This guide is written by Molly Stratton, an Autostraddle community member! The Queer Girl City Guides are compiled and written by volunteer community members who are excited to share their favorite places and experiences with you. They cannot be independently verified by Autostraddle. We also recognize that cities change and venues close. Due to team restrictions, these guides may not always be up-to-date as time goes on.
The Gay Way: History of Lesbian Bars in Southeast Washington, D.C.
Best Gay and Lesbian Bars and Nightclubs in Washington DC - MapQuest Travel
Over the past few decades, countless openings, promising re-openings, and disappointing closings have taught us to expect the unexpected. Is it such a bad thing though? Though that is the ideal, of course not every place in the politically polarizing climate of DC is considered safe for queer people. Like any artist community, it's full of joy and pain and tension and excitement. Being able to work with performers of all stripes, to hear their ideas and see them come to life, has been exhilarating. Despite the rainbow extending to more spaces throughout the District, gay bars will always be the most well-lit beacons for the DC queer community to let their literal hair down, perhaps for the first time ever.
Queer Girl City Guide: Washington DC
Being the capital city of America and the hub of governmental activities, Washington DC carries a rather businesslike aura with people dressed up formally rushing to work. To put it simply, Washington DC is a well-disciplined town with an orderly structure of daily life, well for the most part. Although the Evergreen City blows off an air of purpose and resolve, it harbors plenty of naughty places for the mischievous. In the past, it has also been instrumental in many minority activist movements.
LGBT establishments—bars, bookshops, clubs, and other local businesses—were key to publicly representing marginalized people in the 20th century. In these safe spaces, members of the LGBT community could meet, form relationships, strengthen their identity, and advocate for their right to exist freely. Today, it is difficult to navigate the history of these historic spaces; the history of most LGBT establishments has been passed down orally within the community itself, and were never written down or recorded. Today, groups like the Rainbow History Project and individuals like Ty Ginter, a graduate student studying historic preservation at the University of Maryland: College Park, are working to preserve the history of these once-thriving businesses and the communities they represented. Why did you choose to focus on Phase One and other lesbian bars in Washington, D.