Whether you’re gay, straight or just plain alcoholic, the bar scene can get pretty tired after a while. Luckily, there are vast amounts of queer fun to be had in this town, and it doesn’t have to begin with a bottle of tequila and end with a booty call.
You can unleash your inner Rollergirl every Wednesday night from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, which hosts a weekly party for gay and lesbian skaters. Audrey, the lovely cashier, has been working at Moonlight for 15 years, and her favorite night to skate has always been gay night. When she was injured a few years ago, a bunch of regular gay-night rollers sent her get-well cards and flowers. The campy soundtrack — think Tim Curry growling “I’m a sweet transsexual from Trans-sexual-vania” — is perfect for practicing your Xanadu glide. And if you fall over, you never know who might wheel by and scoop you back on your feet.
Speaking of feet, I happen to have two left ones. Even so, I am a big fan of the long-running gay-and-lesbian line-dancing nights at Oil Can Harry’s in Studio City. There’s a dance instructor, just in case you don’t know your Charleston bump from your cotton-eyed Joe. Expect lots of straw hats and cowboy shirts tucked into Levi’s. Everyone foot-stomps to some modern country — new Dolly, Shania and a little Billy Ray too. Dance lessons take place early on, from 7:15 to 9 p.m. or so, and after that it’s a free-for-all. The crowd is friendly, but remember, these boys and gals (who are in greatest abundance Thursday nights) take their line dancing seriously, as my similarly dance-challenged friend and I discovered — we were scooted off the dance floor by a rather scary lady after our attempt at waltzing created a bumper-car scenario.
The attention-whores among you will enjoy Monday’s “rock out with your cock out” karaoke at Fubar in West Hollywood. Ballads are banned — it’s all high-energy croonin’, with wireless mikes supplied so you can demonstrate your Karma Chameleon dance routine while harmonizing. “Ballads bore people,” says host Bruce Daniels, a standup comic who regularly opens for Margaret Cho. “If somebody did you wrong and you need to express your pain on our stage, wait till Tuesday.” Tuesday-night karaoke is hosted by the wacky crazy draggy drunk pill-popping Billy Francesca, so if you even attempt “My Heart Will Go On,” you’ll probably face some kind of punishment. And we shall laugh.
No queer social calendar would be complete without some burlesque. Okay, so burlesque troupes are a dime a dozen these days — but this particular night comes courtesy of queer goddess Margaret Cho, who is hosting a new monthly event, “The Sensuous Woman,” at Silver Lake’s El Cid. Taking place the third Wednesday of every month, each event is tied to a benefit for a worthy cause (the next is in support of the West Memphis Three), and features belly dancing, comedy and lovely ladies of burlesque, like our most favorite little person, Selene Luna. The 3’10” Luna, also known as Bobby Pinz, is fresh from hosting “Boudoir du BurLez,” her lesbian burlesque night at The Palms in West Hollywood. If you’re lucky enough to have grabbed a Weekly on Thursday, you can catch the last BurLez (June 8) to kick off Pride Week, featuring appearances by Kitten de Ville (the biggest star in burlesque next to Dita von Teese) and Buck Angel, the former female model who is now a male bodybuilder with pecs that would put Rambo to shame.
With this much queer fun to be had, it doesn’t really matter what team you bat ?for anymore, as long as you get off the ?bench.
Gay and lesbian roller-skating at Moonlight Rollerway, 5110 San Fernando Road, Glendale, (818) 241-3630.
Gay and lesbian line dancing at Oil Can Harry’s, 11502 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 760-9749.
Monday- and Tuesday-night karaoke at Fubar, 7994 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd., (323) 654-0396.
“The Sensuous Woman” at El Cid, 4212 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 668-0318.
“Boudoir du BurLez” at The Palms Bar, 8572 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd., (310) 550-8811.