The monthly "Cherry" party for lesbians and their friends is closing out Memphis In May with "Memphis In Gay."
The party kicks off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 31st at Earnestine & Hazel's and will feature burlesque and drag performances by Requi Emma, Macc Onner, Kissame Suga, Will Ryder, and Goldie Davenport. Shows will begin at 9 and 10:30 p.m., and in between performances, there will be dancing to the jukebox and an impromptu ghost tour.
Each summer, Outflix screens campy and classic films to raise money for the Outflix Film Festival to be held in September. This year's Summer Film Series kicks off on Thursday, May 29th with a "Summer Camp" theme. Each film is $10 and screens at Malco's Studio on the Square. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.
* Thursday, May 29th, 7 p.m. - Wigstock
This 1995 documentary takes viewers on a trip to Wigstock, the drag music festival in New York's East Village, which featured performances by RuPaul, Crystal Waters, Deee-Lite, and others.
* Wednesday, June 11th, 7 p.m. - Mildred Pierce
This 1945 film noir starring Joan Crawford tells the story of a long-suffering mother and her ungrateful daughter.
* Thursday, June 19th, 7 p.m. - Hairspray
This 1988 John Waters film stars Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, a young woman who defies the rules of 1960s racial segregation through dance.
* Thursday, June 26th, 7 p.m. - Kinky Boots
This 2005 musical by Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein follows the story a strait-laced shoe factory owner who partners with a drag queen to save his struggling business.
Farmer Brandon Pugh is hosting a "Queer Dineer" (the misspelling is intentional) at his Delta Sol Farm in Proctor, Arkansas to benefit the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center and Slow Food Memphis.
Chef Brown Burch will prepare the meal, which will be paired with locally sourced beer and a curated selection of handcrafted dry rosé from Oregon, Washington, and France by Michael Hughes. The region's top drag queens will provide the entertainment.
Attendees are asked to dress in their "best country realness" (i.e. dress for warm weather and mud). Tickets are $75. Memphis residents can spend an extra $20 to take the "gay ride," transportation from Memphis to Proctor and back, but that service will only be provided if 20 people sign up for the ride.
Chef Kelly English is hosting a cocktail party at Restaurant Iris to raise money for the Tennessee Equality Project's Political Action Committee on Sunday, May 18th from 5 to 7 p.m.
English will prepare hors d'oeuvres, and the bartenders will create special cocktails for the event. Funds raised will go to help TEP support candidates who support LGBT equality and safe school legislation to prevent bullying of LGBT students.
Tickets are $50 per person or $90 per couple and may be purchased at the door.
Kelly has been an outspoken supporter of LGBT equality. He's also headlining at the Big Gay Mississippi Welcome Table Dinner in New York City on June 13th, along with chefs John Currence of Oxford's City Grocery and Art Smith, who owns restaurants from Chicago to Atlanta. The chefs are joining forces to oppose Mississippi's version of the "Turn the Gays Away" bill, which would enable businesses and individuals to refuse services to LGBT citizens on the grounds of religious freedom. Read more about that dinner on Hungry Memphis.
A similar bill was killed in committee in Tennessee earlier this year. Senator Brian Kelsey introduced the bill (and later withdrew his sponsorship), and at the time, English made headlines when he put a message on Facebook offering to host a fund-raiser dinner for anyone who would run against Kelsey in the next election.
Back in 2009, Shane Trice, who owned the popular LGBT nightclub Backstreet and several other gay bars, was arrested, and his club was shuttered after undercover Memphis Police officers say they witnessed illegal drug sales, illegal alcohol sales, and gambling inside the club on at least six occasions.
Trice owned two other bars in Memphis — Metro and Mary's — and they remained open for awhile after Backstreet's closure. But eventually, Trice closed both bars and left town. Now there is a warrant for Trice's arrest in Florida, issued by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Trice is accused of opening credit cards and cell phone accounts using former employees' social security numbers and dates of birth.