US: How Nightlife Is Healing My Queer Wounds

“Living as a queer person of color post-Pulse after this election brought forth some of the hardest times I’ve ever faced.”

It felt like a movie. The space was taken over by the children, club kids in outfits a commoner might think were lifted from The Hunger Games. The tea is The Hunger Games got their looks from the kids. It was a mix of the club kids hosting the event, the gays who attended, and the unknowing straight hotel visitors who happened upon the party.

And it was a party. This was the debut of “On Top,” thrown by legendary nightlife hostess Susan Bartsch, then in collaboration with nightlife king Kayvon Zand. The venue was The Standard hotel. Not the one in the East Village. The one people care about-- the the one in Meatpacking. The Standard has the Boom Boom Room, a Great Gatsby meets 2050 kind of space. It has Le Bain, a red lit dance floor with a glamorous disco ball and a hot tub in the middle of the dance floor. It has the Rooftop, featuring 360° views of New York City, the city that never sleeps.

It may have been Tuesday, but the crowd danced like it was a Friday. Nightlife protege Domonique Echeverria was decked out in a gold sequin gown she sewed herself. She jumped in the jacuzzi, still in her gown, her dress falling down exposing her breasts, with a champagne bottle in hand spraying bubbles on partiers in the splash zone. I stood in awe, transfixed by the lights and the music. This was the queer space I had been looking for all my life.

Especially after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Read more via Grindr