Hot Lesbian Nightlife in Cool San Francisco
The San Francisco Bay Area is known as a haven for LGBT folks, with the famed Castro area and more recently the East Bay community coming out in Oakland, whose White Horse bar boasts of being the oldest continuously operating gay bar in California. But, as you might find if you make the Bay your home, finding a good girl party can often turn into an unsuccessful quest.
But don't panic, a new crew of women has stepped up to collaborate on fabulous parties for women who love women (and their friends). These intrepid duos are throwing parties at the population faster than any one woman can keep up, and this is just scratching the surface.
“I think we ignited a little sumthin’ sumthin’,” Michelle Mitchell confides. Along with her partner, local radio DJ Christie James, Mitchell created Lollipop Productions in 2008 specifically to throw fresh parties and promote her website, Urbanelle.com. “There were the same events every single year,” James adds, “Me and most of my friends always thought…there should be something on another level for women, especially in San Francisco. Why do we have to go to Palm Springs to have a women’s weekend when SF Pride is one of the largest?” So Mitchell and James, started throwing their own, diverse, parties. “We promote—everywhere,” James says, “From…the queer, the punk, the funk the hip hop crowd—everything.”
The biggest challenge to throwing parties for women? “Other promoters,” explains James. “We had other promoters calling us upset—‘How dare you do an event the same night I’m doing my event.’ We got people talking smack because we hired male DJ’s. For us it’s about the party.” Mitchell explains, “If we’re going to get anywhere as a community, it’s a collective effort, for everyone to have the same rights. We promote for lesbian women, make no doubt about it.” James adds, “But we’re not exclusive.”
Christine de la Rosa has a new take on the Bay Area scene. “We just don’t have parties like this in Dallas, in Austin, in El Paso. It’s not that way in Texas—you can’t just be a lesbian just anywhere like you can here.” Coupled with local lesbian DJ Olga T, de la Rosa has her own successful website, Butch-Femme.com. And their roaming Butch-Femme Bash, an annual four-day whirlwind draws women from as far as New Zealand.
Settling in the East Bay, she took over the management of Velvet, a former lesbian bar in Oakland. “I think people need to understand the dedication and love that goes into this—it’s very stressful to have this club or this night and just sit out there and wait for the people—are they gonna come? So I guess I’m a promoter but I don’t call myself that.”
Catering to the lesbian community is her raison d'être. “I want to bring quality events to all women, and to focus on women of color, to make sure we’re welcome in all types of spaces. I want to make people feel like they’re not too—whatever—there are too many ‘too’s!’ ”
And she’s bringing lesbians back home, “I said, Let’s bring the party to the Castro.” When long time San Franciscans tried to deter her, de la Rosa was unflappable. She convinced the owners of Lime, Castro restaurant-cum-club, to let her host The All Star Jam, a party featuring an eclectic mix of lesbian DJs. Next up, de la Rosa hosts a non-Dinah Shore Palm Springs weekend in October 2009. With established clout at hotels due to her excellent reputation hosting the annual Bash, and with one of the hottest lesbian DJs in her arsenal, de la Rosa is coming to a city near you.