This Week’s Best LGBT Events in New York City

Written by | Things to Do

actor/playwright Ty Autry

"A Southern Fairytale" — a play about gay conversion therapy by Ty Autry, is onstage this weekend.

Looking for gay things to do in New York? Whether you’re looking for drag shows, parties talks & lectures, film screenings, theater, or cultural outings, Metrosource has got you covered. Our complete list of LGBT things to do is just a click away, but here are a few handpicked favorite queer events:

This week, you spend jump the train to Jersey tomorrow to catch Randy Rainbow live, you can see Ty Autry’s play about gay conversion, or sign up for the annual Cycle for the Cause AIDS benefit that brings riders from Boston to NYC.

Randy Rainbow Live

Friday, September 14

Randy Rainbow (yes, that’s his real name) is a comedian, actor, writer, host and internet sensation, best known for his viral comedy videos. He’ll perform live on stage at BergenPAC in Englewood, NJ. His popular series of political spoofs and musical parodies have garnered international acclaim and hundreds of millions of views.

Mothership One

Friday, September 15

Mothership One is a free interactive voyage of music & dance featuring performances, DJs, and live musicians. Vogue, freestyle or sashay down the Mothership runway. Music by DJ Hex Hector and special appearances by Cesar Valentino, Niko Milan, Rose Cordero, Tommy Lee Murphy and Connie Girl.

A Southern Fairytale

Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15,

A Southern Fairytale, written by and starring Broadway World-award winner actor Ty Autry and directed by David L. Carson, will make its New York City premiere with a limited run as part of NYSummerfest on September 13, 15 and 16.

Based on true events, A Southern Fairytale artfully illuminates the challenges facing a young, gay Christian growing up in the Deep South. As we accompany the protagonist through multiple journeys into and out of the closet, the audience emotionally connects with the very real impacts of conversion therapy, excommunication, and a father who believes that a demon has possessed his son.

Written and performed with deep passion and the insight only gained through personal experience, Autry skillfully explores the trauma of rejection by those we love. As family and friends impose extreme measures to reshape him to fit their ideal, the young man is left isolated and alone. Will he ever thrive – or even just simply survive – if he chooses to live as he was born? Is happiness possible when the only faith you have ever known, not to mention everyone you love, demands that you are wrong and living a life of sin?

Double Book Launch: Horse Crazy & Gone Tomorrow by Gary Indiana

Tuesday, September 18,

Actor, playwright, artist, poet, critic, and novelist who has chronicled the despair and hysteria of America in the late twentieth century, Gary Indiana was born in 1950 in New Hampshire. From Horse Crazy (1989), a tale of feverish love set against the backdrop of downtown New York amid the AIDS epidemic, to Do Everything in the Dark (2003), “a desolate frieze of New York’s aging bohemians” (n+1), Indiana’s novels mix horror and bathos, grim social commentary with passages of tenderest, frailest desire.

Cycle for the Cause

Thursday, September 20 – September 23

Starting in 1995, Cycle for the Cause is a three-day bike ride from Boston to New York city raising money and awareness for HIV/AIDS. Passing through over 20 cities, the bike ride is an epic 275-mile journey, raising more than $12 million that funds critical services that The Center provides on a daily basis. The ride is fully supported through fundraising, meaning that your meals, housing, medical services, and much more are completely provided. Fundraising might sound daunting initially, but riders more than often met or exceed their fundraising minimums, and expectations!

Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection


Featuring more than 100 works from our collection, Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection explores a wide range of art making that focuses on enduring political subjects — encompassing gender, race and class —that remain relevant today. The exhibition’s intersectional feminist framework highlights artworks in a plurality of voices that aim to rally support or motivate action on behalf of a cause, or to combat stereotypes and dominant narratives.

Half the Picture draws its title from a 1989 Guerrilla Girls poster that declares, “You’re seeing less than half the picture without the vision of women artists and artists of color.” Spanning almost one hundred years, the exhibition focuses on historical and contemporary work by more than fifty artists who combine message and medium to engage with political and social issues. Often radical and inspiring, these artists advocate for their communities, their beliefs, and their hopes for equality amid popular or state-supported opposition.

The exhibition showcases pointed artworks by Vito Acconci, Beverly Buchanan, Sue Coe, Renee Cox, Nona Faustine, Harmony Hammond, the Guerrilla Girls, Käthe Kollwitz, An-My Lê, Yolanda López, Park McArthur, Zanele Muholi, Philip Pearlstein, Wendy Red Star, Joan Semmel, Dread Scott, Nancy Spero, Betty Tompkins, Andy Warhol, the Artists’ Poster Committee of Art Workers Coalition and Taller de Gráfica Popular, among many others.

Donna Gottschalk: Brave, Beautiful Outlaws


This exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art features the work of Donna Gottschalk, a photographer active in the early period of radical lesbian organizing in New York and California during the 1970s. Gottschalk came out as a lesbian right at the formation of the radical lesbians and Furies collectives on the east coast, where she met lesbian artists JEB (Joan E. Biren), Flavia Rando and others, then later moved to California to join lesbian-separatist communities. In both locations, Gottschalk photographed herself, friends, lovers and activists in radical lesbian communities. Gottschalk also documented the life of her sibling, formerly a gay man named Alfie who transitioned to become a woman named Myla.

Straight White Men


Christmas Eve is typically a time to be merry — but what happens when Ed and his three adult sons are forced to confront their true identities in Straight White Men? Even matching pajamas can’t hide the fact that these men are the makers of their own destinies. Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name, The Social Network) stars alongside TV Star Tom Skerritt (M.A.S.H., Picket Fences) in this groundbreaking work by Young Jean Lee, the first Asian-American female playwright to be produced on Broadway.

The Donna Summer Musical


Where were you the first time you heard “I Feel Love?” In the world of Hot 100 radio, that track cut through everything around it — the arena rock of Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen, the disco of the Commodores and Jacksons — all of it. For those who were there, it sounded like a transmission from another galaxy.

But Donna Summer began her career in the musical “Hair,” becoming best known for refusing to take off her clothes in the show’s much-ballyhooed nude scene. She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming one of the signature voices of an era and the inspiration for many who followed in her path.

Tony Award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple), Ariana DeBose (Hamilton, A Bronx Tale) and newcomer Storm Lever play the many facets of Donna Summer, taking audiences through her tumultuous life, tempestuous loves and mega-watt musical hits. From “Love to Love You, Baby” to “Last Dance” and beyond, her story and her music pair for a night of memories — or discovery. It’s The Donna Summer Musical.

Head Over Heels


Variety‘s review of the show when it was in San Francisco says Head Over Heels could have been called “A Very LGBT Thing Happened on the Way to the Masque” (masque as in 17th century court performance, and Masque as in the Hollywood punk club where the Go-Go’s learned their chops — take your pick). That’s one juxtaposition that’s really anything but odd, since the Go-Go’s and Carlisle have ended up amassing a huge gay fan base over their decades of breaking up and reuniting. The plot of “Head Over Heels” really gets underway well into the first act, when the lowly shepherd Musidorus (Andrew Durand), banished by the king from pursuing the princess Philoclea (Alexandra Socha), cross-dresses as an Amazonian warrior to get quality time with his unsuspecting sweetheart. It’s a setup right out of “Some Like It Hot” or “Tootsie,” if not time immemorial, but imagine a “Some Like It Hot” that just gets less and less straight until it ends with a succession of same-sex marriages.”

Head Over Heels is directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) with musical arrangement by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tom Kitt (Next To Normal, American Idiot) and choreography by Emmy Award nominee Spencer Liff (So You Think You Can Dance, Hedwig and the Angry Inch). With a wickedly funny original book by Tony winner Jeff Whitty (Bring It On: The Musical, Avenue Q) adapted by James Magruder (Triumph of Love), this new production also includes scenic and puppet design by Tony Award nominee Julian Crouch (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), costume design by Academy Award and Tony Award nominee Arianne Phillips (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), lighting design by four-time Tony Award winner Kevin Adams (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot, Spring Awakening), sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada (Follies), and projection design by Andrew Lazarow.

The World Premiere of a New Play, Scissoring


In Christina Quintana’s Scissoring, New Orleans native and resident Abigail Bauer must confront the clash between the life she has created with her longterm girlfriend and her career as a devoted teacher in a repressive Catholic school. Through her struggle, Abigail receives pressure from the school’s shape-shifting, personified public address system and guidance from the figures of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Roosevelt’s devoted friend and lover, Lorena Hickok. Performances will begin May 31st for a limited Off-Broadway engagement through June 30th. Opening Night is set for June 11th.

OBSESSION: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso


This exhibition at The Met Breuer will present a selection of some fifty works from The Met’s Scofield Thayer Collection—a collection that is best known for paintings by artists of the school of Paris, and a brilliant group of erotic and evocative watercolors, drawings, and prints by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Pablo Picasso, whose subjects, except for a handful, are nudes. The exhibition will be the first time these works have been shown together and will provide a focused look at this important collection; it also marks the centenary of the deaths of Klimt and Schiele.

The Met’s Scofield Thayer Collection specializes in paintings by legendary artists from the school of Paris. For the first time, a selection of key works from greats like Klimt, Schiele and Picasso will offer art enthusiasts a concentrated look at nude works from this important collection. The timing of this erotic and sensual exhibition is also poignant, as it marks 100 years since the passion of both Klimt and Schiele.

An aesthete and scion of a wealthy family, Scofield Thayer (1889–1982) was co-publisher and editor of the literary magazine the Dial from 1919 to 1926. In this avant-garde journal he introduced Americans to the writings of T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Arthur Schnitzler, Thomas Mann, and Marcel Proust, among others. He frequently accompanied these writers’ contributions with reproductions of modern art. Thayer assembled his large collection of some six hundred works—mostly works on paper—with staggering speed in London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna between 1921 and 1923. While he was a patient of Sigmund Freud in Vienna, he acquired a large group of watercolors and drawings by Schiele and Klimt, artists who at that time were unknown in America.

When a selection from his collection was shown at the Montross Gallery in New York in 1924—five years before the Museum of Modern Art opened—it won acclaim. It found no favor, however, in Thayer’s native city, Worcester, Massachusetts, that same year when it was shown at the Worcester Art Museum. Incensed, Thayer drew up his will in 1925, leaving his collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He withdrew from public life in the late 1920s and lived as a recluse on Martha’s Vineyard and in Florida until his death in 1982.

Looking for more? Check out our complete listing of events.

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Last modified: September 14, 2018