Gay Christmas events in New York

Gay parties, concerts, performances and other events will help you have a festive, queer holiday season in New York

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Murray Hill

Murray Hill


Happy holigays! The Christmas season is upon us, and NYC's gays are, as always, eager to celebrate. Solemn observations of Baby Jesus's birthday aren't exactly heavily represented in the local LGBT scene; you're more likely to find irony-drenched anti-Christmas drag queen performances, retro-kitschy variety hours and, of course, gay club nights and dance parties. But whatever your taste, the city offers at least a few ways to make your holidays gay. Check out this year's gay Christmas events and more offerings below.

RECOMMENDED: Christmas in New York guide

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright Photograph: courtesy Live Nation

Rufus and Martha Wainwright's Noël Nights

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Rufus and Martha Wainwright are both stylish singer-songwriters alone, but they've never forgotten their roots or, more importantly, their family, as seen in this holiday tribute, which raises money for the Kate McGarrigle Foundation, named in honor of their late folk-luminary mother and benefiting the McGill University Health Center. They're joined by many members of the Wainwright clan, including aunt Sloan, dad Loudon and half sis Lucy Wainwright Roche, as well as high-profile pals, including Emmylou Harris, Justin Vivian Bond and Cibo Matto.

  1. The Town Hall 123 W 43rd St, between Sixth Ave and Broadway
  2. Thu Dec 18
More info
Distorted Kristmess

Distorted Kristmess Photograph: Michael Mallard

Distorted Kristmess

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Dallas DuBois and her Distorted Diznee pals—including Pixie Aventura, Holly Dae, Tina Burner and Bootsie LeFaris—serve up twisted versions of holiday tunes, as well as blasphemous variations on beloved TV classics.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs, 10036
  2. Fri Dec 19
More info
Los Nutcrackers (from left: Yosvany Reyes,  Robert Maisonett,  Johary Ramos,  Johnathan Cedano and Jesse Vega)

Los Nutcrackers (from left: Yosvany Reyes, Robert Maisonett, Johary Ramos, Johnathan Cedano and Jesse Vega)

Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

For the 11th year, Charles Rice-González's holiday play tips its hat to both The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, portraying a queer Latino couple who find themselves caught in a joint flashback one trippy Christmas Eve.

  1. Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance 2474 Westchester Ave, between Herschell St and Seabury Ave, 10461
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Dec 20
More info
Jackie Beat

Jackie Beat Photograph: Austin Young

Jackie Beat on Ice

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It's just not Christmas in New York without a visit from the world's bitchiest grinch, Jackie Beat. Offset all the holiday treacle with her sacrilegious song parodies and delightfully offensive observations.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs, 10036
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 21
More info
Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales Photograph: J. Casertano

Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The two lively performers who brought you The Vaudevillians—RuPaul's Drag Race champion Monsoon and pianist-composer Scales—return with a new edition of this bawdy, old-timey yuletide show.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs, 10036
  2. Fri Dec 19 - Sun Dec 21
More info
New York City Gay Men's Chorus

New York City Gay Men's Chorus Photograph: Robert Irwin Wolf

NYC Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Spectacular

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Gay Men's Chorus belts out a cheerful holiday show packed with classics of both the soul-stirring and campy varieties, plus a guest spot from Broadway vet Carolee Carmello.

  1. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 La Guardia Pl, at Washington Sq South, 10012
  2. Fri Dec 19 - Sun Dec 21
More info
Nicholas Gorham

Nicholas Gorham Photograph: Brett Lindell

Nicholas Gorham: A Very Muslim Christmas

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Downtown performance artist Nicholas Gorham wrote and stars in this satirical Christmas special with appearances from Enid Ellen, Severely Mame, David Commander and more.

  1. The Wild Project 195 E 3rd St, between Aves A and B
  2. Fri Dec 19 - Sun Dec 21
More info
Our Lady J

Our Lady J Photograph: Christopher Dibble

Our Lady J: The Gospel of Dolly, A Hard Candy Christmas

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Wonderfully strange and extremely talented singer-songwriter-musician Our Lady J is taking a yearlong break from touring to write for the Amazon original series Transparent. Catch her before she goes on hiatus at this Dolly Parton–infused Christmas show.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Mon Dec 22
More info
Justin Vivian Bond

Justin Vivian Bond Photograph: Mike and Claire

Justin Vivian Bond: Star of Light! An Evening of Bi-Polar Witchy Wonder

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Bond performs with a mama-snake mixture of nurture and menace: part transsexual den mother, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. Now the downtown performance legend returns to Joe's with a yuletide cabaret show that probably wouldn’t sit well with either Jesus or Santa Claus.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Tue Dec 23
More info
Christmas Eve Jewbilee

Christmas Eve Jewbilee Photograph: Jena Cumbo

Christmas Eve Jewbilee

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

With all of the goyim tucked in their beds, dreaming of sugar fairies or whatever, the city's gay Jews (and their "goy toys") are invited to dance the night away to the sounds of DJ Xavier at the seventh annual edition of this Chosen Christmas Eve bash presented by He'bro.

  1. Stage 48 605 W 48th St, between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves
  2. Wed Dec 24
More info
Hedda Lettuce

Hedda Lettuce

Hedda Lettuce: Lettuce Rejoice

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Drag personality Hedda Lettuce tosses a Christmas salad, complete with a splash of raunch dressing.

  1. Metropolitan Room 34 W 22nd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Fri Dec 19 - Wed Dec 24
More info
Christmas with the Crawfords

Christmas with the Crawfords Photograph: Stephen Menendez

Christmas with the Crawfords

  • Price band: 3/4

Demimonde demigod Joey Arias revives his nicely naughty adventure in yuletide camp, inspired by a real 1949 radio broadcast from the palatial home of Hollywood star and imperfect mom Joan Crawford. Sherry Vine, Chris March and Connie Champagne costar.

  1. Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement 466 Grand St, at Pitt St, 10002
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Dec 27
More info
Nutcracker Rouge

Nutcracker Rouge Photograph: Joshua Flannigan

Nutcracker Rouge

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Austin McCormick and his risqué neobaroque dance theater Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of a classic holiday tale (adapted by Jeff Takacs), complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity.

  1. XIV 428 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sat Jan 31
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