San Diego lesbians rock!
Published Thursday, 16-Sep-2010 in issue 1186
There was a time in San Diego’s rich history when lesbians were not as visible or held in the same esteem in the GLBT community as they are now. At times discounted and thought to be too small a group to warrant advertising dollars, they were also considered too different from gay men to be influential or to hold any positions of power. This was also a time when there was little or no nightlife catering for lesbians and the few lesbian clubs out there had come and gone. They simply could not compete with the gay bars and the numbers that they attracted. Going beyond nightlife there were few resources for lesbians or places that lesbians could gather, socialize, have fun and be in the majority.
Fast forward and it is apparent that this has really changed in San Diego over the last few years. The Flame had stood for a long time as a lesbian bar as did 6 Degrees, on India St. The Flame eventually restarted lesbian nights although most of the week it still caters to gay men. For a while now Numbers has been running lesbian nights on Thursdays, and still draws a large crowd. Bourbon St. has also been a place for women to go on Sunday nights, offering fun, fair prices and home to a lot of women musicians and artists that are among the best in San Diego’s art and music world. Artists such as Ashley Matte and Lauren DeRose.
Some would say that this progress is simply our community becoming less segregated and that there is no real need to have bona fide lesbian bars, especially with the abundance of “gay bars”. While it is good that the community is less segregated and more accepting of the true definition of GLBT, you can’t help noticing the disproportionate ratio of gay male bars compared to lesbian bars.
But something has started to happen and evidence of these options changing is all around us. The lesbians in the community decided that if it was not provided for them they would do it for themselves. I applaud all of the girls who, not only noticed this but then went about providing us with new and exciting options for lesbians to enjoy, most of which started with their own dollars and resources, including a lot of time. This spirit of determination and “doing things for ourselves” defines who we are as GLBT people and it is one of the reasons why this community is strong.
In addition to the lesbian nights held by the major gay bars there is now Gossip Grill that has turned into a place for the girls that is still very open and welcoming to everyone, including men, trans and gay. Gossip Grill has done its best to ensure that the establishment reflects a culture that lesbian and bisexual women can identify with. It also functions as a place where someone who just wants to be around this culture can have something to eat and feel at home. It is genuinely a place for the girls to call their own. I applaud Chris Shaw for this along with Moe Girton, the bar manager/ bartender and long time staple in the GLBT community, for creating a place for San Diego lesbians to go. Meaghan Yaple, owner of 607 Productions, has also hosted some of the hottest lesbian nights in San Diego. Franki, long time bartender at Numbers/The Flame, has been giving us all something much more than just a place to go and party. She is one San Diego’s favorite bartenders and she is genuine, sweet and has never had the cliché ego bartenders can be known for. She serves to packed houses, all of whom have only good things to say about her and her wife Monika. Ali, who everyone likes and connects with, is also a great bartender and has been at Bourbon St for a long time. U*NI*TY which was started by Heidi Kinney and Linda DJ dirtyKURTY gives the community night life events and also donates to charity, with the mission of bringing together all groups of people.
Rich’s bartender Mila, who just won The Nicky for best female bartender, makes Rich’s a top spot for lesbians. Let me add that she is also very sweet and great behind the bar. The changes are significant and these days even the bars that are not gay are bidding for a piece of the lesbian action and host lesbian nights, events, art shows and musicians. These places are becoming very popular, as they offer options for lesbians and those who want to go out to a place other than a club. So to all those businesses, girls, musicians, dancers, bar backs, staff, bartenders, managers and production companies who work their tails off to create amazing nightlife and diverse choices to entertain the lesbian masses, we applaud you all and thank you.
So next time you are out remember to tip your bartender and be respectful of the DJ’s and musicians. They work hard for the money and to entertain you!
Due to space limitations, the rest of the feature can be read online at www.gaylesbiantimes.com.