Opened in April 1995
as a dance club
. The name, "The Q," was inspired by the "Q-continuum
" of "Star Trek: the Next Generation
" fame. Located at 226 So. 9th Street, Lincoln
Generally considered the gay dance club of the Lincoln area. Every Sunday features a drag show and Tuesdays are college nights, and on these days, patrons 19 and older are allowed. Less frequent nights when minors are permitted are Amateur Strip Night, held the first Thursday of every month, and the occasional "special" drag show, typically held on a Saturday and featuring the resident drag group, "The Dreamgirls." These queens are generally more experienced than those that perform on the regular Sunday shows (and consequently, more entertaining). Cover is $3 most nights, $5 for a special occasion/fundraiser.
The Q is contained in a non-descript, colorless building, typical of downtown Lincoln architecture, with a line of pink icicle lights and a glowing marquee out front. The marquee features The Q's signature emblem -- a pink triangle with a Q emblazened across it -- and several lines for text, typically announcing the next special event.
Entry into The Q is through a shaded, glass door, where you are greeted by the doorman, who checks your ID and, if you're un-suave enough to have worn one, he will also check your coat. After paying the nominal cover, you continue into the main room where you find the large, kidney-shaped bar. To your right, a pair of doors opens into a smaller room with a small bar providing only hard liquor shots and beer and televisions displaying various pornographic loops, commonly called "The Vault." To your left, you will find the restrooms.
The bar kidney-kicks the flow of traffic to the right as you dive deeper into the bar, where you will find a pair of coin-operated pool tables. Beyond that, the dance floor lies, the back of which is elevated and performs double-duty as a stage during shows. In the back corner lies the deejay booth and dressing rooms, behind that.
The best time to go is your first time. Then, the music is fresh, the faces are new, and a sense of novelty covers The Q like a blanket of light snow, illuminating your perception and filling you with goodwill. If you're lucky, a friend will buy you a Windex, the traditional first drink, which is clear and blue and served often with ice, but I have no idea if it really tastes like Windex. You will begin at the bar, ending at the dance floor, as people around you strip off layers of clothing, tossing sweaters and shirts in dark unattended booths. You will dance with your hands high in the air, listening to the best music system in town.
As time passes, though, and you return to The Q, memories accumulate in the dark, ultraviolet light-lit corners. The time you made out the half-stranger, and the rejection that inevitably followed, will stay to haunt you. The Vault, where you experimented with exhibitionism and voyeurism on barely-concealed couches with someone you thought you loved, will come to leer at you with its cheesy and digitally-enhanced pornography. The faces, once new, become familiar and old. If you are young and attractive, you will come to despise the old overweight men that orbit the club, calling them "trolls." If you are neither young nor attractive, you will come to recognize your fellow trolls and feel the weight of death alone weighing on you with the music of Christina Aguilera as you sip at your drink, trying to escape. But there is no escape. There is only further depth.
Because The Q, while it is the premiere gay club of Lincoln, it is also the place where every sewer, where every current of negative feeling intersects. Being gay is hard enough, but being gay in the Midlands, in a state like Nebraska, it presses on you inexorably. It is almost impossible to stay sane. And it is almost impossible to change.
This is how The Q makes money.