Going out?

Your guide to Dayton Pride 2015’s nightlife

By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

Photo: Ginger Minj of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 7 makes her Masque appearance June 6 for the Pride Saturday Drag Revue

The concentrated energy of Dayton Pride works like a shot of adrenaline to the heart of the community. There’s a rush of celebratory revelry that finds people rallying deep into the night, but can be followed by a bit of a crash. The same goes for purveyors as it does for partiers.

“I love to do it,” says Dana Thompson, bartender at Right Corner, a bar that has been participating in the community for 20 years. “But I’m glad when it’s over,” he chuckles.

Just by sheer crowd numbers, Dayton Pride is a powerful affair. Stage Door—the longest established gay bar, open in Dayton since the early 1960s—has smartly chosen to have the grand opening of its new dance room on Pride Saturday, maximizing exposure with the large crowds.

“We’ve been redoing [the dance room] for the past few months, and we’ll do the unveiling that day,” says Stage Door employee and performer National Holiday.

Preparing for the volume takes considerable effort on the part of the business owners.

“We start planning for the Pride Celebration at least two months out,” MJ’s manager Bruce Lindsey says. “There are shows to plan and performers to schedule as well as bar specials, supplies and all that. It’s not one of those things you start to think about the week before.”

And it’s all well worth it! It’s a charged environment where anything seems possible, whether it’s finding the bottom of a fishbowl cocktail at MJ’s or pushing forward with the pursuit of marriage equality.

“I think the best comparison as far as the general public is concerned is it’s a Gay St. Patrick’s Day,” Lindsey says. “It’s a day for the gays to get together and express themselves in their own way. Many of them only go out to be with ‘their people’ once or twice a year, so it’s a festive time. Pride is a time for the gays to be out and proud to be who they are. Homosexuality doesn’t define us. We still have jobs and families and friends and lovers and some even marry. Yes, we even pay taxes and elect people. That makes us humans and citizens of the larger community.”



Ready to plunge into the scene? We have your night-by-night guide to Dayton Pride 2015. While the majority of Dayton Pride events are concentrated around the parade on Saturday, the night scene goes strong all month. Drag shows, photo booths, HIV testing, television and film stars, foam … it’s all here!

Tuesday, June 2

Masque, 34 N. Jefferson St.

Boobies in Bubbles: A little something for the ladies

Join host Skyy Black and the Diamond Dolls for their famous open stage show. Doors at 8 p.m., foam at 11 p.m. $5 cover.

Wednesday, June 3

Masque, 34 N. Jefferson St.

College Wednesdays: Midweek Gayhem

Drink and dance at the biggest midweek party in the Midwest. Doors at 8 p.m. $5 Cover.

Thursday, June 4

Masque, 34 N. Jefferson St.

Gay Hip Hop Thursday: You betta twerk!

DJ Charlz spins the hottest in hip-hop and R&B. The AIDS Resource Center (ARC) will be on hand offering free HIV testing. $3 Long Islands. $1 cover before 11 p.m., $5 after 11 p.m.

Friday, June 5


34 N. Jefferson St.

ABFAB Friday

Come see the Cocky Boys featuring Levi Karter, Ricky Roman, Frankie V and Alex Killborn. The hottest men will take the stage with Montana McDaniels.

MJ’s on Jefferson,

20 N. Jefferson St.

Pre-Pride Celebration

Get an early start on Saturday’s big hooplah with Miss Ohio USofA Classic Wendy Williams, Miss MJ’s Dena Cass, Kayla W. Fame and Ryder Nightly.

Saturday, June 6

Masque, 34 N. Jefferson St.

Pride Saturday: Drag Revue

Join Ginger Minj of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 7 for a stylish night with Masque’s house divas.

MJ’s on Jefferson,

20 N. Jefferson St.

Get an early start with specially priced Bloody Marys and mimosas beginning at 8:30 a.m. Their Pride Breakfast will take place at 9 a.m. in the Main Show Room for a suggested donation of $5. Lineup for the parade will be at 11 a.m. Get some post-parade BBQ in the Show Room from 2-4 p.m. to replenish your strength for karaoke with Eric from 5-8 p.m. Catch shows at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. with Wendy Williams, Miss MJ’s Dena Cass and Mr. MJ’s Judas Elliot, Miss Dayton Gay Pride Harlee Rainz and Mr. Dayton Gay Pride Colton Bacall along with Jade Sexton, Kayla W. Fame, Erin O’Toole, Kimberly W. Lourainne, Angel VanMere, Johnny Dangerously, Leo, Brock, Rio and Andrew Connor. Get some Stoli Pride Punch for $11 in a fishbowl and keep the fishbowl as a souvenir! Refill your fishbowl for $9. Cover is $3 from noon-9 p.m. without BBQ pass, $8 re-entry all night with BBQ pass, $10 after 9 p.m.

The Stage Door,

44 N. Jefferson St.

Enjoy no cover all day and a special Pride Saturday early opening time of 10 a.m. Don’t miss the photo booth with Bryce McCaughey!

Sunday, June 7

Club Masque, 34 N. Jefferson St.

Big Gay Drive-In

Masque’s parking lot will transform into a drive-in theater, complete with concession stand, for a showing of “Bridegroom: A Love Story, Unequaled,” the award-winning documentary from director Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 and was introduced by former President Bill Clinton who said, “This is really, on one level, a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story. And on another level, it’s a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance.” Activist and filmmaker Shane Bitney Crone will be in attendance.

Saturday, June 13

The Stage Door, 44 N. Jefferson St.

Catch the Bartenders’ Drag Show Revue with special guest Racine Alexander.

Why Not III, 5 N. Murray St. in Springfield

Celebrate Springfield’s first Pride Festival and join Destiny CeCe Fayte, Kellie Sextonn and Daray Lorez, Amanda Sue and others for some serious carousing.

Thursday, June 18

The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St.

Dayton Pride continues with a screening of “Tab Hunter Confidential” at 7:30 p.m. See the real Tab Hunter, for years hidden behind his façade as the matinee idol of the 1950s. Get the whole story from director Jeffrey Schwarz and producer Allan Glaser, Hunter’s partner of 30 years.


Argos Bar

301 Mabel Ave.

Dayton, Ohio


Thursday-Saturday 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m.



34 N. Jefferson St.

Dayton, Ohio 45402


Sunday-Thursday 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday 8 p.m.-5 a.m.


MJ’s on Jefferson

20 N. Jefferson St.

Dayton, Ohio 45402


Monday-Sunday 3 p.m.-2:30 a.m.

Happy Hour Monday-Saturday 3-9 p.m.


Right Corner

105 E. Third St.

Dayton, Ohio 45402


Monday-Sunday 1 p.m.-2:30 a.m.

Happy Hour Monday-Friday 5-7 p.m., $.50 off wells, $.25 off domestics


Sparky’s Lounge

822 Watertower Lane

West Carrollton, Ohio 45449


Monday-Sunday 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m.

Happy Hour Monday-Sunday

11 a.m.-7 p.m., reduced drink prices


The Stage Door

44 N. Jefferson St.

Dayton, Ohio 45402


Monday-Sunday 3 p.m.-2:30 a.m.

Happy Hour during the week.


Why-Not III

5 N. Murray St.

Springfield, Ohio 45503


Monday-Saturday 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m.


Diesel Bar & Night Club

1914 Edwards Ave, Springfield, Ohio 45503


Wed-Sat 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Sun

6 p.m.-12 a.m.


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About Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

View all posts by Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com or through her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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