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LGBTQ+ speaker on stage



Throughout the summer, Queer Me Out sought to amplify LGBTQ+ voices from around the world by bringing some of the best of the community’s thought leaders together to discuss topics that matter most and hit close to home. A speaker series that examines new movements in the queer community, Queer Me Out traveled to W Amsterdam, Montreal and Fort Lauderdale with panels ready to talk fashion, music, art, and politics as they intersect with the LGBTQ+ community.  From how nightlife shapes culture, to the politics of drag in the mainstream, to intimate stories of queer resilience, listen up to the illuminating discussions from Queer Me Out’s hottest events.


For every listen, W Hotels will donate $1 to the True Colors Fund, which is working to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth by creating systemic change.


The Queer Me Out event added substantive conversations to an otherwise rowdy Amsterdam Pride Week. Influential drag queens Lady Bunny, Kim Chi, Diva MayDay, and Desiree Maes were welcomed to the stage in front of a packed house at W Amsterdam. Billed as “Ratings, Rebellion and the Politics of Drag in the Mainstream,” the talk took special focus on the complexities of intersectionality and terminology across borders.


Mayday speaking on stage next to Kim Chi at W Amsterdam
Diva Mayday speaking on stage next to Kim Chi at W Amsterdam


At W Montreal, YouTube star Tyler Oakley hosted a discussion on gender politics and queer identities within the fashion industry. The activist and social media star was joined on stage by Becca McCharen-Tran, Miguel Enamorado, Rad Hourani, and Avie Acosta. Following the talk, Oakley pointed out that events like this are especially helpful in taking historically marginalized ideas beyond confines of Facebook comments or angry tweets, and into actionable dialogue.

Woman looking at her cell phone at Montreal's Queer Me Out event
A glimpse into the crowd at Montreal's Queer Me Out event


Tyler Oakley also led the panel at W Fort Lauderdale, alongside event producer Susanne Bartsch and The Misshapes (the NYC-based creative collective of DJs Leigh Lezark, Geordon Nicol, and Greg Krelenstein). This time the group focused on how nightlife became the epicenter of empowerment in the LGBTQ+ community.

Two women and two men posing
Left to right: Geordon Nicol, Susanne Bartsch, Leigh Lezark, and Tyler Oakley at W Fort Lauderdale

Each global Queer Me Out event also featured a photo exhibition by Danielle Levitt, who set out to illustrate non-normativity within the queer community. Levitt’s portraits included names like transgender model Avie Acosta, Trans Model Agency founder Peche Di, and performer and artist Stephen Galloway.

Man kneeling with his hand rested on his chin
Two women and two men posing