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Play Bingo with Latrice Royale, Sing Christmas Carols with PRISM, Join the Roller Derby

Sarah Bricker Hunt

You did it! Another sometimes tumultuous, whirlwind year is in the books, and here you are, triumphant and not at all tired or ready for one of those long winter’s naps. Or maybe you are, and that’s fine, too. When you’re ready to venture out, don’t miss a classic holiday event with PRISM Men’s Chorus or a “holigay” dance party at Soho. You can also catch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Latrice Royale at two events over New Year’s Eve weekend, learn how to be a roller derby player and find true love at a queer speed dating event.

1. Play Drag Queen Bingo with Latrice Royale

Ease into your hopefully debauchery-filled New Year’s Eve weekend with some drag queen bingo. It’s the perfect way to say farewell to 2023, a year where our drag queens and kings were subjected to needless harassment and bigotry from coast to coast. “Drag Race” star Latrice Royale will host the Dec. 30 Drag Bingo for Ann Arbor Pride event at Tap Room in Ypsilanti. The restaurant will offer its regular menu to drag bingo guests. You can also catch Latrice at Tap Room on Dec. 31 for the New Year’s Eve Drag Spectacular, which will support Jim Toy Community Center. 



Drag Bingo: Dec. 30, 6 p.m., Tap Room (201 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti). Tickets at bit.ly/47ZhtPL. NYE Drag Spectacular: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. Tickets at bit.ly/3GKw5Xx.

2. Leave Your Holiday Angst on the Dancefloor

Dance Club

The holidays can be stressful. Dance it out at 215 West on Dec. 23, when the venue will transport you to the world of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Does it even matter as long as there are plenty of sexy Jack Skellingtons in the mix? Sponsored by Queer Dance Party and Soho, the Christmas Town Holigay Extravaganza will offer a “slay” full of holiday delights, including beats spun by DJs Tylr and Monarch and a performance by local drag queen superstar Golden O’Hara-Polo

Dec. 23, 9 p.m., 215 West (215 W. 9 Mile, Ferndale). 

3. Sing Carols with PRISM Chorus

Craving a classic Christmas moment with a festive queer twist? PRISM Men’s Chorus and Christ Church Cranbrook have you covered with the Christmas Carols and Chocolate event. Set for Dec. 23, the festivities include a reading of “The Gift of the Magi,” a family-friendly Christmas carol singalong and a hot chocolate and dessert bar. All are welcome. Christ Church Cranbrook will also hold several queer-inclusive Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, including an online service at christchurchcranbrook.org/church-at-home

Dec. 23, 5-7 p.m., Christ Church Cranbrook (470 Church Road, Bloomfield Hills). No need to RSVP. Holiday services schedule available at christchurchcranbrook.org.

4. Speed Up Your Dating Life

Speed Dating

Do your New Year’s resolutions — which you are totally going to keep — include being proactive about your dating life? Great news! An LGBTQ+ speed dating event in Royal Oak on Jan. 6 has your name all over it. You’ll jump into quick, timed conversations with other local LGBTQ+ folks at ImaginAte over food and drink. Organizers promise a fun, relaxed setting for this event, which just might be a quaint throwback in the modern era of trying to find quality partners amidst the dizzying, horrifying world of dating and hookup apps. 

Jan. 6, 7-10 p.m., ImaginAte (401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak). Tickets at bit.ly/3RpxEyR.

5. Join a Roller Derby League

The sport and spectacle of roller derby has been on an upswing in recent years for many reasons — the roller queens are fab, and the whole environment is charmingly kitschy, unfailingly inclusive and community-centric. You, too, could become a menace on wheels, as Michigan leagues regularly invite potential new members to get involved. Lansing Roller Derby will offer two informational boot camps starting in early January for both adults and kids aged 7 to 17. Sarah Reimann, a public relations liaison for the league who plays under the name Deacon Bruise, tells Pride Source the sport is uniquely inclusive of all shapes, sizes and abilities. “We're excited to get more kids involved in the wonderful world of roller derby,” she says. “This sport is so inclusive for boys, girls and all body types.” The boot camps are 10 weeks long and start with orientation sessions on Jan. 4 and 7. Learn more at lansingrollerderby.com.

Beginning January 2024, various dates at Court One Training Center (7868 Old M-78, East Lansing). Visit lansingrollerderby.com/basic-skills-boot-camp for more details.



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