The Complete Guide to Queer Spaces

From the recreational to the educational, these groups and places offer safe space for the LGBTQ+ community throughout Greater Cincinnati.
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From the recreational to the educational, these groups and places offer safe space for the LGBTQ+ community throughout Greater Cincinnati.

For Dancing: Good Judy’s

You should be at this eccentric Northside queer-owned-and-operated bar every day of the weekend, with events like Stan Thursdays (where the music of just one or two artists is played all night long) or weekly drag shows with an all-trans lineup of drag queens. The resident DJ, DJ Boywife, summed up the vibe best: “Another publication made us sound very mainstream and crowds turned out, then I would play SOPHIE and they’d all leave.” • 4169 Hamilton Ave., Northside, goodjudys.com

For BIPOC-Centric Community: Black Pearl

This queer community founded by two Black women and named after legendary icon Josephine Baker—the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture—is focused toward Black, brown, and indigenous queer women of color. They hold social events—with cofounder Rah D usually live DJ’ing—at least once a month at some of Cincinnati’s most popular spots, in addition to unique expeditions, like group camping trips to the hills of Kentucky. • @blackpearlexperience on IG, blackpearlexperience.com

For Heavy Readers: Reading Is Fundamental

Once a month at Lil’s Bagels, the library is open and reading is fundamental—but we’re not talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race, or even Dorian Corey’s “real art form of insult.” Every second Wednesday of the month, the queer-owned Covington bakery holds discussions on books centered on the queer experience—most often literary fiction, but plenty of memoirs and classics make it too. Check the Facebook page for details on the next selected book(s). • 308 Greenup St., Covington, Check Lil’s Bagels Facebook for details

For Trans Kids: Trans-Form

Nonprofit Trans-form is all about helping trans or non-binary youth transition safely. Their most well-known service—which has been on the Today Show, NPR, and even got a video from Lin-Manuel Miranda—is giving queer kids an entire new wardrobe of 15–20 outfits, curated to their taste, for free. That’s not all, though—there’s a youth council for community service, and Friday night programming full of board games and arts and crafts. • facebook.com/transformcincy

For Skaters: Cincinnati Skate Collective

More than 1,000 people quad and inline skate all around the state in this upstart collective. Queer skater and Cincinnati Rollergirls player Gabrielle Larkin noticed that roller-skating was having a bit of a resurgence, so she created a group for people to connect, learn, and get resources. Their biggest event? The Pride Roll-Out, a free outdoor skating event with live music that grew so big it’s now part of the official Cincinnati Pride celebration. • cincinnatiskatecollective.com

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