If Pride Month exhausted your desire to watch gym bunnies dress like pirates in their underwear, you may have ended up at the Milksop party at Union Pool in Williamsburg. Despite the name, there are both muscled dudes, and waifish dudes, jumping to campy Pointer Sisters anthems and then eating tacos out in the Union Pool courtyard. At this Pride event, I counted zero fellas in SKYY Vodka man-kinis, and theGaydar.net float was absent. Politicians known for promoting Pride, like David Paterson or Marty Markowitz, were not in attendance, and American’s newest gay celeb, Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen lesbian bowdlerized by the prom wasn’t there either. Instead, the only politician there was Queen of Disco Donna Summer, in spirit, and the only platforms came from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Milksop occurs roughly tri-monthly and folks of all orientations show up to shake it. The crowd is a peculiar mix of “Williamburg now” with Annie Hall hats and homemade tanktops to Manhattan bears who have come out of their caves to see what Brooklyn has to offer. On top of it all, Union Pool is separated into three distinct spaces, and one only wonders if the bro dudes imbibing hard whiskey in the front know that it’s Brooklyn’s biggest gay dance party in the back room.
I caught up with the party promoters subjected them to intense questioning:
The latest Milksop party happened during Pride month. Given the name “Milksop,” this event doesn’t seem to be your typical, mainstream gay event. How does Milksop relate to Pride events? Or how does it relate to the concept of gay pride in general?
The latest Milksop was a Pride event, as we do every year at the end of June. It’s an observance that we care about, and while it’s heartening to see beer companies sponsor parade floats stocked with depilated muscle queens, we seek to create a more inclusive space for everyone—queers of all stripes, awesome straights and everyone else who isn’t a jerk.
What are other local dance parties that you like? Why?
Judy! and Cheryl. They have great spirit.
Could you give me a postcard-sized version of Milksop’s history?
Milksop started in 2006 with a show at Union Pool featuring Mirror Mirror, the Good Good and Benji Cossa. It went well, and feeling inspired, we threw “Madonna and the Misfit,” a dance party that oscillated between punk songs and diva jams. “Madonna” was the seed that germinated into the current Milksop parties, which are now thrown every two to three months. We still hold other events that bring together our interests and our friends – for example, we screened parts of BBC’s “Planet Earth” at Monkeytown with an intermission performance by Woods. The only criteria for what we do are that it’s creative, collaborative and fun.
Everyone knows that when someone dies they are reincarnated as a party somewhere. Who died to become Milksop?
How do you like doing your party at Union Pool?
We love the space and the staff. Also, there’s a bit of a subversive thrill in queers infiltrating the biggest straight pickup bar in Williamsburg.
How would you characterize the music at Milksop?
Cathartic and multidimensional.
You Milksop boys seem like educated folks. What have you been reading lately?
A biography of Arthur Russell, Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer and a short story collection by Donald Barthelme.
What plans do you have for Milksop in the future?
Transcendence or obsolescence.
Are you doing anything extra special to celebrate the solstice this year?
Tacos and margaritas, then off to see our new favorite band Oh the Color.