With Ames Pride just around the corner, it’s time to highlight some of the many Ames businesses and communities who celebrate the LGBTQ+ community all year round.
What could be better than an LGBT+ Happy Hour? For those seeking a laid-back, intimate environment for drinks with friends, the London Underground has you covered. Queers & Beers is held on the first Friday of each month, where folks can “mingle with other queer folks and enjoy a safe community space.” The London Underground, located on Main Street, is known around town for its relaxing ambiance and inclusive social climate.
With an expansive collection of LGBT+ authors, including a selection for children, and diverse community events held multiple times a week, Dog-Eared Books is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment. The inviting bookstore-slash-study-space is woman-owned and aims to uplift the works of LGBTQ+ authors, local authors and authors of color. Don’t forget to say hi to Lovie, the shop service dog!
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Ames Public Library
We always encourage supporting your local library, and the Ames Public Library is where you want to go for LGBTQ-friendly events for the whole family! In the past, the Ames Public Library has hosted events such as Drag Storytime and all-ages drag shows. This year for Ames Pride, Ames Public Library will be one of the hosts for “Out,” an art exhibit by the Octagon Center for the Arts, featuring LGBTQ+ artists.
Big Wigs Bar
Ames’ newest gay bar Big Wigs opened in October 2021 and has already made a name for itself as one of the hottest spots in Ames. Big Wigs is owned by drag queen Vanessa Taylor and Big Girl Nails owner Coco Marnell. Big Wigs does everything drag: drag brunch, drag bingo, drag trivia, you name it! Swing by for fun cocktails, cheap beer, and of course, drag shows every Friday and Saturday night! Big Wigs will be hosting a block party this Labor Day weekend in partnership with Ames Pride.
Worldly Goods is a non-profit Fair Trade store that is operated by volunteers. It sells culturally-specific products from all around the world — and they’re managed and directed by a well-known leader in the Ames LGBTQ+ community! Director and manager Mara Spooner is a former co-chair of Ames Pride and current co-producer of Maximum Ames Music Festival.