LGBTQ&A: Dame Luz of Cutn Paste

The Cutn Paste events producer talks about what it's like to be a queer woman on the scene and what it will take to make the Gayborhood more inclusive.

Dame Luz is the mastermind behind the all-inclusive LGBTQ Cutn Paste events.

Una Bruja is the mastermind behind the all-inclusive LGBTQ Cutn Paste events.

Dame Luz is one of the few consistent female event producers in the male-dominated Gayborhood. One of her wildly successful events, Cutn Paste, strives to include all LGBTQ walks of life through music and dance. We got to chat with the mastermind on what keeps her going on one of the community’s biggest weekends, Philly Gay Pride. 

Can you tell readers more about yourself?
I’m a queer Afro-Latinx femme who has been DJing and producing queer nightlife events for the last 10 years.

What made you interested in producing events in the Gayborhood?
DJ Precolumbian and myself started CUTN PASTE four years ago after I had DJed an Original Plumbing Philadelphia Trans Health Conference party at the Bike Stop and figured it would be great space for a queer dance party. The intention was to carve out a space for the queer and trans folx that typically don’t fit into mainstream Gayborhood nightlife and to showcase QTPOC DJs and performers.

Some of our previous interviewees have spoken on the challenges women and people of color have producing events in the LGBTQ community. What has your experience been like?
Producing LGBTQ events as a woman of color has been very challenging. The only bar in the Gayborhood that I’ve reached out to for booking that actually responded was the Bike Stop, even though our event has attracted between 200 to 600 attendees monthly and we’ve booked big-name LGBTQ artists. Also, while the owners of the Bike Stop may have wanted to host our queer party, it was very clear month-after-month and year-after-year that the mostly white, male, leather clientele wanted the Bike Stop to remain homogenous and were very unwelcoming of us and our event, sadly.

What do you have planned for Philly Gay Pride this weekend?
Tonight we will be hosting our last CUTN PASTE at the Bike Stop with special guest DJs Shyboi (Discwoman) & Battyjack (KUNQ) both coming from NYC as well as Philly’s famed Poseybooth photo station before departing for our new home Voltage Lounge on second Fridays starting in July.

What do you think it will take to make our city’s LGBTQ community more inclusive?
A great start to inclusivity would look like not just centering the G in LGBTQIA as well as challenging bars, businesses, publications and communities that uphold racism, misogyny, transphobia and demanding they do better.

For an alternative Pride experience, check out Cutn Paste tonight at The Bike Stop on 206 S Quince St. starting at 9 p.m.