Years & Years of Steers & Queers

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Years Years of Steers Queers .jpg

Event Info
Date start 11.02.23
Date end 11.23.23
Start Time 10:20am
Admission Free

Steers & Queers Gay Ole Opry is a long running cult queer country and western party Founded in 2006 in the home of country music, Toronto Canada, S&Q is a fantasy of a gay honky tonk. Whether featuring a twenty five person Dolly Parton tribute choir, showcasing a young Orville Peck or teaching line-dances straight from the Calgary board of education phys-ed curriculum, S&Q is always creating playful connections between queer and country. This is why S&Q has been attended by sold out crowds in Toronto for over 17 years. From time to time we bring our Fairy Home Companion to cities and small towns across North America. This November marks our first show in Austin Texas.

Why do queers love country and western? Maybe it’s the big hair, maybe it’s the butch boots? Or maybe it’s because so many of us country-born queers have had to leave our rural communities in order to find safety and community. Country music talks about urbanization in a way that no other genre touches, with songs about longing for a small town life and open skies that can never be re-visited. A memorable compliment from an audience member was “This is what Saskatoon should be like on a Saturday night.”  

This exhibit is a selection of just a few of the posters, party decorations, merch, photos and projections from the Steers & Queers archives created by a crew of talented Toronto artists. Hand drawn as single illustrations, the posters have been lovingly photocopied on office supply standard issue golden rod paper and pinned in bar bathrooms. The photographs document 17 years of rowdy parties that moved from scruffy basement bars to large scale theatres. The projections and decorations are just a sample of the atmosphere created at S&Q. Unfortunately we couldn’t figure out how to get our 10 ft tall busts of Dolly Parton on a plane. We hope this exhibit gives you a little taste of the queer joy of night spent in a sweaty bar dancing with strangers to Shania records. Y’all come back now, ya queer? 


Posters, decoration and merch: Lauren Hortie
Photographs: Sonya Reynolds, Greg Wong, Ian Sui-Ming Lawrence
Videos: Sonya Reynolds, Lex Vaughn, Beth Beiderman 

Special thanks to our install genius Suanne McGregor and our Austin hosts Lex Vaughn and Beth Schindler.