Around F.C., Commentary, Local Commentary

The LGBTQ+ Reach: September 7 – 13

Bowlero Packs The House With LGBTQ+ Bowling League

On Tuesday evening The Little City was the biggest LGBTQ+ destination in the region as nearly 150 arrived at Bowlero Falls Church (formerly Bowl America) for the first week of the Capital Area Match Point (CAMP) fall mixed handicap league.

The league, which falls under the umbrella of the Capital Area Rainbowlers Association (CARA), runs weekly through mid-April, and this week filled the entire venue with 44 of 48 lanes occupied with teams.

I joined the league and, despite my somewhat famous distaste for sports, cannot wait for next week!  The venue is clean, the staff are attentive (and inclusive!), and the overall vibe was friendly and exciting.  To top things off, after the 2021 Bowlero acquisition, the Falls Church location was upgraded during 2022 with new equipment, an arcade, a full bar, and a delicious food menu.

There is still space for additional bowlers, so organizers are encouraging anybody interested to email organizers at, or contact them on facebook at  The league is 30 weeks long, so there’s still a lot of fun to be had!  

If you’re worrying about joining alone, whether allies are accepted, or if you’re too bad at bowling to join — don’t!  Organizers will gladly pair you with a team, supporters of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome to participate, and as a mixed handicap league you’re only competing with your own average.  The league is diverse across gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and age.

The league meets Tuesdays at 7:20 p.m. at Bowlero (140 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church).

Rainbowlers pack the house for CAMP’s LGBTQ+ inclusive fall mixed handicap league, Tuesday at Bowlero Falls Church. (Photo: Brian Reach)

A New LGBTQ+ Events Hub?

At the dual LGBTQ+ events at Clare and Don’s last Sunday, you wouldn’t have guessed it was Labor Day Weekend — when the D.C. area’s LGBTQ+ venues famously empty out in favor of final summer getaways to Rehoboth Beach (or Southern Decadence) — as bustling and diverse crowds filled the space for the adjacent events. 

In the indoor events space, a cast of drag performers sang Broadway and other hits for a Live Music Drag Cabaret.  On the outside patio, a bustling group came out (pun!) to celebrate the launch of LGBTQ+ Falls Church — and the post-pandemic re-emergence of NOVA Pride — for a no-agenda happy hour.

You may have noticed the Drag Bingo, hosted by Evita Peroxide, the third Sunday every month at Clare and Don’s.  The LGBTQ+ theme has quickly expanded into other Sundays, with several queer-inclusive events scheduled in their indoor event space or outside patio.

LGBTQ+ Falls Church is an organization founded by Nicholas Benton, a gay pioneer who co-founded the Gay Liberation Front in the San Francisco area in 1970 (and my dear friend and fellow LGBT+ Democrats of Virginia board member for more than a decade now).  

In case you didn’t notice, he’s also the founder, owner and editor-in-chief of the News Press — so with my new role as executive director of LGBTQ+ Falls church, he’s my boss twice-over!

Expect to see a notable uptick in queer-inclusive events brightening up the Little City’s scene in the months and years ahead as LGBTQ+ Falls Church and partner organizations launch a series of events that are radically inclusive, wholly accessible, and universally collaborative.  These events don’t have a particular agenda other than a common and unifying spirit of diversity and acceptance — I’ve found over the years that, if you bring people together effectively and keep an open mind, the rest comes into focus on its own as folks within the community come and share their interests, needs, talents, and priorities.

Mark Your Calendars

This Saturday Clare and Don’s will host a special Drag Bingo + GOTV (get out the vote) event with special guests including Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church), FCPS School Board member Karl Frisch, Fairfax County Supervisor Dalia Palchik (D-Providence), the Democratic candidate to represent Falls Church in the State Senate Saddam Salim, and Democratic Fairfax County Clerk candidate Chris Falcon to talk about what’s at stake this November — and how you can help Democrats win!

This is Your Reminder

Virginia’s entire legislature (House and Senate) is up for election this November 7, as are three city council and three school board seats in Falls Church.  

Early voting starts September 22.