As a mecca for openly LGBTQ individuals throughout history, it’s no surprise that the Bay Area throws some of the best parties by and for those with alternative sexualities and gender identities.
There are many incredible events and spaces in the Bay in which people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) can feel safe and have a wild time while being themselves to the most magnificent degree.
From the fly-est, most captivating gays and lesbians in San Francisco, to the edgiest gender-bending androgynous queers in Oakland, the Bay Area has got you covered when it comes to partying with non-heteronormative peers. Many of the most popular events like the ones below happen just once a month, so take note of when each one takes place because if you identify as LGBTQ, you’ll definitely want to catch them all.
1. Cockblock, The Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco
2nd Saturday night of every month
155 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102 USA
Cockblock is where the finest lesbians of San Francisco come to play on one magical Saturday night every month. The party is high energy and the dance floor is always going off with great hip-hop and trap mixes. There are hot, gorgeous women mingling everywhere, although friends of every gender are invited to party. Cockblock is an exciting and super fun event that will make you lose your mind, which every gay girl should try to experience when she is in San Francisco.
2. Hard French, The Rio, San Francisco
1st Saturday afternoon of every month
3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 USA
Hard French is not just a cool queer event, it’s simply one of the coolest events that happen in the Bay Area in general. It’s a laidback barbeque and dance party that takes place during the day on the first Saturday of every month. Hard French is ultra-stylish and cool as this unique event attracts the best dressed and hippest queers around the city. And instead of the typical top 40 or hip-hop music you usually hear at dance parties, Hard French puts on swing, big band and funk music to which you can boogie and get down. It’s a chill open air event full of interesting and dapper people, the perfect way to spend the first Saturday afternoon of every month!
3. Hella Gay, Brix 581, Oakland
4th Saturday night of every month581 5th St. Oakland, CA 94607 USA
Hella Gay is as fun and crazy as its name suggests. It takes place at Brix 581 near the freeway in Oakland which functions as a restaurant during the day and turns into a cool bar and party venue at night. It has multiple floors, bars, dancefloors and patios which provides a lot of space and opportunities to mingle with the fun queers that come out to rage. One can go in and out of the dancefloors to cool off or relax, as the place is packed and teeming with people top to bottom. The top floor usually spins electronic beats while the downstairs hip-hop floor is where it’s at.
The whole event is hot and sweaty and so much fun. For a hella good time, come out to Hella Gay where you’ll discover just how much the LGBTQ community loves to rage and party.
4. Ships in the Night, The New Parish, Oakland
1st Saturday night of every month
579 18th St, Oakland, CA 94612 USA
Ships in the Night is a largely queer women affair, where you will see the most alluring and edgy queer women as well as non-gender-conforming individuals, from Oakland and beyond. Every month, the organization that puts on the dance party works with a different social justice cause and/or organization to which the proceeds from the event go. For example this past month the beneficiary of the proceeds was Critical Resistance, an organization looking to put an end to the Prison Industrial Complex.
The New Parish is a great half indoor, half open air venue where there are multiple bars, dance floors and a sweet courtyard where gorgeous people can interact and party together. Ships in the Night is favored by more alternative LGBTQ individuals who largely identify as queer and claim fluid sexualities and genders identities, which is awesome. Ships in the Night is my personal favorite dance party on this list and after experiencing the incredible vibes from this conscious, empowered crowd, you’ll wish that this party happened every single week rather than just the first Saturday of every month.