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More than 100 people came out to Paper Tiger Thursday night to attend Queers and Beers 3: Make the Holidays Gay Again event. In the spirit of unity and support during this holiday season, local LGBTQIA activist Chris Conde brought together local acts who got their jingle on all night.
The free event, sponsored by Out In SA, the San Antonio Current, and others, was hosted by drag queen Fonda Koxx and included musical and artistic performances by Alyson Alonzo, Chris Conde, Wayne E. Holtz, DoubleTrouble, August, Pink Leche, Salem, Bryce Jeter (Pussy Von Cramp), and House of KENZO.
The holidays can be a lonely time for anyone, but the goal of Queers and Beers is to provide a sense of unity and family – not just for the queer community in San Antonio, but for anyone in the city in need of a good time.
“Sometimes the holidays can be a time for queers where we don’t belong with our families but it’s good to have an event that is a safe space for queers, people of color, and everyone to just come and join together to celebrate the holidays,” said Alonzo, 29. “It can be hard for queers that don’t have families that really accept your lifestyle and your values but we have each and that’s what it’s all about. It’s also good just to bring the community together and say, ‘These are the people representing the queer community in music’ and get to know that there is a place for us.”
Alonzo, who calls her music style a “mix of soul, R&B, and electronic music,” said she started making music alone in her room for a couple of years. It wasn’t until around 2010 that she started going out into the community to perform live shows.
“It took a while, but hard work takes you places and it’s worth it,” she said.
The Rivard Report asked Alonzo what she’s looking forward to in this coming new year regarding the city’s music scene.
“I have to say there is definitely a renaissance – more bands popping up and better quality music and more people are experimenting,” she said. “I am really enjoying the sounds coming out of San Antonio right now and I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of our music scene as the city grows.”
Attendee Abby Mangel, 24, called the musical lineup Thursday “beautiful and subversive.
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“I really enjoyed Wayne Holtz, who did a musical performance with very dark pop music that incorporated theatrical elements,” Mangel said. “I think he has a really graceful baritone and he’s a fabulous performer. Acts like his really embody what San Antonio needs right now in regards to diversity and just good showmanship. He’s someone with a political message who is also a good entertainer.”
In addition to the usual food and drinks at Paper Tiger, BEAT AIDS provided free HIV and STD testing on site and local vendors and artisans set up shop to offer hand-crafted goods, vintage items, art, and even dog treats for attendees in need of a holiday gift for their furry friends.
“It’s nice to see people care about each other during the holidays and be there for one another,” said attendee Nikkin Rader, 25. “Even though they don’t necessarily live that lifestyle you can still be an ally, which is important.”
To read about more holiday events in San Antonio, click here.