Five Queer Ways to Brighten Up Valentine's Gay

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When you’re different from others based on who you love, you spend a lot of time thinking about Valentine’s Day and what you’re going to do to celebrate it like a gay rock star. But if you're still thinking about it now, you've waited too long — most of February 14’s queer events are sold out, and it's too late to get those gifts delivered on time.

Still, there are a few choice alternatives for your alternative-lifestyle lovin’ at the end of this rainbow. some of them can even be tailored for a single serving, so you can take yourself out on a date — and maybe you’ll get to third base! 

5) Proudly Yours Greeting Cards

Although greeting-card companies are jumping aboard the gay train for the gay dollar, it's still tough for us same-sexers to head to Walgreens and know we can grab a card that represents our feelings. This was the thinking behind Proudly Yours, a Boulder-based operation that keeps it simple, stupid: The cards feature gorgeous black-and-white photography of gay and lesbian couples in love with nary a rainbow, cartoon character or speedo-clad bohunk in sight. The cards also offer quotations from a myriad of queer-friendly folks, including Judy Garland, Kahil Gibran, Victor Borge and even Trey Parker and Matt Stone, with plenty of room for you to go wild adding your own greeting. Although an order won't make it by VDay, you can certainly stock up for random occasions — and get at least one to give your sweetie next week with this message: “Thanks for a wonderful weekend, and for the other 363 days of the year I get to spend with you.” Head over to proudlyyours.com and build a supply now.

4) Xanadu at the Denver Public Library 

Though it’s being dubbed an “Anti-Valentine’s” event, the Denver Public Library’s Fresh City Life's free screening of the 1980 film wonder Xanadu is the perfect fit for a campy night out on the town. The plot could have been molded onto our gay DNA in the womb: Xanadu follows a young man who meets an ancient muse brought back to life on roller skates (the forever perky Olivia Newton-John), who begs him to follow his dream of opening a crazy disco/roller rink/night club by singing about it a bunch. The film has a wild score by ELO and features one of the last on-screen appearances by cinematic hoofer Gene Kelly (yes, on roller skates). The theme is ostensibly about love, but really more about watching an out-of-control movie plot careen off the road and explode, but then rise from the ashes and claim its glory as a campy cult classic. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. on February 14 at the Central Library; Whole Foods will be on hand with some snacks and desserts (you may want to sneak in some canned champers, though, to fully enjoy the good parts of the movie). Reserve two seats for you and yours at denverlibrary.org/fresh.

3) Kingsman: The Secret Service

A night out at the movies is still a popular way to spend some time with your lover, holding hands with your lover and feeding each other hot buttered popcorn. On V-Day2015 you can bet that 99 percent of couples going to the movies will line up for that Fifty Shades Of Grey nonsense, hoping to stir up some feelings and panty pudding. But rather than settle for a limp disappointment, get your tickets now for Matthew Vaughn’s stylish, tongue-in-cheek action romp Kingsman: The Secret Service — and go hard for a bullet list of homoerotic triggers that include hot young men being trained to become James Bond-like heroes (the drool-inducing Taron Egerton leading the way), British accents, Colin Firth in a well-tailored and tight-fitting suit, sexy Bond Girl types for the sapphic ladies in the audience, and a ton of explosions and hand-to-hand battles get your heart pumping and grabbing the thigh of your boyfriend. Adrenaline is a great gateway to instigating “other” action-packed activities after the credits roll. Check fandango.com for Kingsman shows near you.

2) Catching up on Empire 

If neither or you are want to go out on the town (PS: This is the kind of boyfriend I’m hoping to find some day), your Valentine’s isn’t busted! Order your favorite take-out, chill that champagne, put on those matching sweatpants and curl up on the couch to catch up on television’s sexiest, soapiest, gayest surprise, Empire. Produced, written and directed by queer Hollywood mavens Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, the show revolves around a powerful hip-hop record label and the Dynasty-esque family that runs it. Terrance Howard stars as Lucious Lyon, the patriarch of the label, whose three sons are next in line to inherit the throne. Two of them are artists on the label; one is gay and trying to come out of the closet and climb the charts at the same time. Adding a major dash of fire to the show is Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, who emerges from seventeen years behind bars to come back for what’s owed her by Lucious and her children. Along with some of the juiciest story lines to hit a TV since the heyday of Alexis Carrington, this well-made drama serves up some great guest stars including Gabourey Sidibe, Cuba Gooding Jr., Gladys Knight, Naomi Campbell, Courtney Love and now queer newbie Raven Symone. The show will have you laughing, cheering, clucking your tongue and practicing your best Cookie Lyon persona for days — and just might get you and yours to create a permanent Wednesday date night with the Lyon clan. Catch the first six episodes on hulu.com.

1) Royal Brunch Sundays at Epernay Lounge 

No matter how you spend Valentine’s Day, the dream goal is to wake up late on Sunday wrapped in your lover’s arms, head still dizzy from some bubbly, chocolate stuck somewhere to you and with both of your bellies crying out for delicious sustenance. After a quick shower, head on down to Epernay Lounge for the Royal Brunch, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. every Sunday (because who wants to be up before then after a hot Saturday night?) The massive menu features everything from  Kobe beef omelettes to sweet potato pancakes and vanilla French toast; there's also a full afternoon of great drag performers to liven up the day. The queens, led by Diva Dozen stars Felony Misdemeanor, Victoria Sexton and the legendary Kiera Sexton and Harley Quinn, will offer a few rounds of adult bingo, perform some fierce numbers and turn your concept of Sunday brunch on its well-groomed head. This is a new series, and every month Epernay with partner with a local LGBTQ organization; February is honoring the The Center. So come hungry and ready for some fun: The bottomless mimosas will be waiting for you and your sweetheart to toast a successful Valentine’s Day After. Make reservations at epernaylounge.com.

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