Show Up and Show Out at These LGBTQIA+ Holiday Events

Festive drag shows, pop-up markets, parties, and much more.

Maskot/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Maskot/DigitalVision/Getty Images

The holidays are a time for merriment, caroling, cookie-eating, and stocking-stuffing, and for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s an apt time to gather with your chosen family and celebrate the season in style. Beyond the standard Christmastime revelry, LGBTQIA+ events across the country are coloring the holidays a shade of rainbow through festive drag shows, pop-up markets, family friendly concerts, and much more. Here are 10 LGBTQIA+ holiday events to check out this year.

Very Beary Christmas Bar Crawl in Dallas, Texas

At the risk of winding up on a potential naughty list, the sixth annual Very Beary Christmas Bar Crawl is making its seasonal return to Dallas, promising an evening’s worth of frivolity. Geared toward the gay bear community—though all are welcome—the merry bar crawl is an opportunity for queer Texans to convene and celebrate in low-key environments that are fun and frills-free. It all starts at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar on December 4 at 8 pm, continuing on to other LGBTQIA+ bars from there: JR’s Bar & Grill, TMC, and Round-Up Saloon. It’s free to attend, aside from cover charges and drinks along the way. Christmas-inspired costumes are highly encouraged—the more glittery, the better—and attendees are asked to bring unwrapped toys to donate to Dallas Hope Charities, which should help your case for Santa’s nice list, after all.

Jingle All The Way in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

For something as sugary sweet as a gingerbread cookie, the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus is hosting a night of family friendly merriment and music on December 5. Held at UCC Fort Lauderdale at 7 pm, the chorus will be performing holiday classics, Broadway theater faves, and a couple of quintessential queer anthems, like “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the Barbra Streisand arrangement of “Jingle Bells,” all in a Streisand-worthy setting filled with sparkly decor, baubles, and garlands galore. General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

Brut San Francisco Christmas Party in San Francisco

When it comes to LGBTQIA-friendly cities to celebrate the holidays in, San Francisco is like the gay North Pole. For the Christmas season, the folks behind infamous Folsom Street Weekend keep the debauchery going with a late-night party December 10 at The Great Northern. Taking place from 10 pm until the wee hour of 4 am, the sexy, same-sex event features entertainment from DJs Tedd Patterson and Dan Darlington, with promises of scantily clad men, thumping house music, and a dark, alluring dance floor. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.

Lesbian Thespians Holiday Party in Wilton Manors, Florida

Solidifying South Florida as a veritable winter wonderland of out-and-proud queerness this holiday season, the vibrant LGBTQIA+ mecca of Wilton Manors is coming in hot with a lesbian-centric holiday party on December 19. Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar is an evergreen outpost for queer socializing, but especially during the holidays, when the bar erupts with Christmas-y decor inside and out. For its Lesbian Thespian Holiday Party, starting at 4 pm, the bar promises live musical entertainment, appetizers, and a cash bar. It’s $25 to attend, so snag your tickets here.

Paige Turner’s Christmas is a Drag in the Hudson Valley, New York

Paige Turner, one of New York City’s most adored drag queens, is celebrating the holidays in the pastoral Hudson Valley, and all are invited to join. She’s hosting three holiday cabarets for Christmas is a Drag, starting at Newburgh Vintage Emporium Ware-House in Newburgh on December 10, followed by a performance at Old Dutch Church in Kingston on December 11, and then The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio in Albany on December 12 (showtimes are 8:30 pm for the first two, and 7 pm for Albany). There will be plenty of laughs and innocent shenanigans, anchored by Turner’s spirited parodies of Christmas classics—Mariah Carey and Bing Crosby will be well represented. Tickets are $30-$35 and you can peruse the show options here.

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Eden’s Queer Christmas Concert in Los Angeles, California

Queer artists are taking the stage for Eden’s Queer Christmas Concert in Hollywood on December 18. It’s six hours of live music at the Hotel Cafe, along with cheery Christmas cocktails, photo ops by the holiday wall, and merchandise from Eden, a lesbian-owned entertainment agency with an emphasis on indie music and queer artists. Dark, intimate, and cozy, the hallowed bar is sure to be a fun place to dance to tunes from the likes of Kat Cunning, Nicolina, Alicia Goku, Cassidy King, and Sterling Victorian. The event costs $25-$30, with all proceeds benefiting an LGBTQIA+ mental health awareness and resources nonprofit. Buy your tickets here.

Jingle All The Gay in Seattle, Washington

Whether your idea of holiday merriment includes cabaret, burlesque, dancing, or drag shows, your wish list will come true at Jingle All The Gay. With multiple performances scheduled from December 3 through December 18 at Seattle’s Oddfellows West Hall, a historic venue and restaurant outfitted with all sorts of kitschy, vintage decor, the saucy shows are put on by renowned performers, including Kitten N’ Lou, Cherdonna Shinatra, and Markeith Wiley. With so many different styles of performance, each show is sure to contain a dynamic lineup of sets, laughs, skits, and songs, with varying levels of sexiness. Ticket prices start at $35 and can be purchased here.

Slay Bells - A Dragalicious Christmas in Tempe, Arizona

Like a trio of suggestively dressed elves, three drag queen stars are coming together for an epic evening of music, dancing, and comedy for Slay Bells - A Dragalicious Christmas in Tempe. Kimora Blac, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, and Mayhem Miller are all fan-fave alums from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and they’re bringing their best holiday energy to the huge stage at the Tempe Center for the Arts on December 9. The evening starts with a special meet-and-greet reception for VIPs; the main show kicks off at 7 pm with a spree of Christmas-themed musical numbers and jokes racy enough to make Santa blush. Tickets are $30 (or $75 for VIP) and can be purchased here.

WAP UP: Womxn in Business Holiday Pop-Up in Denver, Colorado

Need to do a little last-minute holiday shopping? Queer up your gift list with a visit to the Womxn in Business Holiday Pop-Up markets at Denver’s lesbian-owned Blush & Blu bar. Held on Sundays through December 19 from 12 pm until 5 pm each day, the pop-up is a way to support and uplift queer artists, especially artisans and creators from the trans and non-binary communities (hence the use of “womxn” in the title, highlighting intersectional feminism). All businesses in attendance are womxn-owned, from R.E.i.G.n. Thrift and Kay Carre’ art to Cordalis Candles, Be You Waist Beads, and more, plus tarot readers and drink specials. The markets are free to attend, and Blush & Blu is accepting new toy donations for the Women’s Shelter and providing gift wrapping services.

Winter Pride Fest in San Juan, Puerto Rico

For most of the US, 2021 Pride Fests have already wound down, but things are just heating up in Puerto Rico—and just in time for the holidays. Winter Pride Fest in San Juan runs from December 9 through December 13, with warm-weather activities and attractions like pool parties, open-air musical performances, burlesque brunch at Señor Frog’s, and vogue balls, which should provide an apt opportunity to get dolled up and dance. With a wide array of planned activities, from kayaking trips and mojito classes to naked weekend parties, there’s sure to be something for everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community. The cost varies for each event, with details to be announced on social media, but suffice it to say any festival that combines Christmas with Pride is bound to be the most wonderful time of year.