Inside GAY BASH'D, Boston's Iconic Pride Party

Inside GAY BASH'D, Boston's Iconic Pride Party

BYPaper MagazineMay 23, 2024

Every year, Pride comes with the familiar jitters. Yes, Pride can be a joyous excuse to spiral with your sisters, but how many of us have left a Pride party dejected, lamenting yet another corporate Pride nightmare? Many of us find ourselves latching onto artist-run parties like GAY BASH’D, New England’s biggest Pride dance party, whose massive scale doesn’t take away from its community-oriented DIY roots.

GAY BASH’D started in 2018 as a small, underground, queer party with the aim of supporting drag artists and queer musicians who were sticking to their artistic guns. Since then, their year-round parties have grown considerably, with their annual pride party becoming a staple mega-event for the Boston and New England queer community. In 2024, GAY BASH’d Pride will be hosted in the 3,500 person-capacity venue Roadrunner for the third year in a row (a Boston space opened by The Bowery Presents in 2022, housing the largest GA dance floor in New England).

Organized by DJ Math3ca and drag artist Static, as well as residents Saint, Violencia and drag artist Binx, GAY BASH’D Pride returns this year on June 8 with all the pomp and energy its many return-attendees have come to expect. This year features DJ sets from Poppy, along with live sets from Rebecca Black and the internet’s it-girl Aliyah’s Interlude. Performing hosting duties is RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Detox, who has been involved with GAY BASH’D for the past four years.

“[GAY BASH’D] has always been about providing a safe and welcoming space and clearly that has resonated with everyone,” says Detox. “Everyone involved [in organizing] is there to not only have a great time but to prove themselves to the community. And I think that’s what’s made their events so successful.”

GAY BASH’D attendees can expect the music to skew fast and fun, the attire to bend towards the outrageous and the crowd to be largely genderqueer and trans. It’s become a central pillar of the party. While many Pride parties naturally center cis gay men, GAY BASH’D has become a crucial convening for New England's gender expanse to dance hard together. “Organizing nightlife takes a lot from you, it’s exhausting in all manners,” says GAY BASH’D organizer Math3ca. “[But] seeing people’s smiles, the joy in their faces and knowing that I’m helping create a magical space for queer people. It all becomes very rewarding and makes it all worth it.”

“It’s not like your typical corporate generic Pride event that is more about pots and pans music and seas of cookie cutters. Which, don’t get me wrong, is fun and fine! But GAY BASH’D is truly a celebration of queer joy and art and love and magic,” adds Detox. “I can tell that [attendees] have a sense of ownership to it as well. Like this is ours and we love it and must nurture it! Every year it seems to get bigger and bigger and now it’s become one of those destination Pride events to not miss.”

Tickets for this year’s 18+ event, benefiting BAGLY with the Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence can be purchased here. The full June 8th lineup includes Poppy, Detox, Rebecca Black, Aliyah’s Interlude, Saint, Violencia!, Binx, Neon Calypso, The Hazzel Jinx Collective, Chanel the Angel, Candace Pursasian, Destiny, Saint Anique, Kurt Fowl, Linda Maripossa, Kiry, Nyx Nakamarri, Jaynsanity, Sister Lida Christ, Stevie Psyclone and Math3ca.

This story contains promotional content for an upcoming event.