Drag Queen Bingo at XYYVR – Every Wednesday!

By Casey Stepaniuk

Some people might say there’s not a lot happening in the middle of the week in queer nightlife in Vancouver, but that probably means they’ve never heard of Bingo for Life (better known as Drag Queen Bingo), a weekly bingo night hosted by drag queens in the Davie St gay village – every Wednesday!

I went a few months ago with a bunch of queer librarian friends (yes, librarians like bingo and drag queens too) and it was such a blast! They have great prizes that are often products from around the Davie St village as well as cash. While I was there, a presumably straight guy won a dildo that had been donated from a Davie St sex toy store, and the look on his face—wondering what on earth he was going to do with it—was priceless. That could be you!

The drag queens are hilarious, lovely, snappy, and full of dirty jokes every time the number 69 gets called and when anything else remotely sexy is mentioned that they can make fun of. Their beautiful dresses, hair and makeup, along with their jokes and dancing, reminded me of how much drag queens have been missing in my life! They punctuate the bingo rounds with quick one-song shows of lip-syncing and dancing. Joan-E is the current regular host.

Not only do you get cheap drinks, awesome prizes, and amazing drag queen entertainment but you don’t even have to bring your own bingo marker! They’ve got all the supplies there, you just need to show up! It does get busy, though, so especially if you’re coming with a group and you want to make sure you all get to sit together, it’s worth it to make a table reservation.

You’re probably thinking this event can’t get any better. But it can! 100% of the proceeds of Bingo for Life goes to the Friends for Life Society, a local organization that provides “people living in Vancouver City Centre and facing life challenges associated with HIV, Cancer, Hepatitis C to participate in specialized support programs” as well as general support programs for a broader range of heath issues. Can you believe that to date, Bingo For Life has raised over $300,000 for the Friends For Life Society since the first bingo night over 20 years ago? Now you know where those donations at the door are going!

When: Every Wednesday. Doors at 7pm. Bingo starts at 7:30
Where: XYYVR, 1216 Bute St
How Much: Entrance fee is by donation (suggested $10 for 9 rounds), with 100% of proceeds going to the Friends for Life Society

Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and librarian-in-training who runs the website Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, where you can find LGBTQ+ Canadian book reviews and a queer book advice column. She also writes for Book Riot. Find her on Twitter: @canlesbrarian

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