OASIS, Culture Whore And Factory Girls, Marks Queer Pride 2015

In search of queer paradise this weekend? We have the perfect alternative to the mainstream Pride festivities dominating New York City.

If you didn't get enough Pride celebrations from Ladyfag's SHADE and aren't feeling the parade in Manhattan this weekend, Brooklyn art collective and party producers The Culture Whore want to take you to OASIS.

For this year's Pride celebration, The Culture Whore is teaming up with Philadelphia-based lifestyle brand The Factory Girls to bring you the ultimate queer fantasy. Building on the intersection of technology and nature explored in The Culture Whore's Psychic Spring, OASIS aims to bring the self-actualizing URL cyber world to the IRL world of Brooklyn.

The Huffington Post chatted with The Culture Whore and K Rex of The Factory Girls about what we can expect from this queer Pride fantasy, taking place Friday, June 26.

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The Huffington Post: What does Pride mean to The Culture Whore?
Mark Dommu: Pride is the time for everyone to come together. In the past year, one of the things we’ve been doing with The Culture Whore is figuring out the different parts of what we do and turning them into their own events, like Sideshow and Daddy, because there are so many different types of people who are part of our community and they’re into different things. But Pride is the time for us all to be together, to celebrate what makes us different and what makes us the same. And the homogenized, corporate spectacle that modern #Pride has become, it’s a time for us to band together and create a queer haven.

Why did you decide to engage in a cross-city partnership this year?
Paul Leopald: I was at Horse Meat Disco at some point in the spring and someone said something to me like, “one day you’ll throw a party like this” and the thought of that terrified me. I certainly have had my share of fun at sausage fests like that where hundreds of shirtless muscular men grunt and shuffle, but that is definitely not what we’re trying to create with The Culture Whore. The muscle men are certainly welcomed with open arms but so are the gutter punks, the tranimals, the femme queens and the aliens. The trajectory of our community is one of inclusiveness and gender fluidity. Thus, we realized we have to bring in more girls in order to create the kind of dynamic community we’re striving for. Katie Krex did an incredible job DJing at Red Light Planet and during that process kept saying how similar The Culture Whore was to the Factory Girls. So when we were planning for Pride it was bliss to get her involved. Also, from a thematic standpoint, Oases are meeting points between various cultural centers, so this party must incorporate a sense of people coming in from all over converging on this mystical hot spring of love.

Who are The Factory Girls? What are they about?
K Rex: Factory Girls is a lifestyle brand and collective that celebrates power in femininity regardless of gender. We strive to create a platform for people to showcase music, performance and visual art in a multitude of platforms, escaping the archetype of the muse (hence our name sake). Creating safe spaces for women, queerdos, club kids and inbetweeners has been our prerogative since day one. Factory Girls began in 2011 as an event highlighting female DJs, and now holds a tight roster of regular performers and collaborators. Our lineup right now is DJs Gun$ Garcia, Yolo Ono, Magglez and myself, along with performers Rena, Ann Artist and Luna LaVey. We're quick to incorporate nail artists -- for example, this round we have lacquer connoisseurs Floss Gloss doing manicures.

Why should Pride still matter to queer people in 2015?
Leopold: It’s kind've like Christmas. The whole thing has been so blown up and commercialized it’s easy to be cynical and annoyed, but at its core it’s about bringing people together and that’s something to care about. Everybody comes out on Pride, so it's a time where we can meet new people, reconnect with friends and celebrate the fact that we’re fabulous. The whole thing has come a long way from a riot in the streets of the West Village, but as seasons change and time moves along it’s important to mark milestones in our collective journeys. #Pride has become the seminal LGBTQXYholiday, giving us and the world a moment to see each other and come together in peace, love, unity and respect.


What is the overarching concept for Oasis.
Dommu: At Psychic Spring this April, The Culture Whore -- in collaboration with David Sokolowski -- looked at a literal interpretation of technology and nature coming together, and Oasis was the next logical evolution of that -- something a bit more cerebral but still visceral. In the desert you search for an oasis to hydrate and nourish you, to keep you alive. For queer people in 2015, that oasis is the internet: it’s where we can be completely honest or create an even deeper fallacy of ourselves, where we can connect and share ideas and help nourish each other’s hearts and minds. OASIS brings the URL cyber haven to the IRL world of Brooklyn. And, really, in the desert of mainstream Pride, where would you rather be than an oasis?

Head here for tickets and information about OASIS.