Dorm!tory – Where the Homies play

We speak to the creators of Dorm!tory to talk queer theory, music and a safe space to play ahead of their event this Wednesday.

…And when the lights go out… “that’s when the Homies play”. 

Dorm!tory arrives at Jaeger this Wednesday. A new concept from some of the people behind Evrysome, Dorm!tory expands on the queer philosophies of its predecessor in an event that redefines queer as  “something more related to the fluidity of gender” in the club context. Its creators, Pedro Leal, Eduardo Miranda, Johannes Strand, Daniel John and Terje Dybdahl represent every corner of the globe as “a gay group inside the queer group and a queer group inside humanity.” From the Philippines, to Mexico, to Brazil to… Mysen, the group are a multicultural mix that cover a couple of generations of club enthusiasts. 

For their first event they’ve invited kindred spirits Por Detroit’s Perfect Lovers. As their Mexican counterpart Por Detroit reflects some of the same queer ideologies Dorm!tory will set out to adopt and alongside Bears in Space, Dick Dennis, DJ Brødskive, globaldrama and O/E they’ve amassed a musical lineup that will soundtrack Dorm!tory’s conceptual designs.  

We met the creators behind the event on a rainy summer’s day in Jaeger’s bar where they spread themselves over a couple of chesterfield sofas. Besides Terje Dybdahl (Tod Louie / Dick Dennis), introductions are necessary before they dive into the creation of this new concept.

“In the queer discussion masculinity is a topic that is outside of the identities that are inclusive, because of how toxic masculinity has become through the years,” according to the creators and they hope that the event will be a “solution for the toxic masculinity that affects everything inside or outside the queer world.” They want men to take ownership of the topic of masculinity. Why “should we have the feminist do all the work” they ask as they seek to create an “event that can bring back masculinity and men as the focus group,” which they then hope will add to the discussion of “new perceptions of gender and patriarchy.”  

All of this happens in the abstract, and for Dorm!tory to succeed it needs to be a party. The name reflects “something sexier and kind of secret” to appeal to their audience which still include gay men in every hue of the rainbow spectrum to a point where it can include “straight men that enjoy other men’s company.” 

They want to “build an infrastructure where we can all thrive and dance with each other” even if you fall between the gaps of every identity group out there. The collective hopes Dorm!tory will be that space where the exclusivity of certain events and spaces would be negated. 

For the youngest generation that might have “lost something, especially with covid” in what was already an era fraught with minefields in social interaction this is more important than ever for the group. “Growing up with social media,” in the way that this generation has, there’s a “different way of approaching people.” There’s an inherent “scepticism” which has only hardened with the “social isolation” we encountered with covid. As a group they hope to create a space where it’s “ok to just have a chat with someone” without the judgement that is taken at a superficial value through something like Grindr.

“At the end of the day we are humans with different needs and the friendship and the connection is most important.” Dorm!tory seeks to have a truly democratic space where you can stand “shoulder to shoulder” with somebody different, and there’s no better place for that than the dance floor in their opinion. 

In that context the soundtrack plays an important role and as such they’ve decided the programming at this party will definitely be rooted in the 70’s and 80’s; “First and foremost disco and house from the eighties.” They’ll look to “gay icons” like  “Patrick Cowley and Sylvester” for inspiration, paying homage to the roots and early “history of house music and queer culture.” They’ve assembled a host of DJs to relay that message for the very first session with even somebody like long-time Dick Dennis favourite, O/E abandoning his stoic Techno uniform for some 80s hi-nrg disco. 

They’re especially “honoured, having Perfect Lovers and Victor Rodriguez” from the queer concepts “Por Detroit” and “Bears In Space” from Mexico City in L.A. The booking happened almost as a “calling from the universe somehow.” On top of that, the burgeoning Oslo queer- and ballroom phenomenon Globaldrama and the established DJ Brødskive start a very busy billing with the incorrigible Dick Dennis completing the lineup across two dance floors. 

In what they describe as a “celebration of the night,” at the apex of the witching hour they’ll go completely dark in the basement, simulating the situations of collective dormitories where the Homies play, when the light turns off. It’s an opportunity to “explore each other blindly and not be judged by appearances,” and even “break the rules” a little. 

With so much of the queer scene being infiltrated and co-opted by a straight majority, it’s important for Dorm!tory to retain some of that rule-breaking and non-conformist ideologies that permeated queer culture from the start. “Dorm!tory doesn’t assume the queer identity as an umbrella, but we take the demand of people who are escaping out of that umbrella.”