Best Queer Dance Party for the Old at Heart

Formerly Known As at Big Chicks

Critics' Picks

Starting at 10 PM, Big Chicks hosts Formerly Known As, a dance party for "trans men and trans women, queers and allies, movers and/or shakers," as FKA's Facebook page puts it. For those of us who prefer to be on the couch watching reruns of 30 Rock at 10 PM, that may not seem like the most auspicious start time. But arriving early has its benefits: you can order a drink without waiting in line, stake out a table in the (relatively) quiet back room, and people-watch while the dance floor fills. FKA attracts one of the most diverse crowds I've seen anywhere in Chicago (maybe because there's no cover charge?), and while plenty of attendees dress up for the monthly themes—it was "Mesh" the night I attended—no one cares if you show up in jeans and a grungy T-shirt. By 11 things are usually in full swing, leaving plenty of time to get one more $3 whiskey drink (one of the specials for FKA), dance to music by no one you've ever heard of, and—assuming the dance floor doesn't suck you in—make an early exit and be home by midnight.