Cheers for Queers Creates 'Oasis' on National Coming Out Day

The queer forces of Denton united last Thursday for National Coming Out Day to host “Cheers for Queers” at Wine Squared. Cheers for Queers featured music, spoken word, and open mic performances by queer artists - newcomers and veterans. Art collective, Spiderweb Salon put on the event in collaboration with the Denton Feminist & Queer Collective (DFQC), OUTreach Denton and Glitterbomb Denton.

Around 40 people filled the back patio of Wine Squared to watch people bare their experiences to the supportive crowd. Everyone was encouraged to attend Glitterbomb, Denton’s own weekly queer variety show, after Queers for Cheers. There were even a pairing of buttons created with each of the organizations names and you could only get the second button if you attended Glitterbomb afterwards.

Ahead of the show, Anna Marsden, one of the emcees for the night and co-president of DFQC, said Denton is a special space for the queer community.

“I always said that Denton is a queer oasis,” she said.

Queer friendly organizations and spots have existed and are continuing to pop up all over Denton.

Cheers for Queers is a celebration of identity and the arts.

“It is so often the case queer communities form the backbone of the arts community. Art communities is where queer people feel safe - we want to uplift these voices with intention,” Marsden said.

It has been emotional for the Denton queer community within the last few years. Heartbreak with the closing of Mable’s then hope with the opening of Q’s and events like Cheers for Queers that gives queer people a guaranteed safe place to go.

With all these forces working together, between DFQC organizing “feminist fonebanking” to call representatives, PRIDENTON proudly claiming the focus to be around queer people of color this past June and several members raising awareness for the lack of equal rights ordinance within town, Marsden hopes Denton can continue to better serve the LGBTQ community.

“My hope is Cheers for Queers can be a yearly event. We recognize the need and desire for this kind of event in Denton. Just to do more-that excites me most,” Marsden said. “We want to prioritize how to make Denton more queer friendly. In an informal way it is queer friendly, we want to make it formal - make it so we [can] register businesses as queer friendly.”

Any one looking for more events like this can follow Spiderweb Salon, OUTreach Denton, Glitterbomb Denton and Denton Feminist Queer Collective on social media for more information.

Photos and header design by Tori Falcon.