Meet Black Charmed, the Queer Nightlife Collective Bringing Excitement to L.A.’s Underground
“As a guy, in a lot of typical gay bars, in order to get lucky and pull trade at the end of the night, we have to wipe off the makeup and get into boy drag. Whereas in a lot of underground or queer parties, you can dress any way you want and still be seen as trade. It’s freeing to be accepted as you are,” Alex of Black Charmed tells me.
What is Black Charmed?
Black Charmed are the new … queens? kings? princes? … of Los Angeles nightlife. They throw parties and host parties, like L.A.’s premier queer warehouse event The Party By Ostbahnhof, Communion and Por Detroit L.A.
Dennis Haynes, Jamee Jones and Alex Jolicoeur are champions — heroes, even — creating spaces in L.A.’s afterhours scene for “the other.” Spaces where we can all come together to express our truest, queerest selves.
“I was raised in the South,” Jamee tells me, “and even at a young age I marched to the beat of a different drum. I was often told not to sit this way, that way, and what boys and girls did and didn’t do. My flamboyance and affinity for feminine things was always a topic of discussion by my family members. I met Dennis and Alex out on the town during a visit to L.A., and the three of us just hit it off. We bonded over the intersections of our black and queer identities and became inseparable.”
The closeness these three share is obvious. They are brothers, sisters, they are family.
“I grew up in Houston, Texas,” Dennis says, “so I didn’t grow up queer. I was a lot of things before I even understood queer: confused, Christian, bisexual, gay.” He laughs. “Look at me now.”