Photos C/O Kendell Macleod
By: Andrew Mrozowski
“In the beginning God created Adam and Eve (allegedly), but she soon realized how boring their parties were and created Adam and Steve to be their neighbours and show them how it’s done,” read the official Adam and Steve manifesto.
Since 2016, Adam George and Steve Hilliard have been throwing the queerest parties that Hamilton has seen for decades under their event planning name Adam and Steve. These two community event organizers have a single mission, to create community and carve out LGBTQ friendly events within the Hammer.
“[Our events] are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s like your gayest wildest wet dream,” said George.
George moved to Hamilton in the late 2000s to attend McMaster’s science program. Shortly after meeting Hilliard on campus, the two students clicked. Hilliard went on to graduate from the nursing program and became a full-time nurse while George became a full-time realtor.
The “semi-engaged” duo — they have an ongoing competition over proposals — loved making a life together in Hamilton, but they felt something was missing in their community.
Being inspired by the fact that there weren’t any queer spaces currently in Hamilton, George and Hilliard had an idea. What if they planned and hosted parties in Hamilton that they would want to attend?
“We were tired of having to go to Toronto to have fun,” explained George.
“We were both inspired by being queer, inspired by fun, beauty and I have an intense love of drag. I really wanted to give a stage to queer artists,” added Hilliard.
Historically, Hamilton has had a rough history with queer spaces amounting to raids and police brutality.
“At any given moment, there was at least four or five [gay bars and clubs]. Hamilton was almost too gay and this history is tragic. If you look up the lists of the top ten worst police raids, one of them was in Hamilton at a bathhouse downtown,” said Hilliard.
“But now, we’re moving towards a queer scene about being whoever the fuck you wanna be,” added George.
Attracting the likes of popular Toronto queens, such as Priyanka, and RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 contestant, Thorgy Thor, the dynamic duo is always on the lookout for who can throw the greatest party.
“We wanted to throw parties that we wanted to go to. Right before we started doing events, we always thought ‘Why hasn’t a RuPaul queen come to Hamilton?’ Then once we started throwing events, it was one of those things where you didn’t think was possible and then one day, I just googled … what would it take to get a RuPaul queen to come,” said Hilliard.
“We did a survey on our Instagram to see if there was interest… in four days the first show sold out and then we added a second date, and that one sold out,” added George.
Community is a large reason why George and Hilliard throw their parties. The duo’s goal is not only create community and a space that fosters inclusivity through their events, but they also wanted to become part of the community.
“It’s about creating a family in this city,” said Hilliard. “Queerness was never something that was handed to us.”
George and Hilliard are consistently looking towards the future and are hoping to open up their own space. The goal is to have a party every night, so there will always be a safe space for the community to celebrate and have fun.
Always busy planning parties, the duo has big plans for this coming romantic weekend. Adam and Steve will be hosting Heart On: Queer Galentine’s Day Party featuring House of Filth on Feb. 16 at Absinthe Hamilton on 38 King William Street.
“Queer and gay bars left [Hamilton], but the gay and queer people didn’t. We need to give those people and ourselves a safe space where they can meet new friends, be safe, and won’t ever need to leave the city at all,” explained Hilliard.
The future for Hamilton’s LGBTQ+ looks as bright as the pride flag thanks to event organizers like George and Hilliard. Adam and Steve events are where you can put glitter on your face, wear your cutest shirts and dance the night away in a safe and inclusive space for all.