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Birdcage: The New Brook

When children comes out as gay, some parents (still) turn their backs.

Many (fortunately) embrace them.

When her son Julian came out, Mary Brooks created a business to celebrate the entire LGBT community.

She’s worked in lots of fields: marketing, eldercare, life coach, spa manager. Now she’s in real estate.

But she always wanted to open up a gay bar.

Mary Brooks and her son Julian.

When the Brook — Westport’s long-running gay bar (and no relation to her, despite the name) — closed, Brooks says, “something went missing in Westport.”

But real estate is expensive (and she sells it, so she knows).

So Brooks founded “a pop-up with a purpose.” She calls it Birdcage Events — in homage to the 1996 movie about a gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion — and in April presented her first event. A hundred people — LGBT, straight, and everything else — jammed the Tru North restaurant in Black Rock. They enjoyed a piano bar, DJ, specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Brooks donates proceeds from Birdcage events to LGBT organizations, like Norwalk’s Triangle Community Center.

Next up for Birdcage Events: A Sunday, July 23 “En Blanc” party at Rive Bistro. From 5-11 p.m., guests will have the entire restaurant to themselves. Admission is $25 ($30 at the door): Titos drinks are $7.

Everyone is welcome, Brooks says.

Just like in the days of the Brook.

The Cedar Brook Cafe, before it was demolished in 2011.

(To reserve a ticket for the Birdcage pop-up party at Rive Bistro, click here.)

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