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Not long after, I met my girlfriend Kelsey, the girl I would cross the damn bridge for, and have been a proud Oaklander ever since.

Though Kelsey and I enjoy a good Netflix-and-chill night as much as anyone, that’s hard to do in Oakland because “the Town” is bursting with diverse and engaging nightlife events for queer folks of any activity level and persuasion.

Another performance option that features comedy and then some is Queer Sessions, a relatively new, monthly music, spoken word and performance night brought to you by Two Piece Tuesdays at the Uptown nightclub.

In addition to performances (and no cover charge), fellow Oaklander, storyteller and host Ginger Murray also offers tarot card readings between sets to help you solve those pesky life dilemmas. The last time I went to Queer Sessions, I was treated to a delightful Americana band, comedy and a dash of swoony spoken-word poetry.

Thought to be the oldest gay bar in the country—it ties with New Orleans’ bar Cafe Lafitte, whose earliest records date to 1933, when prohibition ended—the White Horse is a friendly neighborhood bar with a diverse clientele and no-frills atmosphere.

Its four-sided fireplace, spacious dance floor, pool table and variety of events will keep you partying till the cows come home (or horses, to keep with the theme).

Drinks include punny names like “Hung like a Mule” and “Butch Buch,” and the vibe is as inclusive as its mission proclaims.

If you’re looking for something with less thumpa-thumpa, you’d be remiss not to trot on over to the White Horse Inn in North Oakland.

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There was no reason for Adam Hilarie to believe anything but the obvious: He had just been on a promising first date with a pretty girl.

It’s also to, as the website notes, “dance, sweat, make connections, be silly or sexy and have a blast.” Ships strives to make their parties accessible to queers and people of color and to highlight their talent as DJs and performers.

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