“For us, a large part of pop-up! QDP is saying as loudly as possible, this is a decidedly queer space and this is a queer dance party.” – DJ Llu

Pop-Up Wayne Beam Circle Church StreetOur mission & vision

The mission of Pop-Up! Queer Dance Party is to create and hold queer social and response space in the Burlington, VT area.

We are a social profit event collective, with a goal to make space, not profits. We operate like a non-profit, with a goal to pay our talent, pay for space, and fund future queer space creations. 

  • We pride ourselves on creating intentionally inclusive and safe queer space, free from bias behavior and outright nasty microaggressions.
  • We pride ourselves on breaking down old, boring, heteronormative ways of being, doing, and promo-ing, like these fun videos.
  • We pride ourselves on using queer. We embrace the identity of queer, as includes so much more than sexual orientation. It is about gender, performance, love, sex, attraction, politics, activism and more. Queer is to be bold or daring; brave; original, unrestrained by existing ideas or conventions; uninhibited. We totally respect not everyone digs the “queer” term, but we hope that you will respect our right to use it and be proud about it. See below for more on “queer.”
  • We dare to be different.
  • We dare to get creative.

Why we use the word “queer.”

A quick note on our use of the term “queer.” This word has had a complex history, including being used as a pejorative term against men who acted effeminate (freakin misogyny, ugh). Back in the 80s some in the LGBT community began reclaiming the word queer as a more inclusive term to recognize all genders and sexualities, to break those binaries down, and to be a more diverse, fluid, and umbrella term than the LGBT (which in full length is actually: LGBTQQIAAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, and Pansexual), but that still leaves out many genders and sexualities (and is ridiculously long). While this term is not embraced by all, especially the older LGBT folks, it is a term now used for nearly 40 years by a growing number of younger folks and has expanded to include academic theory and join the LGBT as the Q in the community acronym.
Pop-Up intentionally chose to use the word “queer” six years ago when we were founded, because our co-founders (DJ Llu and Chopper) both identify as queer folks and at the time (and still today) there were only cis-gendered spaces for the LGBT community to gather. Hence, we decided to manifest “decidedly queer” vibrant social space and have been doing so at venues around Burlington, nearly every month, ever since.


Our Queerstory 

Pop-Up! A Queer Dance party is about reclaiming queer space here in Vermont. After 135 Pearl closed in 2006, the only queer bar in Burlington and really, Vermont (they were open for 22 years), there was a definitely loss of queer social space. We waited for 5 years for a new bar to open and it never did, so we decided to pop-up!

In January of 2012, Pop-Up! A Queer Dance Party was born. Pop-Up! QDP is a social profit event collective which means we aim to break even, not profit off our parties. This model helps us keep our ticket/cover costs low and each event pays for the next — thank you for investing in our queer community’s social scene!

Pop-Up! QDP was started by two Vermont queers – DJ Llu & Chopper. In the summer of 2013, Chopper took a sabbatical from pop-up to pursue a writing degree out west and DJ Llu, along with a dedicated crew of rotating volunteers, have kept Pop-Up! cooking.

Over the years, Pop-Up! QDP has created queer space through dance parties, playing bingo or trivia, kickball games, co-producing community fundraisers with local queer non-profits. We originally intended to move our parties around Vermont, but realized that the expense to do so would deplete our limited resources and thus we keep our parties based in the Burlington area. Not to fret though, we have queer producing fam in other pockets of the state who are doing similar queer social space creating, like HOMO PROMO in Brattleboro and the FreeRide Bike Collective in Montpelier!

Want to get in touch with us?  Email DJ Llu at pop.up.queer.dance.party@gmail.com

Chopper & DJ Llu & the founders of pop-up! qdp


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