Valentine’s Day might just be the most divisive of all holidays. Is it a celebration of love or a cynical, collaborative marketing ploy perpetrated by the nation’s largest producers of chocolate, booze and sexy-time products and events? Both? However this pink-hued day lands for you, the good news is that the V-Day season brings with it opportunities for fun, debauchery and guilt-free calorie indulgence. Check out a sweet theater production focused on queer love at Planet Ant, attend a wintery Pride festival, enjoy sexy Valentine’s drag and dancing, or support your local Girl Scout during the true reason for the season: cookie time. You can also take part in a local effort aimed at urging a ceasefire in Gaza.
1. Celebrate Queer Love at Planet Ant
Planet Ant’s “Lovebird Jamboree: Love Stories From the LGBTQ Community,” a new production at its Black Box Theater by playwright and Eastern Michigan University graduate Sarah Elisabeth Brown, will take audiences on an exploration of queer love in the style of Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.” The performance includes a series of humorous monologues combined and created from interviews Brown conducted with LGBTQ+ community members, centered on a group of people anticipating the new millennium in the late ’90s.
Feb. 9-24, various times, Planet Ant Black Box Theatre (2357 Caniff St., Hamtramck). Buy tickets at bit.ly/48gPQRX.
2. Attend a Wintertime Pride Event
Restaurant and entertainment complex Detroit Shipping Company will hold Winterfest, its first winter-time event celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride, on Feb. 17. “DSC wishes to provide a safe and an inclusive environment to celebrate love, positivity and people with an event on Valentine’s Day weekend,” press materials read. The ticketed, family-friendly event will feature activities like friendship bracelet making, a DJ-led dance party, a hot cocoa station, vendors, photo opportunities and an optional drag bingo add-on.
Feb. 17, 12-9 p.m., Detroit Shipping Company (474 Peterboro St., Detroit) Reserve tickets at bit.ly/42ojSl7.
3. Support LGBTQ+ Youth (and Eat Cookies)
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Girl Scout cookie season. Don’t hesitate to indulge in those addictive delights — the Girl Scouts of America is boisterously supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, including trans kids and leaders. The group has had an explicitly trans-inclusive policy for more than a decade and has gone on record rejecting large donations from anti-trans donors. So the next time you’re gently urged to buy some cookies outside your local grocery story (or dispensary), remember you’re not only getting your Thin Mint fix, you’re also supporting a great cause.
Find your nearest cookie hook-up here: girlscouts.org/en/cookies/how-to-buy-cookies.html.
4. Participate in a Call for Peace in Gaza
A trio of local organizations representing a wide array of backgrounds and ideologies is working together to promote a ceasefire in Gaza. Community organization Queer Folk, Ferndale Palestine Solidarity Coalition and DSA Detroit are taking part in a concert at Drifter Coffee in Ferndale on Feb. 9 and urging the Ferndale City Council to pass a ceasefire resolution. “The event will bring together our community of poets, musicians, singers and peace activists from Ferndale and neighboring cities, who are united with the global movement in demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Palestine,” event organizer and Queer Folk founder Amrit Kohli tells Pride Source. “We want to raise awareness of our efforts to get Ferndale City Council to join over 50 cities nationwide in passing a ceasefire resolution.”
Friday, Feb. 9, 6-11 p.m., Drifter Coffee (770 Woodward Heights, Ferndale). Email [email protected] for information about performing at the event.
5. Enjoy Sexy Valentine’s Drag
Head to UFO Factory for the premiere of a new monthly queer night called Siren, hosted by the fabulous Auntie Chanel. First up is “Coquette Valentine’s Day” on Feb. 10, featuring high femme energy, thumping club music, high-tech visual effects and more. UFO Factory encourages attendees to lean into an aesthetic that includes a cute Valentine-inspired look — think Lolita, “cutecore,” coquettish or anything pink! You’re guaranteed to get some excellent, social media-worthy pics at this one. Future dates to be announced.
Feb. 10, 9 p.m., UFO Factory (2121 Trumbull Ave., Detroit). Advance tickets at ra.co/events/1847156.