Best of New York

The Absolute Best Queer Night in New York

Pussy Faggot has become the main hub for queer performance artists, musicians, and comedians. Photo: Ves Pitts

We’ve given you the best gay bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn, we’ve given you the best dance clubs, we’ve given you the best gay dance parties, and now it’s time to name the best queer night in New York. All are fun, frisky events that embrace the full gender spectrum and beyond.

The Absolute Best

1. Pussy Faggot
Various locations

This roving performance and party, created by downtown impresario Earl Dax, started seven years ago and has become the main hub for queer performance artists, musicians, and comedians. If you are a queer performer from out of town, this is the event that will allow you to introduce your work to an enthusiastic and supportive crowd that is diverse in gender and age. If you are new in town, this is where you come to get a feel for the scene (or perhaps just get a feel). The event is hosted by performance artist and activist Penny Arcade, and past performers comprise a who’s who of NYC-based queer artists, including Justin Vivian Bond, Kenny Mellman, Taylor Mac, Dynasty Handbag, Marga Gomez, Shane Shane, Heather Litteer, Carmelita Tropicana, Miguel Gutierrez, Jack Ferver, Joseph Keckler, Erin Markey, and Narcissister, along with talents like Jonny Woo (London), Christeene (Austin), and Las Reinas Chulas (Mexico City). $6 to $10

C’mon Everybody, 325 Franklin Ave., nr. Clifton Pl., Bed-Stuy;

A refreshingly diverse gathering of the artistic queer scene, this party has a wonderfully positive vibe that’s reminiscent of the best parts of an LGBT student-union dance in the basement of your college’s Great Hall. Everyone on the gender spectrum socializes and fluidly flirts. Hosts Nath Ann Carrera, Savannah Knoop, and Nica Ross DJ and provide live visuals for this quarterly creative be-in, along with DJ Serge Rodriguez.
Thursdays (quarterly), next two parties: August 4 and November 3, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; free

3. Nightgowns
Bizarre, 12 Jefferson St., nr. Broadway, Bushwick; 347-915-2717

Even the cynical scenesters who have seen it all are walking away from Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns in awe. The monthly drag show “dedicated to smart, artistic, and queer-positive performance” reaffirms the power of drag as a smart, funny, and transcendent art form. These artists work hard. April’s show included a fully scripted drag musical that was “Grease meets Female Trouble.”
Second Thursday of every month, 11 p.m.; $10 (suggested donation)

4. Cissy
Macri Park, 462 Union Ave., at Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg; 718-599-4999

Host and DJ Dream Dommu presents a party specifically geared toward femme/trans/non-binary queers at Cissy. “As a trans woman, I aim to take a gay male space and occupy it with decidedly non cis gay men for one night a week,” Dommu says. Recent performers include the brilliant Hamm Samwich, Nath Ann Carrera, Boywolf, and White Girl Wasted.
Wednesdays (weekly), 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.; free

5. Iron Lady
Tender Trap, 66 Greenpoint Ave., nr. Franklin St., Greenpoint;

The city’s comedy scene is bursting, but it’s still quite straight — even in the so-called “alt comedy” world. Now queer comedy is becoming the edgy, experimental alternative. The tireless and hilarious Max Bernstein recently celebrated his first anniversary hosting this queer-leaning comedy show with a rolling roster of guests, which takes place every first and third Tuesday of the month. Past guests have included John Early, Amanda Duarte, Sasheer Zamata, Josh Sharp, and Michelle Buteau. The next show, Tuesday, June 21, at 9 p.m., will have an especially queer lineup for Pride.
First and third Tuesday of every month, 9 p.m.; free

The Absolute Best Queer Night in New York