The loss of the Woodward Bar & Grill — one of Detroit’s oldest gays bars, which burned down in a fire earlier this month — undescored the decline of Detroit’s queer spaces and the value in the ones that remain. Detour recently spoke with event organizers about their experience with safe and inclusive queer spaces, hearing about many that foster joy and support for their patrons.
Along with suggestions from Detour readers, we’ve compiled this list of venues, event series, organizations and other networks that serve and welcome the queer community.
Are we missing something? Email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add it to the list.
Current, upcoming and regular events
Mighty Real/Queer Detroit
Through June 30, multiple locations in Detroit
The MR/QD project held its first exhibition this June, with shows at 17 venues representing more than 150 queer artists and 77 years of Detroit LGBTQ+ art. The closing event is June 30. Organizers plan to host an online gallery and hope to bring the show back as a biennial event.
Allied Media Conference
June 30-July 3, various locations, biennial conference in Detroit
Allied Media Conference, a project of Allied Media Project, serves as “a home to young, queer, disabled, and BIPOC people from low-income communities who [use] media to transform their worlds.”
Hotter Than July (This year, called The Evolution of Hotter than July)
July 15-17, annual event, multiple locations in Detroit
One of the oldest Black LGBTQ+ celebrations in the country, Hotter than July was first held in 1996 and is organized by LGBT Detroit.
Pop-up DJ series in Detroit
Blueprint is a Black-women-led party celebrating women and queer musicians and has hosted several shows at UFO Factory in Corktown.
Social Men Entertainment
Pop-up party series in Detroit
Social Men Entertainment hosts LGBTQ+-friendly parties at bars and other venues, chiefly in metro Detroit. The events cater to men but are not restrictive.
Lesbian Social Detroit
Pop-up event series in Detroit
Lesbian Social Detroit typically hosts one or more parties each month at downtown Detroit venues, designed to be safe spaces for women but open to all.
“Monthly-ish” bike ride, locations vary
A free, community-led, semi-regular queer bike ride in and around Detroit.
Annual party in Detroit
Club Toilet is a long-running queer afterparty for the annual Movement techno festival.
Organizations and groups
20025 Greenfield Rd., Detroit
Service organization offering health, education, mentorship and other programs for LGBTQ+ Detroiters, as well as organizing Hotter than July.
Ruth Ellis Center
77 Victor St., Highland Park
Social service organization supporting LGBTQ+ kids and young adults, particularly young people of color and those experiencing homelessness.
Nonprofit organization operating out of Detroit that hosts regular events and supports “the quest for equal rights for all transgender individuals.”
Creative and community groups
Queer Pride Detroit
“Queers ready for radical change and representation.” Recently hosted Queer Pride Detroit Bike March with Cruise: Detroit.
“Black-women-led, Detroit-based platform that seeks to support emerging femme, trans, women and nonbinary artists.” Also hosts events.
Bars and venues
Menjos Entertainment Complex (Including Menjos, Olympus Theatre and Detroit Eagle)
928 West McNichols Rd., Detroit
One of the oldest gay bars in Detroit, with a nightclub, bar and theater. Located in Palmer Park.
1517 Broadway St., Detroit
Record shop, wine bar and performance space in downtown Detroit with “extremely welcoming” atmosphere.
Backstreet at Large Multiplex
14925 Livernois Ave., Detroit
Gay nightclub and restaurant in Northwest Detroit, with “events for the LGBTQ+, Straight, and House/Techno communities under one roof.” Originally established in 1979.
744 E. Savannah St., Highland Park
Gay nightclub and bar in Highland Park “where everyone is welcome.”
2906 Cass Ave.
Divey bar with dance parties; inclusive to all.
6513 Woodward Ave., Detroit
A space in New Center “for women and nonbinary writers and artists to work individually and collaboratively.” Also holds events and workshops.
Good Cakes and Bakes
19363 Livernois Ave.
Queer-owned bakery on the Avenue of Fashion.
Copper House Detroit
Queer-owned, cannabis-friendly short-term rentals (“bud and breakfast”) in Northwest Detroit that regularly hosts community events.