Queer Things to Do in Michigan: Go See the Roller Derby, Ice Skate for Pride, Join a Queer Euchre Tournament

Sarah Bricker Hunt

This time of year, it can be tempting to just stay inside as much as possible, and that’s a perfectly viable, understandable stance. If you do decide to venture out, however, you’re in luck — local events are happening all over the place, from low-key indoor adventures like an LGBTQ+ euchre tournament to the frenetic energy of a Detroit Roller Derby double header to a unique chance to meet the local authors of a crime thriller featuring a drag queen. If you need some fresh air, you’re covered here, too, thanks to a special Pride-themed ice skating event.

Experience Detroit Roller Derby Badassery

Detroit Rollery Derby

With the 2023 Detroit Roller Derby season in full swing, now’s your chance to experience the quirky, badass world of this eclectic sport, which features equal parts theater and athleticism. Catch a double header Jan. 21 when the Detroit Pistoffs play the Devil’s Night Dames and the Grand Prix Madonnas take on the D*Funk AllStars. Detroit Roller Derby ladies like Racer McChaseHer, Ruthless Bader-Ginsberg and Salty DeMeanHer don’t mess around — expect raucous, good-natured rivalry, seriously impressive makeup and costumes and plenty of laughs.

Think you have what it takes to join the Detroit Roller Derby family? The team is always recruiting and holds regular bootcamps to get potential new members up to speed. Email [email protected] to learn more. All skill levels are welcome.

Jan. 21, 5 p.m. Masonic Temple (500 Temple St., Detroit). Tickets at

Glide Your Pride 

It may be January, but Pride is just as bright in the middle of winter as it is in June. Strap on your skates and pridefully glide around The Rink at Royal Oak Jan. 21 at Pride on Ice, a cold weather festival hosted by drag queen Himalaya. Tickets include open skate, skate rental and access to a heated changing tent. After the event, stick around for the afterglow party at Pronto!, where you’ll enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate bar, appetizers and a free adult beverage.

Need more convincing? Detroit Staycation, the event’s organizer, included this poem in its event announcement, written by a “little old lady at the coffee shop” to help entice people to attend Price on Ice: “Gray clouds are here, and spring is not quite near, but we are queer, so let's go skating, my dear.” Maybe you can get a selfie with the poet herself!

Jan. 21 6-8 p.m., The Rink at Royal Oak (221 E 3rd St., Royal Oak). Tickets at

Get Out Your Good Scissors for a Queerly Crafty Good Time

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Get in some cozy craft time at the North Star Lounge Arctic Arts night Jan. 31, beginning at 7 p.m. Crafting supplies will be provided for fun, easy, winter-themed projects. North Star holds regular Tuesday night events catering to the LGBTQ+ crowd, including live music, bingo nights and more. Check out for the full calendar — don’t miss the upcoming Sunday brunch on Jan. 22 featuring improv jazz group Alex Anest Organ Trio.

Jan. 31., North Star Lounge (310 N. 5th St., Ann Arbor). More info at

Meet the Local Drag Queen Who Wrote a Crime Thriller

Meet the authors of one of our recommended LGBTQ+ winter reads, “Serial Showgirl,” at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Ferndale Library. Local authors Monique Madison (aka Daniel Crago) and Melinda Bryce worked together on the novel, which focuses on a fabulous drag performer who moonlights as vigilante crime fighter when his friend is attacked and left for dead.

The story follows the lead character, a young gay man, as he navigates the dark details of the case while exploring his own place in the world of drag and beyond. Crago and Bryce will read from the book and answer questions about how they created the story that has been lighting up local social media.

Jan. 26 5:30 p.m., Ferndale Library (222 E Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale)

Flex Your Euchre Skills

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As Ferndale Pride rhetorically asks in its event listing, is there anything more Michigan than euchre? It’s hard to imagine. Join up with your best euchre partner for a classic euchre tournament at the Ferndale Elks Lodge 1588 (no membership required) to earn prizes and raise money for Ferndale Pride. The event features a 50/50 raffle drawing, Jell-O shots and, of course, bragging rights for the big winners. Are you a euchre newbie? Come out, anyway — the event is open to all, including those who just want to grab a drink and watch the fun.

Jan. 21, 7 p.m., Ferndale Elks Lodge 1588 (22856 Woodward Ave., Ferndale). Tickets are $21.


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