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Queer Things to Do: Attend a Comedy Show, Go to a Queer Hoedown, See PRISM Men’s Chorus Do Disco

Sarah Bricker Hunt

Can you feel that electric buzz in the air? That’s right, friends: Pride season is upon us. You’ll find rainbow-hued delights around every corner from now until July (and even later — find details in our 2023 Michigan Pride Calendar). In addition to early Pride Fests in places like Trenton, Kalamazoo and Ferndale, check out queer-friendly events like the fifth annual Pride Comedy Gala, the inaugural HowDy Fest, a disco-themed PRISM Men’s Chorus event and the lively Movement Festival in Detroit’s Hart Plaza.

1. See Local Comedians for a Good Queer Cause

Lean into queer joy this Pride season at the fifth annual Pride Comedy Gala, a fundraiser supporting Ruth Ellis Center (REC), set for June 11 at Valentine Distilling Co. in Ferndale. Proceeds will help REC in its mission to provide trauma-informed services for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults of color. Local comedian and producer Hailey Zureich told Pride Source the “very special show” will feature an all-queer lineup of comedians, food and drink and a silent auction. The eclectic mix of local talent includes Sam Meier, Alex Bozinovic, Maxwell Skelly Gonyea-Alexander and Nicole Melnyk.

June 11, 7 p.m.,Valentine Distilling Co. (161 Vester Ave., Ferndale). Reserve tickets at bit.ly/3pRNic6.

2. Put the All in Y’all at HowDy Fest

Practice your best “yee haw” and prepare to channel Dolly for HowDy Fest, “a welcoming and supportive y’allternative space for folks whom the typical honky-tonk environment traditionally doesn’t serve,” says organizer Savannah Stone. “Bring your rhinestones, fringe, chaps, hats, boots and all your friends!” The family-friendly event, set for June 3 at Kelly’s Bar in Hamtramck, runs all day and features live music, carnival games, a lasso performance, mock calf roping, rodeo clowns and, at the center of it all, a mechanical bull. The bravest lassies and lads can even win a prize in the HowDy Fest hobby horse barrel race.

HowDy Saloon Detroit, the group sponsoring the event, bills itself as “a mixed bag of queer and trans folks working together to create inclusive, intersectional, and non-exclusionary honky-tonk events whose collective goal is to uplift the community, prioritize LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and differently-abled persons, and to rope in others that share that same goal.”

June 3, 2-10 p.m., Kelly’s Bar (2403 Holbrook Ave., Hamtramck). Presale tickets: bit.ly/3IkkdMO.

3. Boogie with PRISM Men’s Chorus

Tickets are selling fast for the PRISM Men’s Chorus annual spring concert. This year, the choir, made up of local queer men and allies, is planning a spectacular, glittery disco-themed event with plenty of the kind of surprises that PRISM is known for. Artistic Director Darin DeWeese told Pride Source that the “Disco Fever!” show will focus on “one of the most iconic music and dance eras in our musical history, scratching the surface of some of our all-time favorite dance tunes and performing artists.”

“I can guarantee this show will leave you begging for more and will have you dusting off those old 33s,” he adds. “Whether this is your first PRISM show or you’re a long-standing patron, we are positive you will enjoy all we have in store for you.” Advance tickets are highly recommended — the show is likely to sell out.

June 2, 8 p.m., Macomb Center for the Performing Arts (44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township). Ticket link at prism-chorus.org

4. Get Moving at Movement

Break out your comfy shoes and grab a water bottle because the three-day Movement Music Festival is going to wear you out (in the best way, of course). The festival, set for Memorial Day weekend, will feature musical performers and producers across six stages set up in Detroit’s Hart Plaza. Queer local artists DJ Minx, Beige and Stacey Hotwaxx Hale are among the 115 acts slated to pump out techno, house, electronic music and more. The event, according to a news release, “represents the beating heart of the house and techno music scene, with a rich legacy of pioneering artists and innovators who have pushed the boundaries of electronic music. It’s a celebration of its culture, creativity and community.” You’ll join up with thousands of other festival goers, who come from all over the planet to move together.

May 27-29, Hart Plaza (1 Hart Plaza, Detroit riverfront). Ticket link at movementfestival.com.

5. Snatch Tickets for Pride in the Wild

Grab tickets now for Slay’s “Pride in the Wild” event at the Detroit Zoo July 15. The drag fundraiser, which supports Affirmations LGBTQ+ community center in Ferndale, Ruth Ellis Center, Ferndale Pride and other LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations, will feature “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8” star Monica Beverly Hillz. Local drag performers will also be on hand, alongside DJs, musicians and aerial artists. This event is expected to sell out, so channel your inner cheetah and move quickly!

July 15, 6-10 p.m., Detroit Zoo (8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak). Ticket link at weslayevents.com.