Pace yourselves, friends. There’s almost too much to do this time of year and endless ways to contribute to the economy, as your wallet and busy calendar can attest. The good news is that you can mix it up with high-energy functions like a fun holiday-themed drag bingo brunch or a frenetic Europop concert by “Barbie Girl” band Aqua or quieter activities focused on inner peace, like an online Buddhist meditation exercise or a local LGBTQ+ support group. There’s joy to be found around every queer corner.
1. Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party
If you’re of a certain age, odds are good that you recall the 1997 “Barbie Girl” phase. Missed it? It’s never too late to add to the 1.3 billion YouTube views of the official video. The campy earworm was produced by Danish-Norwegian Europop group Aqua, who took a multi-decade hiatus from touring the U.S. soon after, only to be lured back into the zeitgeist for a fresh cultural contribution to this summer’s blockbuster “Barbie” movie. “Barbie World,” recorded for the film’s soundtrack by Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj, garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Song Written for Visual Media and gained Aqua a whole new fanbase comprised of listeners who weren’t yet alive for “Barbie Girl.” Don’t miss the distinctly queer vibes when the Europop superstars play The Fillmore Detroit on Dec. 10.
Dec. 10, 7 p.m., The Fillmore Detroit (2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit). Find tickets at livemu.sc/3N778Jq.
2. See ‘Frozen’ Live
The national Broadway tour of “Frozen” has landed in Detroit with exquisite timing. It’s not a holiday musical, but the wintery sets and special effects and powerful musical performances will enhance your appreciation for a classic snowy Michigan winter. Pride Source Editorial Director Chris Azzopardi recently interviewed queer “Frozen” performer Collin Baja, the body-positive queer Michigander inside the Sven costume, who commented on the level of detail put into the production. “I'm still watching ‘Let It Go’ from Caroline Bowman [who plays Elsa] every single night because Caroline blows me away, just the control,” he said. “It takes a village to put on a show, let alone a touring show. Our crew, our wardrobe, everyone is working so hard, and it shows in the results.” The show runs through Dec. 17 at Detroit Opera House.
Through Dec. 17, Detroit Opera House (1526 Broadway St., Detroit). Find tickets at bit.ly/3Rmzp0T.
3. Practice Buddhist Meditation Online
Recenter and connect with a kind, welcoming queer community online at the Be Queer Now Buddhist meditation support group. The weekly virtual gatherings focus on meditation, poetry and dharma chats and are available to all LGBTQ+ community members regardless of experience. Those curious about Buddhism are welcome to attend, as are experienced practitioners. The Sunday evening Zoom-based meetups are free, but donations are welcome. Learn more and sign up at bit.ly/3GIhonX.
Sundays, 9:30 p.m., Zoom. Register at bit.ly/3GIhonX.
4. Mingle and Jingle at a Holiday Drag Brunch
Is it even the holidays if you don’t snatch a chance to cheer on drag queens donning their festive best? Nope. So celebrate the season Dec. 17 at Detroit Fleat when local drag artists will host the Holly Jolly Drag Brunch and Bingo, an event where the ladies will “jingle your bells and deck your halls,” according to truly delightful press materials, which describe the entertainment as serving more shade than a Douglas fir. Proceeds will support Affirmations, Ferndale’s LGBTQ+ community center.
Dec. 17, 12 p.m., Detroit Fleat (1820 E. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale). Tickets at bit.ly/413LTxR.
5. Find Local Support
For many local LGBTQ+ community members, December can be the toughest time of year, especially when it feels like everyone else is enjoying the season of togetherness and light. If you find yourself in that mindset, local organizations and advocates want you to know you’re not alone. There are resources available to meet a wide range of needs this time of year, including support groups, helplines and opportunities to attend events with your queer local community. Check out resources like Affirmations, LGBT Detroit, the Hannan Center’s support groups for older LGBTQ+ community members and, for young adults, Ruth Ellis Center (ruthelliscenter.org).