StoryCorps Detroit Podcast: House, Techno, Raves and Voguing

How electronic dance music provides space for the LGBT community and others seeking a safe place to express themselves.

In this episode of StoryCorps Detroit, we bring you three stories where people talk about the supportive culture they find in electronic dance music venues.



Damon “Magic” Percy and and Curtis Lipscomb are not biologically related, but in the LGBT community they’ve called each other father and son for over two decades. In this piece, the two talk about the house music venues where they danced the night away in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the relationship between the HIV/AIDS epidemic and those spaces. Percy is a writer, musical historian and cultural critic. Lipscomb is the executive director of LGBT Detroit. Check out the songs they stood out to them from their earlier club days here.



Lauren Hood recalls the early 1990s rave culture in Detroit and Windsor that Adriel Thornton introduced her to when the longtime friends first started hanging out. Thornton says the scene was “the living breathing example of Dr. King’s dream.” Hood is the director of the Live6 Alliance, and Thornton is a longtime promoter of underground music and events in Detroit, including the new MoGo bikes.


Corine Vermeulen for Framed by WDET 101.9

Our final story, comes not from StoryCorps, but from WDET’s Framed by Series, which pairs audio storytellers with photographers and displays the work in a gallery setting.

The current project is called Bubble Metropolis, and it focuses on contemporary underground dance communities in Detroit. The piece here, produced by WDET’s Conor Anderson, features Julisa Abad, the director of transgender outreach and advocacy for Fair Michigan.

She shares how, for some members of Detroit’s LGBT community, The Woodward Bar is more than a place to show off on the dance floor. This discretely placed venue also offers a space for belonging.

See all the photos and audio included in Bubble Metropolis online here.

Or you can see the show in person at El Club in Southwest Detroit through Aug. 20.

Click on the player at the top of this page to listen to this episode of StoryCorps Detroit. You can also subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.
  • Laura Herberg
    Laura Herberg is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.