On the second Friday of each month, hundreds of Utah gays and allies gather for a raucous and rowdy night of bingo, hosted by the ever-so-fabulous Utah Cyber Sluts. This group of large, hairy men in dresses, wigs and absurd makeup raises thousands of dollars for different charities, participates in other fundraisers, and opens a venue for gays and their friends to enjoy themselves in a low-pressure atmosphere.
“We have some awesome prizes that we give away, but people aren’t really coming to bingo for that. The prizes are just a bonus, people come to bingo to have a good time and give to a good cause,” Fonda Dixx, a Cyber Slut, said.
In 2011, the Sluts raised more than $16,000 in the monthly bingo games. In addition to the worthy charities each month, the bingo has helped the Fraternal Order of Eagles, where the event is held, replace tables and will soon be replacing the chairs. Also, alcohol sales on the second Friday of each month has skyrocketed, and the queer group at the University of Utah Law School, the Outlaws, sells concessions to benefit their group. Hundreds of people attend bingo each month and it’s a terrific place to meet new people and make friends in an usual environment.
“We’re involved in so many causes and we love all the community getting involved with us,” said Ivonna Cox, another Cyber Slut. “We’re all volunteers and donate our own time and money. We need people to come to bingo and we also need people to donate items to sponsor the event. Anyone that wants to help should come and talk to us.”
Joining the Sluts is a huge commitment, but a worthwhile and rewarding venture, said Ida Slapter, another Cyber Slut.
“There are so many great causes we help, and having a place for people to come and socialize is really important,” Ida said.
While the crowd varies widely between gay and straight, there is usually a 60-40 ratio between straight and gay, the Sluts said.
“We don’t check at the door, but there are usually more straight people than gay people,” Fonda said. “We want the straight community to come and support us as well. We love having the mixture and we especially love our straight fans.”
It’s the bridging of the gap between gay and straight, offering a safe place to be queer, or not, and raising money for good causes that made the Utah Cyber Sluts receive an honorable mention for people of the year. Don’t let their pounds of makeup and thrift-store dresses fool you, these Sluts are some of the kindest, most charitable and helpful men in Salt Lake City.
Check them out every second Friday at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 7 p.m., 1104 W. 2100 South. Also, find the Utah Cyber Sluts on Facebook to stay up to date on other events and happenings.