Things to do in New York City this spring: The city's best LGBT events

There's no shortage of LGBT things to do in New York City this spring, from top-notch late-night cabaret shows to the final Black Party at Roseland



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Spring in New York offers plenty of things to do in New York City for LGBT folks. This season, you can schedule a romantic date night with the boys of Well-Strung, splurge for a good cause at Broadway Backwards or get debaucherous at the last Black Party at Roseland. Before you know it, Pride Month will be here, and the party really gets started.

The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret

Hirsute, Philadelphia-based drag queen (the creation of Pig Iron Theatre Company cofounder Dito van Reigersberg) Martha Graham Cracker and her band return to NYC for more rolicking alt-cabaret shenanigans.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Fri Mar 14
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This extremely charming singing string quartet has spent the last year playing all over the country, and even a few overseas gigs. Be sure to catch them at this increasingly rare hometown gig, where they'll find the common ground between Mozart and Ke$ha, among other great composers.

  1. 54 Below 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave, 10019
  2. Sun Mar 16
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Horse Meat Disco

Josh Wood Productions brings the disco daddies of Horse Meat Disco all the way from the South London headquarters of the Eagle for a night of sweaty fun. This time, they're here to kick off Black Party Weekend, so be prepared for an especially wild (and extra gay) scene at Cielo.

  1. Cielo 18 Little W 12th St, between Ninth Ave and Washington St
  2. Fri Mar 21
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The International Escort Awards

Better known as the Hookies, this annual awards show kicks off Black Party Weekend by honoring the top (and bottom…) male sex workers around the world. Head to the website to vote for your favorite hunks, most of whom are porn stars, and all of whom will be willing to spend some time with you for a fee. (Check out their profiles at, the event's sponsor.) This year, character actor (and general character) Leslie Jordan returns as host, ant the hunky Boomer Banks represents us as Mr. New York.

  1. BPM 516 W 42nd St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, 10036
  2. Fri Mar 21
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Rites XXXIV: The Black Party

Black Party weekend culminates in this all-night and most-of-the-next day celebration of debauchery. Make sure to dress the part (hint: no sneakers), and be prepared to have your mind blown by sexy-scary performances and DJ sets from world-class spinners. This is the final Black Party at Roseland—Lady Gaga officially closes the place down starting next week.

  1. Roseland Ballroom 239 W 52nd St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Sat Mar 22
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Broadway Backwards

Broadway gets gender-bent at this annual fund-raising concert where stage stars perform musical-theater numbers with a queer twist. Spring for the top-priced tickets and you'll find yourself hanging out with the cast. Glamour! Proceeds go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

  1. Al Hirschfeld Theatre 302 W 45th St, at Eighth Ave
  2. Mon Mar 24
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Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Walls

Leslie-Lohman presents a sure-to-be-steamy exhibit of illustrations featured in gay male magazines, from early beefcake "fitness" periodicals in the 1940s to the more blatantly porny titles of the 1990s. Artist Robert W. Richards curates the show, which includes works by Tom of Finland, George Stavrinos, Harry Bush and many more.

  1. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St, between Canal and Grand Sts
  2. Fri Mar 28 - Sun May 25
More info

Night of a Thousand Gowns

The Imperial Court of New York’s big annual fund-raiser is one of the season’s most dazzling spectacles. Expect to see lots of sequins, feathers, precious metals and anything else that can be incorporated into a glamorous look. Emperor XXII Wen-D Bouvier Pinkhouse and Empress XXVII Gracie Steeles will reign over the proceedings, which will include performances from Vandellas lead singer Martha Reeves, ’80s freestyle combo Exposé, the cast of Pippin and more. This year's beneficiaries are God's Love We Deliver and the True Colors Fund.

  1. New York Marriott Marquis 1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Sts, 10036
  2. Sat Mar 29
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Third Annual New York Boylesque Festival

The always-explosive combo of Daniel "King of Queer Sleaze" Nardicio and Thirsty Girl Productions' Jen Gapay is behind this yearly showcase of XY-chromosomed bumpers and grinders from around the world. NYC's own Sweetie oversees the proceedings, and this year's big (ahem!) headliner is hunky Chicagoan Jett Adore.

  1. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill 237 W 42nd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 10036
  2. Fri Apr 25 - Sat Apr 26
More info

Urban Bear Weekend

Hibernation season is over! Burly, fuzzy dudes take to the streets to strut their stuff during this incredibly popular annual celebration of all things ursine, brought your way by the Urban Bear honcho Robert Valin. Events range from screenings and comedy shows to dance parties and the requisite beer blasts. Check the website for specifics as they're planned.

  1. Various locations
  2. Thu May 1 - Mon May 5
More info

McKellen Me Softly

The queer nerds of Geeks OUT have already paid puntastic tribute to George Takei (Takei Back the Night), and Sigourney Weaver (Dream Weaver) with their annual art show and fund-raising party. This year, they're saluting the man who brought Magneto and Gandalf to the big screen, the ever-fabulous Ian McKellen. Dozens of artworks inspired by the acclaimed British actor will be on view and for sale in a silent auction, which benefits Geeks OUT's ongoing mission to raise the visibility of LGBT people in the gaming, comics and sci-fi communities.

  1. Church of the Holy Apostles 296 Ninth Ave, at 28th St
  2. Thu May 29
More info

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