8 reasons to take PRIDE in Dayton’s LGBT community
By Amelia Robinson
We’ve still got a long way to go, baby, but “Advocate” magazine hit the nail on the head when it listed Dayton No. 1 on its “Queerest Cities in America 2015” list.
The list was all about unexpected LGBTQ-friendly cities, so unruffle those feathers, fans of San Fran and New York. Some of the little guys are welcoming community, too.
Here are 8 reasons Dayton should be proud as we prepare to celebrate Dayton Pride on June 5 and 6.
1. Dayton Girls
The Rubi Girls are more than a drag comedy troupe. The group that started for pure fun is a gosh dang bonafide institution. The nationally-known troupe has raised more than 1 million dollars for gay and HIV/AIDS-related causes since forming roughly 30 years ago. Yes, ONE MILLION. This all seems impossible. The Rubis barely look older than 29.
2. It is in the law
Dayton city commissioners passed a gender orientation anti-discrimination ordinance in 2007. The city’s domestic partner registry was approved in 2012. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley performs a mass commitment ceremony as part of PRIDE.
3. Clubbing it
Good luck finding a lesbian bar, but Dayton has more gay bars than you can shake a stick within a few downtown blocks: Club Masque, 34 N. Jefferson Street; Stage Door Musical Bar, 44 N. Jefferson Street; The Right Corner, 105 E. Third Street; and MJ’s on Jefferson, 20 N. Jefferson Street.
Club Masque has been listed among the world’s best gay bars by “Out” magazine.
4. On the tube
Two of the most popular and long running shows on Dayton Access Television (DATV) feature members of the LGBTQ community — “Queeries?” and “Harper’s Bazzaroworld” hosted by the wondrous Miss Demure (who just so happened to be our Daytonian of the Week in December 2014).
5. Music to our ears
The Gay Men’s Chorus has been making beautiful music since 2004, but that’s just the half of it.
They live up to their misson statement.
”We believe in the inherent worth of all humanity. We build bridges of understanding through our collaborative community partnerships. We create an enjoyable social environment for our membership through fellowship and brotherhood. We seek to open minds and eliminate prejudice by honoring and celebrating our differences.”
6. The THEATRE
Dayton loves a show.
As the Advocate magazine pointed out in explaining why Dayton’s number one on the list, The Victoria Theatre Association hosts blockbusters like “The Book of Mormon” and “Wicked” at the beautiful Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. Our world-renowned Dayton Ballet, Opera and Philharmonic make the Dayton Performing Art Alliance. We are home to the Dayton Playhouse, The Human Race Theatre Company and tons of community theater groups.
7. Open for business
Some of the city’s most successful businesses are owned by openly gay Daytonians.Two of the Oregon District’s most delicious eateries, Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, 515 Wayne Avenue, and Roost Modern Italian, 524 E. Fifth Street, are on that list. Wheat Penny will host the Pride Brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7.
8. The party of parties
Masquerage has raised more than $1.2 million in unrestricted funds for HIV/AIDS case management, education, prevention and advocacy since 2001. The fundraiser for AIDS Resource Center Ohio attracts about 9,000 people — straight, gay, bisexual, and more — interested in a great cause, dynamic dancers, dramatic drag queens and decadent debauchery. The next Masquerage is set for Oct. 17, 2015.