Metro Weekly

Nightlife Highlights: Pride’s Kick-Off Party, A Rooftop Pool Party, Haus of Stone, and Booty Rex’s Pride Party

Our picks of the best LGBTQ nightlife in the D.C. area this week!

Capital Pride — Photo: Ward Morrison


This Friday, May 31, you can kick off your weekend and maybe even a full week devoted to Pride if you’d like, all courtesy of what has been dubbed a “New Queer’s Eve” affair, one that will also put the “art” in party in a way you may have never seen before. As the party’s host venue, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is going all out and proud, with plans to bath the building’s exterior in rainbow lights for the night — “Powered by Pepco” — as well as to highlight the LGBTQ artists represented in its collection. (The museum will also do that in even greater detail next Sunday, June 9, for its free “Pride @ SAAM” all-day event featuring special exhibits, presentations, film screenings, and live performances.) The arty affair commences this Friday, May 31, with the Capital Pride Honors reception starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Luce Foundation Center for American Art, located within the museum. At 8:30 p.m., the Countdown — a party presented in partnership with Capital Pride Alliance, Smithsonian Pride Alliance, and Brightest Young Things/BYT Queers — is on, as the Kogod Courtyard opens with DJs Leonce of Atlanta and Ase Manual of Newark spinning underground club sounds until they slowly ramp things up, getting patrons in the mood for hours of music and dancing, art activities, and other surprises to come — to say nothing of the all-night Open Bar! Also on tap are shows and performances from the House of Sonique, Mundy, KC B. Yoncé, Divoid, and Ruth Allen Ginsburg, with it all coming to a head via a headlining DJ set from Aquaria, the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is at 8th and F Streets NW. Remaining tickets to this 21+ party are $60 to $65 including Open Bar, or $70 to $75 for Open Bar and the Honors Reception — plus Eventbrite processing fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


The Navy Yards location of VIDA Fitness will help the Capital Pride Alliance officially kick off pride weekend when it hosts a rally and party around the pool on its rooftop on Thursday, June 6, starting at 7 p.m. Geared toward Capital Pride volunteers, partners, donors, advocates, and even mere enthusiasts, this swanky cocktail affair for the 21+ crowd will feature special drinks and appetizers to assist with all the mingling with special guests, perhaps even a celebrity or two. The Penthouse Pool Club at The Yards is at 1212 4th St. SE. Tickets are $25 plus service fee. Call 202-554-0444 or visit


Familiar drag queens about town Logan Stone, Vagenesis, Venus Valhalla, Citrine, and Kittney Stone are teaming up to start their pride engines collectively on Thursday, June 6 — and that’s when the quintet will also debut, right from the Trade stage, as the performance collective Haus of Stone. Wessthedj will start spinning tunes at 10 p.m. to set the proper mood for showtime later in the hour, but you can get started earlier — much earlier — via the bar’s nightly Huge Happy Hour special. For those unfamiliar, the special, to quote official verbiage, amounts to “basically anything you normally get in a regular glass, you get in a huge glass for the same price.” Or, if you prefer, beer and wine comes discounted to $4. Best yet, the happy amounts and prices are offered all evening long — up until Wessthedj puts the needle on the record, that is, aka the clock strikes 10. Trade is at 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit


The “Official Unofficial Queer Pride Party” of the year returns next Friday, June 7, when the Black Cat hosts what organizers are hyping as a Stonewall-commemorative “riot on the dancefloor in honor of our ancestors and ourselves.” Guest performers at this year’s Booty Rex include drag king/genderqueer act Majic Dyke and Mx. Latinx Pride 2018 Ricky Rosě as the party’s go-go dancers, and Zombie and Alesia Michelle as emcees. On the decks you can expect the whole posse from the local all-lady DJ crews Anthology of Booty — Kristy la rAt, Mothershiester, Natty Boom, and Bent — and She Rex — Junebullet, C.rush, and Alex DB. Party starts at 8 p.m. Black Cat is at 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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