Rain Can't Stop the Vogue

The first Pride Pool Party of the summer

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Tear-away swim trunks, nonstop voguing and a little bit of rain.

Those were the highlights of my Sunday a couple weeks ago. Why, you may ask? I went to this year's first Takeover Friday's LGBTQ and Ally Pool Party hosted by Craft City Social Club.

For those of you in the Q.C. who don't know, let me school y'all real quick. June is reserved for Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Riots that took place in Manhattan in 1969.

As a major social demonstration against police mistreatment of members of the gay community, Stonewall has become recognized as the catalyst of the LGBT movement for civil rights.

In Biggie's words, "If you don't know, now you know."

Shortly after the month of June kicked off, the event popped up on my Facebook feed. I immediately marked myself as "interested."

The only thing that would keep me from going was the fact that it was on a Sunday. Would I really want to risk being hungover on a Monday?

But y'all knew that was not going to stop your girl, right?

I took the trolley from Elizabeth to Uptown in the hopes of sweating out some of the alcohol from the night before. Once there, I went straight to Latta Arcade to get a pizza from Zablong. Little did I know they were closed on Sundays.

I settled (yes, settled) for Mellow Mushroom before heading over to Craft City Social Club to meet one of my friends for the event.

Located inside the Sheraton at the corner of S. McDowell and E. Stonewall streets in Second Ward, Craft City Social Club is an indoor/outdoor poolside bar and lounge. Opened in 2016 along with City Lights Rooftop next door, Craft City Social Club is the only social club with a pool that Charlotteans don't have to worry about "crashing."

Not to mention, they have plenty of games to keep an adult child occupied, including billiards, darts, fuse ball, life-sized Jenga and shuffleboard.

I grabbed a parking ticket and stuffed my face with one more slice of pizza. As I walked past the pool area I could feel the energy from the party spill over the greenery-covered enclosure.

Once inside, I searched for my friend who'd been waiting for me for over an hour (I know, I know, I was upholding the stereotype).

Fortunately, he'd made a few friends and was sitting comfortably with his feet in the pool. Despite my tardiness, he hopped up with a smile on his face and agreed to walk to with me to grab a glass of champagne at the bar.

I surveyed the landscape and confirmed what I've always known, LGBT parties are some of the most care-free, happy-go-lucky celebrations of self a human can ever be blessed to experience. Yes, there can be drama and it can be difficult to fit in to smaller cliques — as with any group — but nothing beats Speedos and voguing for hours on end.

As a matter of fact, one partygoer came by himself and vogued non-stop to every song. Even when he was drenched in sweat, or rain, nothing stopped him from dancing.

Drinks were expensive so my comrade and I didn't concern ourselves much with running back and forth to the bar. Instead, we decided to take a dip in the pool where everyone else had made themselves comfortable on a pool float.

It goes without saying, but once I found a float shaped like a piece of pizza to take the perfect #Instaphoto on (find me at omgaerin), my day was complete.

It's a good thing, too, because shortly after, it started to rain. What a bummer, I thought. My friend and I grabbed our things and went inside for some shelter and tried our hand at ring toss.

We were contemplating making our exit, thinking the party was over when all of a sudden "It's Raining Men" came on. You guessed it! Everyone was belting out the tune while dancing in the rain. Now that's what I call a finale fit for a queen — for us anyway.

If you missed the first pool party put on by Takeover Friday, the South's longest running LGBTQ and ally mobile happy hour, you're in luck! Three more are scheduled for July 10, August 13 and September 10. Mark your calendars and get ready to show your support and PRIDE!

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