Don't miss a minute of nightlife in Atlanta. (📷: Brandé Elise)

Experience LGBTQ+ Black Culture in Atlanta

Atlanta is a welcoming city. Why is that so? For one there’s always something to do. You can bar hop in Midtown, catch a drag show at Traffik or even test your confidence at the LSS Popup Ball. Meanwhile, Sundays are “fundays,” filled with rainbows and never-ending fun at the Midtown bars. You can’t go wrong at community favorites like Mixx, Friends and 10th & Piedmont. The more you discover Atlanta, the more you realize that the city we really does have it all. Here’s a list of iconic places to discover while exploring The A.

Wall of drag queen show posters and woman posing next to it.
Brandé Elise explores LGBTQ+ Black culture in Atlanta. (📷: Brandé Elise)

My Sister’s Room

If you need a night (or two) to remember, My Sister’s Room (MSR) is a vibe. MSR is a lesbian/queer bar located in the heart of Midtown, an ATL staple since 1996. Clearly, the patrons here know how to party. The best nights to check in are R&B Thursdays and FEM Fridays.

R&B Thursdays 

R&B Thursdays at MSR is presented by Mel Scott of Traxxgirls. The host of the night is Showtime (her name says everything). She walks around with the mic singing old R&B hits and will even pass you the mic to sing along. The crowd is always diverse, sipping yummy cocktails as they listen to great music and take advantage of lots of space perfect for singing or dancing.

FEM Fridays

If you are interested in a fully engaged Friday night, be sure to follow Kia Comedy. From lesbian mixers to comedy shows and live performances, FEM Fridays are where you want to be.

Insider Tip: This massive two-story party also has a nice outdoor patio with plenty of tables and seating. Cover charge varies from $10-$20 with access to street parking and a covered parking garage across the street.  

Find on Social: @mysistersroom_msr @dagreatdjm @kiacomedy 

Where: 84 Twelfth St. NE

Drag Shows

Drag shows in The A are iconic. They aren’t just for celebrating Pride; you can catch a show every week. Whether it’s in Midtown, East Atlanta, on a Monday night or for Sunday brunch, the girls love to put on a show by singing their favorite tunes with the most glamorous effects.

Remember to bring cash and great energy to show appreciation to those who work so hard to make you feel empowered and entertained. Here are a couple of shows that should tickle your fancy in more ways than one. 

Traffik Jam at Club Traffik

Drag queen singing wearing costume of red feathers.
Sundays at Club Traffik are amazing. (📷: Brandé Elise)

Sunday “funday” is all about Traffik Jam at Club Traffik. Presented by AC Parties, it is hosted by hilarious queen, Miss Sophia. The lineup includes the most legendary drag performers ever to grace the stage. They include the beautiful Nicole Luv Dupree, empress Niesha Dupree, legendary Stasha Sanchez and the timeless elegance of Raquell Lord. Seeing this show in person is a must.

Let’s not forget, the great food. Don’t sleep on brunch with Chef Jaaion. The menu features options like the “Beyond Words” with waffle bites, a Traffik favorite. Endless mimosas are also available along with a full bar. 

Insider Tip: There is no cover to enter but if you want to get a reservation for a group, it is best to book in advance. If you want to catch a show, there are two afternoon showings, at noon and 2:30 p.m. Seating for the noon showing begins at 11:30 a.m., the second seating begins at 2:30 p.m. Tables can be purchased in advance. Street parking is available, and there is a covered parking garage across the street. To tip please bring cash or tip via Cash App.

Find on Social: @clubtraffik @therealmisssophia @stashasanchez @raquell_cuffee @necolephillips @nieshadupree

Where: 1100 Crescent Ave. NE

Star Search at The Heretic  

Next up: Star Search every Monday night at The Heretic Atlanta nightclub. The director of entertainment, the gorgeous Stasha Sanchez, and acclaimed host Miss Sophia will lead you to the promised land with all the laughs, jokes, glitter and glam. The show begins promptly at 10:30 p.m., and the lineup is always impeccable. Stars like Amaya, Damoni, Giselle, Leo and of course, Raquell, will grace the stage and show everyone what it means to sparkle, shine and be divine.

Insider Tip: Three words of advice: Get there early, especially during Pride season. Bring cash or use the ATM inside. Parking is available on site.

Find on Social: @hereticatlanta

Where: 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road

NeonBLK at Mary’s 

Woman standing at bar holding up a drink.
Brandé Elise celebrates at Mary’s. (📷: Brandé Elise)

You have to attend East Atlanta Village’s all-black drag show called NeonBLK at the infamous Mary’s gay bar. Mary’s is a special bar with lots of energy and only a $5 cover. If you are nervous about being among crowds, Mary’s requires proof of vaccination. Mary’s promises a great time with an incredible installment of performers from all over the globe. You can catch a show every second Thursday of the month beginning at 9:30 p.m. We also heard you should never miss Wednesday night Karaoke at Mary’s.

Insider Tip: On your way to the back patio, the vibes get even cooler as you pass a glass tabletop Ms. Pac-Man machine and an old school nostalgic photo booth. The patio is chill if you want a smoke break or a moment away from the music. Mary’s makes tipping easier by showcasing the performers’ Venmo and Cash App information on multiple screens throughout the bar. This is a cashless bar with no ATM and no change for tips. If you want to throw some money, be sure to bring cash (ones, fives, etc.) to tip performers. Parking is free in the rear.

Find on Social: @marysatl

Where: 1287 Glenwood Ave. SE

LSS PopUp Ball 

You may have seen the ballroom scene on TV and YouTube, but have never been to a ball in person. Are you ready to see what TV shows like Pose and Legendary are all about? Come to the LSS Pop-Up Ball every Monday night. It is presented by Divoli S’vere and hosted by the legendary Norman Ebony with Paris Da Commentator on the mic. Categories are OTA (open to all) and cash prizes are awarded. LSS (Legends, Stars, Statements) begins at midnight with categories like performance, realness, runway, face and sex siren. No matter if you walk Kiki, mainstream or it’s your first time walking like a 007 (new walker) remember to have some fun and be yourself.

Insider Tip: Let the judges see that flair and don’t hold back. As a member of the House of Balenciaga, the ballroom scene is the truest testament to confidence and family. This party has a later start beginning at 11 p.m. running to 4 a.m. The price of admission is $10 before 12:30 a.m. and $15 after.

Find on Social: @divolisvere @paris_da_commentator @truth_truth_mc 

Where: 2475 Delores Drive and 840 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW.

Marquette Lounge

Not ready to go home? Late night fun at the legendary Marquette Lounge is the best way to continue your night out.

Tuesdays are all about hot bodies and twerk battles. Enjoy the male review and male strippers from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Tuesdays, and a turn-up night at Wasted Wednesday from 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

Find on Social: @868marquette 

Where: 868 Joseph E. Boone Blvd.

Lost-n-Found Youth Thrift Store

Going out is always a lot of fun, but giving back means just as much. There are so many facets of the community to highlight and the fun aspect always seems to grab more attention. While having a great time is awesome, it is good to remember how to give back and empower those who have lost their way.  

A true gem in Atlanta that everyone should know about is the Lost-n-Found Youth thrift store. It is a prominent nonprofit in Atlanta that focuses on homelessness for LGBTQ and all sexual minority youth. You can donate, shop and volunteer year-round to help keep the community off the streets and in safe spaces. A selfless act of donating clothes, furniture, time and love helps in numerous ways. Find out more about this incredible place and how you can help.  

Contact: (470) 571-0571 (ages 18-25 that need help 24/7) 

Where: 2585 Chantilly Drive NE.

The Diverse LGBTQ+ Experience in Atlanta 

Dancing and having a good time are strictly encouraged at Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ bars. (📷: Brandé Elise)

Atlanta is one of the most welcoming cities for LGBTQ+ people of color. It’s important to have refugee and safe spaces to be yourself, and that’s what Atlanta offers. When attending the events listed above, be sure to get to know the people around you and introduce yourself a time or two. 

LGBTQ+ spaces are more than just a party. They are safe spaces for the community. Learn about LGBTQ+ businesses in Atlanta and Essential LGBTQ+ Places to Visit in Atlanta. Take a look at LGBTQ events in Atlanta.

Brandé Elise is a television/event host and voiceover artist known for her genuine excitement for life. She resides in Atlanta with her long-time girlfriend and three dogs.

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