Becca Beberaggi

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XOXA is a Brooklyn-based female, queer, and non-binary DJ and artist collective, founded by nightlife producer Kira Ibañez. In 2017, Ibañez created the collective with the intention of filling the void in the cis-centric New York City nightlife scene by marrying together the underground electronic music scene and queer nightlife, creating a safe and inclusive space for queer people and women.

Since its inception Ibañez has passionately provided a deliberate platform for female and non-binary DJs to perform and showcase their work. Often times the cis-community will make excuses that they can’t find queer and non-binary artists, when in reality they are either ignoring them or not taking the time to invest in a little research.

“I was meeting all these incredibly talented DJs who were only ever slotted to open for men, so I created a space to put them all on one lineup and give them the credit they deserved,” Ibañez said. By ensuring spotlights for queer and non-binary performers, she created a safe space.

Although the collective was created specifically  for queer people and women, Ibañez has also made it a point to invite straight cis-men to the party as well. The inclusion of straight cis-men at queer events is sometimes unheard of and is often believed to be unattainable. Ibanez’s desire is driven by the understanding that if one wants to be inclusive, it  also means taking the time to educate cis-men on how to respect a queer space, women, and learn how to interact with them.

“There are plenty of queer parties but I didn’t see any that reflected the kind of party I would like to attend,” she reflected.

XOXA is the home for 11 resident artists (including Ibañez), with from artists based in Brooklyn, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Miami. Starting off as, “just a party,” XOXA has grown to be a well-rounded and flourishing movement with the plans on expanding nationally and globally.

Their next party is titled, “XOXA’s Sugar Disco,” and will take place on March 21 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Rose Gold in Bushwick, themed as a pop-up candy shop. It’ll be sweet.

Party favors will include a candy shop featuring all you can eat “beats” and sweets, and  performances by XOXA resident DJ and producer Panooc. The night is opening with their distinct jazz-inspired grooves featuring live saxophone, Australian-born and London-based DJ and producer Carly Foxx bringing her hypnotic moody undertones, and Boston native L’duke closing out the night with their versatile style and heavy dance beats.

Throughout the evening there will be performances by classically trained dancer Lily L’Noir and gender-bending drag performer Synthetica.

Check out their event page here.

All photos courtesy of Luis Nieto Dickens.

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