March will wind through an area not usually associated with the LGBT community
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
While other cities celebrate National Gay Pride Month in June with parades, Dallas will have Queerbomb, Glitterstock, FemmeFest and CineWilde to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, as well as the series of Supreme Court decisions that led to last year’s marriage equality decision.
Queerbomb, now in its third year, organizes its own Pride events. And other groups are beginning to organize events around the Queerbomb celebrations, as well, according to Queerbomb organizer Daniel Cates said. “We’ve grown in amazing ways,” he said.
Cates noted that part of the reason for his event’s growth is a lack of other Pride events in Dallas during June. Razzle Dazzle has gone away again for now.
MetroBall is a successful fundraiser held in June but there is an admission fee. But Queerbomb’s events are free, Cates said, adding that “Queerbomb is community funded and not covered in beer ads.”
Cates stressed that he isn’t bashing the annual Dallas Pride parade and celebration held in September. He just wants everyone to know they are welcome to celebrate National Pride Month at a fun, free event in June.
This year’s Queerbomb kicks off with a music festival that starts at noon and runs all afternoon on June 25 at RBC Deep Ellum, 2617 Commerce St.
Cates is excited about the new venue.
“They rolled out the red carpet for us,” he said. “We’ve never worked with a facility of this caliber before.”
Glitterstock, a rally, will be held at 7:30 p.m. outside the club. That will be followed by a march —more appropriate than a parade, Cates said, because it better simulates the original gay Pride protest outside the Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969.
“Pride is political,” he said.
And, he added, marching through a neighborhood that’s not usually associated with the LGBT community makes more of a statement than marching through the gayborhood.
Cates said a march is also more economical to stage than a parade. The exact route is still being worked out with Dallas police, but it will wind through Deep Ellum.
The permit is inexpensive because marchers are expressing their free speech rights. On the other hand, parade permits when more than 20,000 people are expected run $500.
Police protection will be provided to Queerbomb, but hiring off-duty officers for a march isn’t required as it is for a parade. That means Queerbomb will need to do some of its own policing — like making sure people don’t take alcoholic beverages out of the club and into the street.
For that, Queerbomb has marshas, as Cates calls them, rather than marshals.
After the march, DJ DQ will keep the party going at RBC Deep Ellum. But Glitterstock will take place in the parking lot outside the club. Entertainment includes drag performers, spoken word, music and burlesque. Cates said organizers are still looking for performers.
“We want to see the community get creative,” he said. “We’ll put on a queer variety show of fabulous proportions.”
Community groups are invited to set up booths. Cates said no one will be there asking anyone to change their electricity providers, but community groups are invited to “raise funds, find new members, publicize and evangelize.”
Other groups are planning events in conjunction with Queerbomb: Planned Parenthood has scheduled FemmeFest, a party celebrating femme-identifying queer folks. And CinéWilde Dallas will join the fun with its first annual local queer film festival during the day at Central Trak. The festival is soliciting films from local amateur and professional LGBT filmmakers.
While venue and permits are already paid for, Cates said Queerbomb’s trying to raise about $5,000 to make the event more fabulous and keep all admission free of charge.
To make a donation to Queerbomb, visit GoFundMe.com/queerbomb2016.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 13, 2016.