So many parties, so little time. Contrary to popular belief, Wilton Manors is not the be-all, end-all of the best Tea-dances, bars, clubs and pop-up events in South Florida. Miami is also a force to be reckoned with — offering drag shows, live music, performance art and even free barbecue and drinks on a monthly basis. South Florida Gay News compiled a list of some of the must-go-to parties to check out. Next week we’ll look at the weekly parties.
The following are the standouts:
OUT Miami’s Gay Bingo at Hotel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 8 p.m. last Thursday of every month.
Gender Blender at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Wynwood; 9 p.m., last Sunday of every month.
Counter Corner co-creator Sleeper Speaks is the mastermind behind Gender Blender, a monthly party featuring drag performances, live music and performance art by queer artists. Under a year old, the event started at Churchill’s with partners Ian “Neon” Brown and Karloz Torres, then moved to Las Rosas in Wynwood. The next Gender Blender is Jan. 28
This Free Life Presents: Celebrity Deathmatch at The Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 10 p.m., last Saturday of every month.
Who doesn’t like to see drag queens square off in a wrestling ring? But instead of putting each other in a headlock or executing a body slam, these queens are doing the ultimate lip sync for your life. Launched in December 2017, the first event attracted RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Shangela and pitted performers against each other in the likeness of pop and R&B divas, such as Madonna vs. Lady Gaga, Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera and Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B. This month’s party is Super Mario-themed and is pitting queens in the form of Mario vs. Luigi and Princess Peach vs. Princess Daisy. Miss Ultimate Miami drag queen Athena Dion serves as hostess. Party open to 18-and-over entrants. RSVP for free at https://tfl.events/mia. The next event is Jan. 27.
Not Your Standard Bingo with Shelley Novak at The Standard, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach; 7-10 p.m., last Sunday of every month.
The name of this event says it all. This isn’t your standard bingo. Started three years ago, drag comic legend Shelley Novak hosts the monthly party with tunes by DJ Jody McDonald. Prizes include a one-night stay at The Standard, day passes and spa services. What’s more, it's free to play. The next event is Jan. 28.
Counter Corner at 1306 Miami, 1306 North Miami Ave., Miami; 10 p.m., third Sunday of every month.
Originally started in 2014 at the Corner Bar in downtown Miami, Counter Corner was created by Miami artist Sleeper Speaks and performance artists Gio Profera and Josue Garcia, better known for their Hialeah chonga drag personas, Juleisy y Karla. The trio created the monthly queer party for LGBT folks who were “over” the traditional Miami gay scene and were looking to enjoy some “gender non-conforming fun.” In the summer of 2017, the party moved to a larger venue, 1306 Miami, and it has become the monthly must-go-to venue to see the likes of bodybuilding drag entertainer Miss Toto or death-dropping, splits-taking Dang-Ho Yu Sickning with music mixes by DJ Zehno. Good news for the younger 21-and-under crowd: the party is open to 18-and-over entrants. No cover.