In September, we celebrated the best of New York’s LGBTQ nightlife at the GO Magazine’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Nightlife Awards. Held at XL Nightclub in Hell’s Kitchen, the event served as a poignant reminder that queer nightlife is about so much more than partying—it’s a crucial inroad for us to find and build community in safe spaces and explore those places where we’re free to live out loud. Nightlife fosters meeting like-minded people and celebrating our true selves, allowing us to shed any anxieties or fears we may carry with us in the outside world and relax into feeling good about who we are. We want to thank everyone who came out to the event for their participation in honoring the people who unfailingly offer us opportunities to gather together and enjoy infinite dazzling nights.
As a publication deeply rooted in New York City and built on its diverse culture, GO continually draws inspiration from the way members of our community come together to uplift one another—and that’s what we celebrated on September 28. DJ Robi D Light kept the crowd feeling fresh all evening with her hot beats and unique tracks. Enigmatic Hunter Valentine frontwoman and “The Real L Word” star Kiyomi Valentine joined Huffington Post’s Alex Berg to host the red carpet. Dancer/choreographer extraordinaire Megz Alfonso and beatbox champion/recording artist Butterscotch opened the evening with swoon-worthy, exhilarating performances. Top androgynous model and friend of GO Rain Dove then took the stage, stealing the crowd’s heart as she announced the winners of more than 50 awards, all selected by our passionate (and opinionated) readers.
Without the tireless work of queer promoters and planners, we’d sorely lack so many chances to grow stronger, happier and more proud of our identities, both as individuals and as a collective entity. GO thanks all our city’s nightlife luminaries for consistenly giving us much-needed outlets, reprieves and sanctuaries—and helping us have the times of our lives.