DNA Magazine - - THE USA ISSUE -

Be­lieve it or not, the Stonewall Ri­ots were also a cat­a­lyst for cir­cuit par­ties.

Six months after Stonewall, Amer­ica’s first gay rights group – the Gay Ac­tivist Al­liance – formed and held dances in a fire­house in SoHo. At the same time, an­other dance party sprung up on Fire Is­land.

Ac­cord­ing to Mickey Weems, a lec­turer at the Uni­ver­sity of Hawai’i Manoa, it was the first “cir­cuit”. Weems at­tributes the name “cir­cuit par­ties” to An­drew Holleran’s 1978 novel Dancer From The Dance. The au­thor was the first to use the term cir­cuit to im­ply that there was a “need to know cir­cuit” in place not just for un­der­ground dance par­ties, but “in-the-know” places in the gay com­mu­nity, that even in­cluded bar­ber­shops.

To­day, gay cir­cuit par­ties are a global af­fair but Amer­ica re­mains home to some of the best. White Party, Pines Party, and Province­town Car­ni­val are amongst the largest. Blatino Oa­sis, Black Party, Pur­ple Party, Pen­sacola Pride and even Splash Days in Austin of­fer a smorgasbor­d of party op­tions.

The cir­cuit is now a year-round cal­en­dar of events. In 2019, New York hosts World Pride. Check out Cir­ for a full list.


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