
Brick and Lavender Productions (formerly “For the Love of Drag”), periodically announces queer events on Facebook, and there are two to look for in the next couple months.
On Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., visit Café Fantastico for the Halloween edition of Sashay Café, a spooky drag show suitable for all ages. If you’re more into the 19+ kind of drag show, though, head to the Victoria Event Centre on Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. for Thick: An Evening of Fat Celebration. Back by popular demand, this event showcases drag and burlesque performances that celebrate diverse bodies.
Brick and Lavender is known for making performance art accessible by encouraging performers of all ages and experience levels, so if you’re feeling drawn to the stage rather than the audience, get in contact with them on their Instagram @brickandlavender, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
House of Mercury Drag Show
At 9 p.m. every Saturday night, the beloved bar Friends of Dorothy hosts their own“drag extravaganza.” Each week there are new featured guests, but the show has been titled “House of Mercury” because of its consistent and fabulous host, drag artist Mina Mercury.
The name of the bar, Friends of Dorothy, is a nod to the phrase “are you a friend of Dorothy?” which used to be commonly used by queer people to identify each other. This is one of the only official, designated spaces for LGBTQ+ people in Victoria (although 19+), so hitting up this bar on any night of the week could be a fun way to wind down after finishing a paper.
Queer Creative Writing Circle
For those students who are glued to their computers this November, an online group called “Les-be-friends” on the event site meetup may be a good fit. While this group of lesbians and bisexual women are based in Vancouver, and most of their in-person events take place there, some of their events are offered over Zoom. Notably, on Nov. 1 they are offering an online queer creative writing circle at 7 p.m. Make sure to request to join their group and RSVP in advance!
Visit Local Queer-Owned Businesses
A slower-paced, more individual activity could be exploring some of Victoria’s many queer-owned businesses. Visit the Victoria Pride Society’s website, where you can find a master list of queer-owned businesses all over Victoria. From Fickle Fig Farm Market in North Saanich, to Pure Lovin’ Chocolate downtown, to the Vicious Poodle itself, businesses run by LGBTQ+ people in Victoria are well-loved by the city.
Do you live on campus at UVic? If so, be sure to check out QVic, a group created especially for LGBTQ+ students in residence. They host frequent events for queer and trans students living on campus to hang out, and I can personally vouch for this program’s ability to bring friends together. Last year they hosted so many perfect events for university students including picnics, movie nights, crafting sessions, clothing swaps, and even video game championships! If you’re living on campus this year, stay tuned to their Instagram, @qvicres, to make sure you don’t miss when they announce new activities.
Get out there, make some friends, watch some drag shows, and have an amazing fall.