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The Queer Awards 2016: Our picks for the year's best parties, art and more

Written by
Emy Rodriguez

RECOMMENDED: All state of queer in New York City stories

Best girl-friendly get-down: Bad Habit 

Hey, ladies! The guy-heavy after-hours landscape that is NYC queerdom thankfully has its femme-focused nooks. And Bad Habit, from the folks behind popular weekly Greenwich Village get-together Hot Rabbit, is keeping things hot and heavy for you in Bushwick's Lot 45, with nights packed with sets by ridiculously awesome go-go dancers and with revved up, pop-nodding beats by scenester spinners such as DJ Monstar. 411 Troutman St, Brooklyn ( Monthly 10pm–4am; $8. 

Best blockbuster art show: “Gay Gotham” 

The Museum of the City of New York is about to unveil a doozy of a retrospective: a 20th-century-spanning, two-galleries-strong look at the city’s queer art, focusing on the work of scene stalwarts like Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe as well as lesser-known folks such as feminist artist Harmony Hammond, painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent and transgender artist Greer Lankton. Peep an impressive array of photos, paintings, memorabilia and other works, including the designs for West Side Story. (Fun fact: The musical’s creative team was all gay.) 1220 Fifth Ave (212-534-1672, Oct 7–Mar 26; $14. 

Brooklyn’s most poppin’ POC shindig: Papi Juice  

Three years back, pals Oscar Nuñez and Adam Rhodes were lamenting how whitewashed gay nightlife in NYC had become, and they decided to do something about it—by creating a collective that, these days, takes over Williamsburg indie-rock den Baby’s All Right for a no-holds-barred bash once a month. It’s an all-inclusive, wonderfully diverse shot in the arm to the scene, a sweaty soiree fueled by hip-hop and R&B, with a different theme each time, like last month’s electric "Mami Juice" celebration of trans and queer women of color. 146 Broadway, Brooklyn ( Last Sat of the month; $10.

Best legal mumbo jumbo that actually makes a difference: 9 New York Code of Rules and Regulations §466.13

Infuriatingly (but not surprisingly), transgender discrimination is still considered legal in most of the country. Thankfully, New York lawmakers believe everyone should be treated the same, as demonstrated by this year’s ban on gender-identity prejudice (a first in the country). Those who do harass a trans person? They could face a fine of up to $100,000.  

Best sweat factory: David Barton’s TMPL Gym 

David Barton opened his first gym in 1992, and it became an instant hot spot in the queer community. So it’s no surprise that his five-month-old mingle-friendly TMPL Gym in Hell’s Kitchen is thriving. The three-story complex features a 25-meter saltwater pool, a juice bar, a spin theater with top-of-the line technology and a room exclusively dedicated to ass-tightening. (About damn time!) 355 W 49th St ( Monthly membership $165.

Best reason to call in sick on Monday: Ladyfag’s Battle Hymn

Sunday Funday antics are a dime a dozen nowadays, but for our money this infamous affair is where it’s at. After a summer-long hiatus, underground staple Ladyfag’s shindig is back, offering a melting pot of different see-and-be-seen queer scenes. (Psst: The most fun to be had is on the main dance floor, where DJs Todd Terry and the Carry Nation spin classic house tracks to the
grinding masses.) F
lash Factory, 229 W 28th St ( Sun 9pm–3am. $20, before 10pm $10.

Best body slammers: The Fella Twins 

“Queers!” “Get the fuck out of here!” Those are just a few of the not-so-friendly things crowds have yelled at this dynamic wrestling duo, which is opening a can of whoop-ass on the perception that the sport is for straight men only. Since 2014, Brooklyn-bred bros Rick Cataldo and Eddy McQueen have been competing in drag in non–gay-specific leagues throughout the borough. Check out the schedule, and go show your support! (

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